Questions & Answers
What is the Honors Program?
The Southeastern Honors Program is an opportunity for qualified students to participate in special courses and curricula to enhance their academic experience and earn an Honors Diploma at graduation. The benefits are substantial.
Honors core curriculum courses in English, history, communication, biology, and the arts, with great teachers and classes limited to 20, offer optimum learning environments for lots of discussion and personal assistance from the instructors. These small classes also offer opportunities to make some great friends.
In every academic major, the opportunity to earn honors "H-option" credit in courses is available. Some departments offer honors courses in the majors they sponsor.
Credit for honors courses is noted on the student's transcript, and graduation in the honors curriculum is rewarded with a special Honors Diploma. Participation in a university honors program provides an edge in competition for graduate and professional schools and for employment.
Honors Program students have the privilege of Early-Priority Registration each semester, increasing the chance to make a perfect class schedule.
Students can choose a residence halls reserved for members of the Honors Program and other academically qualified students.
The Honors Program staff provides convenient and helpful advising regarding all honors-related questions and issues.
The Honors Club associated with the Program provides opportunities for campus involvement, making friends, student networking, and tutoring.
What's unique about Southeastern's Honors Program?
Courses in the beginning of the Honors curriculum provide an excellent foundation for the rest of a student's academic career at Southeastern. All students starting in the Honors Program should take the Honors version of their general education English, biology, public speaking, history and art general education courses. In classes limited to 20, students read, study, speak and write about major books, ideas, figures, artistic movements and events that have impacted Western civilization. These courses emphasize development of good study practices, skills in interpretive reading, effective speaking, and clear written expression. Students broaden their cultural knowledge and refine their communication skills.
Another unique aspect of our program is the freedom to choose from two different curriculum options - the Honors Path or the Scholars Path.
Path I: Honors Diploma
This path is designed for a breadth of Liberal Arts knowledge upon graduation. In addition to the five core Honors courses, students take nine hours of upper-level HONR, study abroad, or H-option courses.
Path II: Scholars Diploma
This path is designed for depth of knowledge in your major. In addition to the five core Honors courses, students take nine hours of upper-level H-option courses in their major.
Progress in either of these paths can be integrated with progress toward completing requirements in a major in a timely fashion.
What courses are available in the Honors Program?
Here's the complete list:
English 121H: Ancient Epic and Composition
English 122H: Modern Epic and Composition
English 123H: Topics in Critical Reading and Writing
English 124H: Topics in Reading and Research-Based Writing
English 210H: Honors studies in Literature
English 291H: Tragedy and Comedy
English 292H: Modern Fiction
History 101H: History of Western Civilization until the Renaissance
History 102H: History of Western Civilization since the Renaissance
History 201H: American History to 1877
History 202H: American History since 1877
Math 161H: Honors College Algebra
General Biology 151H: General Biology I Honors
General Biology 153H: General Biology II Honors
Physics 191H: General Physics Honors
Economics 201H: Principles of Economics (Macroeconomics)
Honors 191: Honors Interdisciplinary Arts
Honors 304: Ideas and Issues in Pure and Applied Sciences
Honors 305: Ideas and Issues in Social and Behavioral Sciences
Honors 311: Ideas in Conflict I - Ancient and Classical
Honors 312: Ideas in Conflict II - Medieval and Renaissance
Honors 313: Ideas in Conflict III - Enlightenment and Romantic
Honors 314: Ideas in Conflict IV - Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
Honors 401: Ideas and Issues in Arts and Humanities
Honors 402: Ideas and Issues in Business and Finance
Honors 441H: Interdisciplinary Independent Study
Honors 300: Honors Senior Thesis
For honors courses in a major, please contact the department or college for that major.
Will it take longer to graduate if I take honors courses?
Since Honors core curriculum courses in English, history, communication, science and the arts substitute for other required courses, taking them will not lengthen the time it will take you to graduate. Also advice is available from the Honors Office (985-549-2135) regarding course substitutions. Transfer students, in particular, should explore honors courses substitution options that will help you avoid having to take additional courses.
What is a Senior Thesis and what does a student gain from doing it?
The Honors Thesis is a research project that every honors student completes with the guidance of a faculty member and then presents before an audience of peers in the senior year. Each student personally designs a project to complete in an upper-division course in his or her major and then presents the results.
Usually students work on the project over two semesters - designing the project with a faculty director and gathering data over one semester, and writing and reporting results over the next. H-option courses can be used to help lay the ground work for a solid thesis.
Please check the University Catalogue or call the Honors Office (985-549-2135) to find out more about the two stages of the thesis and the proper time to enroll in Honors 300, a one-hour course offered every semester to facilitate a variety of presentations.
Graduates of Southeastern's Honors Program have praised their Senior Thesis experience for the confidence it gave them to do further research and the advantage of having it on their record when they applied for graduate, law, and medical schools and for jobs.
Can non-Honors students (not in the Honors Program) take Honors courses?
Students who do not elect to join the Honors Program but meet the course prerequisites printed in the Catalogue may take any Honors course without joining. Students who are in the Program should take the courses that are indicated for the particular curriculum paths they choose to follow.
What special awards are available through participation in the Honors Program?
