Hillyer Honors Experience
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Hillyer Honors Experience

Doing well in Hillyer classes opens the opportunity for you to become part of Hillyer’s honors experience program, which includes honors seminars. You will take small interdisciplinary classes, take educational trips, participate in hands-on learning experiences, pursue independent projects, meet face-to-face with experts in your field of interest, participate in faculty research, and showcase your work in a public forum.  

Who Qualifies?

  • First-year students who complete at least 15 credits in the fall semester and maintained an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher can qualify for HONB110, our spring humanities honors seminar.
  • Second-year students who  have completed at least 30 credits and maintained an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher by the beginning of the second year can qualify our fall science honors seminar. These second-year students also may take one honors course in Arts and Sciences or one course in Hillyer for Contract Honors.  
  • Second-year students who maintain an overall GPA of 3.15 or higher by the beginning of sophomore year are eligible to travel to Hawaii for our Winterterm experience.

What are the Hillyer Honors Seminars?

The topics of our three core Hillyer Honors seminars are always changing, to keep our approach contemporary and our students engaged. Students who meet the GPA criteria and who have maintained academic integrity in all of their classes will be invited to take the following courses:

HONB110 Humanities Honors Seminar

This interdisciplinary course designed for first-year students explores a topoic that cuts across humanities subjects such as literature, history, philosophy, music, art and communications. Students will work with the seminar leader and other experts to pursue the theme of the course across these disciplines and to think creatively and critically about a variety of visual, verbal, and musical texts. . Students may also have the opportunity to showcase their work or perform in a public forum. Past course titles have included: 
  • The Search for the Authentic Experience
  • Creativity
  • Art on a Mission

Prerequisites: overall GPA of 3.0, at least 15 or more earned credits, academic integrity, permission of coordinator


HONB 200 Science Honors Seminar

This interdisciplinary course designed for second-year students is rooted in math/science or social science subjects such as economics, political science, psychology, and sociology. Students often raise questions across these disciplines by studying contemporary issues. Field trips, hands-on research experiences, active discussions, and collaboration with experts in the field, help students think critically to and develop research skills. Sometimes the course encourages students to take action, advocate for social or political causes, or present their work in a public forum. 

  • Generation on the Rise: the Civic and Political Participation of Milennials
  • Life on the Edge: Disasters
  • College Students as Social Activists

Prerequisites: overall GPA of 3.0, 30 credits (sophomore standing), academic integrity, permission of coordinator.


HONB210 Winterterm Honors Experience: Polynesian Art and Culture

This interdisciplinary course sends second-year Hillyer honors students to Hawaii, where they will study Polynesian art, culture, and history. Lectures and field trips cover the history of Hawaii, as well as the expressive culture, and dynamics of religion, ethnicity, and race in contemporary Hawaiian society. Students are required to attend four pre-travel classes on the Hartford campus. In addition, they must complete all work for the course to maintain the scholarships and honors credit associated with this Winterterm Honors Experience.

Prerequisites: overall GPA of 3.15, 30 credits (sophomore standing), academic integrity, permission of coordinator

hawaii women

requirements to graduate with honors

To graduate from Hillyer College with honors, you must:

  • Finish 9 or more credits of graded honors courses with a grade of B or better
  • Earn 6 of the 9 credits in honors courses: HONB110, HONB200, HONB210, or one honors course offered by another college on campus
  • May earn up to three credits by completing an honors contract in a non-honors course 
  • Must maintain an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher

Note: Students who want to pursue University honors in their junior and senior years at the University should complete at least two honors courses in their first two years, and maintain an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher.Hillyer Honors courses fulfill 6 of the 18 credits needed to complete University Honors.


To learn more about Hillyer Honors, please contact the Honors Coordinator, Professor Michele K. Troy, at mtroy@hartford.edu.