Questions & Answers
The Southeastern Honors Program is an opportunity for qualified students to participate in special courses and curricula to enhance their academic experience and earn an Honors Diploma at graduation. The benefits are substantial.
- Honors core curriculum courses in English, history, math, biology, physics, and the arts, with great teachers and classes limited to 20, offer optimum learning environments for lots of discussion and personal assistance from the instructors. These small classes also offer opportunities to make some great friends.
- In every academic major, the opportunity to earn honors “H-option” credit in courses is available. Some departments offer honors courses in the majors they sponsor.
- Credit for honors courses is noted on the student’s transcript, and graduation in one of the five different honors curricula is rewarded with a special Honors Diploma. Participation in a university honors program provides an edge in competition for graduate and professional schools and for employment.
- Honors Program students have the privilege of Early-Priority Registration each semester, increasing the chance to make a perfect class schedule.
- Students can choose a residence hall reserved for members of the Honors Program and other academically qualified students.
- The Honors Center provides convenient and helpful advising regarding all honors-related questions and issues.
- The Honors Club associated with the Program provides opportunities for campus involvement, making friends, student networking, and tutoring.
Courses in the beginning of the Honors curriculum provide an excellent foundation for the rest of a student’s academic career at Southeastern. All students starting in the Honors Program should take the four courses of the Freshman Honors Seminar as early as possible. Two are in English (replacing English 101 and 102), and two are in the history of Western Civilization. In classes limited to 20, students read, study, discuss and write about major books, ideas, figures and events that have impacted Western civilization. These courses emphasize development of good study practices, skills in interpretive reading, effective speaking, and clear written expression. In other optional honors core courses in math, biology, physics, the arts, American history, drama, and modern fiction, students broaden their cultural knowledge and refine their communication skills.
Another unique aspect of our program is the freedom to choose from two different curriculum options - concentrating in Honors in the Major, or the honors core curriculum, or a challenging classic core in Liberal Studies, or a combination of these.
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Progress in any one of these paths can be integrated with progress toward completing requirements in a major in a timely fashion.
This is a learning-community experience centered in a sequence of four honors courses typically taken in pairs during the two semesters of the freshman year:
English 121H - Ancient Epic and Composition
History 101H - History of Western Civilization until the Renaissance
English 122H - Modern Epic and Composition
History 102H - History of Western Civilization since the Renaissance
The Seminar provides an excellent knowledge foundation through study of some of the most influential books written and major historical events that have shaped Western civilization. In English, you will read and discuss the culture-creating epics of Homer, Virgil, Dante, Milton, and selected modern authors. In History, with the aid of primary sources you will learn about the intellectual, political, religious, artistic, social, scientific, and technological changes that have made our world what it is today.
Although it is best to take the courses of the Seminar in the order of their chronological parallelism, you may take them out of sequence as long as you satisfy the prerequisites for each course when it is taken.
Transfer students who have already completed required freshman courses and students with AP or CLEP credit for courses in the Freshman Honors Seminar should seek advisement at the Honors Office regarding substitutions for making up needed honors credit.
Here’s the complete list:
English 121H: Ancient Epic and Composition
English 122H: Modern Epic and Composition
History 101H: History of Western Civilization until the Renaissance
History 102H: History of Western Civilization since the Renaissance
English 291H: Tragedy and Comedy
English 292H: Modern Fiction
History 201H: American History to 1877
History 202H: American History since 1877
Math 161H: Honors College Algebra
General Biology 151H: General Biology I Honors
General Biology 153H: General Biology II Honors
Physics 191H: General Physics Honors
Economics 201H: Principles of Economics (Macroeconomics)
Honors 191: Honors Interdisciplinary Arts
Honors 311: Ideas in Conflict I - Ancient and Classical
Honors 312: Ideas in Conflict II - Medieval and Renaissance
Honors 313: Ideas in Conflict III - Enlightenment and Romantic
Honors 314: Ideas in Conflict IV - Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
Honors 300: Honors Senior Thesis
For honors courses in a major, please contact the department or college for that major.
