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Benefits of the College Honors Experience


The College Honors Program provides a community for students who like to explore and discuss challenging moral, intellectual, spiritual, or artistic questions. You meet interesting, simpatico people and make good friends.


“The Honors Program helped me meet new people in my class in a context where extra intellectual curiosity was the norm. Some of my best friends and I met through the Honors Program, and its so exciting to see what they're doing now.” 
Caitlin Powell, Class of 2007, JD, U. of Chicago


You can explore an interesting creative question in a rigorous, systematic way.

“Looking back 14 years, I realize that my senior Honors thesis at Holy Cross set me on a trajectory to pursue more ‘big questions.’ I learned how to organize a study, conduct a literature review, form a methodology that I wiould have to see through, be in the field with actual participants, and then of course, the writing!” 
Iris Ponte, Ph.D, Class of 2000, Child Development specialist, former Watson and Fulbright Fellow

Research & Writing

Writing a thesis is a demanding undertaking, but it leads to a great sense of accomplishment. It also helps you acquire skills that you can use in many different contexts.


"I found that the most valuable aspect of the College Honors Program was the opportunity to write an Honors Thesis.  While it was certainly challenging, this thesis allowed me to spend a full year exploring a topic that I selected myself and conduct a clinical research trial to study it. My thesis has ultimately come to strongly reinforce my desire to become a physician and shape the goals that I want to accomplish as an MD."
Kevin Wall, Class of 2013


“Without the College Honors program, I would not have been able to succeed in the intense "hit-the-ground‐running" environments I have found myself in for the past two years. The thesis project prepared me to succeed in research-­‐intensive classes at Harvard that required me to conduct and analyze detailed studies in a very short nine-month period. Most importantly, however, the overall rigor of the program prepared me for a career in which I would have to juggle so many priorities at once. Time management and persistence were the key to success in the College Honors program, and I have found those skills to be invaluable in my role as an Adviser and teacher today.”
Chad Desharnais, Teacher, Preparation and Placement Assistant, Class of 2012.

Interdisciplinary Connections

Students in the College Honors program are challenged to explore the broader connections between traditional fields of study.


“The Senior Honors Thesis allowed me to combine my two academic passions: psychological theory and dramatic literature analysis. The thesis taught me how to ask questions and seek answers -­‐ a skill set and methodology I continue to use today in management, avocational theater, and entrepreneurial pursuits.”
Eric Butler, Advancement and Marketing Professional, Class of 2006.


Students have the opportunity to work closely with professors, who often become mentors during and after their years at Holy Cross.

“The College Honors Program provided me with the opportunity to take a number of interesting, engaging, and intimate seminar-­‐style courses with Holy Cross' all-star faculty members, many of whom continue to be good friends and mentors to me today.”
-Eric Butler, Class of 2006

“Prior to this thesis, I had never had the opportunity to work with a Professor so closely; Those afternoons I spent in [my professor's] office were a window into what having a graduate school advisor would be like…”
-Iris Ponte, Ph.D, Class of 2000


“Being able to work one-on-one with a Professor for an extended period of time helped me develop a lasting relationship I still value immensely. I would recommend the Honors Program to any student at HC.”
-Caitlin Powell, Class of 2007

There isn’t just one type of student who is right for the College Honors Program.  There are scientists, artists, sociologists, accounting majors, philosophers, social activists, people of all political persuasions...All of this variety makes for interesting conversations and debates, and we learn from one another.