Davidson Honors College
Timothy Nichols, Dean
The mission of the Davidson Honors College is to attract the best students from around our state and country to the University of Montana; to develop engaged citizens and professionals who excel in critical thinking, communication, collaboration, problem solving, ethical reasoning, and civic engagement; and to serve as a hub of intellectual, service, and social activity for students, staff, and faculty across the University of Montana campus. The mission of the Davidson Honors College is to attract the best students from around our state and country to the University of Montana; to develop engaged citizens and professionals who excel in critical thinking, communication, collaboration, problem solving, ethical reasoning, and civic engagement; and to serve as a hub of intellectual, service, and social activity for students, staff, and faculty across the University of Montana campus.
In accordance with our mission, the DHC is committed to offering students the additional resources, challenges, and encouragement to be active and collaborative learners. DHC students are expected to:
be intellectually curious;
develop skills in critical thinking, analytic reasoning, and problem solving;
increase their abilities to write and speak effectively;
acquire skills and habits of community and public service;
develop research and life-long learning skills and habits.
Honors students are expected to pursue these student learning outcomes inside the classroom and out, in their work and their recreation, volunteer service, membership in clubs and organizations, participation in campus and civic governance, independent study, pursuit of their hobbies and interests, and formal course work.
Honors courses are limited in enrollment to 20 students and usually are conducted in a discussion or seminar format. They emphasize critical thinking, the development of written and oral communication skills, direct contact with the faculty, and use of original texts or "hands-on," participatory experience. These courses are taught by outstanding faculty selected according to their department's standards of excellence. Course offerings vary somewhat and represent many academic departments and subject areas. Honors courses often fulfill General Education and many common major requirements.
At the junior and senior level students are offered a selection of Honors electives. These electives are open to students from all disciplines. The aim of these courses is to assist students in applying different methods of inquiry and research, in using the insights of various disciplines, in integrating the students' knowledge, and in developing well-informed personal stances toward the material and issues studied.
In their senior year, students complete an Honors thesis or research project, assuming responsibility, together with a faculty mentor, for an original scholarly research or creative project. This project may coincide with a departmental requirement, and is intended to prepare students to fulfill roles of intellectual, moral, and cultural leadership as they realize their places in society.
Assessment of Personal and Academic Goals
A college education invites students to formulate goals and reflect on their progress toward attaining them. Davidson Honors College students are responsible for evaluating their aims and attainments from year to year in collaboration with an advisor. Entering students are asked to assess their abilities and resources and begin to formulate interests and aims in light of the student learning outcomes mentioned previously.
Davidson Honors College students are required to complete a minimum of seven Honors experiences, including HONR 120 and HONR 121L and a senior Honors capstone project. Details are available in the Davidson Honors College office or on the DHC web site.
It also is recommended that all students include in their curriculum at least one course or independent study project that includes an experience of volunteer community service or study abroad.
Graduation through the Davidson Honors College requires a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and 3.4 in the major field. Upon successful completion of the requirements, students will receive their bachelor degrees as "University Scholars" in their respective majors and have this distinction noted on their diplomas. Graduation through the Davidson Honors College is not connected with the distinctions "with honors" and "with high honors" bestowed on the recommendation of major departments according to certain grade point averages and/or on the basis of exams or other means of assessment in the senior year.
The Davidson Honors College administers the Presidential Leadership Scholarships for incoming freshmen, and several other scholarship programs for currently enrolled students. For further information about these scholarship programs, contact the Honors College. Honors students and those transferring from other institutions are eligible for the general scholarship program. For further information, contact the Financial Aid Office.
Admission to the DHC
Students applying to the Davidson Honors College should show evidence of academic talent and motivation. Generally, a minimum high school GPA of 3.5 is expected, as well as an ACT score of 27 or higher, or SAT combined score of 1260. These criteria are not absolute, and highly motivated students are encouraged to apply.
Applications are particularly welcomed from older or non-traditional students and students from varied racial and ethnic backgrounds. College transfer students with a record of strong academic performance (GPA of 3.5 or higher) also are welcome to apply. The Davidson Honors College Application must be postmarked or submitted online by the first Friday in December. Note that all applicants to the Davidson Honors College also must complete a separate application for admission to the University of Montana-Missoula.
Presidential Leadership Scholarships
The Presidential Leadership Scholarships are the University of Montana's premier academic scholarships, recognizing outstanding talent, academic performance, leadership, and contribution to the community. These awards are renewable for four years, subject to satisfactory performance by the student. Each scholarship includes a full or partial tuition waiver, the value of which varies according to the amount of tuition each year.
Eligible candidates for the Presidential Leadership Scholarship must be recent high school graduates who have not previously enrolled as a regular college or university student. Recent finalists for the Presidential Leadership Scholarship posted an average of 3.98 GPA, SAT combined score of 1310, and ACT composite score of 30.
All Davidson Honors College applications for admission received by the first Friday in December of each year will be considered for the Presidential Leadership Scholarship.