Honors Program

Honors student

An Active, Engaged, Successful You!


The Honors Program at Elgin Community College challenges highly motivated students to achieve their learning potential as leaders in a global community. Students who believe they are strong candidates for the Honors Program but do not fully qualify for admission are encouraged to apply. In your application, complete the Written Response statement to explain how you have prepared for the challenges of honors coursework.

Through both classroom-based and co-curricular experiences, the Honors Program challenges you to:

  • Research, analyze, synthesize, and share your findings from various materials.
  • Independently and critically integrate cross-disciplinary knowledge.
  • Explore alternative and global perspectives.
  • Reflect on the consequences of your ideas and actions—for yourself, for others, and for society.
  • Participate in learning experiences beyond the classroom that include service and leadership opportunities.

Honors course offerings are designed to allow you to meet general education requirements in smaller classes with dedicated students and faculty, creating a community that values innovative scholarship, leadership, and service experiences inside and outside the classroom. Our program is committed to providing an annual planned course schedule for the upcoming summer, fall, and spring terms. This allows you to include honors courses in your long-term educational plans.

Please note: This program is unavailable to incoming dual credit students due to scheduling and registration limitations. These students are eligible to inquire about participation in the college’s Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.


As a member of the Honors Program, you will receive the following benefits:

  • Exceptional teaching from top faculty.
  • A smaller number of students in each class.
  • Greater intellectual challenge through class discussions, projects, and readings.
  • Ability to enroll in honors classes with other high-achieving peers.

View Admission Requirements & Apply.

Scholarship & Tuition Waiver Opportunities

  • Enhanced competitiveness for scholarships and acceptance to four-year institutions.
  • ECC students who have completed an honors course with a grade of “B” or better and have maintained a cumulative 3.25 GPA will be awarded a tuition waiver for future honors courses. The waiver will cover the number of hours of the completed honors course at in-district tuition rates and is valid for one year from completion. Honors course tuition waivers will be awarded for up to 15 credit hours per student and only cover the tuition costs. For more information on using your tuition waiver, visit the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships in Building B, Room B156.

Expectations of Honors Students


  • New honors students must enroll in at least three credit hours of honors coursework within the first two semesters enrolled in the Honors Program.
  • Three additional credit hours are required during your second year in the program (third or fourth semester).
  • You are strongly encouraged to enroll in more than the minimum required honors courses to benefit from the ECC Honors Program. Students who complete at least fifteen honors credit hours can graduate from the Honors Program.

Leadership and Service

  • During the experience as an ECC honors student, you are also expected to assume leadership roles through campus organizations, within the Honors Program, and/or in your local communities. All honors students will become members of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society.
  • Through PTK, you will have a rich and comprehensive honors experience by participating in honors-related campus activities and events throughout the year to foster community and extend classroom learning. In addition, upon completion of the program at ECC, PTK offers numerous scholarship opportunities for students who transfer to a four-year college or university.