Honors Advising

Honors Advising Handout   

KSU Journey Honors College offers one-on-one and groups advising to our students. One-on-one Honors advisement is available in fall, spring, and summer semesters. Honors advisors and faculty work in partnership with Honors students to customize Honors Learning Experiences to align with your interests and future aspirations.

KSU Journey Honors College advisors can offer guidance related to Honors requirements; we do not replace your primary major advisor for tracking your academic advancement. Rather, Honors advisors work in collaboration with your major advisor by helping identify Honors Learning Experiences within your major that capitalize upon developing your skills, exploring your interests, and preparing for your future goals. Participation in Honors advising is mandatory to remain in good standing with the program. Honors students are required to meet with their Honors advisor at least once each semester to ensure they remain on track to complete all Honors requirements.

The Honors advising guidelines below are designed for students who begin the Honors Program as first-semester, first-year students. If you join the program after you have already earned between 15 and 45 hours of college credit, you should plan to complete more than one Honors requirement per semester until you get caught up. Meet with an Honors advisor to develop a plan.

As you refer to the guidelines, keep in mind that you will need to look ahead a semester. For example, a second semester sophomore should read the guidelines for junior year.

***The Honors Office (HO) hold is placed on the accounts of currently active members of the University Honors Program to ensure that students meet with an Honors advisor to select the correct Honors courses. The Honors advising hold will be removed after the student has met with an Honors advisor.


How to Schedule an Honors Advising Appointment

Honors advising is available at the Marietta (D-102) and Kennesaw (WH 230) Honors College locations.

Each semester you will receive emails from Honors for information about setting up an appointment.

You can also call (470) 578-2364 or email honors@kennesaw.edu to schedule an appointment.

Advising Tips by Year

  • First-Year Honors Advising Information

    The first year is the best time to get to know your options and begin to chart your path through the Honors Program:

    1. First-year Honors students will take an average of two Honors courses, one in the fall and one in the spring semester. All first-year Honors students will be able to fulfill an Honors Learning Experience requirement while also learning more about the Foundations of Honors and the Honors Program requirements. Students entering the Honors program must take an introduction to Honors course in the first semester of joining the program.

    2. In addition to an Honors section of KSU 1101 or an (HON 1000) Honors online introduction course, students can also choose to take an additional Honors course in the first semester of the program. An Honors advisor can help you get started by telling you which Honors sections of general education courses are scheduled for the upcoming semester. Since Honors course offerings are limited, there is no guarantee that you can get a particular course or that you can get it exactly when you want it.

    3. Take at least six hours of Honors coursework, usually one Honors section of a general education course in the fall and another in the spring. It is also possible to take an Honors interdisciplinary seminar, special topics course, or colloquia during your first year if one is offered that you find particularly appealing.

    ***Students in the Great Books cohort will have the opportunity to take two Honors sections of general education courses in the fall and two in the spring, as well as an Honors (HON 3000) colloquium each semester. Talk with an advisor about the specific sections offered each semester.

    4. It is never too early to start thinking about a topic and faculty mentor for your Honors Capstone. In the first year, you should begin to familiarize yourself with the capstone process through your KSU 1101/H or Honors Discovery. You can also read about the Capstone on the Honors website and look at possible topics through links there.

    5. Your first year is also a good time to start learning about your major. Make sure to see an advisor in your major regularly.

    Many of you will also be interested in conducting research in your field. Find out about the research courses your major offers, learn what the prerequisites are, and plan to enroll in a research course as early as is advisable. It is also a good idea to find out about research opportunities in your major department. In the sciences, for example, you may be able to work in the lab of one of your professors. Get to know your professor’s research interests. Ask questions. Use the department’s website to learn what research initiatives are in progress and what qualifications you would need to become involved.

  • Sophomore Year Honors Advising Information

    During your sophomore year, you should evaluate what you’ve done in the Honors Program so far, continue taking honors courses, and complete more planning for the honors work you will do during your junior and senior years.

    During your sophomore year, continue taking Honors sections of courses that fulfill your general education requirements, and continue to plan for your junior and senior years.

    1.   To be successful in Honors, you’ll need to maintain a KSU adjusted GPA of 3.25 or higher. You’ll also want to complete at least six hours of Honors coursework each academic year. If you haven’t, discuss with your advisor what you might do to ensure that you meet Honors requirements.

    ***Great Books students will be ahead at this point because they fulfill more Honors Learning Experiences in their first year than are required. Make sure to talk to your Honors advisor to plan the rest of your Honors Program. If you have completed the Great Books Program, you should consider taking a third colloquium this year so that you fulfill the requirement to earn at least three credit hours of HON prefix courses.  

    2.   Continue planning for Honors work in your junior and senior years. Consider the HON prefix interdisciplinary seminars, colloquia, and Honors contracts. You could also complete a research assistantship, a teaching assistantship, an internship, or a directed study. Because some of these options have to be set up in advance (by finding an internship or a professor to assist in teaching or research), start planning in your sophomore year for the opportunities you want to pursue in your junior year.

    3.   Continue to brainstorm about your Honors capstone project. As you take more courses in your major, begin to think seriously about possible research topics and your faculty mentor. Get to know your professors by visiting their office hours to learn about their research interests. When you are planning your upper division Honors coursework, look for ways that it might lead to a capstone project. Work done for an Honors contract could potentially be expanded into a capstone. If chosen carefully, a research assistantship or internship might help you develop a capstone research question.

  • Junior Year Honors Advising Information

    The junior year is a very important one in the Honors Program. As you focus on upper division courses in your major, you can customize upper division Honors requirements to explore your interests and career goals. Your goal will be to develop a capstone proposal this year and to identify a faculty mentor for your capstone project.

