The Honors College offers an enriched and challenging educational experience for high-achieving, highly engaged students. 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 5-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.
To be eligible for admission, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.4 on at least 45 completed college credit hours and must have completed at least three full-time semesters of college. To complete the Honors Keystone curriculum students must have at least four semesters remaining before graduation. Applications are read holistically, with special attention to writing skills and the extent to which the student embodies such Honors College values as intellectual curiosity, creativity, openness to new ideas, and drive.
Current Southern Miss students and prospective transfer students who meet the minimum criteria are encouraged to apply. The Honors Keystone curriculum is not available to fully on-line students.
New Honors Keystone students will receive the Honors Keystone Scholar Award; a $1,000 per year award that recognizes our students’ commitment to academic rigor, excellence, and undergraduate research. It is awarded as $1,000 per year for a two-year total of $2,000 and may be combined with other awards up to the cost of attendance (as set by the Office of Financial Aid).
For information about Admissions-based scholarships for which you may qualify, please visit Southern Miss Scholarships and Financial Aid.
Students must be admitted to Southern Miss before applying to the Honors College. Upon admission, you may complete the Honors Keystone application via the GO System. Note that there is no need for an additional transcript, as the transcript you submit to Admissions will also be used for your Honors Keystone application.
The Honors Keystone Application is available through the Golden Opportunities Scholarship Portal. Log in with your ID and password at usm.academicworks.com. Search for “Honors Keystone” to find the application.
Academic Writing Sample (1,500-word minimum) from a recent class
Letter of recommendation from a professor who has taught you in class
Statement of purpose
* Students transferring from the Honors College at Meridian Community College, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jones County Junior College, or Pearl River Community College must submit a letter of good standing from their respective Honors dean/director in addition to the letter of recommendation.
The deadline for fall admission is July 1. All students admitted to Honors Keystone must take HON 300 (“Developing the Honors Thesis I”; 1 credit hour), in the fall semester.