Steven Lynn, Ph.D., Dean
Sandra Kelly, Ph.D., Associate Dean
Ed Munn Sanchez, Ph.D., Associate Dean
Kimberly Simmons, Ph.D., Associate Dean
The South Carolina Honors College (SCHC) combines the benefits of a small college in the context of a large comprehensive research university. The college provides academically gifted and motivated students with the opportunity to develop their intellectual potential to the fullest. It emphasizes small classes with intensive interaction between students and professors. The Honors College curriculum is designed to exploit fully the talents of both students and teachers. Any qualified student, regardless of major or career interest, can take advantage of the college’s rich educational environment.
Admission to the college is based upon proof of a student’s potential for high academic achievement. Admission criteria include outstanding work in high school, high aptitude test scores, the ability to write well, and a strong intellectual curiosity. A candidate for the college must be accepted to the University and then must submit a separate application for admission to the Honors College.
The admissions policies are administered by the coordinator of admissions for the South Carolina Honors College in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The normal standards to be considered for admission include, but are not confined to, an SAT of 1300 or greater and a strong academic performance in high school, as well as evidence of keen analytical skills and a clear writing style. Transfer students and students already enrolled in the University who have a GPA of 3.60 on a 4.00 scale also may be considered for admission. Admission of such students will be contingent on a review of the student’s overall college record, the quality of the application, and the availability of space in the Honors College.
Retention in the College
To remain in good standing in the college, Honors College students must maintain a minimum GPA on a sliding scale that starts at 3.00 for first-year students and rises to 3.30 for seniors. In addition, Honors College students must earn honors course credits-9 by the end of their first year, 18 after their sophomore year, and 27 after their junior year-to remain in good standing in the college. Students who fall short of these requirements are allowed one semester of probation to increase their GPA or the number of honors credits to reach the required level. Any student who wants to apply for grade forgiveness for a South Carolina Honors College course must first petition the dean of the Honors College.
Honors College Advising
Entering Honors College first-year students are advised by the staff of Honors College prior to and during Freshmen Orientation, and the college continues to advise all Honors College students throughout their time in the college. Once a student has selected a major, he or she also is advised by faculty and/or staff members in that discipline. For this reason, most Honors College students have two advisors.
Graduation with Honors from the South Carolina Honors College
Honors College students have the opportunity to “graduate with honors from the South Carolina Honors College.” This accomplishment is recognized on their transcript, their diploma, and during commencement. In order to graduate with honors, students must complete at least 45 credit hours of Honors College courses, including a minimum 3 credit hours of senior thesis or project. The course requirements must include one course each in English, laboratory science, the history of civilization, analytical reasoning, the humanities, the social sciences, and an outside the classroom experience that could be either undergraduate research, an Honors service learning course, study abroad, or outside South Carolina or internship experience. Honors College elective credits may be in any area. All Honors College students, regardless of their major, can complete these requirements.
The Honors College offers two types of courses: courses that are unique to the Honors College and Honors College versions of courses offered by other academic units. Honors College sections of courses offered by other academic units carry the same departmental designator and number as their non-honors equivalent, but they have a “Hxx” section number (e.g., ENGL 101 , Section H01). Courses developed specifically for the Honors College are designated “SCHC.” While SCHC courses have no exact equivalent in the non-honors curriculum, every effort is made to ensure that these courses fulfill university core, major, minor, or cognate requirements.
SCHC courses that are numbered 200 or higher, “proseminars,” are designed to be similar in style to graduate-level seminars and are taught, where possible, through the use of discussion rather than lecture. Normally no more than 18 students may enroll in an Honors College proseminar.
At the 200-level, proseminars are usually broad in scope, providing a firm grounding in the general area described by a discipline. At the junior (300) and senior (400) levels, proseminars are more specific in content, providing the students and the professor the opportunity to delve deeply into a specialized subject. Of special interest are the interdisciplinary proseminars, which are designed to bring knowledge from several academic disciplines to bear on a particular problem. Proseminars may be taught by more than one faculty member.
South Carolina Honors College Students may meet University Core Curriculum requirements through honors courses determined to be core-appropriate by the South Carolina Honors College, with the oversight of the Provost. The South Carolina Honors College maintains a list of such courses.
Programs and Courses
Click the links below to view programs and courses administered by the college.