Every honors course taken is identified on the student's transcript. Also every graduate of the Honors Program receives an Honors or a Scholars Diploma depending on the curriculum path completed:
Honors Program students may also receive the "Sophomore Honors Distinction Award" if their GPA is 3.5 or higher and they have 12 hours of credit in honors courses at the time they complete 60 hours of overall academic credit. The highest academic recognition granted is the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Student Award annually given to a junior or senior student whose academic excellence and participation in all aspects of the Honors Program are exemplary.
Honors Program students are also recognized at the annual awards convocations of the separate colleges of the university, and they often win other forms of recognition for their contributions to the life of the university.
Who is eligible to join the Honors Program and how is it done?
Any beginning freshman with an ACT Composite of 24+ and high school GPA of 3.0+ may join. University students already having 12 hours of credit or more need a university GPA of 3.0+ to join. Feel free to come by the Honors Office for any advising you may need relative to the program, its courses and its curricula. Transfer students are strongly recommended to seek advising from their start at Southeastern in order to plan clear progress to graduation with an honors diploma.
Your membership will be official when you complete the online Application to Join the Honors Program. Once your application has been received and your eligibility has been confirmed, you will receive an email to your official Southeastern email account, and you will be officially registered as a member of the Honors Program.
How do I register for an Honors course?
The university registration system will not let you enroll online for an honors course unless you are first "authorized." For authorization, first determine the honors course section (ID #) or sections for which you seek authorization and then call the Honors Office at 985-549-2135. This step takes about a minute over the phone and then you're free to register for the honors course(s) authorized for you.
Can a transfer student join the Honors Program?
A transfer student can join the Honors Program provided the student does not have more than 77 hours at the time of transfer. Credit for honors courses taken at other institutions must first be evaluated by the Honors Director before approval as substitutions for Southeastern's courses. During advising, substitutions for required courses in the Freshman Honors Seminar will be mapped out.
What's the difference between Honors and regular classes?
Three things contribute to a significant difference:
The limit of 20 enrolled in every honors class facilitates discussion, student interaction with the instructor, and a sense of community that extends beyond the classroom.
Only professors recognized for their excellence in the classroom (not teaching adjuncts) teach honors courses.
Honors courses attract students who want a more engaging and lively learning atmosphere.
In sum, Honors classes are designed for learning at its best.
Are Honors classes harder than regular classes? Will my grades suffer?
Being "harder" is not what distinguishes a true Honors course. The difference is a learning environment shared with other students who have come to Southeastern with a genuine desire to get the most from their university education. While you might be asked to do more reading in Honors courses, and you will be expected to be involved in every class, you may find that your Honors classes are actually easier in the sense that they inspire more personal focus, they create a sense of being part of a community of scholars, and they produce a sense of progress that can be a very pleasing experience for avid learners.
Given the motivational atmosphere of Honors classes, it is not surprising that national studies of university grades have shown that students of similar ability tend to make higher grades in Honors courses than in non-Honors courses. Naturally students who are in the optimum learning environment will accomplish more of their goal. This fact is worth considering if you need to maintain a grade-point minimum in order to retain a scholarship. While taking honors courses won't automatically improve your grades, it should make you a student more capable of better grades.
Where is help correlating Honors Program requirements with those in my major?
For advice about requirements related to your major, you should always go to the department in which you are majoring. Consult with your departmental adviser if one is assigned to you. However,you also need to educate yourself about how to complete Honors Program core curriculum requirements in tandem with departmental curriculum requirements.
For answers to general and specific questions related to starting or progressing in the University Honors Program and synchronizing with the requirements of a particular major, you can always get helpful information and advice at the Honors Office. Come by, or call us at 985-549-2135.
Is there a short list of the benefits of participating in Honors education?
Yes, but the list keeps growing. Consider twenty benefits described by honors students themselves:
You will be with other good students in interesting courses.
You can combine a well-rounded liberal education with studies in your major.
You will make friends among a fine group of students and professors.
You can live in residential housing reserved for students with strong academic motivation.
You'll be able to learn with some of Southeastern's best teaching professors.
You will have diverse opportunities to strengthen leadership skills.
You'll take small seminar-type classes limited to no more than twenty students.
For each Honors course you take, you'll earn an "H" on your transcript.
You will build confidence in your abilities to succeed in the face of challenges.
You will increase your understanding of your own and other cultures.
You can earn a Sophomore Honors Distinction Award for making early progress in the program and also an Honors Diploma at graduation.
You can take advantage of Southeastern's two honors paths, choosing breadth of knowledge or depth of knowledge as your focus.
You will enjoy advisory assistance from the helpful professors who teach Honors courses.
You can participate in the Honors Club, which sponsors a variety of academic and social events on campus.
You will perform at the peak of your scholastic abilities.
You can attend regional and national Honors student conferences in major U.S. cities.
Every semester you'll enjoy the advantage of Early-Priority Registration - a real plus when scheduling courses!
You'll be taking more responsibility for your own work as a college student.
You'll obtain an excellent education to prepare you for professional schools, graduate programs, and successful careers.
Your Honors Diploma will give you an edge in the competition for graduate and professional schools and when you apply for career positions.
Where is the Honors Office?
We're in Meade Hall, Room 103.