Since Honors core curriculum courses in English, history, math, science and the arts
substitute for other required courses, taking them will not lengthen the time it will
take you to graduate. See Substituting Honors for Other Courses for complete information about your options. Also advice is available from the Honors Office
(985-549-2135) regarding course substitutions. Transfer students, in particular, should
explore honors courses substitution options that will help you avoid having to take
What are the “Ideas in Conflict” courses?
This sequence of four chronologically ordered courses familiarizes students with great books written by thinkers whose ideas have sharpened our understanding of major ideas and values orienting human action and reflection on forces shaping contemporary ethical, technological, psychological, and cultural development in class. Students in an “Ideas” course might find themselves discussing and arguing in class the relative merits of Plato and Aristotle’s teachings about political obligation, or of Sigmund Freud and C. S. Lewis’s understanding of the human psyche or “soul.” Students who have taken these courses describe them as offering some of the most enlightening experiences of their education. They praise the courses not only for the interesting ideas they discussed in class but also the modes of reasoning they learned for evaluating subjects that are central to broad human discourse. These subjects always come up in the arena of public discussion and debate whenever understanding the meanings of justice, human identity, ethics, law, nature, and historical progress is relevant.
Students can begin taking Ideas in Conflict courses after completing the first freshman English or history course. Although there are advantages in taking the Ideas in Conflict courses in their sequence, any one of them may be taken independently of the others. In every major it is possible to substitute some of these courses for other core courses required for the major, thus making it unnecessary to add any extra hours by taking them. See Substitutions for these options.
The Honors Thesis is a research project that every honors student completes with the guidance of a faculty member and then presents before an audience of peers in the senior year. Each student personally designs a project to complete in an upper-division course in his or her major and then, in the following semester, presents the results. The best time to do project and presentation are during the two semesters preceding graduation. Please check the University Catalogue or call the Honors Office (985-549-2135) to find out more about the two stages of the thesis and the proper time to enroll in Honors 300, a one-hour course offered every semester to facilitate a variety of presentations.
Graduates of Southeastern’s Honors Program have praised their Senior Thesis experience for the confidence it gave them to do further research and the advantage of having it on their record when they applied for graduate, law, and medical schools and for jobs.
Students who do not elect to join the Honors Program but meet the course prerequisites printed in the Catalogue may take any Honors course without joining. Students who are in the Program should take the courses that are indicated for the particular curriculum paths they choose to follow.
Every honors course taken is identified on the student’s transcript. Also every graduate of the Honors Program receives an Honors Diploma that shows the curriculum path completed:
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Also Honors Program students will receive the “Sophomore Honors Distinction Award” if their GPA is 3.5 or higher and they have 12 hours of credit in honors courses at the time they complete 60 hours of overall academic credit. The highest academic recognition granted is the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Student Award annually given to a junior or senior student whose academic excellence and participation in all aspects of the Honors Programare exemplary.
Honors Program students are also recognized at the annual awards convocations of the separate colleges of the university, and they often win other forms of recognition for their contributions to the life of the university. For instance, the 2004 recipient of the Southeastern Man of the Year award granted by the Division of Campus Life was Sean Kerrigan, who completed Path V in the Honors Program before entering the Louisiana State University School of Medicine.
Any beginning freshman with an ACT Composite of 24 and high school GPA of 3.0 may join. University students already having 12 hours of credit or more need a university GPA of 3.0 to join. Feel free to come by the Honors Office for any advising you may need relative to the program, its courses and its curricula. Transfer students are strongly recommended to seek advising from their start at Southeastern in order to plan clear progress to graduation with an honors diploma.
Your membership will be official when you complete the online Application to Join the Honors Program. An application form can also be obtained from the Honors Program office at Meade Hall, Room 103, or by calling 985-549-2135 to have one mailed to you. Once your application has been received and your eligibility has been confirmed, you will be officially registered as a member of the Honors Program.
Each academic department at Southeastern offers eligible students the option to earn a special honors diploma by meeting its own honors requirements varying from 9-15 hours, depending on the major. Typically, honors courses in the majors are designed for students to start taking in the junior year, although some majors may offer courses for sophomores. Completion of an honors-in-the-major curriculum requires concurrent completion of at least 15 hours in the Honors Program core, including the four courses of the Honors Freshman Seminar (English 121H and 122H, History 101H and 102H).
