Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Honors Forum’s mission?
The central goal of the Honors Forum is to strengthen the intellectual community for all highly motivated Skidmore students and especially to encourage the academic aspirations of exceptionally talented first-year and second-year students. The “Forum,” as the name suggests, is intended not as an exclusive society but rather as a structure for organizing and promoting our common interests as an academic community. Thus, while formal membership in the program involves around 250 students selected for their academic commitments and accomplishments in the various disciplines, most of the honors-designated courses and co-curricular activities sponsored by the Forum invite the participation of other highly motivated Skidmore students as well. (see the Overview)
When was the Honors Forum created?
The Honors Forum inducted its first members in the spring of 1997 and offered its first courses in September 1998. The Skidmore Class of 2001 included the first graduating class of Honors Forum members.
Who oversees Honors Forum?
Honors Council—a tripartite committee composed of administrators, faculty members (one of whom acts as Honors Forum Director), and students—is the governing body charged with overseeing Honors Forum policy and implementation. The Executive Committee (comprised of the Honors Forum President, Vice Presidents, and members of each class year) is responsible for creating and implementing Forum projects as well as planning and conducting Forum events. Executive Committee reports regularly to Honors Council. Honors Forum members interested in serving on the Executive Committee should contact the Director. (see HF Council)
How are entering students selected?
A select number of entering first-year students are invited to join the Honors Forum in September based on outstanding academic and co-curricular high school records. (see Membership Eligibility)
How are Skidmore students selected?
At the completion of the first and third semesters, first-year students and sophomores, respectively, with a grade point average of 3.50 and above receive invitations to apply to join the Honors Forum. Applicants must supply a brief, well-written statement and secure the recommendation of a faculty member. New Honors Forum members receive notification in February, and an induction ceremony soon follows. (see Membership Eligibility)
What are the academic requirements for maintaining Honors Forum membership?
Honors Forum members must maintain both a semester and cumulative grade point average of 3.50. Students who fall below a semester 3.50 GPA may temporarily maintain their membership; they will receive a warning notice from the Director. Students whose grade point averages fall below 3.50 for two consecutive semesters must relinquish membership in the Honors Forum. Students are also expected to contribute to the Honors Forum community and to complete an annual report on their participation in Honors Forum events. To graduate as an Honors Forum member, a student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or above. (see Membership Policy)
What are the course requirements?
Students must complete either a minimum of three Honors Forum course experiences or seven semester hours of Honors Forum course credits. For both options, students can take Honors courses, Honors add-ons, independent studies, or a study abroad experience. Students inducted in their first year must complete this requirement by the end of the junior year; students inducted in their sophomore year must complete this requirement prior to their graduation. Students must also complete a Citizenship Project and a Capstone requirement their senior year. In most cases, the Capstone is the culminating experience in the student’s major (thesis, research seminar, senior project, recital, art show, etc.). (see Membership Policy and Curriculum)
What are Honors Courses and who may take them?
All Skidmore students are eligible to enroll in Honors courses. Most Honors courses are either academically enhanced three- or four-semester hour classes, stand-alone one-credit courses, or one-credit honors add-ons to a non-honors (“parent”) course. Students enrolling in one-hour additions to existing courses must also enroll in the “parent” course. See the Master Schedule for the options available each semester. (see Courses by Department)
What activities does the Honors Forum sponsor?
The Forum both initiates activities (e.g., "Shades of Gray," the panel discussions of cultural and campus ethics, and Academic Festival) and co-sponsors campus speakers. Honors Forum also typically sponsors and/or offers funding for museum trips, exhibits, receptions, library exhibitions, student publications, and other classroom-related activities. The Honors Forum plays a major role in organizing and conducting each spring’s annual Academic Festival. (see Co-Curricular Events)
Can foreign study, independent study, or an internship be awarded honors credit?
Honors credit may be granted for independent study, internship, or international study on a case-by-case basis. Students seeking honors credit for such experiences must consult the Director well before the semester in which they plan to undertake such study. Students applying for credit upon their return from study abroad will not be granted Honors credit. (see Study Abroad)
Please consult the Honors Forum website, or the Forum Director, Prof. Catherine J. Golden (extension 5164)
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