North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

Undergraduate Programs

Honors Congress

The North Park University Honors Congress invites exceptional students to experience the world more attentively and empathetically, to engage it critically and creatively, and to participate actively in its betterment.

We seek students who want to get the most out of the academic opportunities college offers, and in return desire to contribute to a better world after graduation. With this vision in mind, each year North Park University admits a select group of promising first-year students to join the Honors Congress, North Park’s honors program.  The program is available to qualifying first-year students regardless of major.

Our program’s mission stems from North Park’s mission to prepare students for lives of significance and service. The Honors Congress includes both classroom and co-curricular activities during all four years of a traditional undergraduate degree program. It customizes a rich and rigorous program for highly motivated, curious, and intellectually advanced students. We seek students willing to take some risks in their college education, so they can discover their own voice. As a Christian university centered in the city of Chicago, the Honors Program challenges our students to deepen their sense of vocation within diverse communities, broaden the application of their talents in new and unexpected ways, and practice a civic responsibility in contemporary contexts.

By completing the program, you’ll graduate with honors and distinction in your major and a resume of college classes and experiences to further your success after graduation. The program expects that our graduates will have utilized their college years to the fullest so that upon graduation they will be mature and capable persons, ready to show the world new possibilities.

Honors Congress Opportunities

The Honors Congress is a group of students from all majors and programs who study and work together and closely interact with faculty mentors from a variety of departments and disciplines. If you characterize yourself as highly motivated, ready to be challenged and to challenge others, then this group will be a great fit for you. With the Honors Congress, you’ll gain access to a broad range of campus and Chicago resources that will help shape and inspire your future endeavors.

Connecting with Faculty Mentors

From dinners with mentors and guest speakers to opportunities to meet professors across the university, you’ll be inspired by the stories and experiences of North Park’s own expert faculty. You’ll also gain valuable career advice, connections to possible internships or graduate programs and fellowships, and encouragement to excel.

Exploring Chicago

Chicago is a rich resource for inspiration and exploration. As a group, the Honors Congress attends plays, concerts, readings, and other cultural experiences chosen by you and your peers. During the first-year honors seminars, your two professors will use Chicago as text and context for class discussions. Students consistently report back that these are some of their favorite memories from their first year in the cohort.

Finding Community

One of the best aspects of the Honors Congress is the community of learners you will be a part of from your very first week in the program. The first year includes two courses, one in each semester, with your fellow honors students. In these classrooms, you will explore some of life’s big questions, engage in some truly great thinkers and artists, and discover and use your own unique voice in discussion with others. The space is highly interactive, conversation, and trusting. It’s the perfect way to start off college with a group of highly motivated students and caring faculty.

Fellowships and Awards

The Honors Congress has an excellent track record with winning national fellowships, particularly the Fulbright program for recent college graduates. In the past seven years, North Park honors students have been awarded 14 prestigious Fulbright grants to spend their first year after college living and working in other countries, sharing who they are as Americans with students, colleagues, and communities. The professors involved in the Honors Congress will work with you as you prepare an impressive portfolio that will help you be competitive for academic and professional opportunities after college. Your professors will serve as advisors, providing advice and feedback as you apply for these exciting post-college options.

Admission to the Honors Congress

Admission to the First Year Honors Congress is selective and based on a variety of factors.

If you would like to learn more about the program, the process, and receive an application, please fill out the Inquiry Form.