Innovative team-taught seminars are at the heart of our Baccalaureate Honors Program. These distinctive learning experiences feature two professors from diverse disciplines across different schools, majors, and programs at Rider. These professors collaborate on important ideas, historical periods, and contemporary issues.
In order to remain in and graduate with honors, students must earn a minimum of a B+ in each of their Great Ideas (writing) courses. If they do not, they will be on probation, and will need to speak with the director about remaining in the program. Throughout their time at Rider, honors students must maintain a GPA of 3.3 (B+) or higher averaged across the eight required honors experiences, including the senior capstone and any courses in which the student completes honors contracts. Additionally, the student's overall GPA must not drop below a 3.0 (B).
In addition to the three required upper-level seminars, BHP students must take 6* additional credits of honors courses and a 3-credit senior thesis or project (described below). The 6* credits (2 classes) can include additional interdisciplinary courses, one or more single-instructor honors courses, or non-honors courses that are contracted with the professor to include additional work that is developed uniquely for honors students. Click to learn more about honors contracts or alternative experiences (such as study abroad) that are eligible for honors credits.
*NOTE: These requirements are true for students who begin the program in the fall of their freshmen year. Transfer students should refer to the following webpage for their requirements.
*NOTE ALSO: Students with some majors may find that completing BHP along with their strict major requirements can be challenging. The BHP director and BHP ambassadors are happy to work with students who have majors with heavy course load requirements to help them to successfully complete their honors requirements as well. Visit the Tips for BHP Students page for introductory videos to get you started if you have a major in Business, Education, Fine Arts, or Science. Feel free to also make an appointment to talk with the director at any time for tips and strategies to help you plan early in order to complete your requirements in time for graduation.
First-Year Seminars focus on a core of classic readings complemented by texts that reflect the professors' special expertise. Through analytical reading, writing, and discussion, you’ll develop your critical, interpretive and expressive skills.
Upper-Level Seminars offer the opportunity for sophomores, juniors, and seniors to engage in-depth inquiry into specialized and innovative research areas that may cross conventional boundaries between disciplines. These courses fulfill BHP requirements and may also fulfill ONE of the following - a general education requirement (e.g., a Disciplinary Perspective OR the Global Perspectives), a major requirement, or an elective. Read about upper-level seminars that are currently being offered, or about courses that have been offered in the past (and may be offered again).
You can also view sample syllabi from upper-level seminars, offering you the opportunity for an in-depth inquiry into specialized and innovative research areas that may cross conventional boundaries between disciplines. These courses usually count as core requirements. They may also be taken as electives.
The Senior Thesis or Project is guided by a faculty mentor in the BHP or in your major discipline and allows you to develop original research or creative projects.
As a Baccalaureate honors student, you’ll receive:
- Special advising
- The opportunity to live in a residential learning community with fellow honors students during your freshman year
- Priority in course registration
- Invitations to attend co-curricular events (e.g., dinners, student-run social events, art exhibits, film screenings, poetry slams, theater previews) which are planned by student and/or faculty leaders in BHP
Students invited to join Rider’s Baccalaureate Honors Program generally rank in the top 10 percent of those admitted to the University.
For students entering Rider as a freshman:
- Students who earn a 3.5 GPA or higher in high school AND who also score 1300 or higher on the SAT (or an ACT composite of 27 or better) are invited to join the Baccalaureate Honors Program as entering freshmen. High achieving test-optional students are automatically considered in addition based on their academic record. Completion of two honors writing courses, 5 upper-level seminars or honors experiences, and an honors capstone project is required for graduation with honors. The priority deadline to apply to Rider for Fall enrollment to be considered for Honors is January 15.
- After receiving an invitation to the honors program, incoming students will be asked to formally accept their place in the program in order to be officially enrolled.
- Currently enrolled freshmen or sophomores may apply to the honors program if they achieve success in their freshmen writing class(es), earn a GPA of at least 3.3, and/ or are recommended by at least two faculty members (at least one of which must be the professor of one of the student's writing classes). For these late-start students, completion of 5-6 courses in the honors program plus an honors capstone project is required for graduation with honors.
For students entering Rider as a transfer with 20 credits or less:
- Students who earn a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and achieve a grade of B or higher in a college-level English/ writing class may be invited to join the Baccalaureate Honors program as transfer students. For these transfer students, completion of 6 courses in the honors program plus an honors capstone project is required for graduation with honors. Honors credits taken at students' first institution may be accepted at the discretion of the program director.
For students entering Rider as a transfer with more than 20 credits:
- For students entering Rider as a transfer with more than 20 credits: Students who earn a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and achieve a grade of B or higher in a college-level English/ writing class may be invited to join the Baccalaureate Honors program as transfer students. For these transfer students, completion of 5 courses in the honors program plus an honors capstone project is required for graduation with honors.Honors credits taken at students' first institution may be accepted at the discretion of the program director.