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.
The University Honors Program is a campus-wide program that includes honors course work and extracurricular activities throughout the four years of a student’s undergraduate career. In addition to general university curriculum requirements and degree requirements of the selected major, USA Honors Students also complete enriched honors core courses, honors seminars and a Senior Honors Project. A cornerstone of the program is that each student will be assigned a faculty mentor chosen from the student’s major department, or suggested by the Honors Program until a major has been identified, who will direct the student through the research and scholarly experience that will culminate in an Honors Senior Project. Mentors will be outstanding faculty of the University. Honors classes are small, limited to 15 students, and are taught by the University’s most stimulating faculty.
Specially scheduled scholarly presentations involve Honors Students and the wider academic community in a format that will include the opportunity to debate various issues and to listen to and interact with invited speakers and performing artists.
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
- Mentored by a member of the University faculty, thereby establishing a one-to-one academic relationship with a faculty mentor.
- Participate in scholarly projects with their faculty mentors during their undergraduate careers.
- Participate in community service projects in conjunction with their faculty mentors and other Honors Students, and in
service-learning activities associated with specific courses.
- Priority in registration.
- The option of designated Honors Housing.
- Access to and use of the facilities and services of the Honors Center.
- Participate in special faculty/student/scholar seminars and cultural events.
- Participate in an annual Honors Students Colloquium presentation of Honors Senior Projects prospectuses and completed project results.
- 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. Have opportunities to actively participate in national and international conferences with their faculty mentors.
- Will receive special Honors recognition at graduation.
CONSIDERATION FOR THE SCHOLARS PROGRAM
High school seniors with a minimum 27 ACT Composite (or comparable SAT score) and a minimum 3.5 high school grade-point average (4.0 system) (as computed by the University of South Alabama) are invited to apply. USA students and transfer students who have completed no more than 32 semester
hours with an overall grade-point average of 3.5 (4.0 system) are also eligible to apply to
the program. Students without the above qualifications, that feel they have strong potential for success in the USA Honors Program, are encouraged to submit an application package and documentation of evidence of their special qualifications for review by the Honors Admissions Committee. Transfer students applying for admission to the University Honors Program should indicate any credit earned in other honors programs.
PROCEDURE TO APPLY FOR
THE USA HONORS PROGRAM
- Complete an application for admission to the University of South Alabama and submit to the Office of Admissions with the non-refundable processing fee.
- 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 or it can be printed from the USA Honors web page
- Request that your high school counselor mail an official copy of your high school transcript to the USA Office of Admissions.
Request that an official transcript from your college/university registrar be sent to the USA Office of Admissions.
- Request your official ACT or SAT results be sent to the USA Office of Admissions.
- 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.
- 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, may be requested from the Honors Program Office at (251)461-1637, or found in the Honors brochure and on the web page “Application Guidance.”
- Participate in an interview with the Honors Admissions Committee if selected for final consideration.
MAINTAIN STATUS AS A USA HONORS STUDENT
University Honors Students must maintain satisfactory progress in the Honors Curriculum to remain in the Honors Program. A minimum of 15 hours of enrolled credit per semester is required for scholarship recipients unless otherwise indicated in the scholarship award. Required overall grade-point averages for Honors Students are 3.0 after the freshman year, 3.25 after the sophomore year and 3.5 after the junior year and throughout completion of the requirements for the Honors Degree. A student may be placed on honors probation for a period of one semester if the required GPA is not achieved and must attain the required GPA at the end of the probationary semester in order to return to full status in the Honors Program.
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.).
A second honors option is available in many departments throughout the Colleges of the University of South Alabama. This option may be particularly suitable for transfer students, or others, who have completed significant credits toward graduation before deciding to pursue an honors degree, and for whom completing the entire University Honors curriculum would not be practical. To receive a designation of “With Distinction”, students must successfully complete an Honors Senior Project in their major and meet the specific honors requirements of their major department. These students may also elect to take Honors Seminars and participate in other University Honors programs and activities upon the recommendation of their major advisor.
Please consult departmental sections of the Bulletin for any additional honors requirements specific to your major.
OTHER HONORS OPTIONS
For transfer students, or others, who have completed significant credits toward graduation, the specific curriculum requirements for the Honors Degree may be impracticable. Additionally, other non-honors students may find certain honors courses desirable while being unable to commit to the entire honors curriculum. Options available in these cases include enrollment in specific honors courses (indicated on the transcript as honors credit) with permission of the instructor when space is available, and or pursuing and completing an appropriate senior honors project. Students interested in these options should consult with the Honors Program Director and their major advisor.
The following courses, or a substitute approved by the Honors Program Office, must be completed with a grade of “C” or better, in addition to general studies requirements and specific requirements of the major department, to graduate with University Honors recognition. Transfer students may petition to receive credit for honors courses taken elsewhere. High School AP and IBP credits may not substitute for Honors required courses.
|Honors Freshman Experience
(required in first semester)
English (EH 102H)*
|Honors Computer (CIS
(or with appropriate test scores CIS 250H)
|Introduction to Honors Senior
(taken in the second semester of the Junior Year)
(1-2 semesters, may count toward major)**
(only three hours may be from the major; six hours total if senior project is for six
hours; nine hours total if senior project is for three hours)***
*Indicates courses that meet USA General Studies requirements.
on course content, Honors Seminars may count for General studies credit.
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.