Current Students Special Programs + Honors Back to top

Special Programs + Honors

The Grapes of Wrath, Illinois Theatre, March 2016, Photo by Darrell Hoemann

College is more than just performances, projects, exams, and classrooms. See the world and expand your artistic influences by setting your future in motion with an internship or an honors program.

Many formal programs in the college send students across the planet, but you should never feel constrained. Other possibilities around campus are waiting for you—or generate your own ideas for traveling and learning. Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange is a starting point for resources and ideas to broaden your view. Plan early, talk to an advisor, check with an artist you’d love to work with, and see what can happen.

Benefit from an internship with a professional in your field to deepen your involvement in classroom work and foster a network for future employment or study. Many FAA graduates land jobs with companies after enjoying an internship or meet artists they collaborate with over a lifetime.

Landscape architecture and theatre studies majors must complete an internship to earn a degree. Students in other majors can shape their own internships by choosing a faculty member, determining the number of academic credit hours, and deciding on a project (such as a final paper, a performance, a planning diagram, or a piece of art). Credit is earned in either a designated internship course (ARTD 399 or THEA 490) or an independent study with the faculty member. Discuss your options with an advisor—and bring your own ideas.

Approximately 125 Illinois students are selected for this challenging program each year. Through small and stimulating courses, a mentoring system, and informal seminars and lectures, undergraduates dive into the rigors of academic disciplines and interact with noted scholars. Get the details on this opportunity for talented and gifted students from the Campus Honors Program.

For this honor given each semester, you must complete at least 14 academic hours, taken for a letter grade, and earn a minimum GPA of 3.74. 

To be eligible for this scholastic recognition, you need a minimum of 60 credit hours at the Urbana-Champaign campus. GPAs are established each fall for the coming academic year, and generally these minimum achievements are required: 

  • Honors: 3.25 GPA and top 25 percent of the graduating department/school class
  • High honors: 3.5 GPA and top 15 percent of the graduating department/school class
  • Highest honors: 3.75 GPA and top 6 percent of the graduating department/school class

To qualify, you must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA for courses taken at the University of Illinois and rank in the top 3 percent of the graduating class. See section 3-404 of the Student Code for additional information. The names of Bronze Tablet recipients are inscribed on tablets hanging in the Main Library in recognition of continuous academic achievement.

The College of Fine and Applied Arts James Scholar Honors Program creates an opportunity for FAA students to develop knowledge independently under the guidance of their instructors and advisors. Students entering the program in 2016 will complete a set of requirements designed to provide challenging, engaging, and diverse experiences. These requirements emphasize the value of research, community engagement, professional development, leadership, and collaboration and will prepare our James Scholars for a successful academic or professional future.

Benefits

  • Annual opportunities to apply for funds to complete projects or conduct research
  • More direct interaction with professors and advisors
  • Participation in a variety of requirements that are designed to be flexible and to engage and inspire
  • Annual designation as a James Scholar on transcripts
  • Early registration privileges
  • Recognition at graduation

Requirements before Fall 2015

Students admitted to the program before fall 2015 must follow the previous guidelines. All James Scholars must submit their honors plans by Friday, September 9, 2016.

Requirements beginning Spring 2016

At the end of each semester, your progress will be reviewed. All James Scholars must earn a certain number of points each semester throughout their academic careers to maintain James Scholar status and receive recognition at graduation.

  • Earn 2 points per semester. The total number of required points is prorated on the basis of the semester of entry into the program. For example, if you enter the program in the fall semester of your freshman year, you must earn at least 16 honors points by the end of your senior year; if you enter the program in the spring semester of your sophomore year, you must earn 10 points by the end of your senior year. Point values for many activities are included on the honors points table.
  • Submit an honors plan to earn points at the beginning of each semester (deadline: Friday, September 9, for fall 2016). The honors points table outlines some options. You may choose to focus within a single category or select options throughout all categories.
  • Submit an honors plan at the end of each semester that documents how you completed your stated plan (deadline: Friday, November 18, for fall 2016).
  • Maintain full-time (12 semester hours) enrollment at the University of Illinois each semester you are receiving early registration privileges.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA ≥ 3.30.

If circumstances require you to leave the program for a semester, a petition is necessary to resume participation.

Honors Projects (Research/Academics—2 Points/8 Points Max)

An appropriate honors project is developed by a student with an instructor for a particular class. Once an agreement on the requirements for the honors project has been reached, the student must submit the details to the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. Each student should download an honors credit learning agreement (HCLA) or pick one up in the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs and return the completed form before the second week of classes.

Public Engagement Courses (Community Engagement—2 Points/6 Points Max)

The following courses have been approved as public engagement courses. Not all courses are offered every semester.

  • AHS 365 (Civic Engagement in Wellness)
  • ARTE 260 (Museums in Action)
  • ARTE 475 (Art Museum Exhibition Practice)
  • ENG 315 (Learning in Community)
  • FAA 391 (Action Research Seminar)
  • LIS 418 (Community Education)
  • MUS 199, section SCH
  • SPAN 232 (Intensive Spoken Spanish)
  • SPAN 332 (Spanish and Entrepreneurship)
  • UP 448 (Environmental Planning Workshop)
  • UP 455 (Economic Development Workshop)
  • UP 456 (Sustainable Planning Workshop)
  • UP 478 (Community Development Workshop)

How Do I Become a James Scholar?

Freshmen

  • Eligible incoming freshmen are invited to participate as a part of the admission process. Eligibility is determined after a review of application materials.
  • Freshmen who have completed one semester of study at the University of Illinois and have earned a GPA ≥ 3.30 in their fall classes are encouraged to consider nominating themselves for the program. Submit the self-nomination form during the first two weeks of the spring semester.

Continuing Students

  • Sophomores who would like to participate may self-nominate if they have a cumulative GPA ≥ 3.30. Submit the self-nomination form during the first two weeks of the semester.
  • Self-nominations will not be accepted after completion of the sophomore year (60 University of Illinois credit hours).

Transfer Students

Transfer students may self-nominate during their first semester in residence at the University of Illinois if their transfer GPA is ≥ 3.50. Submit the self-nomination form during the first two weeks of the semester.