Baccalaureate Honors Program
Westminster Choir College Honors Program
The Baccalaureate Honors Program (BHP) is a University-wide honors program designed to enrich the educational opportunities available to Rider students. It is available to those students of proven intellectual capability who are invited to become Baccalaureate Scholars. Interdisciplinary in orientation, the Westminster Choir College program enables Baccalaureate Scholars at Westminster to expand their knowledge and interest in the liberal arts during their music study. Through a series of team-taught seminars, single discipline honors courses and other options for music honors study, as well as an honors thesis, scholars extend their ability to think critically, coherently, and systematically about the great themes, ideals and movements of their human heritage.
Students are invited to join the Westminster Baccalaureate Honors Program as entering freshmen and may apply as currently enrolled freshmen or sophomores. Generally, students with SAT and high school GPA scores in the top 20% of the entering Westminster freshmen class are considered for invitation into the WCC BHP program. Students currently enrolled at Rider University must have at least a 3.3 GPA at the time of application to the program. In order to remain in the Baccalaureate Honors Program, the student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3.
Non-honors students, including juniors and seniors, who have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5, including juniors and seniors, may enroll in a particular honors seminar course with approval of the Westminster Choir College Honors Program Director. Permission will be given on a space-available basis, with priority given to students in the Honors Program.
In order to graduate with Baccalaureate Honors, Westminster students must complete eight honors courses: at least 4 interdisciplinary (team-taught) honors seminars, a capstone (thesis) project, and 3 other honors courses, seminars, or contracts. The Program is supplemented by other honors opportunities at the college and department level, and some graduate courses in music may be allowed as honors courses. All freshman honors students take BHP 150 Honors Seminar: Great Ideas II, which substitutes for English Composition. Most honors courses fulfill core degree requirements. Students may enroll in honors courses on either campus of Rider University. Students should see the Westminster Choir College Honors Program Director regarding guidelines and options for completing honors studies.
To view a list of all BHP courses and the category of requirement for which they count, click here:
Students enrolled in the Honors Program may register for graduate courses on the Princeton campus and request that they count as honors courses according to the following policies:
- Students who have earned at least 45 credits and hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 may register for 600-level graduate courses upon permission of the instructor, the Honors Program Director, and the Associate Dean.
- Students who have earned at least 45 credits and hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.80 may register for 700-level graduate courses upon permission of the instructor, the Honors Program Director, the Chair of the department offering the course, and the Associate Dean.
- Approval is based upon criteria such as cumulative grade point average, courses taken, and preparation for the particular course requested.
- Undergraduate students permitted to enroll in 600- or 700-level graduate courses must complete the same syllabus and requirements that pertain to the graduate students in the course. The grade for the course will be recorded on a graduate transcript.
- If a grade of “B-” or higher is earned, the course will be permitted to substitute for an undergraduate honors course. For any course used to meet undergraduate requirements, should the student later decide to enroll in a graduate program of the Westminster College of the Arts, the course cannot be used to meet graduate program requirements. In the event the course is required in the graduate program, the department sponsoring the program will identify a suitable substitution.
Honors seminars are designated on student transcripts, whether or not the student completes the Baccalaureate Honors Program. Upon successful completion of the program, an honors student receives an appropriate certificate. Successful completion also is recorded on the transcript and listed in the commencement program.