All students at Holy Cross are bright and academically motivated. These two criteria are prerequisites for being accepted to the College. With this being said, Holy Cross offers a College Honors Program for a select group of especially curious students aimed at offering more chances to further explore their academic interests. The program includes two seminars and a handful of honors colloquia. The culminating aspect of the program is a self-selected senior thesis project completed with the guidance of a Holy Cross professor.
Being invited to the Honors Program is something that comes as a surprise to many second year students. One comes into the college excited to do well and find classes about which they are passionate. Even without knowing that the Honors Program exists, some rising sophomores will be pleasantly surprised to find an invitation to apply to the program in their email inbox. One should work hard and become involved in the community regardless, but knowing that an invitation to an exclusive program comes as early as the beginning of sophomore year is one more reason to immediately invest one’s self in the Holy Cross community
If one is fortunate enough to get accepted to the program, one is able to work towards completing a graduate school level thesis concerning a topic of their choosing. The thesis can be related to their major if one so chooses, but this is not mandatory. Important to note is the fact that the Honors Program does not award one many “perks”. In other words, there is not necessarily a palpable reward for being a part of the program. Instead, one is able to explore one’s academic interests more rigorously and in more depth. That particular question that has been raised in many classes, or a difficult topic one is struggling to form an opinion about can serve as fodder for a thesis. One is hard pressed to think of a more rewarding undergraduate academic experience than producing a thesis one has worked on for a full year. Thus, first year students have more than enough reason to dive head first into their studies and fully explore the questions they may have.