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Honors Program

Embark on a journey for excellence

Join an Exclusive Group of High-Achieving Students

Limited to the top 10% of each entering class, the Bentley Honors Program offers you access to:

  • Small, highly interactive Honors courses 
  • Dedicated faculty advisors supporting the Honors capstone project
  • Honors research fellowships, lab and/or field work 
  • Co-curricular activities including field trips, internships and more
  • Getting published in peer-reviewed undergraduate research journals

Not only will you develop close relationships with your honors classmates, you’ll work with Bentley's most respected scholars and dynamic teachers and gain real-world skills. For more information check out the Bentley Catalogue.

Honors Students Share their Stories

The Honors Program draws motivated, well-rounded students with leadership potential seeking to challenge themselves both inside and outside the classroom. Hear what they have to say about the program as they pursue difficult yet rewarding opportunities at Bentley.

Ready to challenge yourself?

Learn how to apply to the Honors Program

Mission and Vision Statements

Honors Program Mission

The Bentley University Honors Program offers a distinctive learning experience to a diverse community of highly motivated students who are passionate about exploring the world, invigorated by inquiry, and driven to expand their horizons while giving back to their community, both within and beyond Bentley.

Vision

The Honors Program provides participating students with an interdisciplinary curriculum designed to foster advanced intellectual growth and lays a foundation for life-long learning.  In a unique business school that values a strong liberal arts education, honors students are enriched by their exposure to interdisciplinary approaches, experiential learning, and academic research. Honors students are expected to demonstrate leadership and initiative in their curricular and extra-curricular endeavors. Honors students have opportunities to integrate their academic life with an array of experiences that enhance their broader, individualized learning experience

Benefits

Essential benefits to all Bentley University honor students include:

  • Smaller classes, advanced and specialized courses, and the opportunity to work closely with faculty on research projects
  • Participation in undergraduate research
  • Opportunity to participate in various honors committees
  • Availability of research funding
  • Dedicated honors lounge in Residential Center
  • Early class registration
  • Opportunities to travel to regional honors conferences
  • Honors specific career service counseling
Honors Program at a Glance
Program Requirements

Students in the Honors Program must meet the overall GPA requirements detailed below. Additionally, they must adhere to honors defined academic integrity standardsHonors students are required to take at least nine courses (27 credits) within the Honors Program. They are also required to complete a service learning experience during their second year in the form of either a 4th credit Service Learning class or an embedded Service Learning course, as defined by Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Center. Honors coursework is typically comprised of six general education or elective courses, two courses within a student’s major, and the senior Honors capstone project. However, the exact composition of the course requirements can vary by major.

Overall GPA Requirements

End of the first full semester at Bentley University: 3.3
End of the second full semester at Bentley University 3.3
End of the third full semester at Bentley University 3.4
End of the fourth full semester at Bentley University 3.4
End of the fifth full semester at Bentley University to graduation: 3.5*

* All Honors students must graduate with at least a 3.50 overall GPA, regardless of circumstances.

Senior Capstone Project

During the fall semester of their junior year, Honors students are required to select from one of three capstone tracks: (1) the Scholarly Project Track; (2) the Creative Project Track; or (3) the Community-Based Research Track. The Scholarly Project track allows students to work one-on-one with a faculty advisor to complete a scholarly research project. Scholarly Projects should aim to make an original contribution to the academic literature. The Creative Project track also allows students to work with a faculty advisor. In this case, however, students are tasked with producing a creative project, such as an art installation, a musical score, poetry anthology, or any other form of artistic expression. Finally, the Community-Based Research Track brings together a team of students and tasks them with completing an applied research project on behalf of a community partner, such a non-profit or governmental organization. A faculty advisor guides student teams.

All Honors Program students are required to complete a three-credit capstone experience. Students are expected to present their research at the Honors Conference, which is typically held during the end of the spring semester of their senior year.

Requirements by Track

The Scholarly and Creative Track
HNR 450 (H) Honors Capstone Proposal (1.5 Credits)
HNR 460 (H) Honors Capstone Project (1.5 Credits)
The Community-Based Research Track
HNR 445 (H) Honors Capstone Course

For more information on the Capstone Research Project, contact the Associate Director of the Honors Program Rob DeLeo, who manages the process. For specific information on dates, deadlines and procedures for current students, see Blackboard.

Activities and Events

As part of the program, honors students have access to specialized events and activities exclusive to those in the program. Bookended by regular events such as the Welcome BBQ for first year students during orientation and the Honors Conference in April. There are other many smaller cultural, service oriented, networking, and social functions. From talks, sporting events, to smaller informal get-togethers before final exams start, there are many opportunities for honors students to come together and reconnect as a community, while still maintaining a broader integration into Bentley’s social fabric.

