Standish Honors Program

Standish Honors Program

At Siena, honors work is a different kind of work. It will require you to take more responsibility for your education. It will require that you take the lead in developing your intellectual curiosity and abilities. It will require in-depth research, inquiry, and study. But our Standish Honors Program will also give you unique academic opportunities, extensive access to faculty, and a leg up in the real world.

The Standish Honors Program expands opportunities to develop critical and creative thinking; to gather, synthesize, and analyze evidence in making reasoned and informed judgments; to appreciate cultural diversity; and to enhance written and oral communication skills. Every effort is made to challenge intellectually motivated students while keeping them fully involved in the life of the College.


Each year, approximately 60 Siena students are selected for admission to our Standish Honors Program. If you’re an incoming freshman who is also a Presidential Scholar, you may be considered for admission. Once you are in the Standish Honors Program, you must maintain a 3.3 GPA throughout your years at Siena. If you are interested in applying to our honors program, you must submit a letter of intent to Tara Heffernan by March 1.

Honors coursework

As an honors student at Siena, you can take honors-level courses to meet requirements in your major and/or the core so you can complete the Honors Program without having to take additional credits. No extra credits are required for graduation.

Honors courses or sections are available in:

• English
• History
• Religious Studies
• Philosophy
• Accounting
• Political Science
• Economics
• Psychology
• Biology

In addition, you’ll design, carry out, and defend a research project or thesis, guided by a faculty mentor. You’ll also be required to complete 100 hours of community service prior to graduation.

Recent Honors Theses

• “Hope in Business: Does Consumer Hope Affect Buying Behavior?”
Jonathan Deis ’12

• “Sacrificing Civil Liberties for National Security: A Study of Public Opinion in the Post 9-11 Era”
Thomas Carney ’12

• “The Dopaminergic Link Between Schizophrenia and Parkinson’s Disease”
Shineigh Wren ’12

• “Control Mechanisms of Thermo-Orientation in the Wing Louse”
Rachel Boughton ’11

• “The Role of Sensory Processing Sensitivity in Romantic Relationship Fulfillment”
Alexandra Viglucci ’13

• “Deriving the Ages of the Oldest White Dwarfs”
Erin O’Malley ’11

What our students say:

“The Honors Program helped me gain critical thinking skills and independent study skills. I believe that the thesis will give me an advantage over other students when I apply to law school.” - Marissa Potts '14

“Writing my honors thesis has given me the opportunity to work closely with one of my favorite professors on a subject of my choice. This project has been complicated, and extremely laborious, but has taught me a great deal about research methods and has been wonderful preparation for the future.” - Miguel A. Franco '13

“The Honors Program has truly enhanced my Siena experience in that it has encouraged me to engage in intellectual thought that extends far beyond the undergraduate level. I have had the opportunity to participate in discussions with my fellow classmates and professors that have encouraged me to strive to learn as much as I can, better preparing me for my academic pursuits that will follow graduation.” - Amanda Tashjian '13

“The program gives me intellectual independence to shape my own ideas about a topic of interest. It also gives me a small sense of what research for a Ph.D. program is like.” - Miguel A. Franco '13

Additional information

For more information about the Standish Honors Program at Siena College, contact the director, Lois Daly, at (518) 783-2306 or