Program & Benefits
Des Moines Area Community College's Honors Program is available for students with high academic standards in order to expand their boundaries and better prepare them to enter the workforce or continue on to a four-year college or university. The mission is to provide quality, student-centered education and opportunities for leadership, service, and research that challenge and stimulate students with high academic standards.
- Opportunity to enroll in leadership and service learning seminars, tuition-free
- Opportunity to receive tuition-based rebates of up to 3-credit hours per semester
- Opportunity to take discipline courses in your major as Honors courses by signing online contracts
- Opportunity to work one-on-one on special projects with honors faculty mentors
- Opportunity to register for classes first each term
- Access to a designated Honors advisor on each campus
- Notation of Honors degree or Honors course credits on transcript to increase transfer opportunities to 4-year honors programs or increased job opportunities
- Opportunity to wear Honors recognition medallion at graduation
- Extracurricular enhancements, such as field trips, speaker series, social and cultural events, and regional and national Honors conferences
- Acceptance into 4-year college or university Honors Programs
Graduating with honors from the DMACC Honors Program
Meet requirements for a diploma or degree with a cumulative G.P.A of 3.0
Complete a minimum of 13 credits of honors courses at DMACC (approved by Director of Honors—may be designated honors sections or standard sections with online contract signed by Honors professor and Director of Honors). Classes can be traditional face-to-face courses taken on DMACC campuses or at DMACC centers, web-blended, or fully online.
All full-time students accepted into the DMACC Honors Program may receive an award.
Admission Requirements *
A. Students enrolling from high school (based on high school performance)
- Show a high school cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 (weighted or non-weighted) on transcript
- Complete an online application essay
- Submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher (Home-schooled students: submit a recommendation from a co-op teacher other than a parent--may be from a pastor or other community member)
B. Students enrolling from college (based on college performance)
- Complete nine (9) college credits (course level 100 or higher or equivalent transfer) at any accredited college, earning a cumulative G.P.A of 3.0
- Complete one college math and one college English class (course level 100 or higher or equivalent transfer)
- Complete an application essay
- Submit a letter of recommendation from a college professor
Students accepted into the honors program may graduate with honors by completing 13 credits of honors, which must include HON 100 and HON 200.
*The Director of Honors may waive some of the criteria in extenuating circumstances
- Maintain a cumulative 3.0 G.P.A. and remain in good academic standing.
- Move to honors probation for one semester if term G.P.A. falls below 3.0
- Regain entry into Program if G.P.A. is restored the subsequent semester; if not, may reapply for admission when restored or appeal the suspension to remain in the Program by writing a letter to the Director of Honors at firstname.lastname@example.org, explaining why you should be allowed to remain in the Program.
The Honors Program is currently taking applications!
Summer applications due May 19
Fall applications due August 15
We encourage you to apply early in order to have the best selection of honors courses.
Once you have been accepted as a student at Des Moines Area Community College, you are invited to apply to the DMACC Honors Program.
To be accepted into the honors program you
- Must have earned a high school degree or equivalent by the time you enter the Honors Program.
- Must complete an AA, AS or AAS degree to graduate with honors.
- Must be able to complete courses face-to-face on a DMACC campus.
- Must begin the program in the semester accepted or re-apply to the program.
Applicants are encouraged to compose and edit an essay (described below) in a Microsoft Word document prior to beginning the online form, so that the document can be uploaded or attached into the space provided on the application. Essays should be approximately 800 words in length and single spaced, using Times New Roman 12 point font.
The Honors Program looks for students who think critically, seek in-depth learning experiences, and demonstrate a commitment to using their gifts to benefit others.
In approximately 800 words,
- Tell us about a time when you have demonstrated research skills and/or problem-solving skills to benefit others through your research, leadership, or volunteer experiences. Good examples might include a research paper or project, a volunteer project, a science fair project, a 4-H project, or a scouting project.
- Discuss how being in the Honors Program would enhance your academic experience.
Your essay will be read by a panel of faculty members at DMACC who serve on the Honors Admissions Committee. This committee will evaluate your essay based on the degree to which it demonstrates Honors-level writing and how well it addresses both writing prompts. If an applicant's writing is not determined to be at Honors level, the student may not be admitted to the Honors Program.
The essay is your opportunity to showcase your motivation and achievement to the Honors Admissions Committee.
