Song Nai Rhee Honors Program

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.

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Erin Mueller, Ph.D.
Song Nai Rhee Honors Program Director
Program Director & Professor of Psychology


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Erin Mueller, Ph.D.
Song Nai Rhee Honors Program Director
Program Director & Professor of Psychology



Why Choose Bushnell?

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 vocations.

The Program provides students with a more rigorous engagement with their field of study, and it fosters the sort of intimate collegiality—based in the joy of shared discovery—that is the hallmark of an excellent liberal arts education. It is unique in that any student can pursue topics that fascinate them in the midst of their regular coursework.

Program Objectives

Graduates of the Song Nai Rhee Honors Program will:

  • Engage in the Honors community with consistency
  • Demonstrate proficiency at designing and completing independent, self-paced scholarly projects
  • Produce substantial academic work in direct collaboration with program faculty

The Honors Degree Requirements

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 Admissions

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 by their unweighted high school GPA. Generally, entering first-year students with a minimum GPA of 3.75 will receive an invitation to participate in the 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

The Program is named for Dr. Song Nai Rhee, Academic Dean Emeritus at Bushnell University, for his legacy of scholarship and service to the University. A graduate of the Class of 1958, Dr. Rhee was known for his commitment to academic excellence and to the integration of faith and learning while serving Bushnell University for 37 years, retiring in 2000.

Compete for Full Tuition Scholarship

Bushnell University’s Honors at Entrance Scholarship Competition is an invite-only event held annually. Applicants with a GPA of 3.75 or higher who are interested in participating in the Song Nai Rhee Honors Program are invited to join us for this onsite visit experience. One outstanding scholar will earn a full tuition scholarship and every participant who attends will earn a $1,500 annual scholarship* towards tuition.

*This scholarship can be combined with other Bushnell scholarships and grants, not to exceed the total cost of tuition

Qualifying Requirements

  • Be an incoming first-year student (have not attended any other college or university post-high school).
  • Have a 3.75 cumulative high school GPA or higher
  • Be admitted to Bushnell University
  • Register to attend by contacting admissions

Honors Scholarship Competition Requirements

  • A writing prompt
  • An interview
  • A group activity
  • Lunch with faculty

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Slide 1
"The Song Nai Rhee Honors Program has set me up for success in my graduate studies as well as in my professional life. Having the kind of experiences that I had through different honors events, working with professors on honors contracts, and even in getting to know other honors students is an unparalleled experience that opens up all kinds of doors and exposes one to so many different perspectives. This is not possible without the careful integration of the honors program into the greater university and provides for a rich experience."
-Jamison Hanson '23
Slide 2
"The Honors Program at Bushnell has given me many opportunities to further my intellectual journey. I've been able to engage one-on-one with experts in various fields of academics, attend live plays, travel to some of Oregon's most beautiful places, and do it all within a community of students and faculty just as thrilled as I am to be learning. I was drawn into Bushnell's Honors Program because of the community of people within it. I have had some of the most valuable and exciting experiences of my college career next to people I met in the program, who continue to be treasured friends and valuable resources.” 
-Jessica Woods '24
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Meet the Program Director

Erin Mueller, Ph.D.

“Honors at Bushnell balances academic study, social engagement, and cultural activities, regularly exploring our local community together. Students develop close bonds with one another, as well as with faculty who oversee their Honors projects. We have found that these bonds are some that endure well beyond graduation!

This sort of personal engagement cannot be replicated anywhere except at a special place like Bushnell. Here our professors, resident assistants, cafeteria chefs, grounds crew, fellow Honors scholars, and those across the Bushnell community truly know our students, and we care.”