By facilitating more in-depth study and research in a discipline, Honors in the Major enhances preparedness and competitiveness when applying to graduate or professional schools and for career positions. Transfer students interested in Honors in the Major should seek advising at the Honors Office.
The university registration system will not let you enroll online for an honors course unless you are first “authorized.” For authorization, first determine the honors course section (ID #) or sections for which you seek authorization and then call the Honors Office at 985-549-2135. This step takes about a minute over the phone and then you’re free to register for the honors course(s) authorized for you.
A transfer student can join the Honors Program provided the student does not have more than 77 hours at the time of transfer. Credit for honors courses taken at other institutions must first be evaluated by the Honors Director before approval as substitutions for Southeastern’s courses.During advising, substitutions for required courses in the Freshman Honors Seminar will be mapped out.
Three things contribute to a significant difference:
- The limit of 20 enrolled in every honors class facilitates discussion, student interaction with the instructor, and a sense of community that extends beyond the classroom.
- Only professors recognized for their excellence in the classroom (not teaching adjuncts) teach honors courses.
- Honors courses attract students who want a more engaging and lively learning atmosphere.
In sum, Honors classes are designed for learning at its best.
Being “harder” is not what distinguishes a true Honors course. The difference is a learning environment shared with other students who have come to Southeastern with a genuine desire to get the most from their university education. While you might be asked to do more reading in Honors courses, and you will be expected to be involved in every class, you may find that your Honors classes are actually easier in the sense that they inspire more personal focus, they create a sense of being part of a community of scholars, and they produce a sense of progress that can be a very pleasing experience for avid learners.
Given the motivational atmosphere of Honors classes, it is not surprising that national studies of university grades have shown that students of similar ability tend to make higher grades in Honors courses than in non-Honors courses. Naturally students who are in the optimum learning environment will accomplish more of their goal. This fact is worth considering if you need to maintain a grade-point minimum in order to retain a scholarship. While taking honors courses won’t automatically improve your grades, it should make you a student more capable of better grades.
For advice about requirements related to your major, you should always go to the department in which you are majoring. Consult with your departmental adviser if one is assigned to you. However,you also need to educate yourself about how to complete Honors Program core curriculum requirements in tandem with departmental curriculum requirements.
For answers to general and specific questions related to starting or progressing in the University Honors Program and synchronizing with a departmental or college honors program, you can always get helpful information and advice at the Honors Office. Come by, or call us at 985-549-2135.
Yes, but the list keeps growing. Consider twenty benefits described by honors students themselves:
- You will be with other good students in interesting courses.
- You can combine a well-rounded liberal education with studies in your major.
- You will make friends among a fine group of students and professors.
- You can live in residential housing reserved for students with strong academic motivation.
- You’ll be able to learn with some of Southeastern's best teaching professors.
- You will have diverse opportunities to strengthen leadership skills.
- You’ll take small seminar-type classes limited to no more than twenty students.
- For each Honors course you take, you’ll earn an "H" on your transcript.
- You will build confidence in your abilities to succeed in the face of challenges.
- You will increase your understanding of your own and other cultures.
- You can earn a Sophomore Honors Distinction Award for making early progress in the program and also an Honors Diploma at graduation.
- You can take advantage of Southeastern’s two-tiered honors curricula, by earning an honors diploma from the University Honors Program and the department or college in which you major.
- You will enjoy advisory assistance from the helpful professors who teach Honors courses.
- You can participate in the Honors Club, which sponsors a variety of academic and social events on campus.
- You will perform at the peak of your scholastic abilities.
- You can attend regional and national Honors student conferences in major U.S. cities.
- Every semester you’ll enjoy the advantage of Early-Priority Registration - a real plus when scheduling courses!
- You’ll be taking more responsibility for your own work as a college student.
- You’ll obtain an excellent education to prepare you for professional schools, graduate programs, and successful careers.
- Your Honors Diploma will give you an edge in the competition for graduate and professional schools and when you apply for career positions.
We’re at Meade Hall, Room 103.