University Honors Requirements

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The University Honors Program (UHP) is a university-wide undergraduate program intended to reward SIU’s best students for their high academic achievement. It provides students a taste of the private-college experience at a state-university price. The heart of the UHP is its curriculum of small classes,
unique in character and specially designed for UHP students by outstanding SIU faculty, to satisfy requirements in the University Core Curriculum, and in some cases, in the student’s major.

UHP students in good-standing also qualify for early registration for classes each semester, and official transcripts reflect their participation in the program throughout their undergraduate career. At commencement, UHP students who complete the Honors requirements are recognized in the graduation program and on their transcripts.

Other benefits include special consideration for certain scholarships, enrollment in graduate-level courses in certain departments, extended borrowing privileges at Morris Library, an Honors Living-Learning Community in Thompson Point, invitations to attend breakfast seminars with UHP-sponsored lecturers, and access to the Office of Major Scholarship Advisement for assistance in applying for nationally  competitive awards and scholarships.

Admission to the program is by special application only after the student has been admitted to the university. Requirements vary depending upon the applicant’s status as an entering, continuing, or transfer student.

Entering freshmen qualify for admission to the UHP on the basis of an ACT composite score in the 90th percentile (or higher) or a high school rank in the top 10 percent (or higher) or a high school grade point average of 3.3 (or higher) on a fourpoint scale. Continuing SIU students qualify for admission to the UHP on the basis of a cumulative SIU grade point average of 3.3 or higher, with at least 12 semester hours completed. Transfer students with at least 12 semester hours of transfer credit qualify for admission to the UHP on the basis of a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or higher on all non-SIU college-level work.

Students who do not qualify for admission by these criteria are still encouraged to apply. Applications are carefully reviewed to ensure that all exceptional students are considered for admission to the program.

Staying in the UHP requires continuous enrollment in UHP courses, subject to exceptions as determined by the program director. Students must also maintain a cumulative 3.3 grade point average on all SIU course work and have no failing grades in UHP courses.

If the SIU cumulative average drops below 3.3, students will be placed on probation for one semester; if it remains below 3.3 for two consecutive semesters, students will be suspended from the program for at least one semester and forfeit all UHP benefits. Thereafter, students may reapply to the program when their cumulative average rises to 3.3 or higher. Students who receive a failing grade in a UHP course will be suspended, without a term of probation, for at least one semester. Thereafter, students may reapply to the program if their cumulative average is 3.3 or higher.

The UHP offers the Honors certificate. (The baccalaureate degree is awarded through the regular degree-granting units). For honors distinction to appear on official transcripts, all entering, transfer students without an Associates degree, and continuing students must:

  1. Complete 18 hours of UHP-approved course work. This work may include up to 6 hours of AP certified by appropriate examinations for college credit, or up to six hours of honors courses taken at other post-secondary institutions. The total number of hours may also include ENGL 120H, UHON seminars, and a senior UHP project or thesis under the direction of a faculty member. All UHP projects and theses must be approved in advance by a faculty member, with notification to the program director, one full year in advance of graduation; and
  2. Have a cumulative 3.3 grade point average or higher on all SIU course work at graduation.

 

For the Honors certificate, transfer students who enter SIU with an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree, Capstone students, and two-year students in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts all must:
  1. Complete a minimum of 12 hours of UHP-approved course work, which may include a senior UHP project or thesis under the direction of a faculty member. All UHP projects and theses must be approved by a faculty member, with notification to the program director, one full year in advance of graduation.
  2. Have a cumulative 3.3 grade point average or higher in all SIU course work at graduation.

The UHP curriculum includes UHON seminars, specially designed and taught for UHP students only, which satisfy University Core Curriculum requirements; and specially designated Honors courses in the major. UHP courses may also include independent study, Service Learning, and internships and travel/study programs, all of which are subject to advance approval by the program director.

The University allows UHP students to substitute UHON seminars for any or all of their 29 semester hours of University Core Curriculum requirements in Disciplinary and Integrative Studies. UHP students may be exempted from all University Core Curriculum requirements if they (1) pass all five CLEP General Examinations before completing 12 semester hours of college credit with these minimum scores: natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, 52; English composition with essay, 61; and mathematics, 58; and (2) complete the UHP Graduation Option. No retroactive extension of the CLEP privilege will be allowed.

For more information, including applications, please consult the UHP website: honors.siu.edu.