Honors College

A female student with straight blonde hair stands in a laboratory room, wearing a white lab coat. She holds a long syringe. Beakers are on the table.

Contact Us

Honors College

Greg Bierly, Dean
Indiana State University
Pickerl Hall, Room 110
Phone: 812-237-3225
Fax: 812-237-3676
Email: Gregory.Bierly@indstate.edu

Enrich your learning and expand your global perspective in the Indiana State University Honors College.


Apply to the Honors College

Welcome to the Honors College!

The Honors College at Indiana State University offers classes and experiences to enrich students’ education, expand their global and cultural perspectives, and prepare them for advanced academic work and rewarding professional careers.

Honors students participate in a core of small, powerful classes, led by committed faculty who are passionate about their disciplines and dedicated to helping students learn, grow, and achieve.

A brick building with glass windows. A parking lot is to the left and green trees are in the front.

By the Numbers

Mission & Vision

The mission of the Honors College is to provide a supportive and stimulating environment for high-achieving students. This academic community features interdisciplinary courses taught by dedicated faculty and co-curricular experiences at ISU and beyond, including opportunities for research, leadership, community engagement, and study abroad. This mission is accomplished by:

  • Challenging and supporting Honors students by exposing them to innovative approaches and diverse perspectives in order to provide them the skills and confidence to confront complex multi-disciplinary issues;
  • Facilitating intellectual engagement and the exchange of ideas, both inside and outside the classroom;
  • Providing opportunities for initiative, leadership, and service through experiential learning and community involvement;
  • Encouraging cross-cultural experiences that expand awareness and deepen understanding of the world.

The long-term vision of the Honors College is:

To graduate students with a life-long passion to learn, who are able to apply critical thought and imagination in their professional lives and as global citizens.

Inclusive Excellence at Indiana State University

To be inclusively excellent means going beyond diversity as a representativeness exercise to one that also routinely examines and addresses where organizational cultures, structures, policies, and practices impact equity and belonging for the members of a community.

We value the individuals and groups that make up and represent Indiana State University and the Terre Haute community. We value a community where all individuals, from all levels, can participate, contribute, and have a voice. We value the power of listening and the opportunity that creates when we are open to hear what others have to offer. We value our charge and the stewardship it represents to all in our community. We value YOU!

We envision a university community that reflects the population of Indiana and the nation with respect to students, faculty, support staff and administration and that transcends social and structural barriers to equality. We also envision a university community that understands what is necessary to achieve such a goal and appreciates why such a goal is beneficial.

Learn more about Inclusive Excellence at Indiana State University


Pickerl Hall and Burford Hall are the primary Honors residence halls for incoming Honors students. Honors students are not required to live in Honors housing; however, choosing to reside in an Honors living-learning community gives Honors students opportunities to develop friendships and form study groups with peers from all different majors in the Honors College. Returning Honors students are invited to live on an Honors floor in 500 Wabash, which is located one block away from campus. 500 Wabash gives Honors students entering their second, third, or fourth year at ISU an opportunity to continue living on a floor with other Honors students in an apartment-style residence hall with private bedrooms and fully furnished living rooms and kitchens. Most apartments have four bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and two bathrooms.

Benefits of living in Honors housing include:

  • Living with and around other Honors students
  • An Honors Resident Assistant (RA) lives on each floor
  • Private bathrooms
  • Central air conditioning
  • Quiet hours on each floor
  • Floor lounges for studying and hanging out
  • Programming space for Honors events
  • A short walk from most classroom buildings

For more information, including floor plans, please visit the Residential Life website: Pickerl Hall  •  Burford Hall  •  500 Wabash 

The Honors Council is a student organization that primarily focuses on planning social and philanthropic events. Honors Council members are elected leaders and also serve as representatives of the Honors student body.  Honors Council Constitution (PDF)

The Honors Peer Mentors are experienced students in the Honors College who mentor first-year Honors students as they adjust to life at Indiana State University. Each incoming Honors student is networked with a peer mentor, who will offer advice, answer questions, and be a friendly face on campus as you transition into the ISU community. The Honors Peer Mentors are involved in numerous organizations on campus and also with the Honors College, so they know first-hand what it is like to be a motivated student, take Honors classes, live on campus, study abroad, and effectively balance time between school and extra-curricular commitments. 


The Honors College regularly partners with the Career Center to offer programs that will help you prepare for your future. We work with the Career Center to offer interactive workshops, designed intentionally with Honors students in mind, to help you write a résumé, prepare for interviews, learn about graduate school resources, apply for internships, and network with professionals. An ISU Career Coach also holds weekly office hours in the Pickerl Hall lobby and Honors students are welcome to stop by for help with résumé or job search questions.



The GH 401 Honors thesis experience is intended to:

  • Provide you a significant research experience
  • Enable you to demonstrate your proficiency at research
  • Culminate your Honors College curriculum, linking elements of the Honors coursework with your larger degree program and/or interests.
  • Prepare you for professional writing, presentation and research activities and/or for graduate or professional school requirements.


Group Photo: Honors Students in Greece

Timmy Global Health is a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding access to healthcare and addressing global healthcare challenges. As members of the ISU chapter, Honors students have the opportunity to enroll in GH 301: Global Healthcare Challenges to learn about about healthcare disparities in developing countries and participate in a medical service trip to Ecuador. 


