Trisha Folds-Bennett, Dean
The Honors College at the College of Charleston challenges bright, motivated students to make the most of the opportunities available to them and to become actively involved in their own education. In Honors classes, students take responsibility for their own learning through class discussions, through interaction with other students and professors, and through independent research. The Honors College is dedicated to providing talented students with a place where they can flourish and grow, a true learning community of teachers and students.
Honors classes are smaller, thereby allowing for more intensive student participation. They are designed to meet the needs of superior students, and many of them are team taught and interdisciplinary so that the student’s education transcends the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines. The Honors College gives unusually able students the opportunity to:
- Take special courses designed for students of high ability.
- Participate in more intensive intellectual discussion and debate.
- Engage in independent projects and research.
- Participate in a peer community of students with similar abilities and motivation.
- Live in the Honors residential community with other Honors students.
- Complete scholarly off-campus projects which may include study abroad, internships, or special research projects.
Admission and Retention in the Honors College
The Honors College has special procedures for admission and its own academic progress standards. Interested students must apply to and be accepted by both the College of Charleston and the Honors College. For instructions on the application process and academic progress standards, go to http://honors.cofc.edu.
Note: Where space is available, students who are not in the Honors College may take Honors College courses with the permission of the instructor and the Honors College Dean.
The Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar
Honors interdisciplinary seminars are small, seminar-style classes which emphasize student participation and discussion. They may be more intensive and may require more reading of primary source material and more writing, than courses in the regular curriculum. Honors interdisciplinary seminars are broad in scope and transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries. Frequently, they are team taught by professors from different academic departments.
The Tutorial System
An important part of the Honors College is the tutorial system, modeled after the program of instruction at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, and other major universities. Each academic department has courses entitled “Tutorial,” “Independent Study,” and “Bachelor’s Essay.” These are designed to supplement regular course offerings and to respond to the particular interests, needs, and goals of each student. Together with their tutors, Honors College students design their own individual courses of study, determine reading and written assignments, and plan independent projects. Students in the Honors College enroll in pre-approved tutorial, independent study, practicum, internship, or study abroad course usually in the junior year, and a bachelor’s essay, usually in the senior year, either in the department of their choice or in the Honors College.
Honors Center and Housing
The Honors Center, located in one of the historic buildings in the heart of the campus, houses a seminar-style classroom, student computers, and a study/meeting area. Honors students may also choose to live in Honors housing with other Honors students. The residence hall, Berry, where Honors students live as a community, has Honors residence assistants, holds lectures and seminars in the evenings, and hosts Honors social activities. It serves as the focal point for social and intellectual activities of the Honors College. In the residence hall, Honors students live in the center of campus, in close proximity to the Honors Center, to the library, and to other academic departments. The Honors Center and residence halls together facilitate a sense of community among Honors College students and faculty.
Completing the Requirements of the Honors College
Every student in the Honors College must complete all college-wide graduation requirements, including the requirements for a major. A student becomes an Honors College graduate by fulfilling the following requirements:
- HONS 100 Beyond George Street (1 credit hour; must be completed in first semester)
- Honors Engaged - a 1-year community engagement project to be fulfilled in the first year in the honors program.
- HONS 110 Honors Academic Writing (4 credit hours; must be completed in first semester). May be satisfied with a 5 on AP English.
- Calculus, MATH 120 or HONS 115 (4 credit hours) May be satisfied with a 3 or better on AP Calculus AB or BC.
- An additional mathematics course at or above the 200 Level. Some 200-level math courses may be satisfied with AP credit. Please see listing on the Registrar’s webpage for more specific information.
- HONS 121 /HONS 122 and HONS 131 /HONS 132 , Honors Western Civilization (12 credit hours). HONS 121 /HONS 131 may be satisfied with a 4 or 5 on AP European or World History. Also, may be satisfied with a 6 or 7 on IB European or World History HL. Students with these scores replace HONS 122 /HONS 132 with any two honors humanities courses (HONS 170 , HONS 173 , HONS 175 , HONS 180 , HONS 281 , HONS 381 ).
- HONS 380 , HONS 381 , or HONS 382 (Honors Interdisciplinary Special Topics course (3-4 credit hours)
- Any two additional Honors courses (6-8 credit hours)
- Satisfactory completion of Honors Immersed (pre-approved Independent Study, Internship, and/or Study Abroad course) with a “B” or better. Approvals require the signature of the Dean of the Honors College.
- Any six credit hour Bachelor’s Essay; may be Honors or departmental (6 credit hours)
- A cumulative GPA of 3.400 or higher
Note: Honors College graduates will be so designated on their transcripts and will receive special recognition during the awards and graduation ceremonies. Many students in the Honors College also qualify for departmental honors.
Student Learning Outcomes
International Scholars Program
Dr. Bryan Ganaway, Director
Under the general direction of the Honors College and the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs, this four year program combines the rigorous and challenging academic experience of honors study with the BA in International Studies and a second major in selected areas. The program, open to approximately 8-10 students each year, prepares undergraduates not only to be culturally aware but globally active as they enter the 21st century as leaders of the emerging international community.
The International Scholars Program customizes the Honors College experience by linking the International Studies BA with a second major, and emphasizes language study, international service-learning and internships, mentored relationships, and study away. Students develop a curricular program and an undergraduate research agenda that reflects an understanding of global issues and international perspectives. Students go abroad together in the Maymester following their first year and receive professional mentoring beginning in their sophomore year, continuing through graduation. Coupled with regular professional development workshops on campus, attendance at cultural events and Speaker’s Series lectures, students are well-positioned to make the most of a required study abroad or Washington semester in their junior year. At the end of the third year, students also propose the topic for their independent research project, the Bachelor’s Essay.