Curricular Requirements

Honors coursework adds challenge to general education courses and provides opportunities for customized upper-level honors work, enabling students to chart a path that furthers to their interests and career goals. The honors curriculum also encourages undergraduate research, particularly through the senior capstone, the culminating experience of the Honors Program.

Honors Designations

    • Announced at graduation
    • Special Honors cords are awarded and worn at graduation
    • Students are identified as Honors Scholar in transcript

    To actively pursue this designation, students complete the Honors section of KSU First Year Seminar or mandatory workshop equivalent and one Honors Learning Experience (HLE) per semester. At least one of these must be an HON Special Topics or HON Seminar course. Students must complete at least 8 HLEs plus HON 4497 and HON 4499 to earn this designation.

    • Recognized in the transcript
    • Potentially recognized in College and/or Department/School celebrations

    To actively pursue this designation, students complete a minimum of two of the required three total Honors Learning Experiences (HLEs) in the major (as identified by the home department/major) plus an approved capstone project-also within the major. Departments/Schools may specify additional requirements for specific majors; the 2 (in major) + 1 (more HLE) is simply a minimum requirement. Students complete HON 4497 (Honors Capstone Proposal Course) and HON 4499 (Honors Capstone Completion) under the supervision of faculty in the major.

    Click here for major requirements.

8 Foundations of Honors Learning

  • Students analyze and evaluate information. Students synthesize information to develop effective arguments and justify positions.

  • Students understand elements of leadership, identify and develop their own leadership skills, and seek opportunities to demonstrate leadership knowledge, skills, and dispositions.

  • Students articulate how their major field of study relates to other disciplines and to the world around them. Students deepen their knowledge of their own field of study through connections to other disciplines and through applications to the world around them.

  • Students demonstrate creative thinking, problem solving, and innovation in addressing challenges or new situations by applying their disciplinary knowledge and skills in non-routine ways.

  • Students select appropriate sources and search strategies to gather information. They critically evaluate sources and content found. Students learn and refine skills of traditional digital literacy, integrating technology with discipline-specific knowledge, critical thinking, presentation, participation, and communication skills.

  • Students develop and refine the behaviors, goals, and dispositions that characterize professions related to their majors or the work of professionals more generally.

  • Students seek to understand and appreciate different perspectives and arguments. Students appreciate diversity in all of its many forms.

  • Students develop, improve, and refine clear communication skills across communication modes and mediums.


8 Honors Learning Experience Options (HLEs)

    • These interactive courses emphasize deep exploration of content, as well as hands-on experiences that encourage application of course topics.
    • Honors sections typically have a smaller student-to-faculty ratio than other sections.
    • Honors faculty are discipline or subject specialists and take a participatory approach to learning.
    • Students must earn a "C" or better in the course for it to count as an HLE.
  • Honors Contract handout

    • Students collaborate directly with an instructor to turn any course into an Honors Learning Experience.
    • Students can customize a project to further their understanding of the Foundations of Honors Learning.
    • Workshops are available through the Honors College to equip students with the skills and tools to develop, pursue, and fulfill meaningful Honors contracts.
    • Students experience learning in real-world settings beyond campus through programs organized and led by Honors faculty/staff.
    • Students join Honors faculty/staff as they follow the Honors City As Text model in special courses to investigate a country or region.  These learning experiences culminate in a short-term, faculty-led study abroad experience.
    • Equivalent domestic short-term Honors-led service experiences paired with a non-credit Honors Discovery designed to prepare students for the trip may be offered intermittently as an alternative option to Honors international travel experiences.
    • Students learn while they gain experience related to their majors by focusing on one of the Foundations of Honors Learning through a special project during an internship experience.
    • Students serve as a research assistant in supervised inquiry in all disciplines. They hone investigative and critical thinking skills under the guidance of a faculty member.
    • Students develop teaching and leadership skills and document evidence of their Honors learning while working as a Teaching Assistant with one of their professors.
    • Students develop a special course of study that is directed by a faculty member. They learn project management skills while activating deep learning in an area of study.
    • Students examine special topics with an Honors instructor and other Honors students in a small group setting.
    • Honors Discoveries are short-term, non-credit learning experiences that revolve around unique topics and offer content beyond the regular curriculum, often integrating current events or pop culture.
    • Instructors are subject matter specialists invited by the Honors Program.
    • Discoveries are guided by the Foundations of Honors Learning and typically meet weekly for five weeks at non-standard class times.
    • Because of the non-credit nature of this Honors Learning Experience, students are limited to 2 Discoveries in a 4-year undergraduate program.

      Are you a faculty member interested in proposing an Honors Discovery? Please fill out the proposal form below and submit it to the Honors College for approval. Incentives are available for instructors.