Membership in the Insignis Program for Honors Students is generally by invitation or application only.
Admission of Students from High School
Qualified high school students who have applied to Aquinas College and who meet the ACT and GPA requirements (25+ ACT and 3.5+ GPA) are sent a brochure and application form by the Admissions Department and are invited to join in their freshman year. The Insignis Program Review Board officially admits applicants based on their ACT scores, GPA from high school, the recommendation of two high school teachers or counselors, and a personal essay.
Spectrum Winners
The five winners of the annual Spectrum Scholarship Competition automatically become members of Insignis and are expected to fulfill the Insignis requirements as a condition of their scholarship.
Admission of Current Aquinas Students
Each year the Insignis director asks faculty to nominate outstanding undergraduates for admission to the Insignis program.  Generally, these students will be freshmen or sophomores. Because of the academic requirements, students are generally not admitted after the first full semester of their sophomore year. Exceptions may be made by the Review Board.
In the case of current students, the applicant must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA and only one letter of nomination or reference from an Aquinas faculty member.
Admission of Transfer Students
Students transferring to Aquinas may be admitted to the program with a 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA from their current college or university and an interview with one of the program directors. If you would like to schedule an interview or make an inquiry, please contact Dr. Michelle DeRose at or Dr. Jennifer Hess at
Academic Requirements
The academic requirements for Insignis students were designed in compliance with the guidelines established by the National Collegiate Honors Council. Membership in the Insignis Program for Honors Students is defined by progress toward completion of the requirements in each academic year (with honors work in a minimum of 3 credit hours per academic year) and the maintenance of a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above.
Overview of Academic Requirements:
To graduate with Insignis honors, a student must complete honors work in a minimum of 20% of the coursework required for graduation, or in 24 credit hours. Most students will complete Honors Humanities (6 credits) and several honors sections of General Education requirements. Additionally, each student is required to complete both IN 350, the junior Insignis seminar designed by the Insignis students themselves and taught by a student-selected instructor, and a senior project or assistantship. In this independent study project or undergraduate assistantship, students work closely with a faculty mentor in their major field either to probe more deeply into specialized areas of their major or to assist a professor in professional research. They may contract for 3-6 credit hours for this senior-level requirement. Students must earn a B or higher in each class in order to receive honors credit for it.
For students who transfer to Aquinas after their first year, who test out of the General Education requirements for which we hold an honors section, or who can’t fit an honors section into their schedule for a particular semester, an interview with the Director of the Program is recommended. In this interview, the student and the Director will determine the most beneficial way for the student to complete honors work. Some options include taking Insignis 350 more than once, performing honors work in a class for a minor or double major, working as an honors assistant for one of the student’s professors, or completing departmental honors requirements, if available.
Throughout their years in the Insignis Program, students must complete fifteen contact hours of community service work per semester and report these hours to the Insignis Directors at the end of each term.