Honors Program

The Milligan Honors Program provides an advanced and enriching opportunity for high achieving undergraduate students from all major fields to work together to deepen their intellectual scholarship, engage in creative and professional work, and embrace their roles as servant-leaders. You can build a foundation for personal and professional growth and/or prepare for entrance into the nation’s top graduate programs.

The Milligan Honors Program enhances the learning experience of Milligan’s most outstanding students by providing distinctive opportunities, academic challenges, and interdisciplinary experiences. Honors students have the chance to be part of a community that is continually encouraged to ask difficult questions, apply knowledge outside the classroom, and embrace their roles as servant-leaders.

Honors Program participants who are admitted to Milligan by January 3 are eligible to apply for the Jeanes Honors Scholarship (two full-tuition scholarships are available each year). See details below. Other candidates are eligible for Presidential Academic Scholarships ranging from $14,000 to $16,000 per year, plus possible need-based aid.

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Consider Honors if you:

  • need a community to encourage you to push you
  • need an extrinsic reason to make the most of your opportunities
  • are curious and inquisitive
  • love to achieve
  • want closer relationships with faculty
  • want to research and explore bigger academic opportunities
  • want to be engaged in academic leadership

The Honors Program at Milligan complements and builds on Milligan’s liberal arts curriculum and encourages students to think critically and deeply about the relationship between their academic education and their faith. Honors Students take common honors courses together, delve deeper into their major courses, and enjoy community-building activities.


ALL of the following are required for Honors Program and Jeanes Scholarship consideration:

  • A high school GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • A score of at least:
    • 28 (composite) on the ACT OR
    • 1300 (not including Writing) on the NEW SAT (March 2016 or later) OR
    • 86 on the CLT
    • Students with difficulty taking a standardized test due to COVID-19 restrictions may apply to participate in the Honors Program and will be reviewed by the Honors committee for admittance into the program.  Students MUST submit a standardized test score to be considered for the Jeans Honors Scholarship
  • Resume detailing your demonstrated extracurricular interests, community involvement, and leadership ability
  • Be fully admitted to Milligan by January 3
  • Complete the Honors Program application by January 3, including essay and two additional references from teachers
  • Interview with faculty during a campus visit prior to January 3 OR during Honors Weekend.

If you are interested in joining the Honors Program but do not meet the criteria listed above, please feel free to contact the director, Dr. Michael Blouin.


Jeanes Honors Scholarships: Apply by December 1

Milligan’s highest academic honor scholarships are two full-tuition scholarships named in memory of former Milligan President Donald R. Jeanes. Honors Program participants who are fully admitted AND submit the Honors Program application by January 3 are eligible and encouraged to apply for the Jeanes Honors Scholarships. Eligible candidates must participate in an interview during Honors Weekend or on a campus visit during the fall semester.

All honors candidates are eligible for Presidential Scholarships ranging from $14,000 to $16,000, plus need-based, state, and federal aid. (Students eligible for a tuition waiver program or other full-tuition scholarships are not eligible to apply for the Jeanes Honors Scholarship but are encouraged to apply for the Honors Program.)

Honors Weekend

Students who meet the criteria for the program and the January 3 application deadline will be invited to attend this special event. Students will have the opportunity to take a campus tour, learn about the Honors Program, and meet faculty and students. Students may also complete their Honors Program interview virtually during this weekend. Students may also interview in-person during a campus visit before January 29. 

To schedule a visit with an Honors Program interview, please register here »


Admission to the Milligan Honors Program requires a short, separate application.

  1. Apply and be admitted to Milligan.
  2. Complete the Honors Program & Scholarship Application.
  3. Recommendation letters from two teachers should be submitted by January 3.
  4. Participate in the Virtual Honors Weekend sessions. Details to come.
  5. Interview with faculty during a campus visit prior to January 29 OR during Honors Weekend.
  6. Applications received after December 1 may be admitted to the program if there is space available. These students will be eligible for Presidential Academic Scholarships. Contact your Admissions Counselor for details.
Course Requirements

View all details and course requirements for this program in the Milligan University Catalog (link below). The Milligan University academic catalog is the official, authoritative source for all academic requirements and policies. Any discrepancies in curricular requirements from other sources will default to the Catalog.

Choose 2 of 4 options for capstones:

Complete 3 Honors Elective Courses:
Choose three classes in your course schedule to work even more closely with your professor. You and your professor may choose to add or lengthen a project or assignment to tailor the course even more to your passions and interests.

Attend 4 Honors Colloquia:
Offered once or twice a month, attend a lecture trip or other event designated as an Honors Colloquia and also participate in any discussions or social events following.

Take the Honors section of HUMN 102 and 201:
You will follow the normal Humanities curriculum, but this section puts more emphasis on discussion and preparedness in order to share and discuss ideas throughout the content.

Jump into community and begin your Honors track with Intro to Honors (MLGN 101H):
Get to know your class and mature in your thoughts and discussions.

  1. Why would I add to my work load?

The Honors Program does not exist to make you busier or to make your degree more difficult to achieve. Rather, it is all about cultivating curiosity and opening you up to pursue things you may not otherwise consider. The Honors Program gives you a reason, motivation, and community of encouragement to dive deeper into your interests and passions. The Honors Program provides a support system that enables you to reach higher. Overall, however, it is what you make of it. Like any opportunity, this program could just be wonderful on your resume. However, if you so choose, it can be one of the deepest, most enriching times of your life.

  1. Do employers care if you have an honors degree?

Yes! An honors degree looks wonderful on your resume. Employers are able to see by your completion of such a program that you are motivated and actively engaged in reaching for more. An honors degree is not just about proving you are smart. It also shows an employer your commitment and eagerness to follow through.

  1. Can athletes be in the Honors Program?

Absolutely! Being an athlete does not exclude you from becoming a well-rounded, high-achieving student. We have had soccer players, basketball player, runners, swimmers, tennis players and more in our program so far. Communicating with your coach and director is always a good idea, but in general, there are few major conflicts.

  1. How much of a commitment is the Honors Program?

The Honors Program is not a daily or even monthly commitment. You can expect about one academic and one social honors event each semester depending on what phase of your college journey you are in. It is up to you how much you engage with the honors community outside of that. The rest of the requirements are generally completed in your own time.

  1. What community opportunities are available?

The Honors Program comes with exclusive access to the honors lounge in the library. This space is full of couches, bean bags, hot cocoa and things to make studying together fun. This is a great place to hang out with your honors family. There are also social events scattered throughout the year including occasional trips, parties, and gatherings. Honors students tend to form community quickly as freshmen in the Intro to Honors class. Friend connections form quickly out of this experience and continue throughout your college career.

  1. When and why was the program started?

The program was started in 2015 out of the realization that there should be a community enabling high-achieving students to reach their potential.

Student Profile
Cara Williams

Reflecting on her undergrad at Milligan, Cara says: “I am overwhelmed by the wonderful experiences I had as a member of the Honors Program. I am proud to come from such an excellent program, and I’m grateful for the ways in which it prepared me to excel relationally and academically in my present and future endeavors!”

Having completed her didactic work in Milligan’s MSOT program, she is moving on to her 6-month fieldwork experience. She’ll be starting off this summer with a pediatric outpatient rotation at Mini Miracles in Johnson City and then move to an acute care rotation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.


Associate Professor of English and Humanities