May 29, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Bulletin 
2023-2024 Academic Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

J.N. Andrews Honors Program

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Nethery Hall, Room 108

L. Monique Pittman, Director

In 1966 Andrews University determined to offer undergraduate students greater opportunities for intellectual, spiritual, and social development. To reach this goal, it created the honors program to foster an atmosphere that is both intellectually challenging and distinctively Christian.

Starting in 2001–02, the program offered a completely new curriculum. SAGES is a text-based alternative to the standard General Education requirements. It involves 37 semester hours of honors courses and leads to the designation “John Nevins Andrews Scholar” at graduation.

SAGES (Scholars’ Alternative General Education Studies)

Reflecting suggestions from students, faculty and alumni for a curriculum based on the study of original texts, independent research, and writing, SAGES provides a series of interdisciplinary courses that REPLACE General Education  requirements for the bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees. Following a year-long introduction to Western civilization and culture, students pursue a series of thematically-organized seminars similar to a “Great Books” approach, though broader in sources and subjects. The track concludes with independent research resulting in a senior project.

Because SAGES replaces many lower-division courses, admission at the beginning of a college career is advisable. However, transfer and currently enrolled students with demonstrated academic achievement (GPA>3.33) may apply to SAGES and receive individual waivers for some–but not necessarily all–specific courses based on previous academic study. Those admitted as juniors and seniors must complete at least five seminars plus the Research Pro-Seminar and the senior project.

Students wishing to transfer out of SAGES should do so at the end of the first year and apply the courses taken towards a standard General Education track. In the sophomore and junior years, SAGES involves significantly different categories of courses than the standard General Education track. These will not replace many of the freshman and sophomore courses required at most universities.

Progress in SAGES. Students in SAGES who fail to enroll in honors courses, or whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.33, will be asked to withdraw from the program at the end of the academic year.

Graduation as a John Nevins Andrews Honors Scholar

At graduation, the university confers the distinction “John Nevins Andrews Scholar” on students recommended by the Honors Council who display outstanding scholarship, achieve a minimum overall college and honors GPA of 3.50, and complete SAGES. Titles of the senior thesis or project are listed in the graduation bulletin.

SAGES Requirements: Honors Track

Required Registrations

Total Requirements, Bachelor of Science: 43

Total Requirements, Bachelor of Arts: 43+4

(Intermediate Language)


These requirements have been altered slightly for students in some of the professional degree programs.


Sages Requirements: Professional Degree Programs

Degree Alteration in SAGES
BSA Reduced HONS 365H 
BBA Reduced HONS 365H 
Music BS Reduced by 1 elective (3 cr)

Engineering BSE
Computer Science BS

Data Science BS
Informatics BS

Take one from HONS 265H or HONS 345H
Elementary Reduced HONS 415H
Secondary Reduced HONS 415H

Honors Service Requirement

All honors students are required to complete 12 hours of voluntary service per academic year to total 48 hours by graduation.

Replacing General Education Requirements

Because of the integrated and interdisciplinary courses, students completing SAGES will satisfy their General Education requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree with 37 credits of honors courses and 13 credits of mathematics, science, and physical education. The Bachelor of Arts degree requires the identical courses and foreign language proficiency. In each case, the normal requirements are significantly reduced, which frees students’ schedules for cognate courses and electives.

Admission to The Honors Program

Each summer the honors program admits a limited number of prospective freshmen whose interests and achievements—as portrayed in part by the application essay—suggest they will benefit from participation in SAGES.

Students accepted into honors surpass the following qualifications:

  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.50 on all secondary credits
  • Scores of 25 on the ACT or 1200 on the SAT mathematics and verbal sections combined.

Recognizing that for some students either high school grades or standardized test scores may not satisfactorily predict the potential for academic success in college, a small number of students who show considerable promise on one measure but not the other may be admitted to the program upon the director’s discretion.

Admission for Transfer and Currently Enrolled Students
Applications are welcomed from currently enrolled students and transfer students who wish to participate in the program. Successful applicants demonstrate an interest in Honors and possess at least a B+ average on all college courses. Application forms are available in the Honors Office and on the Honors website.

Society of Andrews Scholars

Students in Honors form a society dedicated to spiritual, social, and intellectual activities outside the classroom. The society’s logo depicts hands sheltering the flame of truth, which symbolizes the search for truth by students and faculty together. Excellence, Commitment, and Service is the society’s motto. Membership fees and fees charged as part of the honors application process are used exclusively for student activities by the Society of Andrews Scholars. Annual participation in the service/citizenship/leadership program which is organized by the Society of Andrews Scholars, is required to continue in the J. N. Andrews Honors program.

National Honors Societies

The honors program works with the university’s 17 departmental national honor societies to coordinate information and enhance their activities. It also works closely with the prestigious interdisciplinary national honor society Phi Kappa Phi which inducts about 30 junior and senior Andrews students each year who meet the rigorous requirements. See Accreditations, Approvals & Memberships for more information.

Graduation Distinctions

Designations are conferred at graduation on students who, one semester before graduation, have completed 16 semester hours at Andrews University with the following overall GPAs:

  3.500–3.749 Cum Laude
  3.750–3.899 Magna Cum Laude
  3.900–4.000 Summa Cum Laude

Both the Andrews and Cumulative GPAs must be a minimum of 3.50 in order to be considered for the above designations.

Honors Audits

To enhance Andrews Scholars’ opportunities to learn for the sake of learning, a scholar enrolled full time (a minimum of 12 regular credits) may attend one course free each semester, registering as an Honors Audit (HN), which is indicated on the transcript. Though no credit is earned, an Honors Audit provides a significant opportunity to broaden one’s knowledge at no cost even if it forms an overload. Registration for an Honors Audit (HN) should take place during regular registration, and in no case later than the regular drop/add date. Attendance and other regulations for an audit apply.

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