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Program Features

Honors Connections

This course will introduce you to higher education within a liberal arts environment. Structured in two parts, it first covers skills necessary for academic success and life beyond college, as well as the challenges and benefits of the Carl Goodson Honors Program and how it can help you achieve career and personal goals. During the second part, you'll collaborate creatively with your peers in the program on an intensive, interdisciplinary study of "Sacred Space."



Participants in the Honors Program take two Honors seminars during their time at Ouachita. These may be taken any semester students are in the program. Topics are interdisciplinary, and the seminars are led by Ouachita faculty members. Seminars typically meet once per week, and students receive one credit hour for each seminar. As with the assessment of directed studies and Honors thesis hours, seminars are graded on a pass/fail basis. (Passing grades equal B-level work, at least.)

The Honors seminars are listed in the schedule of classes for pre-registration. Students pre-register for the seminars as they would for any other course.


Directed Study

The directed study allows Honors students to work individually on a topic of the student's choosing that is not covered by a regular class. The student asks a member of the Ouachita faculty to serve as director of the study. Generally, students should select a faculty member with an interest or expertise in the chosen topic. Together, they design a study plan appropriate for one hour of credit.

Once a student writes their proposal, they turn it in to the Honors director with a directed study cover sheet signed by the faculty mentor.

Some students become so intrigued and interested in the topic of their directed study that they choose to follow up with more research and inquiry on the same subject for their senior thesis.

Steps for Doing a Directed Study

  1. Select a topic and consult with a Ouachita faculty member about directing the study.
  2. Download a Directed Study Proposal Form
  3. Whether you plan to do your directed study in the fall or spring, in consultation with your faculty member, complete the proposal and return to Dr. Barbara Pemberton, BBB 101, before 5 p.m. by the deadline specified. When you pre-register for the semester, include the one hour of college credit in your degree plan.
  4. Complete the directed study with your sponsoring faculty over the course of the semester.
  5. Your faculty director assigns a midterm and final grade (S or U), informing Dr. Pemberton at midterm and end of term; Dr. Pemberton reports the grades to the registrar. The standard for determining an S is work at the level of a B or better.

Steps for Composing Your Directed-Study Proposal

In one typed paragraph stapled to the back of the Directed Study Proposal Form:

  • Title your directed study.
  • Focus exactly what you are studying in the first sentence.
  • Explain your method (reading a book, lab experiments, interviews, article surveys, etc.).
  • State where and how often you will meet with your professor.
  • Propose what your final product will be (an annotated bibliography, paper, experiment).

Directed study might not conclude with final project. For more information, email Dr. Pemberton at pembertonb@obu.edu.


Senior Thesis

The honors thesis is the culmination of the Honors Program and, for many students, the most significant single academic endeavor of their college career. Students complete the 4-credit hour thesis project over at least two semesters, usually their last two semesters before graduation. Students work closely with a thesis committee to plan and conduct the thesis project. The thesis topic and academic credit can be in one’s major or another area of study and must include some original research or original creative work. In addition to allowing students to pursue individual academic interests, the thesis project is excellent preparation for students planning to pursue graduate studies.


The students whose theses are approved are required to present the results of their research at Scholars Day.

Form Matters

The guide for bibliographic and footnote entries and other matters of form shall be appropriate to the discipline and specified by the committee.

The official cover page may be obtained from the Honors Program director or from the Form Downloads section of this website.

Because of the variety in the nature of the projects, it is impossible to set a minimum page requirement for all theses. However, the Thesis Committee may set a minimum page requirement for their projects.


Questions? Contact Dr. Barbara Pemberton, BBB 101, (870) 245-5541, pembertonb@obu.edu.


Travel Grants

Follow the links below to print your application.

  • The Ben Elrod & Carl Goodson GrantsThe Ben Elrod Grant is a prestigious award that comes with the expectation that you travel off campus, preferably overseas. The Carl Goodson Grant is also an annual, prestigious award presented by our founder's son, Dr. Tim Goodson, in honor of Carl Goodson.
  • The Garrett Ham GrantThis award is limited to honors students who are Christian Studies majors whose projects and trips are approved by the dean of the Pruet School.

Questions? Email pembertonb@obu.edu.

Next Steps



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