High Achievement and Honors

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The University uses a number of means to encourage and reward students who demonstrate academic excellence. The Dean's List recognizes students who have achieved outstanding academic success for the semester. Seniors expected to achieve Latin honors upon graduation are recognized at the annual Honors Convocation. The most extensive form of recognition and encouragement is successful completion of the Honors College Program for the superior student, which provides the most capable students with opportunities for intellectual stimulation and development.  Departmental honors are also available for students interested in the research, development, and proposal of a thesis to the University Honors Thesis Committee. 

DEAN'S LIST

Full-time undergraduate students are recognized for their high academic achievement by being placed on the Dean's List of their respective college or school each fall and spring semester.  To be eligible for the Dean's List, students must earn at least 12 credits and achieve a semester GPA of 3.5 or better.  Courses taken for audit, pass-fail, or incomplete at the time grades are processed are not included.    
 
Part-time matriculated undergraduate students are recognized for their high academic achievement by being placed on the Dean's List of their respective college or school each spring semester.  To be eligible for the Dean's List, students must earn at least 12 credits in the academic year (fall and spring semesters) and achieve a GPA of 3.5 or higher in each semester.  Courses taken for audit, pass-fail, or incomplete at the time grades are processed are not included. 

DEPARTMENTAL HONORS

Departmental Honors focuses on original research and is fostered by all departments. Students work independently in the library carrel, the science laboratory, or the experimental classroom pursuing the solutions to their research problems. The rigors of direct, unbiased observations, critical analysis, integration, and logical reasoning develop the disciplined thinker needed today.

Prerequisites for application for departmental honors research are a 3.0 GPA at the end of three years of collegiate study, and a 3.2 GPA in a major concentration. Decision to apply for departmental honors research should be made during the junior year when a thesis advisor should also be identified.

At that point, the student will submit a HON 494 application to the chair of the University Honors Thesis Committee. The student must submit a prospectus (HON 494) to the chair of the University Honors Thesis Committee; instructions and deadlines for the prospectus are sent each semester to all departments. Once the prospectus has been approved, the student becomes a candidate for departmental honors and is awarded three semester hours of credit.

Generally, the first semester of the senior year is spent completing the proposal and initial research. During the second semester the student writes a thesis (HON 495) for which, if accepted after an oral defense, the student is awarded three semester hours of credit and departmental honors. Upon request, detailed instructions are available from the chair of the University Honors Thesis Committee, or from chairpersons of academic departments.

HONORS COLLEGE

The Honors College is a small, dynamic learning community of exceptionally motivated, high-achieving students. The Honors College features small class sizes that encourage seminar-style discussions, faculty mentors that work with students inside and outside of the classroom, a cutting-edge curriculum, and a transdisciplinary course of study that examines knowledge from multiple perspectives.

Admission to the Honors College is competitive. Inquiries are invited from interested freshmen and transfer students. Qualified students who do not enter the program as first semester freshman may have some Honors Foundations courses waived, as determined by the Director.

Students who do not wish to complete the Honors College program but who wish to complete the Honors Minor in Transdisciplinary Concepts and Perspectives apply to Level 2 of the program; successful completion of the "Honors Minor" will be designated on their transcripts. Please visit the Honor's College Program to review the curriculum requirements.

Information on the Honors College may be obtained from the University's Admission Office or from the Honors's College Office.

LATIN HONORS

To be eligible for Latin honors, students must attain a 3.5 cumulative grade point average or higher in a degree program upon completion. Only grades earned at Southern are included in the cumulative grade point average.  In addition, students must earn at least 60 credits at Southern towards an undergraduate degree; or at least 50 credits if enrolled in a post-baccalaureate degree program to be eligible for Latin honors.  Latin honors will be confirmed upon completion of a degree program and awarded on both the official transcript and diploma as follows:

3.5-3.69 (Cum Laude)
3.7-3.89 (Magna Cum Laude)
3.9-4.0 (Summa Cum Laude)

Senior Honors Convocation

Just prior to the end of the spring semester, eligible students who are likely to graduate with Latin honors are accorded special recognition at the Senior Honors Convocation for their distinction in scholarship, leadership, and service to the University.  Recognition at the Senior Honors Convocation and commencement is granted to seniors who have met the eligibility requirements above by April 1, including both earned and in-progress credits.  If, however, the student's GPA falls below the required recognition level, this will be reflected in official documents produced after convocation or commencement. 

NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETIES

Several national honor societies are represented on campus. Election and initiation into these societies are conducted annually by their membership and are based mainly on scholastic achievement, interest, and active participation. Societies represented include:

Alpha Kappa Delta—Sociology
Delta Mu Delta — Business Administration
Gamma Theta Upsilon — Geography
Golden Key National Honor Society—Top 15% of Junior and Senior Class
Iota Iota Iota — Women's Studies
Kappa Delta Pi — Education
Lambda Pi Eta — Communication
Phi Alpha Theta — History
Pi Sigma Alpha—Political Science
Psi Chi — Psychology
Sigma Tau Delta - English
Sigma Theta Tau, Mu Beta Chapter — Nursing
Zeta Delta Epsilon—Service