The Southern Miss Honors curriculum is divided into two phases—Honors Foundations (for freshmen and sophomores) and Honors Keystone (for juniors and seniors).  Those who enter the College as freshmen are expected to complete the four-year curriculum; upon completion of Honors Foundations requirements, these students will transition automatically into the Keystone curriculum.  Students may also enter the Honors College as rising juniors and complete the Keystone curriculum only.  Scholars MUST complete Honors Keystone in good standing in order to graduate with Latin Distinction.

All students who complete Honors Keystone requirements with 3.25 or higher cumulative USM GPA* will graduate with Latin Distinction, as specified:

  • cum laude (3.25-3.49)
  • magna cum laude (3.5-3.79)
  • summa cum laude (3.8 or higher)

Graduating students will be given an Honors College Medallion, which they may wear with their robes during commencement proceedings.


Honors Foundations (Freshmen and Sophomores)

Designed to cultivate intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and investigative skills, the Foundations curriculum requires 12 hours of honors classes (Honors Colloquium in Year 1 and Honors Seminars in Year 2) and 4 hours of Honors Forum (HON 321), a lecture series that brings leading scholars, performers, and public intellectuals to campus. With an emphasis on cross-disciplinary learning, active engagement, and intellectual development, the Foundations curriculum will provide you with the skills and confidence you need to advance into Honors Keystone and embark on original research.

For Requirements and Policies, see the Student Handbook.


Honors Keystone (Juniors and Seniors)

The Keystone curriculum provides students with the opportunity to design and execute an original research project—the senior Honors Thesis. Working with Honors faculty and with a faculty adviser in their chosen discipline, students move through a 5-hour course sequence (distributed across four semesters) that guides them through the thesis experience. Each step in the Keystone curriculum provides Honors scholars with the knowledge, skills, and aptitudes they need to successfully complete the thesis project and graduate with Latin distinction.

For Requirements and Policies, see the Student Handbook.


Honors Enrichment (Foundations and Keystone)

Each year, students will complete a required number of enrichment points through extra- and co-curricular activities. Students will be able to earn points in a variety of ways, such as: campus leadership activities; collaborative community service actions; service to the Honors College or the campus community; application for a nationally competitive fellowship or scholarship; study abroad; and professional development.

Below you will find a link to a DRAFT version of the enrichment activity guide. This is a work in progress as we consult with students and faculty about point-earning activities. A final version of this guide will be available prior to the start of the fall semester, 2017.

For Enrichment information, see Honors Enrichment.


*No student with a registered “F” in an Honors course (whether Foundations or Keystone) will be allowed to graduate with Latin Distinction.

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