Honors College

 

Why Honors    Honors Foundations    Honors Keystone    Honors Application

 

About the Honors College

  • Founded in 1976, the Honors College is the sixth-oldest public Honors College in the nation and the oldest in the state of Mississippi.
  • Honors students are part of a community of gifted, lively, and motivated student peers with wide academic, social and extracurricular interests.
  • Smaller, challenging classes with the university’s top faculty members offer more personal attention, thought-provoking classroom discussion, and experiences that take learning out of the classroom and into the world beyond it.
  • The Honors College research experience prepares students for graduate, law, or medical school and careers in any number of fields.
  • Students graduate from the Honors College with Latin distinction—cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude

 

Why Honors

  • Honors housing
  • Priority registration
  • Experiential learning
  • Honors academic advising
  • Classes with top professors
  • Access to study-abroad scholarships
  • National Scholarships Office
  • Undergraduate research
  • Community of leaders
  • Faculty mentors

 

Honors Foundations

(Freshman and Sophomore Years)

Designed to provide enhanced educational opportunities across the curriculum, Honors Foundations requires 18 hours of honors-designated core classes and 2 hours of University Forum, a lecture series that brings leading scholars, performers, and public intellectuals to campus.

Many classes in the Foundations curriculum provide experiential, or active, learning opportunities, with activities outside the classroom and travel to such places as New Orleans, Atlanta, or the Gulf Coast.  With its emphasis on acquiring knowledge across the disciplines, Honors Foundations prepares freshmen and sophomores to embark on original research (the senior thesis) in Honors Keystone.

 

Curriculum

  • Honors freshmen must enroll in University Forum during both the fall and spring semesters of the freshman year. The course consists of a series of lectures and other events on the Southern Miss campus and is graded on a pass/fail basis. Southern's Online Accessible Records, also known as SOAR, identifies the course as HON 321.
  • Honors Foundations students must complete 20 Honors hours from the General Education Curriculum by the end of the sophomore year.
  • Honors Foundations students must complete the University’s General Education Curriculum by the end of the sophomore year.
  • A 3.25 Cumulative GPA must be maintained.
  • Fall 2015 Courses (PDF)

 

Honors Keystone

(Junior and Senior Years)

As a junior and senior in the Keystone curriculum, you have the exciting opportunity to chart your own course through the design and completion of an original research project—the senior Honors Thesis. 

Working with Honors faculty and with a faculty adviser in your chosen discipline, you will move through a 7-hour course sequence, distributed across four semesters, that guides you through the thesis experience. Each step in the Keystone curriculum provides you with knowledge, skills, and aptitudes that prepare you for successful completion of the thesis project and the achievement of Latin Distinction.  

Curriculum

  • In the first semester of Honors Keystone, students must enroll in HON 300. The one-hour, pass/fail course aims to demystify the prospectus- and thesis-writing processes, and is a prerequisite to Prospectus Writing. To successfully complete the course, students must choose a thesis topic and a qualified Southern Miss professor to act as a research mentor, submit a Notification of Selection of Thesis Adviser and Topic Selection form to the Honors College and complete the Integrity Assurance Program required by the Office of Research Integrity.
  • Honors Keystone students must enroll in HON 301, a three-hour Prospectus Writing course, during the junior year (and preferably the first semester of the junior year). To successfully complete the course, students must prepare and submit a satisfactory prospectus.
  • Honors Keystone students must enroll in a total of three hours of independent research (typically the 492H course in the student's home department) taken over two or three semesters.
  • Honors Keystone students must pass a comprehensive examination in his/her major discipline in the semester in which he/she will graduate.
  • Please review the Honors College handbook (PDF) for details on senior thesis requirements.

 

Applying to the Honors College

 

Admission to the Honors College is a separate, competitive process. Students must first:

Apply for Undergraduate Admission

 

 

Honors Foundations (Incoming Freshmen)


Application Deadline for Fall: Jan. 5

  • Minimum Criteria: 27 ACT (combined SAT of 1210) and 3.5 core GPA.*
  • Requirements: standardized test scores, high school transcripts, résumé, recommendations, and essays.
  • Curriculum: 4-year, including Foundations (freshman/sophomore years) and Keystone (junior/senior years)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

*Criteria

The written part of the SAT is not considered in evaluation for Honors College admission. 

 

Core GPA is calculated with the student's grades earned in coursework that is part of the college preparatory curriculum (CPC). Core GPA is computed on a four-point scale; thus, weighted grades earned in AP, advanced or honors classes are not calculated into core GPA. (Some consideration is given to applicants attempting AP, advanced or honors coursework, but primary emphasis is on core GPA.)

 

Essay

Writing is an important component of the Honors curriculum; thus your essay should demonstrate highly-tuned writing and editing skills, including proper spelling, grammar, punctuation and citation. To create an exceptional essay, we recommend self-editing on a character level, as well as utilizing a grammar/spelling tool.

 

Recommendation Letter

Recommendations should include official letterhead and the signature of the person recommending you.

 

Application Status

Freshmen applications are processed by Admissions. For your status, please call (601) 266-5000.

 

Official Decision

An applicant with a complete application will receive the official decision within one month of the deadline.

Honors College applicants must be generally accepted into The University of Southern Mississippi.

 

Apply to Honors Foundations

(Competitive Freshman Programs Application)

 

 

Honors Keystone (Transfer Students and Current Southern Miss Students)


Application Deadline for Fall: Feb. 1 (housing)  |  May 1

Application Deadline for Spring/Summer:  Nov. 1

  • Minimum Criteria: 3.25 GPA on 40 undergraduate credit hours
  • Requirements: a transcript, résumé, writing sample, and letter of recommendation
  • Curriculum: 2-year, including junior and senior years

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Housing Deadline

Applicants interested in on-campus housing should apply by the February 1 deadline to ensure they receive priority dormitory assignments through Residence Life.

 

Credit Requirement

A minimum of 40 credit hours is required by the beginning of the entering term.

Example: spring 2016 applicant has 29 credit hours from prior terms, and another 13 hours in progress when s/he submits the application, due November 1. The applicant is eligible to apply because s/he will have 42 hours by the start of the spring term.

 

Essay

Writing is an important component of the Honors curriculum; thus your essay should demonstrate highly-tuned writing and editing skills, including proper spelling, grammar, punctuation and citation.

 

To create an exceptional essay, we recommend self-editing on a character level, as well as utilizing a grammar/spelling tool. In addition, all terms in the essay should be defined and the paper should be written in a manner that laypeople will understand, as the ability to effectively communicate research is the backbone of Honors Keystone.

 

While the content of your essay is not restricted, a sample within your field of study will best represent your future works.

 

Recommendation Letter

The recommendation letter must be written by a professor who has recently taught you in class. All letters should include official letterhead and the signature of the person recommending you.

 

Application Status

Rising junior applications are processed by the Honors College. For your status, please call (601) 266-4533.

 

Official Decision

An applicant with a complete application will receive the official decision within one month of the deadline.

Honors College applicants must be generally accepted into The University of Southern Mississippi.

 

Apply to Honors Keystone

(1-Page PDF)