What is the Honors College?
Put simply, the Honors College is a community of high-achieving students at Missouri State University who have demonstrated a dedication to learning and are encouraged to reach their full potential through an enriched program of study, research, and recognition.
But the Honors College doesn’t exist solely in the classroom; it can be so much more!
Honors students are traditionally some of the most involved students at MSU, and many attain leadership positions in campus activities ranging from student government to marching band to sports. The Honors Council regularly hosts social and service programs that help to bring students together in a diverse academic community.
In short, the Honors College strives to give students a wide array of opportunities for personal growth across the whole spectrum of college life.
Why do so many American colleges and universities have Honors Programs?
Honors programs at more than 1000 colleges across the United States are special academic programs designed to help superior students-who are sometimes bored or unchallenged by conventional courses-make the most of their college experience. If a college is like a big swimming pool, an Honors program is the opportunity to swim in the deep end. You don’t have to be there all the time, but you should not miss it. A typical American Honors programs offers a series of small classes or seminars, taught by the best faculty at the college, limited to the students with superior academic abilities, and emphasizing class discussions rather than lectures. Because these characteristics are often associated with very expensive Ivy League education out of reach of most families, Honors programs occupy the place of pride on their campus and have been recognized as one of the greatest bargains in American higher education.
What academic advantages does the Honors College offer me?
An Honors education has many benefits and here are just a few:
- exceptional staff/faculty
- priority registration (students first to register in class)
- smaller class sizes
- broadened library privileges (4-month loan time, free inter-library loan)
- in-depth, personalized instruction
Does participation in an Honors Program really matter?
Yes, it will speak volumes about your abilities and aspirations. Students in Honors programs are widely recognized as being the best students at a college, having both superior academic ability and the motivation to make the most of their college experience. Consider what an American college degree means to the general public. Because there are more than 3000 colleges and universities in the United States, most people have no way of evaluating, for example, the scores of colleges in California, and they have only a vague idea about the quality of colleges in their local area. But everyone knows that if you join an Honors Program, you are obviously a superior student who is clearly committed to getting the best education-the best courses and professors-available to you.
What are the requirements for membership?
- Earned an ACT score of 27 or higher (or SAT of 1220 or higher)
- Graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class OR graduated high school with a 3.9 cumulative grade point average
- Applied and been admitted to Missouri State University
How big is the Honors College?
What is the typical Honors student like?
Aren’t most Honors Students just Nerds?
This is a common high school attitude, but in college you will quickly see how wrong it is! Honors Students are a highly diverse group, not just in majors, but also in backgrounds, nationality, ethnicity, race, personality, interests, etc. We like it that way! For example, Honors students compete on varsity teams, others are dancers, artists and actors, mathematicians and scientists; many are heavily involved in student government, clubs, and residence hall activities. Honors students are also prominent leaders on campus, serving as major officers of student government, editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, sports broadcaster on the radio station, leading the psychology, English, and pre-med clubs, etc. Honors Students don’t look the same or act the same: what they do share is a commitment to academic excellence and a desire to make the most of their college experience. And in this diverse mix of Honors Students, you are likely to find your greatest friends.
Will Honors separate me from other students at the college?
No, Honors Students are as fully a part of college life as is possible. Honors students take a mix of Honors and non-Honors courses, and they find their friends and roommates both in and out of Honors.
How do I apply?
Will I have to do any extra coursework?
How do Honors courses and regular courses differ?
Are Honors courses harder?
Won’t my college GPA suffer if I join an Honors Program?
No, Honors courses aren’t graded harder (or any easier!) than other college courses. A student who averages a 3.6 in regular courses will probably have a 3.6 GPA for Honors courses too.
Wouldn’t I do better in college if I didn’t join an Honors Program?
Sometimes this is true, but very often it is not. In fact, more than a thousand colleges have established Honors programs precisely because good students do better in them! Without a peer group that values academic excellence, social life can easily become more important than studying. Talented students can be bored in normal classes and coast through or put off simple assignments (just as they did in high school). Unfortunately, students who avoid challenges and try to take the easy way out often face severe shocks in college (it’s not grade 13!) and graduate with mediocre academic records.
What are the requirements to graduate with General Honors?
Students with less than thirty credit hours
Students with more than thirty credit hours
Honors students coming in with more than thirty credit hours must complete at least six courses in the program. One of these courses will be UHC 110: Freshman Honors Seminar, unless the student has already completed GEP 101 (or an equivalent foundations course). Students who have already completed a first-year foundation course may take a General Honors course or an Experiential Learning course instead. One course will be UHC 397: Honors Colloquia. One Course will be UHC 410: Senior Honors Seminar. Students must also complete the requirements for Departmental Honors.
For more information, please see our Accelerated Program.
What are the requirements to graduate with Departmental Honors/Distinction in the Major?
Do I need Departmental Honors to graduate from the Honors College?
Does the Honors College offer scholarships?
What is Honors Council?
What is the difference between Honors housing and regular housing?
Do I have to live in Honors housing?
Which facilities on campus provide Honors housing?
Can I participate in sports or other extra-curricular activities and still do Honors?
Certainly, and you will meet many other students doing the same. Most Honors students are able to participate successfully in a wide range of extra-curricular activities and still maintain a balance with their academic work.
Can I participate in Study Away as part of my Honors College experience?
Will participation in an Honors Program help me get a job, or get into graduate or professional schools, after I graduate?
Yes, there is good evidence that Honors education will be an asset for your future. As an Honors student you will be identified as possessing not only superior academic abilities (often supplemented by solid extracurricular involvement), but you will be recognized as having the commitment and motivation to take on challenging work. Hence, Honors students are eagerly sought by employers and preferred for admissions by graduate and professional schools. Your Honors research projects provide you with graduate-level research experience and prove your ability to work independently at an advanced level.