The Honors Program occasionally coordinates with the honors alumni chapter to help bring in alumni to networking events to highlight job and internship opportunities. Honors students have an opportunity to meet and hear campus speakers from various disciplines from the private sector, government, and academia. Taking advantage of our Defined Honors Living Communities, honors students also participate in special advising sessions, weekly game nights, and pizza with the Honors Team.

Leadership and Service

Honors students at Bentley are smart, motivated and dynamic. Because of this, many of our students attain position on campus, from student government, resident assistants, club and academic groups, Greek life, student ambassadors, or athletics, leadership opportunities are plentiful for students within the Program.

Leadership opportunities exist within the Honors Program as well. The Program has a Student Honors Council (SHC) composed of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Class Representatives. The Council is selected during the fall and is part of the decision-making process of the program. As such, the SHC acts as a liaison between honors students and the administration. In addition, the Council administers various student committees, such as the Event Planning Committee, The Mentorship Committee, the Newsletter Committee, and the Recruitment Committee.

Research Opportunities

Many of our honors students present their Capstone and other research projects in conferences outside Bentley. With the help of United Technology Corporations (UTC), the honors program provides research funding to honors students. Every year, the Honors Leadership team grants a small stipend to a few selected students working on their honors capstone projects. Students have also received travel funds to conduct research as well as to present their projects in local, national, and even international conferences.

Honors Awards

To further encourage and enhance academic excellence in the Capstone process, awards were created to recognize the most outstanding Capstone research projects. Each year at the Honors Conference held in April, a student is presented with a Capstone of the Year Award for Excellence in Arts and Sciences, and one student is presented with a Capstone of the Year Award for Excellence in Business. To recognize the unique nature of Bentley’s business education, and encourage the exploration of challenging multidisciplinary problems that society faces, a third category of award was created in 2015 – Excellence at the intersection of Arts and Sciences and Business.

Nominations for exceptional student projects are encouraged from faculty advisers, but self-nominations from the student are also accepted, with faculty adviser support. Nominations are solicited near the end of the semester in both December and in April. Typically, nominated student projects exhibit a strong level of original, independent thinking and/or creativity, provides new knowledge or understanding of a subject area, or may employ a significant level of rigor in the research process achieved through extraordinary effort, desire and motivation by the student. For more information on the nomination process, see Blackboard, or contact the associate director of the Honors Program.

Honors Conference

The Honors Conference takes place near the end of April each year, and provides an opportunity for all graduating seniors to present the findings of their Capstone research projects in a formal setting in front of family, friends, faculty and peers. It is an enriching opportunity to take stock of the hard work throughout their four years at Bentley, and in particular celebrates the challenging yet rewarding conclusion to the Capstone research project.

To encourage the collaborative nature of the research process, all senior honors students are expected to participate in the conference, by both presenting and attending sessions. Family, friends, faculty and the broader Bentley community are encouraged to attend as well. Following the concurrent sessions which run during the day is a reception, in which students display summaries of their projects and have the opportunity to mingle with family, friends and faculty. The day is capped off with a celebratory dinner, highlighted by students receiving their honors medallions, as well as the presentation of student research and Capstone adviser awards (see Awards section).

Columnas Newsletter

Columnas is the award-winning, semi-annual newsletter of the Honors Program at Bentley University. The newsletter provides feature stories and articles about its students, alumni, faculty and other members and events of the honors and Bentley community, written from the perspective of those involved in the Honors Program. Columnas won 1st place among electronic, student-edited newsletters for Honors Programs at the 2015 National Collegiate Honors Council conference and more recently, won 2nd place at the 2017 conference.

Read the Columnas Newsletter

The Honors Teams

Honors Leadership
Christian Rubio, Director
Rob DeLeo, Associate Director

Honors Faculty Council
Laure Astourian, Modern Languages
Sung Choi, History
Zoë Folchman Wagner, Natural and Applied Sciences

Mike Quinn, Economics
David Yates, Computer Information System
Poh-Lin Yeoh, Marketing

Student Honors Council
Emily Barthelmes, President
Alyssa Kastner, Vice President
Kimia Pourshadi, Secretary
Rashmi Rajesh, Sophomore Representative
Derek Ines, Junior Representative

Christian Rubio
The Honors Program challenges me to continuously develop tools to push students' intellectual curiosity and help them get to that next level.
Christian Rubio
Honors Program Director