We look forward to learning more about you.
All documents required may be uploaded, including transcripts, test scores, and personal essays. Teacher recommendation letters may be attached to an e-mail to Laurie Linhart at
This page is dedicated to personal reflections from students who have gone through the Honors Program and desire to leave a legacy. These students have been actively involved in the curriculum and desire to tell future honors students about the benefits (and challenges) of their own personal experiences. Ideally, future students will find this page very helpful in addressing their many questions. So, what are you waiting for? Go find out what students are saying about the DMACC Honors Program experience!
My Honors experience has been surprisingly beneficial for the small amount of time I have spent at DMACC. I started here in the fall of 2013 and will graduate the Spring of 2014. When I applied for the Honor's Program, I wondered, what could this program possibly have to offer in such a short amount of time? The answer became clear my first semester. The Honor's Program made me challenge myself, organize my schedule, and think creatively by requiring a project. I had to complete 2 different projects to accommodate my Honor's 1-year completion plan. While the double project workload has its challenges, it really showed me what I can do if I organize my time wisely and take charge of my own life. The projects were entirely up to me, I could do them on topics that were of interest—not just assigned. The Honor's Program really gave me the opportunity to explore my interests while giving me a creative outlet to use as a learning tool.
My name is Grant Booth. I am a Liberal Arts major here at DMACC with plans to transfer to Iowa State University next fall as a double major in Finance and Accounting. The honors experience I had at DMACC has been a tremendous benefit to my education. It has allowed me to grow as leader as I was exposed to numerous leadership models and strategies. I have been able to learn about how to apply those strategies in real life projects. To give some examples, I have been involved in the Constitution Day committee, numerous class discipline projects, and a community based service project. In addition to my honors experience, acceptance into the program exposed me other opportunities, such as Phi Theta Kappa. I was able to take leadership abilities from the Honors Program and utilize them in my officer role of finance at PTK. If leadership skills wasn't enough, the Honors Program also allowed me earn valuable scholarship dollars toward me education, and was awarded a total of $3,150. The scholarships made DMACC even more affordable than it already was, and I am so thankful for the opportunity the honors program presented me. I would recommend this amazing opportunity to anyone who is interested.
The Honors Program has been a wonderful experience for me. When I first came to DMACC I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy my education here but I was soon proven wrong. During my first semester I found myself getting a C in a class, not because it was too hard but because it was too easy. I didn't feel the need to do my homework (which made up most of the points in the class) because I wasn't getting anything out of it. When I was offered to join the Honors Program I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to take my education to the next level and challenge myself a little bit more. Because of the Honors Program I made many friends, made some really cool projects, and it has gotten me a scholarship to Simpson College. I am really grateful for what the DMACC Honors Program has offered me.
Carl De Vries
My honors experience is defined by the relationships I built with my honors discipline instructors and the honors faculty. Their dedication really makes the program special. I was always supported, but also challenged by each instructor I worked with.
Professor Nick Thorp was my discipline instructor for three semesters and arguably a summer as well. His experience in the aerospace industry and his time spent teaching at Iowa State heavily influenced my projects; ultimately, my projects helped me refine my career goals and plan my future. I developed a simple sounding rocket flight simulator for my final project. At the close of the semester, I discovered a sounding rocket simulator built by NASA which implemented the same physics concepts and numerical techniques I learned during the semester. Making connections between my project and software used by NASA was extremely exciting. Also, knowing there are other knowledgeable, dedicated, honors discipline faculty at DMACC like Professor Thorp reassures me future graduates will continue to experience the success I feel I had in the Honors Program.
I was also supported by the honors program during my non-project hours. I have ex-seminar instructors, now friends, from whom I seek guidance. I had the opportunity to attend the National Collegiate Honors Council's annual conference where I connected with instructors from other DMACC campuses. The administration supplied me with the resources I needed to present at the Winchell Undergraduate Research Symposium. I even received support for my pursuits outside the honors program as well, for example when I was chosen for the National Aerospace Scholars program at Marshall Space Flight Center.
I discovered something special about the honors faculty. They are instructors, mentors, and they can easily be friends. Most importantly, they want to see every student succeed. I can't give enough credit to the honors faculty and administration for setting me on the path I'm on today. Go Bears!
