The curriculum of the Honors College requires a minimum of 29 hours of honors credit. The following nine hours are required: Honors 101 (3 hours); Honors 102 (3 hours); and Senior Thesis (at least 3 hours). It also is expected that most students will earn 1-6 hours of honors credit for their exploratory research project. Other hours come from taking honors sections of courses offered in various disciplines.
At the end of the sophomore year (60 hours), honors students petition to become an SMBHC Scholar. For the petition to be approved, a student must have at least 18 honors hours, be up-to-date on CAC, and have at least a 3.40 cumulative GPA. Exceptions to the 18-hour minimum will be made only when the student includes a convincing plan for how he/she will earn at least 29 honors hours by the time of graduation. The Honors College staff is available to help work out individual plans.
Students must have a minimum of a 3.50 grade point average in order to graduate as a Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors Scholar. In the service of accomplishing this goal, Honors students must attain a minimum GPA of 3.20 at the end of the freshman year, a 3.40 at the end of the sophomore year, and a 3.50 by the end of the junior year. During the senior year, students should have at least a 3.50 cumulative GPA.
Academic Dismissal/Re-admittance Policy
Academic dismissals will be made after the spring semester. Students dismissed from the Honors College because of a low GPA may request re-admission if they bring their GPA up to the minimum for their year. For example, a freshman with lower than a 3.20 may pull his/her GPA up through summer school courses and re-enter the Honors College. To re-enter in a later year, a student needs to have the minimum GPA for that year. In other words, a freshman dismissed for not having a 3.20 would need to have at least a 3.40 as a sophomore to be readmitted.
In the senior year, the honors curriculum requires an instructional or preceptor experience. It can be fulfilled either by presenting a lecture in a course in your major or developing a discussion session for a course. Often, the preceptorship or tutorial occurs as a presentation at the defense of the senior thesis.
The Honor Code
The Honor Code— The Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College employs an Honor Code centered on honesty, sincerity, and justice. The purpose of this Honor Code is to strengthen the sense of community in which the Honors College takes great pride. Its strength depends on the personal honor and integrity of each Honors College member. Honors students are required to write the following statement on any assignment submitted for grading in Honors classes, thereby reinforcing the atmosphere of trust within the Honors College community:
“On my honor, I pledge that I have neither given, received, nor witnessed any unauthorized help on this ___________”
In addition to this pledge, the Honors College has instituted the following policy that is in effect in all honors classes:
Academic integrity is essential to all the values upon which the university is founded. Honors students must therefore embody academic honesty in all aspects of their work. A student with a documented case of plagiarism or academic cheating in an honors course will face the possibility of receiving the grade of F for the course and being dismissed from the Honors College. Specific consequences of such behavior will be determined by the administration and individual faculty member.
The following attendance policy was approved by the Honors Council in the spring of 1999.
Honors courses are small classes, usually taught in seminar style with no more than fifteen students. They are reading, writing and discussion intensive. Student participation is therefore essential. In addition, the university commits extensive resources, especially in terms of faculty time, to these small classes. For these reasons, the Honors College has an attendance policy for all honors courses, both required and departmental. Students are entitled to two absences in Tuesday/Thursday classes and to three absences in Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes. Consequences of additional absences will be determined by the individual faculty member.
Community Action Challenge
The patrons of the Honors College, Jim and Sally Barksdale, stipulated in their gift that the Honors College train the brightest minds in an atmosphere of service to the community, the state, and the nation. For that reason and for many others, SMBHC students are expected to be active during each academic semester in addressing the needs of their communities. The Community Action Challenge provides structure for that activity, promoting leadership and linking community action with individual students’ concerns and interests. Community Action is broadly defined as “voluntary action in the public sphere for the public good.” Areas of interest commonly understood to be “public sphere” include public policy, public health, education, the environment, literacy, poverty, social justice.
As an SMBHC student, you are strongly encouraged to be intentional about the CAC. Spend some time reflecting on your concerns, your gifts and your academic schedule, and determine early in the semester how you will complete that semester’s Community Action Challenge. Perhaps you will want to tutor kids in an after-school program, or participate in Habitat for Humanity work days, or generate a report on an issue of concern to the Oxford community. If you are a member of some organization engaged in substantial community service or fundraising for philanthropy, the work you do through that organization meets the SMBHC expectation for Community Action. During your freshman year, you have the option of designating the Honors College or the University as your “community,” volunteering for activities such as giving housing tours to prospective students, helping with the set-up or take-down of the Grove Tent, or serving as an Ambassador for the Admissions Office. After freshmen year, however, for your own personal and professional growth, your CAC needs to benefit a community other than the University or Honors College. For a list of local service opportunities, click here.
We need to hear about your semester’s CAC, and we want to hear about it from you. When you have fulfilled at least 10 hours of CAC, record your efforts in my.olemiss.edu. Select the Student tab, then Tools and Resources, and find Service Administration under the Detailed Navigation pane on the left. As part of the report, you also can report the impact it had on you, which can help you later when you apply for graduate or professional schools and can help us if we write a recommendation letter for you.
The philosophy behind the Community Action Challenge is to develop a sense of community responsibility in the best and brightest students at the University of Mississippi. We hope you will understand this component as a challenge to define your communities and the roles you will assume on their behalf.
Good standing is defined as meeting the minimum GPA requirement for your year, being up-to-date on the community action component, earning sufficient hours of honors credit, including exploratory research and thesis credit, and upholding and obeying the Honors Senate courtesies. Those students not in good standing who remain in the Honors College on a probationary status will lose privileges like early registration.
Making Things Work
The Honors College staff is committed to advising you on how to make things work with your major and honors requirements. You will meet regularly with an honors academic counselor, and you can schedule an appointment through the online appointment calendar.
All Honors students completing the four-year requirements must take Honors 101 and 102. Honors 101 and 102 ordinarily will satisfy the six-hour English composition requirement. Alternatively, a student may apply all or part of the credits toward humanities or social science hours, especially if the student has AP English or other college composition credit. If used as humanities and social science credit, Honors 101 and 102 function differently in the various colleges and schools:
- Business, Accountancy and Pharmacy: 6 hours of humanities
- Engineering: 3 hours of humanities and 3 hours of social science
- Education and Applied Sciences: 3 hours of humanities and 3 hours of electives
- Liberal Arts: B.A.—3 hours of humanities and 3 hours of social science; B.S.—6 hours of the required 12 hours of social science.
Some schools, like Engineering or Liberal Arts, normally require two courses in sequence for the social science requirement. By counting Hon 101 or 102 toward these requirements, you often are released from having to take courses in sequence.