The Honors College offers an enriched and challenging educational experience for students who exemplify such ideals as intellectual curiosity, creativity, openness to new ideas, passion for learning, and drive. If this describes you, we encourage you to apply! The application is available to any student with a 24+ ACT (1160 SAT) and 3.5+ GPA*; students who do not meet these benchmarks but who believe that the Honors College is right for them should reach out to our Coordinator of Recruitment for more information. For information on our alternate entry program, please visit our Honors Keystone
First, you must apply to the University of Southern Mississippi. Once you have been admitted to Southern Miss and have a student ID and password, you may apply to the Honors College. The Honors College application is housed in the Golden Opportunities Scholarships and Competitive Programs system.
Admission to the Southern Miss Honors College is not automatic. Students must apply through our competitive application process. Your test scores and GPA are not seen by the admissions committee; rather, applications are reviewed holistically, with special emphasis on the quality of the essays and supplemental materials. Therefore, submitting a strong and compelling application is essential. For more information about the Honors College and to learn how to create a strong application, please schedule a meeting with our Coordinator of Recruitment.
In the application, you will be prompted to provide your counselor’s email address. When you save or submit the application, the system will automatically send your counselor a link to the online form via email.
If you are homeschooled, your teacher recommender must be someone who knows you in an academic capacity; we will accept a recommendation from a parent/guardian if they are your primary instructor; they should describe that role in their recommendation. The Counselor Report should be completed by the individual who tracks your classes; this may be a parent or other type of school counselor/liaison.
We believe that every applicant has interests, talents, or passions that may not be captured in other portions of our application. Your supplemental item should tell something about you that other parts of the application have not demonstrated. This might be a short video, a song or other piece of music (written or performed), a work of art, a presentation, a piece of writing (whether academic or creative), or something else. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!
We have high expectations for our students, and we want them to challenge themselves to think more deeply and broadly—but we also offer lots of support and provide tools for success. Our Honors Scholars report that characteristics such as discipline, drive, time-management, motivation, and passion for learning are necessary for success in our program.
Yes! Most of our students are involved in extracurricular activities, both on- and off-campus. At the end of the day, it’s always going to come down to your time-management skills and who you are as a student. Learn more about student organizations at USM.
There are several benefits to membership in the Southern Miss Honors College, the most important of which is the opportunity to enhance and deepen your educational experience at Southern Miss. We also offer scholarship support, a living-learning community for first-year students, peer mentoring, faculty mentoring, priority registration, opportunities for research and creative activity, academic advisement, leadership opportunities, and membership among a diverse and inclusive community of academically driven individuals!
Yes! First-year students live in our living-learning community which is housed in Vann Hall. We even have a floor where upper-level Honors students may reside if they choose to continue to live on campus after the first year.
Honors Living is a critical feature of our first-year experience, with Honors-oriented programming and support offered throughout the year. Thus, our scholars are required to live together, in Honors housing and with Honors roommates, for the duration of the freshman year.
In January 2020, Dr. Ellen Weinauer and Dr. Jonathan Barron led a 2-week study abroad intersession in London and Paris for our Honors sophomores. The students studied the Roaring 20s during that time. The students had a blast, and we hope to continue this study abroad intersession opportunity in Spring 2022!
Absolutely! The Honors College Leadership Council (HCLC) boasts a whopping 20% of our entire Honors student body! Students can apply to be a member of HCLC starting freshman year. HCLC is comprised of five different committees: Philanthropy, Academic, Community Life, Ambassadors, and First-Year Mentors. In addition to HCLC, the Honors College also supports the Puppy Officer Committee, which provides support to our famous Puppy Days, and the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Team, which aims to increase awareness and understanding of social justice issues, both on- and off- campus.
Yes, we have many students who participate in both programs and who enjoy the ways they complement each other.
Students who are in both programs must live in Luckyday Citizenship Hall.
The Honors College works with every major at USM!
Every student admitted to the Honors College receives scholarship support. Visit our Scholarships page to learn more about our scholarship opportunities.
Every student who applies for the Honors College as an incoming freshman will be placed into competition for the Presidential and Discovery Scholarships. Please note that these scholarships are awarded through a competitive process and are not automatically given to students. Consideration for these scholarships is based solely on the Honors College application; no additional materials are required.
While these scholarships are highly competitive, we do award quite a few. We typically have around 18-20 Presidential Scholars and 25-28 Discovery Scholars in our freshman classes.
For questions about the Honors College, you can reach out to our Coordinator of Recruitment, Vivian O'Neal, at vivian.onealFREEMississippi. She is also available for virtual meetings via Zoom and campus visits.