Looking out the plane window, cascading, vibrant mountains covered in brilliant green forestry rose above the white, animated clouds. The sight was breath taking and offered the grandest welcome I have ever received. The greatest part, the adventure was just beginning. We were greeted at the airport with typical Guatemalan hospitality, “Buenos Tardes! Bienviendo a Guatemala!” Which translates to good afternoon and welcome to Guatemala! The 12 of us, 10 Honors students and 2 Honors alumni, were then shuffled into a minivan and whisked up the crowded city roads that would eventually lead to San Miguel Escobar, a small town that rests an hour outside of Guatemala City.

Honors Alternative Winter Break in Guatemala

San Miguel Escobar is a small farming community located within the valley of multiple mountains and volcanoes. Not only is San Miguel Escobar home to some of the greatest views, but also the location of De La Gente, the nonprofit we worked with for the week. De La Gente, which translate to “From the People,” works with a cooperative of coffee farmers and offers “opportunity in every bean.” They ensure the fair trading of coffee amongst the farming community, offer financial resources and global shipment of product, as well as the opportunity to educate the outside world of what it takes to go from bean to cup. Our first opportunity was to experience just that!

On our first day of our 8 day adventure, we started off our morning in a local farmer’s coffee field picking coffee as farmers do every day in Guatemala. A typical day of the farmer starts between 4 and 6am and ends at 3pm with a small break for lunch. By the end of this day, a typical farmer can pick 100 plus pounds of beans. We started much later than the typical farmer, and we did not exactly reach the quota. We were given a basket that the farmers generally use to hold the picked beans. In a half hour, farmers usually fill their basket to the top. Most of our baskets were not even half filled, but collectively we filled one basket and were able to process it just like the farmers. Picking the beans was followed by placing them in a processor to pull the beans from the “cherry” casing. The beans then were placed on a drying bed and would be dried for about 3 weeks. We then had the opportunity to grind, brew, and taste coffee along with the farmers.

The rest of the week we would have the opportunity to work side by side with farmers to work on projects that would benefit their coffee production. We primarily worked with the president of the coffee cooperative, Timo, and under his direction we were able to build a rainwater collection tank. The tank we built out of cinderblock and cement will benefit multiple farmers in the area by allowing them to water their coffee crops without having to haul gallons of water up the steep volcano where their farms are located. Farmers typically walk up to two hours to arrive at their farms, often times carrying their crops down the hill after their work day is over. During our time working with Timo on the volcano, it was not uncommon to see farmers tracking back down the rough terrain with their crops loaded on their back. Seeing that we were on a time crunch, we got to take a safari-type truck ride up the one lane dirt path to reach our worksite.

Our rainwater collection tank took about 2 days to complete, and the following day we built 10 drying beds for a farmer in the cooperative. Again under the direction of Timo, we were able to build what the farmer would use to dry his coffee beans out of 4 by 4 boards, black fabric, and tubing. With the new drying beds, the farmer would no longer be required to dry his coffee beans on his roof. The service we were able to complete while we were there would not have been possible without the people of the coffee community. De La Gente ensures that people who dedicate their time to service with their farmers are not working for them, but with them. It was ensured that a sense of community and team support would be implemented in order to make all parties feel valued. Hence, the service we completed was more geared towards learning the ways of the life of the farmer in order to gain a higher respect for the work that goes into a single cup of coffee.

While our trip was overflowing with coffee, we also had the opportunity to explore and better come to embrace the beautiful country of Guatemala. We were able to tour the historical city of Antigua, visit the ancient Mayan ceremonial grounds, and spend a sunny afternoon at Lake Atitlan, a beautiful, blue lake surrounded by volcanoes. The major gem of Guatemala that we were able to encounter, however, had to be the numerous community members that offered us places at their tables. Every night we were welcomed into the home of a farmer for a delicious, traditional Guatemalan dinner. We were able to hear the stories of farmers, meet their families, and feel as if we were part of their community. From attempting to make tortillas, to trying to navigate the language barrier and trying new foods, each person we encountered simply encouraged us to enjoy their beautiful country and culture much as they did. It was odd to be over 2,000 miles away and yet feel so at home.

Working with De La Gente in Guatemala offered so many new experiences, as well as new perspective on what it means to be a conscious consumer. Right before we left for our flight, our tour guide Ronald left us with inspiring words on how we first have to bring change to ourselves before we can bring change to the world. He said that we are the present and to bring change, we need to be aware of the choices we make and, more importantly, how our decisions impact others. Being a conscious consumer is the first step to being aware of the impact that we are leaving. Buying goods and services fair trade, understanding where your products are coming from, and what the companies you are purchasing from are supporting will not only impact you, but will even impact the many new friends I made in Guatemala. Being a conscious consumer might mean spending a few extra dollars, but what you will be supporting cannot be limited to a monetary value. Through being aware of our decisions, we can bring change. This change can begin with the simple act of buying a fair trade cup of coffee because I know some amazing farmers who would thank you.

-Jenna Ford, English Teaching major

"Alethia Marrero studied abroad in India and fell in love with their culture and all that it taught her about globalization and social justice. This opportunity opened her eyes to seeing the connection between business, politics, social justice and technology. Indiana State is where she feels she became an intellectual and is grateful for the experience and knowledge she gained in her four years at State."



Scholarships and Financial Aid

Incoming freshmen may be competitive for a variety of Indiana State University scholarships (including President's and University Honors scholarships), which are awarded through ISU's Office of Scholarships. There are also several awards offered by the Honors College to assist current Honors students during their sophomore, junior, or senior year.

Search the Branch for scholarships