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Frequently Asked Questions

What follows are Frequently Asked Questions about The University Honors Program at Southern Polytechnic State University and their answers.
  1. What are the advantages of being in the Honors Program?
    While the main advantage of participation in the Honors Program is the intellectual challenge of the curriculum, there are other advantages as well (See Honors Advantages for a more complete list):
    1. Eligibility for Honors scholarships or out-of state tuition waivers as appropriate
    2. Special orientation programs
    3. Priority registration
    4. Honors course designation on student transcripts
    5. Small classes
    6. Honors advising
    7. Social and extracurricular opportunities
    8. Recognition upon graduation: in the commencement program, on the diploma, and with an honorary symbol as part of the graduation regalia.
  2. Are the courses harder? Do they require more time?
    Most students will find that the courses are a bit more difficult and may take a bit more time. However, Honors students are rewarded with smaller class sizes, more professor-student contact, and a better opportunity to engage in their studies, to critically reflect on their ideas, and to get feedback from the professor and other students. Professors do not necessarily make the coursework more difficult; rather they enrich it with practices that aren't always possible in larger classes.
  3. What are the benefits of living on campus as an Honors student?
    Students who live on campus have many opportunities to get to know their peers who are also in the University Honors Program. Students who register early and get their housing information in early will have the opportunity to share a dorm room with another Honors student in the Howell Residential Hall. 
  4. What are Honors Students at SPSU like?
    Honors students at SPSU are intellectually curious, industrious students.  They are motivated to do their best work and to succeed in college . They often show promising leadership skills as well
  5. I'm interested in majoring in ___. I don't see Honors courses for my major.
    Early Honors coursework takes place in core classes such as composition, calculus, and chemistry.  Honors courses in the major fields are intended for 3rd and 4th year students.  These classes may be interdisciplinary seminars, independent research, teaching assistant classes, peer mentoring, and capstone and thesis work.
  6. What scholarship opportunities are available?
    Scholarships are available from SPSU for Honors students entering the program. The top students in the group will be awarded $1,000 scholarships for the upcoming year. Students who receive scholarships must maintain their position within the Honors Program.  Outside scholarship and fellowship information is made available to all Honors students (See the link for scholarships at the Honors Current Student site). Honor students who are interested in this type of scholarship will want to maintain a high GPA and participation in organizations and campus life.
  7. What is the Student Honors Council and how do I join it?
    The Student Honors Council is the student organization that supports the University Honors Program. Students run for membership or office every August. The membership includes 1st - 4th year students.  These students have the chance to influence fundraising, social activities, and governance linked to the University Honors Program (See the link for the Student Honors Council for more information).
  8. I'm close to meeting the admissions guidelines. Can I still apply?
    Yes. Students who do not strictly meet the guidelines for admission, but who have other achievements that show promise of academic excellence are encouraged to apply. Students should be sure to indicate on their applications extra-curricular activities and Honors or AP course work.
  9. How will I be kept up-to-date about the Honors Program?
    Before school begins, students will receive letters and emails from the program that indicate acceptance into the program, orientation information, and so on. Once the school year begins, communication will be maintained largely through e-mail and the Honors listserv. Students who wish to stay on top of social activities, advising information, scholarship information, and so on will want to check their e-mail regularly for information. Important information will also be posted at the Honors website.
  10. How do I become an Honors student if I am already a current student at Southern Polytechnic State University? What if I'm transferring from another school?
    Any current student who wishes to become an Honors student may apply by filling out the application posted at the Honors website . Transfer students are welcome to apply as well.  Most transfer students will take the Honors Departmental Honors Scholar track and should ensure they have a minimum of two semesters in which to complete this course work.
  11. Do I have to take an Honors course every semester?
    University Honors Scholars must take an Honors course their first semester within the program along with the Honors Hitchhikers class that acts as an orientation class. After that it is suggested that they take an Honors course every semester their first two years so that they only have the six hours in their major field left for their junior and senior years. They should accumulate 18 hours before they graduate.
         Departmental Honors Scholars must complete the six hours at the upper level. They may not end up taking an Honors class their first semester.
  12. What happens during the first-year summer Journey Orientation?
    During orientation you will join other, new Honors students for lunch so that you get a chance to meet your peers and learn about the program. You also will get a chance to meet the Honors staff and to sign up for your Honor classes as well as your other classes.
  13. What do employers and Graduate School personnel think about having Honors courses on my transcript?
    Many employers and graduate school personnel are impressed by students who take the initiative to take Honors courses. Your involvement in an honors program demonstrates to future employers and graduate school personnel your ability to research and  your willingness to face challenges.  Employment and graduate school rates are very good for SPSU honors graduates.
  14. Are there any fees or dues related to the Honors Program?
    No, there are no fees or dues related to the program.  However, we do expect each student to take part in a fundraiser each year.
  15. What are the academic standards for the program?
    To earn either a University Honors Scholar Degree or a Departmental Honors Scholar Degree, students must have minimum graduation GPA of 3.2. For more detailed information click the link to Honors Guidelines.
  16. Aside from academic standards, what other obligations do I have as an Honors student?
    You must attend the mandatory meetings, take part in 20 hours of service/event credit for the year (whether on or off campus), and meet the goals of the program; otherwise, your obligations are the same obligations that other students at SPSU must meet as they concern academic honesty and good citizenship. Information concerning your obligations to the university community can be found in the Current Student section within the Honors Student Handbook.
  17. I would like to visit or tour the campus. Who should I contact?
    You should contact the Recruitment Office at (678) 915-3521 or send an e-mail requesting a private visit to visit@spsu.edu . If you wish to meet with Dr. Iraj Omidvar, the Director of the University Honors Program, during your visit, make sure you indicate this when you schedule your meeting.
  18. Who should I contact for more information about the Honors Program?
    You may contact Dr. Iraj Omidvar by calling (678) 915-3928 or by e-mailing honors@spsu.edu .
  19. Which major fields at SPSU does the University Honors Program work with?
    The University Honors Program works with all of the major fields at the university to ensure that honors students in all programs can become Departmental or University Honors Scholars.