Is IHON For Me?

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.

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.

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 — regardless of what you’ve read, or haven’t!

For many students, the answer is “yes”!

The answer depends a lot on what credits you have, but even more on what your personal circumstances and goals are.  For a detailed review of your credits and your options, send an email to the IHON Director, Dr. Tyler Travillian (

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.