AdmissionsWe automatically admit all students awarded SAU Presidential or Hallman scholarships. All other first-year and transfer students are admitted based upon a global assessment of academic potential. We examine their ACT or SAT scores, high school GPAs, required submitted essays, letters of recommendation and other relevant information. Current SAU students who have earned at least a 3.5 GPA may petition the Honors College for admission. Students transferring from affiliated Honors 2+2 programs must hold a minimum college GPA of 3.25. They, too, must submit an online application, required essays, and letters of recommendation.
Program OverviewStudents in the Honors College find honors-credit courses challenging and rewarding. Enrollment in honors classes does not simply earn students extra written assignments. Unlike how high school AP classes are often seen as a necessary grind, honors classes are interesting and intellectually stimulating. Honors College courses differ from the standard college classes in many ways; they are usually smaller and not lecture-based. Honors College classes do not necessarily involve a greater amount of work than other classes at the university, but they require students to apply critical thinking skills and to function at a higher cognitive level. Specifically, they feature greater depth of coverage, more class participation, more contact time with instructors, and more use of state of the art technology. To earn the distinction as an Honors College graduate, students must complete a total of 24 hours of Honors College credit. Classes offered include seminars, general education courses, upper-level courses in the student’s major field, colloquiums, theses, and independent studies.
HousingAll honors students have the option to live in the Honors Halls. Opened in Fall 2004, the Honors Hall North houses 86 students in suites connected by a bathroom. Honors Hall South houses 96 students in traditional rooms with a community bathroom. The Honors Halls share a recreation room, computer lab, classroom, laundry room, ADA rooms, and an elevator. Honors students may choose to live in any SAU residence hall. Juniors and seniors may also opt to live in apartment-style living in SAU’s University Village apartments. The Honors College Student Advisor is also housed in the Honors Hall in order to answer any questions and provide the students with 24-hour assistance and advice.
StipendCurrently, the stipend for honors students is $300 each semester.
FacilitiesIn addition to the Honors Hall, the Honors College has offices and a lounge on the second floor of Nelson Hall (Nelson 200). The honors lounge offers comfortable furniture, cable TV, a networked PCs, snacks, and water (all at no cost). Also, there is a wireless printer available.
BenefitsThe Honors College offers its students a number of benefits in addition to the stipend. Those include: early registration, free trips, and honors graduate designation on the transcript and diploma.
- Extramural education is a part of the honors mission
- SAU Foundation provides funds for ALL student travel (50% typically)
- EF STUDENT travel to Italy (2019) took 20 students
- Previous EF travel to Cuba (2016), Paris (2017), China (2018)
- HC fully funds travel to national honors meeting for students on the program and partial funding to other academic meetings (if student is on the program)
Honors SeminarHonors Seminar is the first honors course honors students students take. It is only offered in the Fall in two face-to-face and back-to-back sections on MWF 9 and 10. Class is held in the Honors Residence Hall. Honors Seminar is a 3-hour course. It’s Web page can be viewed at: http://peace.saumag.edu/faculty/kardas/Courses/HonSem/default.html The course was revised in 2015 to allow for more student participation via presentations. The presentations for that year (and subsequent years) are and will be accessible on the Web page above.
Honors CoursesExcept under rare circumstances, freshman honors students should NOT enroll in any other honors courses while taking Honors Seminar because the course prepares them for their future work in the Honors College. Non-freshman MAY take other honors courses simultaneously with permission from the honors director or assistant director.
Full Honors CoursesFull honors courses only enroll honors students, are smaller, and are taught differently. Most such courses are General Education courses and will substitute in the General Education curriculum for non-honors equivalents. From time to time, upper-division full honors courses will be offered as well. Examples: World Lit, General Psychology, US History, Philosophy, and others on occasion.
Contract Honors CoursesThe majority of honors courses are called contract honors courses because honors students will register for a regular course and then contract with the instructor to elevate the course to honors. The process is described here:
- Student asks to determine if instructor will teach an honors section.
- Student obtains contract from Honors College office (either hard or electronic copy).
- Student and instructor discuss how to elevate the course to honors level.
- Simply adding a research paper should be avoided. Projects that are interesting and engaging are best.
- Contracts for upcoming semesters must be finalized by the last day of class the previous semester.
- The contract is turned in to the Honors Office.
- Contact director or assistant director for help in creating a contract if needed
- Note, failure to complete the contract will result in the instructor lowering the grade by one letter.
Progress in the Honors CurriculumAdvisors should check honor students’ transcripts to determine that satisfactory progress towards an Honors College degree is being made. We suggest the following benchmarks:
- Students with four semesters should have already completed 9 to 12 honors hours
- Students with six semesters should have already completed 15 to 18 honors hours