In 2007 I was in a car accident and sustained a traumatic brain injury resulting in short-term memory loss. I decided to try college again in 2011 by attending DMACC's Information Technology Network Administration program part-time. Each semester I maintained a high GPA, so I incrementally increased my work load. I would take more classes each semester, and eventually started taking on positions such as Vice President of Phi Theta Kappa, and President of the DIS-Adversity club. In the Spring of 2013 I joined the Honors program to push myself just a little further and prove to myself I could still be successful. I am still maintaining my high GPA, and am in the final semester of my college career.
The Honors program has benefit me in many ways. I have been taking certification exams for my Honors discipline course projects. In the professional world of IT, certifications are something highly sought-after because computer technologies are a very broad and constantly changing subject, and certification proves you know how to utilize a technology. I wouldn't have sought these certifications if it wasn't for the Honors program, and I definitely would not have had the response from potential employers I have gotten since the beginning of winter without these certifications. I have been applying for jobs from December up until now, even though I am available after I graduate in May, In order to network and tap into the vast pool of jobs which are not posted, and are normally filled by knowing the right people. I have many business cards from managers, supervisors, and recruiters to begin contacting at the beginning of April. My Honors e-Portfolio is another benefit. I include a link on my resume, and my resume is on my e-portfolio. It has an effect on people as I have been asked about it many times during interviews. Yet another benefit is the DMACC Foundation Honors scholarship I was awarded. The renewable scholarship has paid for all of my certification tests, which can cost from $150 to $400 each. The benefit providing a cherry on top of the cake is the Honors program medallion I get to wear during graduation. It will make me stand out, and I will be very proud to wear it when I graduate. I have done a lot of great things while in the Honors program, and it has gotten me off to a great start in my career.
My name is Shannon Rogers. I am in the paralegal program here at DMACC's Urban Campus, anticipating graduation with my associate's degree. During my time here, I received the President's List in Spring and Summer of 2012 and the Provost's Award in Fall of 2011 and 2012 and Spring of 2013. After graduation, I would like to get a part-time or full-time job at a law firm or in a legal environment and also do caregiving and respite care to save money for a car and other things for about a year. Then I would like to return to school to get my bachelor's degree and get a part-time job as well. I am thinking about going for environmental science, but I am not completely sure, so I would like to do some exploring. I do know that I would like to use my legal knowledge in whatever field I go into. One benefit the Honors Program has given me is meeting my intern supervisor. Had I not joined the Honors Program, I would have never gotten the opportunity to meet Michael Piper, one of the Honors instructors, and an attorney at Dickey and Campbell Law Firm, P.L.C., where I am doing my internship at. Finally, I would like to thank my friends, family, and all of the great instructors I have had.
The Honors Program at DMACC has allowed me the opportunity to work on projects on my own pace, with only a goal and occasional advice from a professor to push me on my way. This allows for me to begin learning to set up smaller tasks in order to complete the project in time, and this is a skill that I, as an Engineering student, am going to need in order to function at any firm or lab. In addition, these projects have really helped me to better understand their related courses through the extra study and practice involved.
I came into the program having practiced leadership often both in and outside of class settings. Thus, while I can't say that I've learned terribly much that is new, the fact that I agree with much of the program's teachings shows that their leadership courses are introducing valuable topics for students who plan on being effective in the workforce. As such, there may be some students who feel the same way; however, the opportunities not only to learn more about your courses but to work with students who also seek to do their best is a valuable thing indeed.
Doing the Honors program was one of the best decisions I made while at DMACC. It challenged me to do things that I didn't think were possible. As a student who was working at a high level, it was exactly what I needed. The whole program revolves around benefiting the students in every way possible. Everything I did in the program was for my benefit and to give me that edge I needed. One of my projects was getting my Linux certifications. My other project was making my own website that would host my E-Portfolio. Though it was a challenge these projects pushed me to accomplish something great and to really prepare myself for the work force.
All of the Honors instructors are fantastic. They want to see you succeed. They know that you can perform at a high level and they push you to do your very best. The classes are fun and often have guest speakers that provide great insight. One of my favorite things about taking the Honors classes was making friends with the other Honors students. It was nice to be placed with like-minded individuals who excelled at the same level as myself. I also had a blast doing my service learning projects, going to the Honors retreat in the fall, and attending the Honors banquet.