    1.   Take stock of your work in the Honors Program so far. Have you accomplished what you set out to do? Are you in good standing in the program? Do you have a sense of direction for your remaining Honors work? Talk with an advisor as needed.

    2.   Complete at least two Honors requirements this year. Honors interdisciplinary seminars and special topics courses cover interdisciplinary topics that appeal to students in different majors. In some majors, you can earn elective credit. Talk to your major advisor regularly about your options. 

    3.   At this point in your degree program, you will primarily take upper division (3000 or 4000) courses. Honors options provide opportunities for you to customize your path through your major in the following ways: 

          a.   Contract work in a non-Honors course. An Honors contract is a popular way to develop your expertise or explore topics of interest related to one of your upper division major courses. To complete a contract, you should meet with the professor of any 3-credit hour major course at the beginning of the semester to decide what you will do to give the course an Honors dimension. A successful Honors contract should represent approximately 15 hours of work beyond regular course requirements, or about one additional hour per week throughout the semester. Some possibilities for an Honors contract include making an existing assignment in the course more challenging, extending a course assignment, making a presentation in the class, or completing other projects that demonstrate your deepened understanding of course content. The product should be an 8-10 page paper (beyond what is required for the course) or a project or presentation that represents an equivalent amount of work.  You will need to submit a form describing your Honors contract at Honors.kennesaw.edu.

          b.   Research assistantship. Many professors at KSU include student research assistants on their research projects. Completing a research assistantship can be an excellent way both to learn about research practices in your field and could also provide opportunities for your capstone project. To count as an Honors assistantship, you will need to do more than what a non-Honors student would do in this role and your professor will have to confirm that your work was excellent. If you want to receive credit in your major and in Honors for this work, your product will need to be something that is not required for credit in your major.

          c.   Teaching assistantship. Assisting in a course you have already taken (and excelled in) can be a wonderful way to deepen your own knowledge of a subject. Many professors at KSU also work with student teaching assistants. Again, you will need to do more than what a non-Honors student would do in this role and your professor will have to confirm that your work was excellent. If you want to receive credit in your major and in Honors for this work, your product will need to be something that is not required for credit in your major.

          d.    Internship.  Hands-on work related to your major may be one of the best possible ways to increase your knowledge and prepare for your future career. Find out about internship possibilities in your major and consider doing one for Honors credit.  As with all of these Honors possibilities, you will need to do more than what a non-Honors student would do in this role and should complete a substantial product to submit to us. If you want to receive credit in your major and in Honors for this work, your product will need to be something that is not required for credit in your major.

          e.   Directed study. This may be the most customizable choice of all. To complete a directed study, you will need to find an instructor in your major to supervise it, and the two of you will develop a syllabus, indicating your objectives, reading assignments, and products.  

    4.   Plan to begin your capstone in your junior year, by taking HON 4497 and developing your capstone proposal. If you are not yet far enough into your major to complete a proposal, you should try to end the year knowing which instructor you would like to work with for your capstone and the general topic you would like to research or the kind of project you would like to complete. The Honors Program accepts different kinds of capstones for different kinds of majors. For most majors, original research projects are appropriate. Majors in fields such as the arts may choose to do creative projects that are based on research and include a substantial written component. Majors such as nursing students and human services may find a research-based service project to be an appropriate capstone. It too should be based on research and include a substantial written description of and reflection on the project.

     The first step to completing the capstone is to have a general research topic or project idea in mind. If you have been thinking about your capstone since early in your KSU career, you may already have a good idea of the topic you want to pursue. If you do not have a topic in mind, now is the time to get serious about selecting one. You may want to look through library databases related to your major and read the abstracts of articles listed there to get a sense of current scholarly discussions and learn more about what scholarship in your field looks like. It is best to know what your research interests are before you select a project supervisor.

    When you have a general topic or project direction in mind, you should start looking for a faculty mentor or supervisor. Generally, the faculty supervisor should be a full-time professor in your major. Most departmental websites provide information about the research interests of the professors. 

  • Senior Year Honors Advising Information

    As an Honors student, your focus should be your capstone project during your senior year. The capstone is meant to be the culminating experience of all the work you have done in Honors, demonstrating your mastery of your major and advancing you towards your future goals, whether it be graduate school or your career.

    1.   Take stock of the work you have done for the Honors Program so far. Have you completed all the Honors requirements except the capstone? Are you in good standing in the program? If you have any doubts about your ability to finish the program on time or in good standing, talk to an Honors advisor about the best way to proceed.

    2.   If you have not already taken HON 4497, you should take it the first semester of your senior year. If you have already taken HON 4497, consider taking HON 4499 before the semester of your graduation. As one of the major accomplishments of your college career, your capstone project will require regular work and sustained effort over at least two semesters.  Another key to a successful capstone is to keep in close contact with your supervisor. Every time the two of you meet you should schedule your next meeting and determine what you will have done by that time. 

    When you take HON 4499, you will be provided with capstone deadlines for that semester. In general, a draft of your capstone is due about halfway through the semester. During spring semester, if you want to be considered for the award for best capstone, you must have a complete and well-polished version turned in by the deadline. Award winners will be recognized at an awards luncheon at the end of the year. All graduating Honors students will present a tri-fold poster of their research at the Honors Graduation Celebration and Awards Luncheon. This event recognizes the accomplishments of graduating Honors Scholars. Plan to participate. Your faculty capstone supervisor will be invited, and you will be provided invitations for two family members.