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Honors College

Frequently Asked Questions

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Honors Students

Application Process

The Honors College offers an enriching 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 26+ ACT (1240 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 Recruitmentfor more information. For information on our alternate entry program, please visit our Honors Keystone page.

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! 

Honors College Life

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.  

Yes! The Honors College offers a 2-week study abroad intersession for our Honors sophomores. The Honors Abroad Sophomore Seminar takes place during the spring intersession. In addition, the Honors College offers study abroad grants for Honors College students in good standing with the Honors College, and these grants can be applied to most study abroad opportunity sponsored by USM.

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! 

Honors College Scholarships 

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 contact our recruiter, Helen Greene, by email at honorsFREEMississippi or call 601.266.4533.

Please see our Events section for upcoming Honors College events.  



Contact Us

Honors College
Honor House
118 College Drive #5162
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Hattiesburg Campus

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