Upon graduating from DMACC I feel like the Honors program has really given me tools necessary to not only succeed in the work force but to succeed in all aspects of my life. I cannot wait to see where I will go from here.
My name is Diana Yamaletdinova and I am an international student from Tajikistan, a small mountainous country in Central Asia. I came to Des Moines to grow academically, professionally, and personally by changing a career from Logistics and International Transportation to Information Technology (IT). I graduated with Business Information Systems degree with Website Programming concentration in May, 2016 and I am looking forward to start an internship in one of the biggest banks in Des Moines very soon.
Coming from a developing country, where IT is not developed enough and not viewed as a crucial part of our future, DMACC helped me to realize that the world today is inevitably bound with IT and I need to gain significant knowledge in this field in order to be better prepared for the future. Thus, I made a very important decision to combine my old-time passion in international business and accounting with a demanded IT degree. This would allow me to achieve a greater career as a Web Developer or a Java Software Engineer.
My academic journey in DMACC has been very successful. I have made many new friends while achieving good grades in all my classes. I was awarded first place in a recycling project in Visual Merchandising and Design class. Also, I made the President's List every attended semester. Joining the DMACC Honors Program was another achievement; being recognized as an outstanding student is a huge honor and reward for my hard work. In addition, in Fall 2015 I served as Vice president of the Honors Program at Urban campus and it was a great experience to work with inspiring students who only strive for success. Honors classes helped me to understand my leadership skills, and pushed me to develop my personal character while staying true to who I am. I was lucky to represent DMACC Honors Program at National Collegiate Honors Council in Chicago and at Leadership Iowa University (LIU) in Des Moines. Thanks to DMACC, I graduated from LIU, class 2015-2016 and it was an experience that I will carry through my whole life.
Currently I am completing my Internship at SHAZAM as a Java Developer, where a DMACC education is recognized and highly valued. I am a very international person, I love to travel and learn new cultures. I lived in Denmark, Spain, France and Russia, where I worked in Logistics and studied new languages and cultures. An international corporate environment gave me the opportunity to lead, and have an influence in the strategy of my department, as well as helped me to develop cultural awareness, and strong leadership skills. Family is a big part of my life. My beloved partner, my mom and my small sister are my strength, and the reason why I keep moving forward no matter how hard it gets at times. I want to use this opportunity to thank them for always being my biggest support and for believing in me even when I did not.
Notable and Quotable: from DMACC Honor Students
I chose to be in the DMACC Honors Program for the challenge and the recognition of becoming an honors student.
Anything is possible if only you believe; there's no limit to what you can achieve.
The Honors Program will not only help me connect with students across the campuses with the same drive for learning as I have, but also provide me with the coursework that will challenge me to think in new ways and find even more confidence in myself and my leadership abilities.
Excelling in the Honors Program and setting a positive academic example for my children motivates me. Immersing them in an educational environment creates a strong family foundation. The principles of Phi Theta Kappa and the Honors Program continue to change not only my life, but my children's as well!
While the DMACC Honors Program requires that little bit of extra effort, it is well worth it. This program is going a long way toward opening doors of opportunity for me that I never knew existed.
I am excited to be challenged in a deeper way through the Honors Program. Having high standards from the faculty has helped me want to go an extra mile and do something I never thought I could.
I found the DMACC Honors Program to be more than the projects, the seminars, and the Honors title in front of everything. It was also a challenge, an opportunity to get to know my instructors better, a community of individuals who cared about each other's interests and wanted to make the most of their educations, and memories that will last a lifetime.
This has been such a great experience to get to know other individuals from other DMACC campuses. The Honors Program has challenged me to think critically while expanding my knowledge. It has also allowed me to get to know my instructors in a deeper way. I am so thankful to have had this wonderful opportunity!
The Honors Program opens up opportunities for those who wish to achieve. The students are able to take those dreams to a new level to accomplish what they want and more.
I want to challenge myself and gain access to an honors program when I transfer.
Being the first graduate of the Honors Program, I am very proud of what I've accomplished while at DMACC. Many people might think that a community college can't provide as quality of an education as a 4-year institution; however, I respectfully disagree. I have received a affordable, top quality education here at DMACC, and I will encourage every high school graduate I know to start their education here for those two reasons. Thank you for helping start a tradition of excellence.
I like to be challenged. This opportunity will help me grow, and my mom will be proud that I will graduate with honors.