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About Early Honors

Spend your senior year preparing for college success

When it comes to preparing for college, Early Honors students like you occupy an academic sweet spot known as “dual enrollment.”

As an APU Early Honors student, you’ll enroll with your high school as usual and retain your ranking as a senior, enjoying the prestige, privileges and events reserved for your graduating class.

At the same time, you’ll step ahead as a full-time APU student, completing first-year college coursework at a private, liberal arts school where rigorous studies and personalized academic advising are hallmarks of APU’s 50-year tradition of success.

And you thought dualies were for truck tires only.

Early Honors is an academically challenging alternative to high school as usual. Our program works best for students who want to spend senior year preparing for success at the college of their choice. While you’re completing high school credits, you’re also gaining competencies in critical thinking, effective communication, informed inquiry and self-direction – abilities that help shape success in college and beyond.

Early Honors enrolls exemplary high schoolers whose demonstrated accomplishments and letters of recommendation set them apart. Standardized test scores, an essay and interview round out your Early Honors application.

How Early Honors works

Your Early Honors coursework begins with four classes – two that form the foundation of our program and two that typically are required to complete your high school credits.

You’ll start in September with Critical Thinking, scheduled in the four-week period that we call fall block. Critical Thinking is a four-credit intensive that meets four days a week. Explore the difference between information recall and logical analysis. Apply strategies like inductive and deductive reasoning as you learn to “think about thinking.”

Fall block is followed in late September by APU’s 11-week fall session. You’ll enroll in three classes, including two that satisfy your high school graduation credits, usually the math and science courses you need to advance. Your third class in the fall session is Argumentative Writing, a departure from most honors writing courses. You’ll focus on developing as a concise, accurate and ethical writer. Learn to express your thoughts effectively as you consider ways that purpose and audience help shape your writing.

APU’s 11-week spring session starts in early February. By working with the Early Honors academic adviser, your schedule includes courses from throughout the university that meet your academic interests and goals.

Early Honors travel course intensives

Between fall and spring sessions, Early Honors students may join enriching travel courses that take advantage of APU’s block scheduling for off-campus experiential learning.

Early Honors travel courses are four-credit electives that satisfy the literature requirement for high school graduate. Travel is scheduled during APU’s January block period. Broaden your perspective by touring with faculty mentors, expert guides and your Early Honors classmates. You’ll study the literature, arts and culture of your destination before leaving home for in-depth appreciation once you arrive. Recent travel courses have featured the Riviera, Eastern Europe and Cuba.

If travel isn’t right for you, consider earning academic credit in January with APU courses in communication, ecology or cultural studies, among others.

By completing one class each in September and January block periods, you’re free to enroll in three courses during the session while retaining your status as a full-time APU student.

Early Honors scheduling helps you be your best

When you pursue one intensive during block periods followed by a three-course schedule in the sessions, Early Honors students remain focused on college-level academics while keeping up with high-school based activities and friends. And by clustering your Early Honors courses in the mornings or on a few weekdays, you’ll even gain more control of your time on and off campus.

Now that you’ve had a glimpse of APU’s academic calendar, here’s a look at a typical Early Honors schedule. It’s designed to maximize your study time for greater understanding and retention while also introducing you to college workloads.

Fall block (one class)

  • GS13300 Critical Thinking. Four credits.

Fall session (three classes)

  • LL10100 Argumentative Writing. Four credits.
  • an APU course that satisfies one of your high school graduation requirements. Four credits.
  • an APU course that satisfies one of your high school graduation requirements. Four credits.

January block (one class)

  • LL20400 Culture, Travel and Literature. Four credits.


  • an APU elective concentrating on topics like culture studies, communications or ecology. Four credits.

Spring session (three classes if you enrolled in January block; four classes if you did not)

  • work with your Early Honors adviser to choose APU courses that are right for you


  • Your Early Honors program ends with a milestone ceremony to celebrate your achievements!

If you’re continuing your education here at APU, you’ve got a head start on your degree. While Early Honors is not a recruitment program, your choice to remain at Alaska Pacific University is a high compliment. Thanks, and welcome back!

And if you’re continuing on, remember that credits earned through APU’s Early Honors program are accepted at many schools; be sure to check with your registrar and Early Honors academic adviser. Many best wishes and please stay in touch!