Are you looking to take your college experience to the next level? To think more broadly, explore more deeply, indulge your intellectual curiosity and truly challenge yourself to be your best? Then Oakton's Honors Program is for you.

Being part of the Honors Program, you'll have access to a variety of innovative Honors courses. These stimulating classes are filled with passionate students who are especially motivated and intellectually curious, just like you. In addition, you'll also take part in our special Learning Communities. These are unique learning experiences that integrate courses from two different disciplines around a common theme. Meeting twice a week with the professors from each course present, the Learning Communities present a high-impact learning experience where you explore topics in greater depth and enhance your critical thinking skills.

In addition to classes, as an Honors Program participant, you'll have access to opportunities for research and further study in regular classes and several scholarship and fellowship programs (see below for more). Special academic counseling, workshops and resources will help you make the most of your time at Oakton and transfer successfully to a four-year institution.

You'll also be able to join the Honors Student Organization or Phi Theta Kappa, an international honorary fraternity that offers scholarships and additional enrichment activities.

To apply to Oakton's Honors Program, you need at least one of the following:

  • For college students: a 3.5 GPA at any college.
  • For recent high school graduates: an ACT score of 25 or better or an SAT of 1200 or better.
  • GED of 300 or better.

If you are a current Oakton student, you may be eligible for Honors at Oakton by maintaining a GPA of 3.5 or above for at least 12 hours of college course work, or a 3.25 GPA with at least one instructor recommendation. If your GPA is slightly lower, you may request an interview to determine eligibility. If you have an associate or bachelor's degree, you may also be admitted.

Additional Opportunities

In the Honors Program, you'll have access to a variety of unique and rewarding opportunities.

Honors Contracts
These offer you the chance to earn Honors credit for classes we are not currently offering as Honors sections. You'll work one-on-one with your professor outside of class on an Honors project designed by you and your professor.

Email your professor before registering or talk with them in the first weeks of the semester to see if this option will be right for you and the class.

The Honors Scholar Designation
When you complete the Honors Program, you can earn this special designation and have it added to your transcript. When you transfer or apply to other schools or for scholarships, the Honors Scholar Designation sets you apart from other students with high GPAs, and it is taken as a mark of serious academic achievement.

To earn the Honors Scholar Designation, you must maintain a 3.25 GPA and complete at least 18 credit hours in Honors classes. This includes at least six credits from an Honors Learning Community, and no more than six credits earned through Honors Contracts. After the Honors Program has verified your course record, the designation is added to your transcript.

Email honors@oakton.edu for more details.

Mellon Humanities Scholars and Fellows Program
If you plan on transferring to Lake Forest College, you are eligible to complete humanities research one-on-one with a Lake Forest College faculty member under the Mellon Humanities Scholars Program. The one-year award includes a $1,500 stipend (in addition to other financial aid and scholarships) and the opportunity to earn credit at Lake Forest College.

If you are not ready to transfer to a four-year college, you may still participate in other grant-related research projects, programs or organizational efforts through the Mellon Humanities Fellows Program. The renewable semester-long award requires students to complete a 35-hour project and includes a $500 stipend.

Contact Ryan Walters at rwalter@lakeforest.edu to learn more.

What's Next?

We are glad you are considering attending Oakton College. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, we are here to help you with your next steps. Whether you're ready to apply now, need information on paying for college or have questions and want to contact someone, we're here to help.


Honors at Oakton is a great choice for students who are academically talented and eager to learn. If you enjoy intellectual challenges, thrive in a community of people who share your values and love to talk about ideas, then the Honors Program at Oakton is for you!

Honors courses are more challenging and rigorous. In addition to covering more material, Honors classes ask you to think more deeply about the topic at hand.

There are no minimum course requirements to participate in the Honors Program. However, to graduate as an Honors Program Scholar, you must complete 18 hours of Honors courses, some of which must come from the Learning Community.

Learning Communities combine two courses from different disciplines. For example, the Learning Community Introduction to Global Studies/Ethics examines environmental ethics within the context of the history of humans’ impact on the environment. If you wish to graduate as an Honors Program Scholar, you must take at least one Learning Community.

You may sign up for the regular version of the course and work with the instructor to open an Honors section. You enroll in the Honors section class in order to complete additional assignments, such as research projects or class presentations.

Please visit the Financial Aid page to explore the available options.


Yes, they should. Oakton is part of the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI), and our curriculums are designed to allow you to transfer seamlessly to other Illinois institutions. Still, it's best you work with your advisor to be sure you're taking the proper courses required by the four-year institution you intend to transfer to. All Honors classes meet general education requirements unless otherwise noted.

Honors classes meet on the Des Plaines campus unless otherwise noted.

Online availability varies by course. Review listings in the course catalog to be sure.

Contact Us

Honors Coordinator

Charles Townsend
2146, Des Plaines

Email: honors@oakton.edu