McDaniel Honors Program
Contact: Dr. Corey Wronski-Mayersak, English
At a college recognized for changing lives, the McDaniel Honors Program challenges students to develop their intellectual potential. The program opens doors to challenging courses in many disciplines, often taught in innovative ways. In addition to enriching electives, McDaniel Honors students enjoy priority registration, extended library loans, a special study lounge, connections with accomplished alumni, support to present research at conferences for honors students, and a unique opportunity to study abroad as early as their first year at McDaniel Europe or at Glasgow University in Scotland. The Honors Program is designed to complement any major or student-designed program. Because honors electives fulfill one or more general education requirements, completing the honors curriculum offers a flexible, customized path through the liberal arts experience.
Students who complete the following program requirements receive the designation of College Scholar.
- Overall GPA of 3.5 or better
- Demonstrate intellectual and moral character befitting a member of the Honors Program
- HON 1200 Honors: My Design (2 credits; fall of 1st year)
- HON 2200 Honors: My Career (2 credits; fall or spring of 2nd year)
- HON 2201 Great Works (4 credits; spring of 1st year)
- HON 3200 Honors Journal Club (2 credits, fall or spring of 3rd year)
- Three honors modules, selecting from among the following:
- Honors electives (4 credit courses that also fulfill general education requirements; may sometimes fulfill a major or minor requirement as well; must meet one or more of the four student learning outcomes)
- Honors-enriched experiences (maximum of 2 allowed; may range from 1-4 credits; at least one should be in the major field of study)
- Study abroad (each semester abroad counts as one honors module)
- HON 4491 Honors Senior Colloquium (2 credits; spring of senior year)
- Completion of a College Scholars Project (4 credits; senior year, met by pursuing departmental honors or proposing a distinct project)
Phi Beta Kappa Society
Phi Beta Kappa was established in 1776 as a philosophical society. Eventually, it evolved into the paramount honor society for the liberal arts in the United States and consists currently of 290 local chapters. Its goal is to support, foster, and recognize the excellence of liberal arts scholarship in the institutions of higher education in America. The Delta of Maryland Chapter at McDaniel College was established in 1980. The chapter consists of members of the society who conduct the business of the society and elect student members, usually in the second semester of their senior year.
The requirements for membership include exceptional scholarly achievement, broad cultural interests, and good character. Candidates must present a program including no fewer than 96 credit hours of liberal studies (or at least 3/4 of the courses required for the B.A. degree) and have obtained a minimum grade point average specified by the chapter. Liberal studies shall be considered to be those designed principally for knowledge, understanding, or appreciation of the natural and social world in which we live. Grades earned in applied or professional work may not be counted in computing the liberal arts hours or the grade point average for eligibility.
In considering a candidate’s eligibility, weight will be given to the breadth of the program as shown by the number, balance, and variety of courses (including some at the upper level) taken outside the major. Also, as befits a liberal education, students must have demonstrated college-level knowledge of mathematics and knowledge of a second language or non-native language at the intermediate level. This knowledge is identified by an AP score of 4 or higher in mathematics, placement into Calculus, or completion of a college-level mathematics course (3-4 credits) and by completing or testing above the third semester of second language study. Election to membership in Phi Beta Kappa is wholly within the discretion of the local chapter, subject only to the limitations imposed by the constitution and by-laws of the chapter.
Eligible candidates will have completed at least three full semesters of work at the College and be registered as full time for the fourth semester. Students who complete their college studies at the end of the summer session or before the end of January will be considered for membership during the following spring. Questions may be directed to the president or secretary of the Chapter.
In addition to Phi Beta Kappa, there are numerous other honorary societies on campus. Three societies oriented toward general accomplishment are Omicron Delta Kappa, a national society recognizing leadership qualities; Alpha Lambda Delta, a national honor society for first-year students; and the Trumpeters, a local society honoring senior students dedicated to service. Two societies recognize Greek leadership: Gamma Sigma Alpha and Order of Omega.
National and international honor societies which recognize academic accomplishment in specific fields are Eikon Texnh E’ Ekphrasis (Art History), Beta Beta Beta (Biology), Gamma Sigma Epsilon (Chemistry), Lambda Pi Eta (Communication), Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics), Kappa Delta Pi (Education), Phi Alpha Theta (History), Phi Sigma Iota (World Languages), Phi Alpha Delta (Pre-Law), Lambda Iota Tau (Literature), Kappa Mu Epsilon (Mathematics), Beta Alpha Chi (Music), Omicron Psi (Nontraditional Students), Phi Sigma Tau (Philosophy), Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics), Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science), Psi Chi (Psychology), Theta Alpha Kappa (Religious Studies, Theology), Pi Gamma Mu (Social Sciences), Phi Alpha (Social Work), Alpha Kappa Delta (Sociology), Lambda Pi Eta (Speech Communication) and Alpha Psi Omega (Theatre Arts).
The Dean’s List recognizes full-time (12 or more letter-graded credit hours) undergraduate students with outstanding academic performances each semester on the following basis:
- Highest honors, requiring a semester grade point average of 3.90 or higher.
- High honors, requiring a semester grade point average of 3.70-3.89.
- Honors, requiring a semester grade point average of 3.50-3.69.
- Students who receive a grade of Incomplete (I) or Not Reported (NR) in any of their courses are not eligible for the Dean’s List for that semester.
The President’s List recognizes full-time (12 or more letter-graded credit hours) undergraduate students who achieve a 4.0 grade point average over the entire academic year (fall/spring).
General Honors at Graduation
General honors citations are recognized at graduation and recorded on the diplomas and on the students’ permanent records. These honors are:
- Summa Cum Laude, for a cumulative grade point average of 3.90 or higher.
- Magna Cum Laude, for a cumulative grade point average of 3.70-3.89.
- Cum Laude, for a cumulative grade point average of 3.50-3.69.
Eligibility for general honors requires a minimum of 64 credit hours at the College or affiliated programs such as overseas programs, the Washington Semester, Gallaudet Visiting Student Program, and courses taken at the Budapest campus.
Departmental Honors at Graduation
Departmental honors are recognized at graduation and are recorded on the students’ permanent records. To receive departmental honors, students must:
- Have a grade point average of 3.50 in all courses taken in the major.
- Satisfy any departmental requirements, such as engaging in a seminar or in independent study, submitting an essay, or passing with distinction a comprehensive examination in the major field.
- Be recommended by the department.
This option is also available to those students with student-designed majors.
Edith Farr Ridington Phi Beta Kappa Writing Award
The Edith Farr Ridington Phi Beta Kappa Writing Award was established by the College’s Phi Beta Kappa Chapter to honor Edith Farr Ridington (Senior Lecturer Emerita, until her death), long-time member of the faculty and charter member and historian of the Delta of Maryland Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. The award goes to the graduating senior whose paper, written in consideration for honors in a major field, is judged to be the best of those submitted by the various departments or programs.
The Argonaut Award, named for the College’s original honor society founded in 1935 and superseded by Phi Beta Kappa in 1980, is given to the graduating senior or seniors with the highest cumulative grade point average in the class. For purposes of this award, the cumulative grade point average will be calculated based upon the student’s entire transcript, using both transfer and the College’s credits.