How do I know if IHON is a good fit for me?

We’re looking for students who:

  • Like intellectual challenges
  • Don’t think in boxes….and who don’t like to be put in boxes
  • Who doubt that we’ve got all the answers – and want to consider what other cultures, and other times and places, have said about fundamental problems of human existence

Unlike some other honors programs, IHON focuses on your intellectual potential, rather than what you may have already achieved. IHON includes both students who were valedictorians, as well as students who are only beginning to find their own way academically. What distinguishes successful IHON students is persistence, and a strong desire to learn. If that describes you, you’re a good fit and we want to see your application to IHON!

What are IHON classes like?

In a typical PLU IHON class you will find the following:

  • Peers who are motivated, prepared, and eager to engage
  • Small class sizes (12-20 students per course)
  • Discussion rather than lecture:  most professors who teach in the program use some variety of the Socratic Method in their courses.
  • Consideration of the ethical implications of the particular themes or topics under discussion.
  • An effort to include global perspectives in each class
  • A commitment to engage with diverse voices
  • Direct engagement with primary texts, rather than textbooks presenting summaries or simplifications.
  • Creative assignments (i.e. the emphasis in our courses is not on tests or testing “acquired knowledge,” but rather how one uses what one learns in order to think through particular issues or problems).  Some recent assignments include podcasts, blogs, taking on the personas of authors, philosophers, and thinkers from the course, and making a special issue of an academic journal.

Can IHON work with my major?

Yes, absolutely!

IHON students have majored and minored in every program at PLU, from Biology to Global Studies, Nursing to English, Business to Education.

Because IHON courses are interdisciplinary, they work well with all majors.  We offer courses every semester, including January Term, so that we can accommodate highly scheduled majors like Nursing and Education.  In fact, IHON students often find IHON easier to fit into the major than the other Gen Ed because it includes less course work and takes study-away into consideration.

I have AP/IB/Running Start credits. Does IHON make sense for me?

For many students, the answer is “yes”! It depends a lot on what credits you have, but even more on what your personal circumstances and goals are.

Required Credits
The IHON curriculum requires one fewer course than the Gen Ed.  Additionally, IHON will waive the following:

  • one 200-level course for a semester study-away or for taking a language at the 300 level
  • up to two 200-level courses for AP/IB/Running Start credit.

Interdisciplinary, International Focus
For many students, even those with considerable transfer credits, IHON’s focus makes it worthwhile.  The emphasize integrating knowledge across disciplines and cultures in order to better understand issues that you care about in your life today.

How do I apply?

Applying is easy! By applying to PLU, you’ve already done most of the work. There is a separate IHON application form to complete, which will ask for short two essays.

The priority IHON application date is February 15 each year. Apply by February 15 to guarantee that your application to IHON is in the first round of decisions. The regular application date is April 1 each year – apply by this date to guarantee that you get your IHON decision in plenty of time before the May 1 National College Decision Date.

You can still apply to IHON after the application dates!

How does IHON work with Study Away?

IHON does not require study away.  The “International” in International Honors refers to our commitment to teaching from the perspectives of multiple cultures around the globe.

IHON does strongly support study away: 75% of IHON students study away at some point in their PLU careers, many in our popular IHON-Oxford Program. IHON’s flexible program requirements make allowance for a wide variety of possible study away experiences. IHON will even waive a 200-level course for students who spend a semester studying away!

Current IHON Student FAQs

How do you substitute a PLU Language 300+ course (on campus) or Study Away Intensive Course for an IHON 200-level course?

You can substitute one of the following for one of your required IHON 200-level course: (1) a 300+ language course with a grade of “C” or better OR (2) a Study Away Intensive Course (including the IHON-Oxford Primary* Tutorial).

*Note that the IHON-Oxford secondary tutorial counts automatically as one of your 200-level courses.

See the IHON Director for the proper paperwork for this credit substitution once you have completed the language course or semester study-away.

Is it possible for a J-term study away class to count toward IHON 200-level credit?

No. The study away substitution policy is restricted to selected semester programs.

The one exception would be a 300+ language course taught by a PLU faculty member.

When may I take the IHON 300-level class?

Students may enroll in the IHON 300-level class after having completed all four 200-level classes. The primary exception to this rule is: if you are enrolled in your fourth 200-level you may also take the 300-level in the same semester.

What courses in the General Education Program do I still need to take?

  • WRIT 101 (WR),
  • any First-Year January-Term course,
  • Mathematical Reasoning (MR),
  • Science and Scientific Method (SM),
  • Physical Education (PE x 4, including PHED 100),
  • Alternative Perspectives (A),
  • Capstone/s for individual major/s.

Please note that (A) may be completed through IHON courses, and that you do NOT have to take the FYEP Inquiry Seminar 190. IHON 112 counts as a 190 course.

If I drop the IHON program, how will my IHON credits transfer to the General Education program at PLU?

Should you decide to drop the IHON program, IHON credits transfer into the General Education program. Please see the IHON Director for the proper paperwork to execute such a change. At that meeting, the director will determine exactly where to place your IHON credits within the General Education program.