The Song Nai Rhee Honors Program seeks to accomplish Bushnell University’s commitment to providing all students with educational experiences suited to their gifts and vocation. As such, the Program provides adept students a more rigorous engagement with their field of study.

Program Objectives

Graduates of the Song Nai Rhee Honors Program will:

  1. Understand the history of one or more big ideas in their chosen academic field, including the research that generated widespread acceptance of the idea, and ongoing critiques of the idea.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency at designing and completing independent, self-paced scholarly projects.
  3. Produce substantial academic work in direct collaboration with program faculty.
  4. Offer a substantial contribution on multiple occasions to communities beyond the Bushnell campus, whether those communities are local, faith-based, professional or scholarly.
  5. Understand and conform to both ethical standards and standards of professionalism appropriate to their chosen academic discipline.

The Honors Degree

An honors degree shall be awarded if the student completes each of the following requirements:

  • At least 30 credits must be honors classes completed with a grade of B+ or higher.
  • At least 15 of the above 30 credits must be 300 or 400 level.
  • Honors degree candidates must complete an honors thesis, which replaces the senior capstone. The credits taken in completing an honors thesis count toward the total honors credit requirement for the honors degree. The honors thesis must conform to the following parameters:
    • The thesis must be substantially more rigorous than a standard senior capstone.
    • The student and advisor should procure the input of at least one second reader who has no direct affiliation with the student’s major program, and who holds a graduate degree in a field relevant to the thesis’ topic area.
    • The student must successfully pass a defense of the thesis. Students undertaking multiple majors must complete an Honors thesis in each major to earn the degree with honors, with the exception of majors that do not participate in the program.

Honors Admission

Open to qualified students, the Song Nai Rhee Honors Program invites eligible first-year students to join the program each year.


No separate application is required. Students who apply to Bushnell are automatically reviewed for the Song Nai Rhee Honors Program. Members are reviewed on the basis of academic merit reflected in their standardized test scores, unweighted high school GPA, and rigor of high school curriculum. Generally, students in the top 10% of the entering first year class will receive an invitation to participate in program.


Invitations are mailed to selected students after they have been notified of their admission to Bushnell. The invitation includes an informative brochure as well as instructions for accepting membership in the program.


Song Nai Rhee Honors Program Director
School of Arts and Sciences
James Watson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English and Director of the Song Nai Rhee Honors Program

Ph.D., Baylor University B.A., Portland State University Dr. Watson’s research interests cover the breadth of the truly breathtaking twentieth century—exploring the ways …