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Admission to the Honors Program

Admission to the Honors Program is selective and competitive. Great care is taken to admit the best-qualified applicants.

Eligibility for Admission to the Honors Program
First year students, sophomore-level and above students, and transfer students are eligible for admittance in the Honors Program upon review and approval by the Director of the Honors Program and the Honors Faculty Council.

A first-year student is eligible to apply to the Honors Program if the student meets at least two of the following criteria:

  • A minimum SAT score of 1100.
  • A ranking in the top ten percent of high school graduating class
  • A cumulative high school grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  • A Merit Award Program finalist.
  • A Chancellor or Valedictorian Scholar.
  • Evidence of motivation and commitment to academic excellence.

A current USC Upstate sophomore or junior is eligible to apply to the Honors Program if the student meets the following criteria:

  • A cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher on a minimum of 30 hours from USC Upstate.
  • Evidence of motivation and commitment to academic excellence.

A transfer student is eligible to apply to the Honors Program if the student meets the following criteria:

  • A cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher from other academic institutions.
  • Evidence of motivation and commitment to academic excellence.

Application Process

Students apply for the Honors Program by submitting the following:

  • An application that includes students' academic records, significant extracurricular, community, and service activities (including employment); accomplishments, awards, and talents; and any involvement in academic research.
  • A 500-word essay discussing the goals and aspirations for an honors college experience.
  • Two letters of recommendation attesting to academic eligibility.
  • An interview with the Director of the Honors Program may be required. Exceptions to these requirements may be considered by the Director of the Honors Program.

Students who have not been admitted to the Honors Program but have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 may participate in honors courses with the permission of the Director of the Honors Program in consultation with the faculty member teaching the honors course.

Honors Credits from Other Institutions
Up to 9 credit hours or three courses from other National Collegiate Honors Council institutions may be accepted for honors credit into the USC Upstate Honors Program. These courses must be compatible with the USC Upstate Honors Program. A syllabus or complete description of courses offered for acceptance into the program may be required for review by the Director of the Honors Program. All credits must be approved by the Director of the Honors Program.

Completion Requirements

To complete the Honors Program, honors students must earn a USC Upstate degree, satisfy all major and Honors Program requirements, and remain in good standing throughout their college careers. Honors students must:

  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 each semester and achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.25 at the time of graduation.
  • Complete a minimum of two honors courses each year.
  • Demonstrate significant contributions to honors activities either by serving on the Honors Student Council or by participating in the programming of the Honors Program.
  • Students who fall below the required minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in any semester are placed on honors probation. At the end of the probationary semester, students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher are returned to regular honors status. Students with a cumulative GPA lower than 3.0 but with a semester cumulative GPA or 3.0 or higher remain on honors probationary status. Students whose probationary semester cumulative GPA is lower than 3.0 are dismissed from the Honors Program. Students may apply for readmission to the Honors Program if their cumulative GPA is 3.0 or higher.

To graduate from the Honors Program, honors students must:

  • Complete the First Year Honors Experience in the case of first year honors students, or complete the Honors Colloquium, in the case of other USC Upstate students and transfer students.
  • Complete at least 18 hours of honors credit and 3 hours of a senior thesis or project directed by an honors faculty member; the thesis or project must be presented to a public audience.
  • Complete a minimum of 60 hours of service learning or community service at the time of graduation. Honors students complete service learning or community service hours either as a course requirement or by serving the university or community, independent of coursework. Service learning or community service is approved by the Director of the Honors Program.
  • Demonstrate significant contributions to honors activities either by serving on the Honors Student Council or by participating in the programming of the Honors Program.

Additional Information
Honors Program Application
Honors Courses

Faculty Applications
Propose an Honors Course

Contact Us
Catherine Canino
Director
864-503-5657

800 University Way
HPAC 208
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Toll-free: 800-277-8727 
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