Loras College
Honors Program

Jacob Kohlhaas, Ph.D.

The Loras College Honors Program is designed to offer an integrated sequence of academically challenging courses unique to Honors students who wish to pursue a broadly-based, comprehensive liberal arts education. The program offers a chance to enjoy academic challenge emphasizing an analytical, synoptic, and creative approach to the various disciplines that comprise the liberal arts. Students in the Honors Program reflect on the use of imagination for problem solving, the relevance of ideas to society, and ways to engage in the world.

The Loras College Honors Program engages students in real-world problem solving through collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects. Students bring academic research, service, and cultural awareness together to respond to needs in their communities. As part of the program, groups of students work with faculty mentors for three years. Examples of projects include solar energy, STEM education, veterans and mental health, grant writing and many others.

Unique Features
  • Cohort model with other motivated students
  • Experiences outside of your major
  • Preparation for Graduate School and Professions
  • Leadership and Cultural Awareness Education and Experience the box
Experiential Opportunities
  • Interaction with peers and professors in lively educational environments
  • Service opportunities on campus, in the community and internationally
  • Research and conference presentation opportunities
Criteria to Qualify
  • Apply and be admitted to Loras College
  • Demonstrated High Academic Achievement (suggested 3.5 GPA and min 26 ACT)
  • Writing Sample Submission
  • Rolling Application and Acceptance

There is no deadline for applying to the Honors Program!

Apply Now!

A great opportunity to think outside the box and get to know your peers!

Honors students graduate from Loras with a depth of experience in collaborative research and problem-solving that brings the insights of academia into conversation with the problems faced by a variety of communities. Many people can talk about what is wrong with the world; our graduates know how to analyze a problem from multiple perspectives, address root causes through community resources, and apply their research in the service of others.

When students enter the Honors program they become part of an active learning community that values intellectual curiosity and community engagement.  Foundational classes deepen students’ connections with each other and teach the values of the Honors program while developing the critical discernment, creativity, and interpersonal skills that are essential for collaborative, interdisciplinary research. In the first year, these connections are forged and strengthened through students’ taking a few Honors general education courses together.

Sophomore through senior year focuses on the collaborative, interdisciplinary research project. Mentored by a faculty partner and supported by the Honors Director, students advance in discovering and applying solutions to problems through community engagement and research. Collaborative research projects have been completed in areas ranging from health education to handicap accessibility to environmental sustainability. In their final semester, research teams will present their research and propose actions to the campus and wider communities.

These interdisciplinary research projects, pursued over a three year span, address a question or problem in a community to learn about the issue, connect with other interested groups, and develop a possible solution. The students work as a collaborative team, but distribute tasks amongst themselves to best use their talents and inclinations to the fullest potential possible.

Goals and Outcomes of the Honors Program

  • To provide opportunities for research for students and faculty
  • To provide  meaningful and reflective service for students and faculty
  • To encourage growth in personal compassion, empathy, and cross-cultural competence through exposure to diverse ideas and experiences
  • To provide students with opportunities for professional and/or vocational development
  • To develop in students an understanding of needs in society and the world, using their talents, abilities, and expertise to contribute in creative and positive ways
Honors Application Instructions


To Apply for the Loras College Honors Program

  1. You must apply and be accepted into Loras College.
  2. Fill out and submit the Honors Application form below.
  3. Submit a writing sample—either creative, analytic, or research based—that represents your academic potential. This can be a paper written for a class, or revised version.
  4. Write a short essay statement which answers the question, “Why are you interested in the Honors Program at Loras?”. Submit your writing sample and short essay using the upload option at the bottom of the application below, or email your writing sample and short essay to Dr. Jacob Kohlhaas, Honors Director. Sorry, the upload option at the bottom of this page does not support Microsoft Word documents. Please save your documents as PDF before uploading.

For additional information, feel free to contact Dr. Jacob Kohlhaas, Honors Director at Jacob.Kohlhaas@loras.edu.

Honors Program Application
Honors Application
First Middle Last

Upload your PDF essay below or email your essay to Dr. Jacob Kohlhaas, Honors Director.

Sorry, our upload system does NOT support Microsoft Word files to be uploaded. If you have your essay in MSWord, please save and upload as PDF or email it to Jacob.Kohlhaas@loras.edu.

Maximum upload size: 134.22MB
Review your information above and click submit below.
Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Requirements?  What do you have to do?

  • Take 3 General Education courses in special Honors Program sections (MOI, Catholic Traditions, Democracy and Global Diversity)
  • Engage with the Dubuque community through Service Learning
  • Participate in a collaborative three-year group research project
  • Complete a 1-credit Honors seminar sophomore, junior and senior years related to your ongoing research project

What are the advantages?

  • The courses are challenging, experiential, and interdisciplinary
  • Other Honors students are active learners and serious about academics
  • The community of students and faculty is welcoming, inclusive, friendly, and vibrant
  • Working with a faculty mentor and peers for three years on a research project
  • An Honors education can be a benefit when applying for graduate schools or for jobs

Does pursuing an Honors degree create problems for majors?

No.  In fact, it should benefit you.

The Honors sections of general education classes provide a challenging learning environment that provides a foundation for any major. Working with your interdisciplinary research group will prepare you for research in your major, and extend and enhance your grounding in the liberal arts. Honors students have the opportunity to work with a faculty mentor and peers for three years on a research project, which involves service to community. Overall, the program enriches one’s program of study and prepares students for the challenges of graduate school or professional work.

How to Apply?

Apply for admission to Loras College, then apply for the Loras Honors Program (scroll down for Honors application). Both Applications are necessary.

Who can I contact for additional information?

Feel free to contact the Honors Director at Jacob.Kohlhaas@loras.edu to discuss the program or address any additional questions you may have.