Honors Foundation

For Accepted, First-Year Students

Honors Foundation introduces students to interdisciplinary inquiry and a unique academic community.

In Honors Foundations, students complete general education requirements while taking unique and interesting team-taught courses; see Schedule below. This sequence of courses lays the foundations for addressing complex human questions and problems from a variety of perspectives and academic disciplines.

Students who complete Honors Foundations and wish to complete Honors Research Experience are automatically admitted without a formal application.

Step One: Apply to SAU Step Two: Apply to Honors Foundation

Priority Deadline

December 1

Priority Deadline

Only 25 spots! Applications submitted by December 1 receive priority consideration.

Submit your Honors Foundation application

Final Deadline

May 1

Final Deadline

May 1 is the last date to apply to Honors Foundation.

Submit your Honors Foundation application

Honors Foundation Learning Community

In their first year at SAU, Honors Foundations students take a series of courses (9 credit hours total) with the same group/cohort of students. These are called Learning Communities.

In these team-taught interdisciplinary courses, students collaborate with each other and their instructors to explore a theme from a variety of perspectives. The small class sizes allow students to form connections with each other and their teachers while making connections across different fields of study.

Scroll down to learn more about Honors Learning Communities.

Application Information

How to Apply

First, complete your application for admission to St. Ambrose University

If you're accepted to SAU, then you may complete the online Honors Program application*.

Your application materials should demonstrate that you are a motivated and intellectually curious learner, a thoughtful and engaged community member, a reliable and collaborative teammate, and a resilient and creative problem solver.

Application materials include:

  • Academic record/GPA (ACT/SAT not required)
  • Letter of recommendation
  • A list of accomplishments and activities
  • A project submission

Priority Deadline: December 1
Final Deadline: May 1

*Please note: The Honors application is unable to save your work during the completion process, so it requires a full submission once opened.

Teachers and Guidance Counselors

Teachers & Guidance Counselors
Submit your Letter of Recommendation. We request one letter of recommendation per application.


Course Sequence

Total credits: 15 credits


HON 100 and HON 101 are corequisites, paired as a Learning Community, and together fulfill two general education requirements (these vary by topic and instructors).

Fall Semester – Learning Community

HON 100 Creating Community Connections. (2 credits)
Students are invited to connect, inquire, and explore with their SAU Honors Community. Through collaborative activities and independent research, students learn the basics of interdisciplinary inquiry and community engagement. They explore their HON 101 topic from a variety of perspectives, see new connections, and reflect on how these shape their own views. Students take ownership of their learning by planning activities, speakers, and reflection assignments and they connect their learning to their professional goals and growth. Offered only in Fall; required for all first year Honors Foundation students.

+HON 101 Exploring Connections. (4 credits)
In this team-taught topics course, students and professors investigate the course topic together using knowledge and methods from two academic disciplines. Previous topics include War and Peace; Love, Sexuality and Relationships; The Election; Grappling with Evil; Spock Meets Socrates; Food and Justice. Offered only in Fall; required for all first year Honors Foundation students.

Spring Semester
+Hon102 Creating Connections for Change. (3 credits)

In this team-taught topics course, students and professors apply knowledge and methods from two academic disciplines to learn about systemic or institutionalized discrimination experienced by one or more marginalized populations. Students collaborate with individuals or communities to develop a plan of action to respond to systemic discrimination and further social justice causes. Offered only in spring; required for all first year Honors Foundation students. Fulfills 1 general education requirement (varies by topic and instructors) and DEI #2 requirement



These courses may be taken at any point after completing Learning Community courses.

+HON 201 Special Topics in Honors (3 credits)
The interdisciplinary course examines a special topic from the perspectives of several scholarly disciplines.
Prerequisites: HON-101 and HON-102

WI-HON 301 Interdisciplinary Research Perspectives (3 credits)
Focuses on the Interdisciplinary perspectives and the role that research plays in different disciplines across the liberal arts.

+=fulfills a general education requirement


Brett Billman, PhD & Tanya Randle, PhD

Honors Program
2129 Harrison Street
Davenport, IA 52803

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