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HONORS COLLEGE

The mission of the Honors College is to provide enhanced educational opportunities for selected, motivated, enthusiastic, diverse, and inquisitive students and to foster the pursuit of excellence in undergraduate higher education. The underlying philosophy of the program is that well-educated individuals should understand broad, interdisciplinary perspectives while demonstrating expertise in their chosen field.

The Honors College is open to students from all academic disciplines. The Honors College has different options for students interested in pursuing either a specific field of study with Honors distinction(s) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Honors Studies. Regardless of the track chosen, members of the Honors College pursue a rigorous academic program which satisfies all requirements of their academic departments and colleges and goes beyond those requirements to enhance achievement. The Honors College offers small classes with greater opportunities for student participation, increased student-faculty contact, more individual attention, lively discussions of important issues, special interdisciplinary seminars, opportunities for study abroad, community service and internships, and supervised capstone experiences, all designed to challenge talented students.

Throughout a student’s program of study, the Honors College emphasizes breadth of academic experience. In the junior and senior years, Honors students are encouraged to gain expertise in their academic field through Honors work in the major and an Honors capstone experience. Students who pursue the B.A. in Honors Studies or Highest Honors produce an honors capstone project under the direction of a faculty member from the student’s major department.

Participation in the Honors College supplements, but does not replace, work in a major field. Credits earned in Honors College courses, however, may also be used to satisfy Core Curriculum requirements or other degree requirements. The Honors College Advising Center assists in assuring that students meet all requirements for their degree plans.

Admission and Retention

Admission

Students must make special application to be considered for admission to the Honors College either as an entering freshman or as a continuing UTSA or transfer student. In general, threshold application requirements for incoming freshmen are a composite SAT (critical reading and math only) of 1200 or above, a composite ACT score of 27 or above, and/or graduation in the top 10 percent of the high school class. However, the Honors College applies a holistic review approach to student admission by considering such factors as writing skills, student leadership, special skills and abilities, and special circumstances. Therefore, students whose SAT, ACT, or class rank do not meet the threshold requirement may still gain admission if they offer a compelling reason why they should be part of the program, just as students who meet those requirements are not guaranteed admission. For continuing UTSA students and transfer students, eligibility to apply is based on a college grade point average (GPA) of 3.4 or better. Admission is competitive and contingent upon the pool of applicants for any given year. Admission information is posted online at http://utsa.edu/honors.

Retention in the Honors College

After being accepted into the Honors College, a student must maintain a minimum UTSA GPA of 3.25 and demonstrate adequate progress toward completion of the Honors degree requirements. A student is considered to be in good standing if he or she maintains a minimum UTSA grade point average of 3.25. Only students in good standing qualify for Honors graduation.

Students whose UTSA grade point average falls below 2.75 will automatically be declared academically ineligible for Honors College membership. Students whose UTSA grade point average falls below 3.25 but is above 2.75 are placed on Honors probation, and they will be allowed to retain membership in the Honors College until their UTSA grade point average reaches 3.25, as long as their grade point average in each subsequent term is 3.25 or above. If a student on probation earns a term GPA of less than 3.25, he or she will be declared academically ineligible for Honors College membership.

Students who have been declared academically ineligible for Honors College membership may apply for readmission if they have attained a minimum UTSA grade point average of 3.25.

Dual College Membership

All Honors College students, except those pursuing the B.A. degree in Honors Studies, are also members of a degree-granting college. Admission to the Honors College is independent of admission to any other academic unit.

Facilities and Services

The UTSA Honors College provides the following opportunities to members of the College:

Advising and Priority Registration. The Honors College Advising Center provides academic advising for all honors students. Honors College students are given priority registration if they register for the following semester through the Honors College and have completed at least one Honors course in the past year or include an Honors course in their schedule.

Honors Scholarships. The Honors College, in conjunction with the UTSA Scholarship Office, annually awards numerous Honors scholarships. The majority of Honors scholarships are renewable for up to three years for students who maintain the requisite 3.25 grade point average and complete an Honors course each semester. More information on scholarships is available in the Office of the Dean of the Honors College.

Honors Undergraduate Research Programs. The Honors Undergraduate Research Program assists students in finding research assistantships in their academic disciplines. In addition, the Honors College Research and Travel Grant Program provides students working on an Honors capstone project with financial assistance for their projects.

Honors Study Abroad. The Honors Study Abroad Program works with the Office of International Programs to offer opportunities for Honors students to acquire new knowledge and understanding of the people, events, movement, ideas, and objects of cultures other than their own. Scholarships are available through the International Education Fund.

Honors Internships. Honors students are encouraged to work in their fields prior to graduation. Internships may be assigned locally, nationally, and internationally. Students may earn credit for Honors internship experiences.

Undergraduate and Graduate Fellowships. The Honors College coordinates on-campus efforts to assist graduating students interested in applying for graduate awards such as Rhodes Scholarships, Marshall Scholarships, Mitchell Scholarships, Fulbright Scholarships, National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellowships, and Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships. Additionally, the Honors College staff identifies and assists students interested in undergraduate awards such as Harry S. Truman Scholarships and Goldwater Scholarships.

