Honors FAQ


Berkshire Honors Scholar Program

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I have to apply to get into the program?
    Yes. The form is quick and easy: Honors Program Form
  • What makes me eligible to apply?

    If you are a new applicant to BCC, or if you have not yet completed 6+ college-level credits, you can apply to the Honors Program with a 3.25+ GPA on your high school transcript.

    Once you have completed 6+ college-level credits either at BCC or from a transfer institution, your college GPA needs to be a 3.25+ to join the Honors Program.

    You must be enrolled in an associate degree program.

  • How many courses do I have to take to graduate from the program?

    You have to take 3 honors courses to graduate from the program, one of which must be a colloquium.

  • What is a colloquium?

    A colloquium is a seminar style interdisciplinary course that looks at wide ranging topics that will help students to think more broadly and critically. These courses are also developed specifically for the honors program and can be found under the course code HON 298.

  • What other kinds of honors courses are there?

    Honors courses are also taken from the academic disciplines on a rotating basis.  We have offered courses in literature, environmental science, sociology, psychology, history, philosophy etc.  We also offer the possibility for independent studies, as well as one credit honors components which can be added to existing non-honors courses. There is also an honors composition sequence, which can be taken in place of the traditional composition sequence.

  • What is the process for adding an honors component?

    You must get approval from the honors coordinator, as well as the sponsoring faculty member, no later than the first week of classes.  Go to this link for details on the process for adding a component.

  • What is the Honors Composition Sequence?

    The honors composition sequence can be taken instead of BCC’s traditional composition sequence and is a great gateway into the program for incoming students. It consists of two courses, ENG 103 and ENG 104, both of which are designed to give students exposure to the standard practices of academic writing, research, and presentation methods in an honors setting.

  • If I took ENG 101, instead of ENG103, can I still enroll in ENG104?

    Yes, students who are successful in ENG 101 are encouraged to register for ENG 104.

  • Why should I take the honors composition sequence, instead of the traditional composition sequence?

    The Honors Composition sequence is especially designed for students who wish to challenge themselves in a rigorous academic environment that seeks to expose them to the practices of academic writing. While all of our composition courses have similar aims, this sequence is especially geared toward research writing, argument formation, critical readings strategies, and a variety of presentation methods that you might encounter in academic life.

  • Do I have to maintain a certain GPA to stay in the program?

    Yes, you must maintain a GPA of 3.25

  • What if I fall below this GPA for a semester?

    You receive a one-semester grace period during which you can work to raise your GPA. If you are still below 3.25 after the grace period, you will be removed from the program.

  • Can I reapply to the program after being removed?

    Yes, if you once again meet the eligibility requirements.

  • Do I have to earn a certain grade in each honors course to graduate from the program?

    Yes, you must earn a B or better in your honors courses in order for them to count toward graduation from the program.

  • What if I only want to take one honors course?

    It is perfectly fine to apply to the honors program, take the course you are interested in, and then leave the program. Of course, we do hope that you will stay in the program to make use of the benefits of graduation.

  • What are some of the benefits of taking honors courses?

    There are numerous benefits.

    Honors courses are capped at 16 students, which means smaller class sizes and more individual attention from the instructor
    Honors courses are both rigorous and challenging, which will help you to reach your potential while preparing you for advanced coursework at transfer institutions
    Because of the high standards of the honors program, your classmates will also be highly motivated and gifted students, which will lead to a lively and engaging class environment

  • What are some of the benefits of joining the honors program?
    • Transfer: we are part of the Commonwealth Honors Program, which consists of the UMass Colleges and Universities, State Colleges and Universities, and the fourteen Community College members. This means that you can move seamlessly from our program and transfer into the program at your chosen four year school.
    • Honors Courses on Your Transcript: Whether or not you graduate as a Berkshire Honors Scholar, any honors courses you take will show up on your transcript as honors courses.
    • Events: Honors events range from informal luncheons to speaker series and are geared toward engaging students in the intellectual and social life of the college
    • Travel and Scholarship: We send honors students to statewide and regional honors conferences to either take part, or present their work.
    • Honors Center: The honors center is a dedicated student space on campus where you can relax, study, make use of the computers, and have a cup of free coffee