Honors Program – Research College of Nursing / Rockhurst University:  Accelerated


In keeping with the missions of Rockhurst University and Research College of Nursing, the Honors Program endeavors to provide academically gifted students with opportunities to realize their intellectual potential through a curriculum designed to foster their love of learning and the awareness of social responsibility. The Honors program for accelerated option nursing students encourages goal-oriented students to identify an area of interest and conduct additional study in that area mentored by college faculty. A student’s intellectual curiosity is subsequently stimulated as well as their critical thinking skills, oral and writing skills and professionalism.


The Honors Program is open to all Accelerated Option students that hold a cumulative 3.3 GPA from their previous degree and course work. Students interested in participating in the Honors program must submit:

  • An application form for admission into the program prior to the summer immediately before the program begins (see attached).
  • A letter that describes the following: a) previous degree and granting college, b) GPA, and c) objectives for participating in the Honors Program.
  • An official transcript of all college work completed.
  • Transcription of an Honors course taken at a previous college or enrollment and successful completion of an Honors course at Rockhurst University or Research College prior to beginning full time coursework in the Accelerated Option Program. Probationary admission may be granted until the student can complete this requirement.

    Exceptions to the above criteria will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Director of the Honors Program with the advisory council. All prospective students who meet the above criteria will be sent a letter of invitation.


    Students must meet the following criteria to remain an active member of the Honors Program:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher. Students that do not maintain this GPA will be placed on a probationary status.
  • Take at least one course for Honors credit each trimester of enrollment in the nursing curricula (this requirement may be waived by the Director of the Honors Program for exceptional circumstances).
  • Complete 15 hours of Honors coursework prior to graduation (this does not include any Honors courses taken prior to beginning formal full time coursework in the Accelerated Option Program).


    Students admitted to the Honors Program will have the Director of the Accelerated Option Program as their academic advisor. S/he may also serve as the faculty mentor for Honors courses or s/he may delegate this responsibility to a faculty member with expertise in the area of interest. Students must meet with their academic advisor the beginning of each trimester to discuss possible projects appropriate to their area of interest as well as credit allocation. A contract outlining the project selected will be developed with the academic advisor or the faculty member subsequently selected to be their faculty mentor. This must be done within the timeframe provided below.

    • Fall trimester – Last day of September
    • Spring trimester (Term A) – Last day of January
    • Spring trimester (Term B) – Last day of March
    • Summer Trimester – Last day of June

    The contract, with all required signatures, is to be submitted to the Director of the Accelerated Option Program who will send a copy to the Director of the Honors Program at Rockhurst University.

    Projects that would be considered acceptable for Honors credit include, but are not limited to:

  • Research papers that use primary sources to study a topic of interest.
  • Powerpoint presentations that present a topic of interest and/or could be used as teaching tools.
  • Development of a community project and implementation with a target population.
  • Analysis of a seminal or reputable book in a relevant area of study.
  • Completion of a specialized program of study not provided in the basic curriculum (ie: EKG interpretation, therapeutic touch, etc.)
  • Administration of a health education project with a marginalized population.

    Graduation Requirements

    To graduate from the Honors Program, students must satisfy the following graduation requirements:

  • Complete a minimum of 15 hours of Honors coursework in the Accelerated Option Program of study.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 in coursework completed in the Accelerated Option Program.
  • File an Application to Graduate from the Honors Program (must be done the fall prior to graduation).

    Et Cetera

    Honors Director: The director can be contacted by telephone at 816-501-4108 or by e-mail at william.sturgill@rockhurst.edu.

    Honors room: The Honors Room for Research College of Nursing honor students is shared with the Graduate Students and is located on the first floor of the 2300 Building in the front lobby.

    Honors bulletin board: The Scholarly bulletin board located outside the elevator of the second floor of the 2300 Building on the Research campus will be used to display Honors materials. Student projects and other relevant information will be posted as appropriate.