Participation in Honors Councils. The UTSA Honors College is an institutional member of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), the Great Plains Honors Council (GPHC), and the Council of Honors Administrators in Texas (CHAT). These organizations support honors education in the United States and address issues that face higher education and honors programs across the country. Honors students are encouraged to participate in these organizations and are, thus, able to meet and interact with honors students from across the region and nation.

Recognition for Honors Graduation. Members of the Honors College who complete the requirements for any form of College Honors qualify to graduate with an Honors College diploma and to participate in a special Honors College graduation ceremony where they receive an Honors stole to wear with their academic regalia. Recognition for Honors graduation includes a notation on the transcript and diploma and mention in the commencement bulletin.

Honors College Requirements

To graduate with an Honors College diploma, a student must be enrolled in the Honors College and must have a minimum UTSA grade point average of 3.25 at the time of graduation.

Business Honors

Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) majors who have been admitted to the Honors College may earn Business Honors if they maintain a minimum UTSA grade point average of 3.25 and complete an Honors section of five of the Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) courses. Business Honors classes emphasize class discussion, presentations, and business research.

General Honors

General Honors is designed to provide students with a broad, interdisciplinary Honors experience, primarily through Honors core curriculum coursework. Because the General Honors experience is targeted primarily at lower-division Honors coursework, students are only eligible to earn General Honors if they enter the Honors College with fewer than 30 hours (not including AP, CLEP, or dual credit hours).

General Honors Requirements
21 semester credit hours of Honors coursework.

  1. 3 semester credit hours selected from the following (must be taken in an Honors section):

    ANT  2053  Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
    CSH  1213  Topics in World Cultures
    HUM  2093  World Religions
    IDS  2213  World Civilization since the Fifteenth Century

  2. 3 semester credits hours selected from the following:

    HON  3223  Honors Seminar in Social & Behavioral Sciences
    HON  3233  Honors Seminar in Arts & Humanities
    HON  3243  Honors Seminar in Business & the Professions
    HON  3253  Honors Seminar in the Sciences

  3. 15 additional semester credit hours of Honors elective coursework, including no more than 6 semester credit hours of Honors contract coursework

Leadership Honors

Leadership Honors is designed to provide students with the opportunity to expand their leadership capabilities and to explore possibilities for enhancing learning capacities and strategic thinking. Students who pursue Leadership Honors have the opportunity to explore a new model of leadership that makes sense in the emerging competitive environment in which humans work and live. Students are asked to enhance their understanding of leadership and hone their personal leadership skills through coursework and action. Students who select to follow Leadership Honors may select from two different options, one that involves students in the College of Business’s Leadership Challenge program and one that involves students in the University of Texas System’s Archer Fellows Program.

Leadership Honors Requirements
21 semester credit hours of Honors coursework.

  1. 3 semester credit hours selected from the following (must be taken in an Honors section): 

    ANT  2053  Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
    CSH  1213  Topics in World Cultures
    HUM  2093  World Religions
    IDS  2213   World Civilization since the Fifteenth Century

  2. 18 required semester credit hours of Honors coursework:

    Option 1  

    MGT  4953  Special Studies in Management: Leadership Challenge
    HON  4933  Honors Internship (or an internship in the major)
    12 semester credit hours of elective Honors coursework, including no more than 6 hours of Honors contract work  

    Option 2 

    HON  4936  Honors Internship
    9 semester credit hours of HON 3223 taken through the UTSA Archer Fellows Program
    3 semester credit hours of elective Honors coursework

Highest Honors

Highest Honors is the most rigorous and most prestigious Honors degree program available through the Honors College. What distinguishes Highest Honors from the other Honors options is the opportunity to pursue greater depth in one’s academic field. To earn Highest Honors, students must complete an Honors capstone project under the supervision of a capstone advisor. The Honors capstone project must be signed by a three-member committee approved by the Assistant Director for Undergraduate Research.

Highest Honors Requirements
30 semester credit hours of Honors coursework.[1]

  1. 3 semester credit hours selected from the following (must be taken in an Honors section):

    ANT  2053  Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
    CSH  1213  Topics in World Cultures
    HUM  2093  World Religions
    IDS  2213  World Civilization since the Fifteenth Century

  2. 6 semester credit hours selected from the following:

    HON  3223  Honors Seminar in Social & Behavioral Sciences
    HON  3233  Honors Seminar in Arts & Humanities
    HON  3243  Honors Seminar in Business & the Professions
    HON  3253  Honors Seminar in the Sciences

  3. 21 semester credit hours of Honors elective coursework, including no more than 9 semester credit hours of Honors contract coursework. (It is highly recommended that students complete 6 hours of Honors Capstone Project to count toward their 21 hours of Honors elective coursework.)

  4. Completion of an Honors capstone project

International Distinction

Students who have been admitted to the Honors College and pursue any of the Honors distinctions may also qualify for graduation with international distinction. Students qualify for graduation with international distinction if they: (1) complete all the requirements for Business Honors, General Honors, Leadership Honors, or Highest Honors; and (2) either master a foreign language at the 2023 level or above or participate in a study-abroad experience for at least one Spring or Fall semester.


[1] Students who enter with 45+ hours may be granted a waiver of 6 hours of Honors coursework to reduce the required number of Honors hours from 30 to 24 hours. This reduction of hours will be reflected in section 3 of the Highest Honors requirements, reducing the number of hours from 21 to 15.

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