Honors Program

The Hollins honors program is distinctive in two ways:

  • It is offered to students early in their academic career, either the first or second year.
  • Student interest and curiosity drive the content of the seminars.

What to Expect

In the first year, the program provides resources and support for teams of students to design, execute, and present their own collaborative research projects.

In the second year, students work in a similar way, only this time to develop individual projects. In both years, projects will originate with ideas coming from students’ own interests and ideas provided in the seminar.

Courses in Honors Program:

HNRS 101: Ideas (2) Fallon, Derringer
In this first of four seminars, students will be asked to identify an interdisciplinary idea that provides a stimulating topic for academic inquiry and to form collaborative groups. Students will then modify and advance the idea to produce a research proposal and plan of action that will come to fruition in HNRS 102. The seminar encourages creative inquiry by asking students to not only develop but also challenge ideas. Students will examine a variety of research tools and methodologies, and will explore different modes for presenting research results. The seminar will also introduce techniques and technologies for effective collaboration. Open to first-year students. Registration by application only. Offered Term 1.

HNRS 102:  Inquiry (2) Fallon, Derringer
In this second of four seminars, student groups will execute the research projects proposed at the end of HNRS 101. As groups engage in the process of investigation and discovery – producing results or encountering obstacles – the seminar will provide a forum for progress reports, critique, and problem solving. Groups will be provided additional instruction in research processes, collaborative methods, and interdisciplinary connections as needs occur. The results of all projects will be presented in the annual Student Conference, held in late spring. Open to first-year students. Registration by application only. Prerequisite: HNRS 101. Offered Term 2.

HNRS 201: Independent Investigation I (2) Salowey, Sulkin
This seminar, the third of the Honors Program sequence of four seminars, concentrates on the development and completion of individual, cross-disciplinary research projects. In the first part of the term, students will reflect on the process and outcome of their previous collaborative research projects and explore new ideas for individual year-long projects. A research proposal with a list of resources and a detailed plan of action will be completed by mid-term, and the seminar as a whole will critique the proposals and subsequent progress reports. Prerequisite: HNRS 102 and permission. Registration by application only. Offered Term 1.

HNRS 202: Independent Investigation II (2) Salowey, Sulkin
In this final seminar of the Honors Program sequence, students will continue the work of their research plans developed in the previous term in HNRS 201, and bring the projects to conclusion. Each student will investigate venues for the presentation of the results and participate in at least one academic conference. Prerequisite: HNRS 201 and permission. Registration by application only. Offered Term 2.

How to Apply

  1. Fill out the application form.
  2. Ask a teacher to fill out the recommendation form.
  3. The application deadline is March 1.

Students will be selected based on an open application process designed to gain a sense of the student’s motivation and aptitude for challenging, independent, and creative academic work.

What You’ll Get

After you’ve completed the sequence of four seminars, the distinction honors program will appear on your transcript.

Who Directs the Program

Rebecca Beach
Dean of Academic Services

Dan Derringer
Associate Professor, Chemistry

Jean Fallon
Berry Professor of Liberal Studies, Professor, French

Christina Salowey *
Professor, Classical Studies

Robert Sulkin *
Professor, Art

*Directors for students in the second year of the program.