Skip to main content

Honors Program

The Honors Portfolio

All Carthage Honors students must complete an Honors Portfolio. The Honors Portfolio includes substantial work from each Honors course a student has taken, and it is a vehicle through which Honors students show their reflections, evaluations, visions, intentions, and plans pertaining to their studies. The Honors Portfolio is excellent preparation for students who intend to apply for post-college fellowships, employment, and graduate or professional school.

Collection of Coursework

Students are asked to include coursework in their Honors Portfolio so that they can see for themselves — and show to others — the range and variety of papers and projects they have completed in the Honors Program. Collecting their coursework is also meant to encourage students to revisit and rethink projects, so they discover new possibilities and see the value in continuing to learn about a subject, problem, or question.


Students are asked to write essays of no more than two pages for the Honors Portfolio. Students address the following questions in the portfolio:

Iterations 1 and 2
Submitted in the first and second semesters

  • Describe and explain something you learned that seems valuable to you. What did you learn and what makes it valuable?
  • Give an example of effective teaching that you observed or experienced. What was taught, by whom, and to whom? Was there something unusual in a small or large way about how the teacher taught? How did the teacher convey not only the content, but the value of what was taught?

Iterations 3 and 4
Submitted in the last month of the fourth and sixth semesters

  • Where do you think your education is leading you now? Are you satisfied with that, or would you like to be headed somewhere else? Explain.
  • What has surprised you or led you in an unexpected direction in your education? Has that changed your overall plan in some small or large way? Explain.

Iteration 5
Submitted six weeks before graduation

  • What do you want to be doing within the next three years? How has your education so far prepared you to do that? To someone from outside of Carthage, what might look like something in your education that does not obviously help lead you to your goal? Explain how you think it will in fact help you, whether toward your specific goal or otherwise.
  • Looking back at the work from your courses that you have in your portfolio, pick one paper or project and explain how you might do it differently in light of what you have learned and experienced since then. Write with specifics and as comprehensively as you can.
  • What final thoughts—small or large—do you have about your Carthage education?


Approval of the Honors Portfolio is granted by the Director of the Honors Program.

  • Quick Facts