The French philosopher Pascal once said that most of the ills of the world could be traced to people being unable to sit in a room and think. The Honors Program at Loyola University Maryland attempts to teach students how to think. Because it is committed to liberal arts learning in the Jesuit tradition, the program places special emphasis on ideas and their expression. Students in Honors engage in a dialogue with great thinkers, writers, and artists—ancient and modern—in order to understand how ideas have shaped and continue to shape the world in which we live.
Honors brings together students and faculty who seek not only academic achievement but also intellectual challenge and growth. The program focuses on the whole person, helping and challenging students as they work to refine and deepen their ability to think critically, to discern the true and the good, to respond to the beautiful, and to explore the intersection of faith and reason. It offers students who are serious about their intellectual growth a series of classes and activities designed to lay the groundwork for responsible and informed choice in later life.
Honors students are distinguished by their superior academic records and by their desire to participate in the program’s distinctive curriculum and activities.
The Honors Program curriculum offers students a fully integrated program of study that is both multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary. It accomplishes the goals of the regular University core curriculum, but through an alternate path, and is designed to be flexible enough to accommodate the requirements of all majors across the University.
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Though Honors courses are rigorous and challenging, professors endeavor to foster an atmosphere of mutual support and collegiality rather than of rivalry or competition. Honors students speak often of the sense of community that develops among them, and many lasting friendships have grown out of the program. At the same time, Honors students are by no means isolated from the larger University community. Because they often are among the most talented and engaged students on campus, Honors students tend to excel both in the program and in a whole range of extra-curricular campus activities.
The Honors faculty includes many of the University’s finest professors—teachers and scholars who are selected for their love of learning and their ability to communicate that love to students. They take a deep personal interest in their students and are readily available outside of the classroom for individual consultation and guidance.