Prospective students

Trefny Honors students …..

Enjoy a challenge

Have wide ranging abilities and interests

Demonstrate high levels of creativity and academic achievement

Show an intrinsic motivation for learning

Have an interest in learning about science, technology, engineering or math fields

FALL 2024 ADMISSION application is open

Application for 2024-2026 opens April 29!

Apply today at Select the Dr. John U. Trefny Honors Program when you apply.

Honors 2024-2026 Cohort Theme: To be announced

Honors 2022-2024 Cohort Theme: "UN Sustainable Development Goals- Exploring Connections"

Honors 2019-2022 Cohort Theme: “Climate Change Now”

Honors 2017-2019 Cohort Theme: “The Future of Water”

Program admission requirements

Applicants will be selected based on a combination of admission criteria:

  • College/High school GPA 3.0 or above, or evidence of continuous improvement (submit unofficial transcripts)
  • Placement scores/Honors, IB, AP courses
  • An essay about your passions
  • One Reference

Honors Scholar Graduation requirements

Maintain a 3.0 GPA once admitted to the program
Pass all HNR courses with an A or B
Professional presentation (poster presentation/panel discussion/professional conference)
Complete volunteer/service learning hours
Complete a minimum of 18 honors credit hours:

  • HNR 1000 – 1 credit seminar
  • HNR 1002 – 2 credits colloquium
  • HNR 2002 – 2 credits colloquium
  • HNR 2089 – variable 2-4 credits capstone
  • 9-13 additional honors option credits

Honors program FAQs

Do I have to be a STEM student to be in Honors?

All students working toward an Associates Degree may participate in the Honors Program.

Is there a separate application for the Honors program or will the regular RRCC admissions application suffice?

Yes, as entry to the Honors program is competitive, a separate application form is required for admission.

Is there a separate application fee?

No, there is not an additional application fee for the Honors program.

Are there any additional fees for Honors classes?

Honors classes do not cost students more than non-honors classes.

Can college credits taken while in high school be used for my degree?

College credits taken in high school are accepted on a case by case basis.

Can transfer students enroll in the Honors?


When are Honors courses offered?

Honors courses are currently offered only during the morning and afternoon. There are currently no Honors courses offered during evening hours.

How many honors courses are required to complete the Trefny Honors program?

There are seven Honors courses that must be completed. Degree completion is accomplished by taking other major-specific courses (in addition to the mandated honors courses) in subject areas where honors courses are not required.

Is the Honors curriculum compatible with all RRCC degree programs?

The Honors curriculum is compatible with all RRCC Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) degree programs. The Honors curriculum is not compatible with most Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees or any Certificate program at this time.

Are Honors courses weighted differently in the Grade Point Average (GPA) calculation?

No. Honors course grades are calculated in the same way as any other course grade towards GPA. Honors courses are designated with an “H” distinction on student transcripts.

Is there a deadline to apply to the Honors Program?

There are two deadlines: for early admission, the deadline is April 30st, for regular admission the deadline is September 1. 

Can I apply to the Honors Program for either the Fall or Spring semesters?

Students may only apply to the Honors Program for Fall acceptance. Honors HNR courses must be taken in sequential order.

Will I be expected to maintain a certain GPA while in the Honors Program?

Yes, Honors students will be expected to maintain a 3.0 GPA.

If I enroll in the Honors Program, can I transfer at any point?

The Honors program is intended for students who will spend two years at RRCC.  We understand however, that circumstances may cause students to leave before two years of study are completed. Any Honors coursework completed will be evident on your transcript.

What level of Math and English is required for admission into the Honors Program?

Applicants are encouraged to be at both the English Comp I and Algebra/Statistics-level for admission into the Honors Program.

What are the primary advantages of being a member of the Trefny Honors Program?

As a member of the Honors Program, the most distinct advantage you will have is the ability to transfer to selective colleges and universities.  You will receive scholarships and be eligible for additional funding opportunities. You will also have special advising and enjoy being in classes with other highly motivated students.  Honors students will also have the opportunity to serve in campus student leadership positions and partake in extracurricular art and cultural experiences.

What makes an Honors course different from regular courses?

While students in regular classes read almost entirely from a textbook, Honors students read a variety of sources beyond the textbook; as a result, Honors class discussions explore a wider range of perspectives. Honors classes incorporate experiential and active learning. Honors writing and research assignments are more sophisticated than those in non-Honors classes. This is because class sizes will be limited and because students will be selected on their record of successful academic work and high achievement.

How large will my honors classes be in the Honors Program?

Honors classes will never exceed 25 students and in many cases may have significantly fewer students.

Can I take an Honors section of a course if I am not in Honors?

Yes! Honors sections will have an H in the section number. There are at least three offered each semester and this is a great way to try out Honors or just take a deeper dive into a subject you love.