Our Mission and Approach to Honors

Our Mission

Inclusive excellence in higher education is the mission of the Honors College at Rutgers University-Newark.  Our expansive interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum cultivates curiosity and fosters an environment for creativity and discovery, while nurturing a sense of engaged citizenry and community. 

Our Approach

Grounded in an interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum, honors courses challenge our students to embrace advanced engagement and research in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.  Our program culminates with a year-long thesis project where honors students produce an original piece of scholarly work. 

Inside and outside the classroom, we encourage our students to actively participate in the intellectual dialogues happening across our campus and within the many communities of which they are a part.  To further foster a sense of citizenry, our students complete service work within these varied and diverse communities throughout their time in the Honors College. 

We are committed to ensuring our students have the support to succeed in their undergraduate careers and in preparation for their next steps.  This includes advising from our Honors College team and guidance from faculty mentors. 

We strive to build relationships with integrity and trust with our students, faculty, and other units at the University, working together to support Rutgers University–Newark, a great urban, public university. 

Curiosity. Creativity. Discovery. Excellence. 


HC Fall 2021 Cohort Jumping Rope
Photo by Devyn Nunez


Our Numbers

  • About 100 students are enrolled in the Honors College
  • The Honors College curriculum is 7 courses worth a total of 19 credits
  • While the Honors College counts as a secondary concentration for students, 23% of our students have an additional minor!
  • 13% of our students intend to complete double majors
  • Students do not have to live on campus to join the Honors College; 76% of our students are commuters


Our Experience

The Honors College is a “college within a college” that serves as a support system for students through the ups and downs of their undergraduate studies. During the challenges of COVID-19 honors students have also proved themselves to be dedicated, considerate, passionate, and resilient in their studies and in supporting their communities. 

Each year students participate in community service activities to learn about civic and community engagement. Since the onset of COVID-19, students are given the additional option to design an advocacy project. The advocacy project requires students to create a tangible project in support of a cause or initiative of their choice. Students have designed a variety of proposals from artistic representation of social justice issues to infographics to self-paced courses on financial literacy!  

More than ever, students need to be able to communicate and interact virtually and in-person with a variety of people. With the goal to “create and foster a connection with one or more mentors that can aid and support the students in terms of career path, leadership, and the development of interpersonal skills,” the Honors College Advisory Committee, which consists of RU-N alumni, has initiated a mentoring program. 

Life does not always go exactly the way we plan, but by creating a support system of peers, advisors, mentors, and friends, students can feel free to ask questions, explore interests, and navigate the challenges ahead.  

Honors College students with hands in middle, teamwork salute
Photo by Devyn Nunez