The University of South Alabama Honors Program offers a curriculum of interdisciplinary excellence designed to stimulate analytical and critical thinking of exceptionally qualified and highly motivated students. In this effort, the USA Honors Program challenges the students with scholarly creative activities, exposes them to cultural enrichment and requires them to engage in community service. The USA Honors Program aspires to instill in students the intellectual excitement that will better prepare them for productive careers and citizenship.
Within the context and diversity of a midsize urban university, the Honors Program provides the academic and cultural atmosphere and setting expected on a small, personal campus community of excellence.
Two Honors Program options are available at the University of South Alabama, 1) a four-year program resulting in designation of graduation with “University Honors”, or 2) Departmental programs resulting in the designation of “With Distinction” on the transcript in selected majors.
In addition to challenging academic activities, the USA Honors Program offers a variety of activities that extend learning beyond the classroom including social and cultural activities and community service projects. All USA Honors Students are required to participate on a continuing basis in community and campus service activities. Honors Students are encouraged to participate in international programs and off-campus internship opportunities, and are assisted by the Program in applying for national or international scholarships. Honors Students will also be given priority for registration and an option to select Honors Housing.
Students who complete the requirements of both the USA Honors Program and of the selected major with a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher (overall and in the major) will receive the designation “With University Honors” on the transcript. These requirements apply to all students accepted into the University Honors Program. Students transferring from honors programs of other institutions may petition to receive credit for honors work completed elsewhere. Honors Program graduates will be specially recognized in the graduation program. All courses completed for honors credit will be so indicated on the student’s official transcript. Such achievements often represent the type of personal credentials sought by employers and graduate programs.
BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATING IN THE USA HONORS PROGRAM
Each USA Honors Student will be advised by a member of the University faculty, thereby establishing a one-to-one academic relationship with a faculty mentor.
USA Honors Students will participate in scholarly projects with their faculty mentors during their undergraduate careers.
USA Honors Students will participate in community service projects in conjunction with their faculty mentors and other Honors Students.
USA Honors Students will have priority in registration.
USA Honors Students have the option of designated Honors Housing.
USA Honors Students have access to and use of the facilities and services of the Honors Center.
USA Honors Students will participate in special faculty/student/scholar seminars and cultural events.
USA Honors Students will participate in an annual Honors Students Colloquium presentation of Honors Senior Projects.
USA Honors Students will be encouraged to apply for national or international scholarship (e.g., Fulbright, Rhodes, etc.), and will be counseled and assisted in their efforts by the Honors Program office and the Office of Enrollment Services.
USA Honors Students may actively participate in national and international conferences with their faculty mentors.
USA Honors Students will receive special Honors recognition at graduation.
CONSIDERATION FOR THE SCHOLARS PROGRAM
PROCEDURE TO APPLY FOR THE USA HONORS PROGRAM
1. Complete an application for admission to the University of South Alabama and submit to the Office of Admissions with the non-refundable processing fee.
2. Complete the University of South Alabama Honors Program Application Form and mail to the USA Office of Enrollment Services. You must specially request this form when asking for a USA application package.
3. Request that your high school counselor mail an official copy of your high school transcript to the USA Office of Admissions. OR Request that an official transcript from your college/university registrar be sent to the USA Office of Admissions.
4. Request your official ACT or SAT results be sent to the USA Office of Admissions.
5. Provide two (2) letters of recommendation from individuals that can comment on your intellectual capabilities and personal characteristics such as independent thinking, motivation, creativity and willingness to be academically challenged.
6. Complete an essay on a topic specified annually by the USA Honors Program. The topic will be provided by the Office of Enrollment Services in your application package or may be requested from the Honors Program Office at (334)461-1637.
7. Participate in an interview with the Honors Admissions Committee if selected for final consideration.
MAINTAIN STATUS AS A USA HONORS STUDENT
Participants are expected to participate in community and campus service projects and to regularly attend cultural and scholarly events on campus and in the community. These activities will be facilitated by the Honors Program Office and program mentors. Participation may be as a group or in individually focused activities.
By the Junior year each Honors Student will identify a suitable faculty mentor and will design and implement an Honors Senior Project. The project represents a scholarly effort appropriate to the major, including a significant component of investigation and written presentation. Juniors will present a prospectus of their project at an annual Honors Student Colloquium. Graduating Honors seniors will present their Honors Senior Project at the annual Honors Student Colloquium in a formal format suitable for the project (e.g., an exhibition, research presentation or poster, or performance). The senior project will be judged and graded by a committee of three faculty chaired by the honors project mentor.
Honors Students are encouraged to participate in international study opportunities, independent research programs and off-campus internships. The Honors Program Office maintains information on such opportunities and is available to assist students with applications and arrangements. Students will also be encouraged to apply for national and international scholarship programs (e.g., Fulbright, Rhodes, Eisenhower, etc.).
Please consult departmental sections of the Bulletin for any additional honors requirements specific to your major.
OTHER HONORS OPTIONS
*Indicates courses that meet USA General Studies requirements.
**Depending on course content, Honors Seminars may count for General studies credit.
***Student should determine early in their program the requirements in their major.
Honors Seminars are special topics courses of interest to students in many majors. A minimum of two seminars will be available each semester for students to make their selection. Topics are generally not repeated, or are repeated infrequently. When appropriate, Honors Seminars may be approved for general studies credit in addition to satisfying an Honors Program requirement.
The Honors Electives requirements may be satisfied by taking additional Honors Seminars or any course offered for honors credit (courses with ‘Honors’ in the title or an ‘H’ suffix). Electives may be in the major or other fields of study. Students should seek the counsel of a faculty advisor in selecting their Honors Electives. It is often possible to satisfy both the Honors Elective requirement and a general studies requirement by proper course selection.