About the Honors Program

The History

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 2001–2002, the program offered a completely new curriculum. SAGES (Scholars' Alternative General Education Studies) 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.

Why Honors?

Being an Honors student means immersion in a learning environment with other motivated and thinking students. Honors students learn alongside peers who are eager to expand their minds through challenge. Honors students have exclusive research opportunities and actually complete fewer General Education credits through the SAGES program. The Honors Program also includes on- and off- campus social gatherings: arts and activities trips to concerts and theater performances, and outings to sporting events, museums and art galleries; religious activities such as the annual Agape Feast and Friday night vespers; service opportunities; and the Harold T. Jones Lectureship. Being a part of Honors also gives access to the Forsyth Honors House for study and socialization, as well as inclusion in occasional study tours.

*One of the best things about the Honors programs is that you are encouraged to ask questions and explore different points of view. It's more than just memorizing facts.*
-Liza Habenicht, biology and French studies major

What I loved about the honors classes was that the teachers were very open-minded and engaged with the students like colleagues; the lectures never really felt like lectures—it was an open forum and we were encouraged to state our own opinions and discuss the topic at hand. Also, instead of doing "busy work," we did a lot of writing, which forced me to develop my thoughts more clearly. And, although the classes challenged me academically, they were never overwhelmingly difficult. It was great to study with other students who were driven to learn because they loved learning and thinking about difficult topics... instead of just taking the classes because they had to to get their degree.*
-Julia Pickett, family studies graduate 

What is SAGES?

SAGES stands for Scholars' Alternative General Education Studies. The SAGES program offers students a new way to learn by giving them the opportunity to replace many general education credits through interdisciplinary courses, discussion and seminars revolving around "great books" and other important texts.


The benefits of the J.N. Andrews Honors Program include the following:

  • Integration of religious studies with other academic disciplines
  • Discussion-oriented classes
  • Highly motivated fellow students
  • Outstanding teachers and researchers
  • A slightly reduced credits package for the SAGES curriculum
  • A culminating individual research project and presentation
  • Designation at graduation as "J.N. Andrews Honors Scholar"
  • Improved prospects for career placement and acceptance into graduate school or professional school including medicine, dentistry, law, veterinary science
  • Enhanced opportunity for future scholarships, fellowships and assistantships
  • An active social, spiritual and cultural life including student-organized vespers and Agape Feasts, outings to museums, theaters and concert halls in Chicago, service events to extend our resources to the care of the needy in our community
  • Streamlined scheduling of a compact credit package requiring only 16 courses and 50 credit hours


Graduation as a John Nevins Andrews Honors Scholar

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.