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Honors Students

About the Honors Program

The Honors Program at the University of South Carolina Upstate provides an enriching educational opportunity for motivated students committed to academic excellence. Our program provides a unique learning environment that enriches and enhances students' academic careers by offering a curriculum of study designed to prepare them for life-long learning and achievements.

Serving the needs of the best and brightest, the Honors Program is designed to offer students a challenging curriculum of honors courses, top professors, exciting seminars, student-faculty conversations, extracurricular activities and other honors opportunities. The Honors Program encourages students to grow intellectually, think independently and critically, and engage in a challenging honors learning experience.


The USC Upstate Honors Program underscores the commitment of USC Upstate to academic excellence and the life of the mind. The Honors Program offers enhanced educational opportunities tailored to the needs, aspirations and motivations of students with outstanding intellectual and creative abilities. By bringing together talented students with dedicated and accomplished professors in small classes and individual research settings, the Honors Program creates a community united by a passion for learning and driven by a hunger for knowledge.

The Honors Program features traditional honors course work oriented toward interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving. Honors students complete research projects, internships and service learning activities that challenge them to reach their full potential and to imagine ever more ambitious goals for themselves and their world. The program also enriches the learning experience with study abroad opportunities, research assistantships, faculty and community mentoring and a range of co-curricular activities and experiences that build a shared sense of intellectual curiosity and achievement of the highest standards of academic excellence.


The goals of the USC Upstate Honors Program are as follows:

  • To encourage an intellectual orientation by providing a challenging curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking, creative and active learning, integration of academic disciplines, in-depth exploration of new fields of study and application of learning to other environments;
  • To develop the skills and qualities necessary for leadership both at USC Upstate and in the larger community through an emphasis on service learning and public presentations;
  • To provide a center of intellectual identity and community; and,
  • To meet the needs of outstanding students for engagement and intellectual pursuits beyond the classroom walls.

Honors Classes
Honors classes are specially designed for honors students to broaden traditional fields of inquiry as well as to deepen knowledge within a particular field of inquiry. Emphasis is placed on small, participatory classes, primary source material, group teaching, interdisciplinary themes, and individualized instruction.

Honors students have the opportunity to enroll in honors seminars, honors colloquia, honors sections of regularly scheduled classes, special honors courses, and independent honors study. Required of all honors students is the First Year Honors Experience or the Honors Colloquium, facilitated seminar courses taught by multiple faculty with interdisciplinary themes.

Admission to the Honors Program
First-year students are invited to participate in the Honors Program based upon review and approval by the Director of the Honors Program and the Honors Faculty Council. A first-year student is eligible 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 the student's high school graduating class; or, a cumulative high school grade point average of at least 3.5. An application for admittance to the Honors Program is available in the USC Upstate Admissions Office in the HEC or from the director of the Honors Program.

Other Honors Opportunities
The Honors Program offers honors advising, collaborative research, and community service opportunities. A full range of activities open to honors students include honors research assistantships, guest lecturers and speakers, field trips, cultural events, and honors ceremonies.


Additional Information

Honors Application
Honors Portfolio


Catherine Canino

800 University Way
Burroughs Building
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Toll-free: 800-277-8727
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