Honors College at Southern Miss
About the Honors College
- Founded in 1976, the Honors College is the sixth-oldest public Honors College in the nation and the oldest in the state of Mississippi.
- Honors students are part of a community of gifted, lively, and motivated student peers with wide academic, social and extracurricular interests.
- Smaller, challenging classes with the university’s top faculty members offer more personal attention, thought-provoking classroom discussion, and experiences that take learning out of the classroom and into the world beyond it.
- The Honors College research experience prepares students for graduate, law, or medical school and careers in any number of fields.
- Students graduate from the Honors College with Latin distinction—cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude.
- Honors housing
- Priority registration
- Experiential learning
- Honors academic advising
- Classes with top professors
- Access to study-abroad scholarships
- National Scholarships Office
- Undergraduate research
- Community of leaders
- Faculty mentors
(Freshman and Sophomore Years)
Designed to provide enhanced educational opportunities across the curriculum, Honors Foundations requires 18 hours of honors-designated core classes and 2 hours of University Forum, a lecture series that brings leading scholars, performers, and public intellectuals to campus.
Many classes in the Foundations curriculum provide experiential, or active, learning opportunities, with activities outside the classroom and travel to such places as New Orleans, Atlanta, or the Gulf Coast. With its emphasis on acquiring knowledge across the disciplines, Honors Foundations prepares freshmen and sophomores to embark on original research (the senior thesis) in Honors Keystone.
- Honors freshmen must enroll in University Forum during both the fall and spring semesters of the freshman year. The course consists of a series of lectures and other events on the Southern Miss campus and is graded on a pass/fail basis. Southern's Online Accessible Records, also known as SOAR, identifies the course as HON 321.
- Honors Foundations students must complete 20 Honors hours from the General Education Curriculum by the end of the sophomore year.
- Honors Foundations students must complete the University’s General Education Curriculum by the end of the sophomore year.
- A 3.25 Cumulative GPA must be maintained.
- Fall 2016 Courses
(Junior and Senior Years)
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 7-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.
- In the first semester of Honors Keystone, students must enroll in HON 300. The one-hour, pass/fail course aims to demystify the prospectus- and thesis-writing processes, and is a prerequisite to Prospectus Writing. To successfully complete the course, students must choose a thesis topic and a qualified Southern Miss professor to act as a research mentor, submit a Notification of Selection of Thesis Adviser and Topic Selection form to the Honors College and complete the Integrity Assurance Program required by the Office of Research Integrity.
- Honors Keystone students must enroll in HON 301, a three-hour Prospectus Writing course, during the junior year (and preferably the first semester of the junior year). To successfully complete the course, students must prepare and submit a satisfactory prospectus.
- Honors Keystone students must enroll in a total of three hours of independent research (typically the 492H course in the student's home department) taken over two or three semesters.
- Honors Keystone students must pass a comprehensive examination in his/her major discipline in the semester in which he/she will graduate.
- Please review the Honors College handbook for details on senior thesis requirements.
- Fall 2016 Courses
Applying to the Honors College
Admission to the Honors College is a separate, competitive process. Students must first apply for undergraduate admission.
Honors Foundations (Incoming Freshmen)
Application Deadline for Fall: Jan. 5
- Minimum Criteria: 27 ACT (combined SAT of 1210) and 3.5 core GPA.*
- Requirements: standardized test scores, high school transcripts, résumé, recommendations, and essays.
- Curriculum: 4-year, including Foundations (freshman/sophomore years) and Keystone (junior/senior years)
Honors Keystone (Transfer Students and Current Southern Miss Students)
Application Deadline for Fall: Feb. 1 (housing) | July 1
Application Deadline for Spring/Summer: Nov. 1
- Minimum Criteria: 3.25 GPA on 40 undergraduate credit hours
- Requirements: a transcript, résumé, writing sample, and letter of recommendation
- Curriculum: 2-year, including junior and senior years