Whitehurst Family Honors Program

The mission of the Whitehurst Family Honors Program at Barton College is to inspire futures by teaching students to think for themselves and live for others. This is accomplished by teaching and challenging qualifying students academically, socially, and culturally. The honors program is committed to the development of the whole person. We care as much about who students become as what they become. The vision of the Whitehurst Family Honors Program is that our graduates are career-ready leaders who are able to critically think for themselves and find meaning and purpose in their work as they live for others.

The Whitehurst Family Honors Program desires to help students move from being passive receivers of knowledge to individuals who create knowledge. Students in the honors program often pursue post-graduate work in a variety of graduate and professional schools and our program is designed to best prepare them to compete and excel in these endeavors.

Eligibility Requirements

High School Seniors

Seniors in high school applying for entry as freshmen to Barton College must meet the following academic requirements:

  • 3.25 minimum unweighted GPA
  • 1100 SAT (540 or greater critical reading) or ACT 24 (English score of 24 or greater)

Current Barton Freshmen

Freshmen enrolled at Barton College may apply for entry into the Honors Program after their first and/or second semester. The following academic requirements must be met:

  • 3.5 minimum GPA as a student at Barton College
  • Written application

Transfer Students

Transfer students who are applying to Barton College may also apply at that time for entry into the Honors Program. The following academic requirements must be met:

  • 3.5 minimum GPA at prior institution
  • Written application

Register for the Honors Open House Event

Honors Program Curriculum

Students receive an honors program minor at Barton College when they graduate if the following requirements are met:

  • Complete the graduation requirements at Barton College
  • Earn a 3.25 GPA at the time of graduation
  • Complete the following courses (minor with 18-19 hours):
Freshmen Honors Seminar (1 credit)

During the fall of the freshmen year, students will take an honors seminar that will vary in content, and allow a supportive cohort to be established for freshmen in the Honors Program. This course is not required for transfer students or current Barton students who apply to the program as freshmen.

HNR 160 Honors Seminar (3 credits: AWC or WDC course with a learning outcome)
HNR 260 Honors Seminar (3 credits: AWC or WDC course with a learning outcome)

HNR 160 and HNR 260 courses allow students to do an in-depth study on a variety of topics while receiving credit in the general education core as a global awareness course. The focus of the course varies depending on the professor, with past topics being the death penalty, poetry of war, animal rights, mental illness, and technoculture. Classification as an AWC or WDC course, as well as the learning outcome (oral, writing, or critical thinking), will depend upon the particular topic being taught.

HNR 250 Nature of Inquiry (AWC, with oral learning outcome)
HNR 350: Research Honors Seminar (critical thinking learning outcome)

Students take two research classes that provide a framework for conducting undergraduate research. HNR 250 uses Barton College archives to introduce students to many concepts related to research. Specifically, students learn to conduct a literature review and develop and answer a research question. HNR 350 builds on this knowledge to provide an opportunity for students to conduct a more discipline specific research project.

Any 300- or 400-level course in the student’s major
A 480 course in the discipline

The 480 course is designed to allow students to conduct discipline specific research or focus on problems in their discipline that they want to address. This class is an independent study that is faculty mentored.

Expectations and Privileges of Students

Students are required to maintain a 3.25 grade point average (GPA) to graduate from the program. The GPA is evaluated at the end of each academic semester. Students below this are given a warning their first semester. After two semesters, they are placed on probation and lose the privilege of registering early. If this problem continues to occur, decisions regarding continuation in the program are determined on an individual basis. It is our desire that all students in the program complete the requirements and graduate with honors. The Director of the Honors Program and Honors Council are very involved in helping facilitate the success of the honor students.

In addition to the academic requirements, students are expected to be leaders on campus, both in and outside the classroom. They are invited to attend a number of social and cultural events on campus, including plays, lectures, athletic events, art exhibitions and other intellectual activities. Students enjoy the privileges of early registration and the opportunity to live in East Campus Suites on the Honors Floors. Funding may be available to help offset the costs of conferences and entrance exams. Students are also encouraged to travel internationally, but this is not a requirement for graduating with honors. Potential funding for international travel is available through competitive scholarships awarded by the college and honors program.


For more information, contact Dr. Susan Bane, director of the Whitehurst Family Honors Program, by phone at 252-399-6514 or by email at smbane@barton.edu.