11. Honors College

The mission of the Honors College is to provide enhanced educational opportunities for selected, motivated, enthusiastic, diverse, and inquisitive students and to foster the pursuit of excellence in undergraduate higher education. The underlying philosophy of the program is that well-educated individuals should understand broad, interdisciplinary perspectives while demonstrating expertise in their chosen field.

The Honors College is open to students from all academic disciplines. The Honors College has different options for students interested in pursuing an Honors degree. Regardless of the track chosen, members of the Honors College pursue a rigorous academic program which satisfies all requirements of their academic departments and colleges and goes beyond those requirements to enhance learning. The Honors College offers small classes with greater opportunities for student participation, increased student-faculty contact, more individual attention, lively discussions of important issues, special interdisciplinary seminars, opportunities for study abroad, community service and internships, and supervised capstone experiences, all designed to challenge ­talented students.

Throughout a student’s program of study, the Honors College emphasizes breadth of academic experience. In the junior and senior years, Honors students are encouraged to gain expertise in their academic field through Honors work in the major and an Honors capstone experience. Students who pursue Highest Honors produce an Honors capstone project under the direction of a faculty member from the student’s major department.

Participation in the Honors College supplements, but does not replace, work in a major field. Credits earned in Honors College courses, however, may also be used to satisfy Core Curriculum requirements or other degree requirements. The Honors College Advising Center assists in assuring that students meet all requirements for their degree plans.

Admission and Retention

Admission

Students must make special application to be considered for admission to the Honors College either as an entering freshman or as a continuing UTSA or transfer student. 

Freshmen and freshman transfer applicants will be automatically admitted to the Honors College if they rank in the top 10 percent of their class and have a 1200+ SAT (Critical Reading + Mathematics) score or 27+ ACT score; OR rank in the top 20 percent of their class and have a 1300+ SAT (CR+M) score or 29+ ACT score. Students with an 1100+ SAT (CR+M) or 24+ ACT will be considered through a holistic review process. In the holistic review process, the Honors College considers writing skills, student leadership, special skills and abilities, and special circumstances. Therefore, students whose SAT score, ACT score, or class rank do not meet the threshold requirement may still gain admission if they offer a compelling reason why they should be part of the program. For continuing UTSA students and transfer students, eligibility to apply is based on a college grade point average (GPA) of 3.4 or better on a minimum of 15 hours of college coursework (excluding dual credit). Admission is competitive and contingent upon the pool of applicants for any given year. Admission information is posted online at http://honors.utsa.edu/.

Retention in the Honors College

After being accepted into the Honors College, a student must maintain a minimum UTSA GPA of 3.25 and demonstrate adequate progress toward completion of the Honors degree requirements. A student is considered to be in good standing if he or she maintains a minimum UTSA grade point average of 3.25. Only students in good standing qualify for Honors graduation.

Students whose UTSA grade point average falls below 2.75 will automatically be declared academically ineligible for Honors College membership. Students whose UTSA grade point average falls below 3.25 but is above 2.75 are placed on Honors probation, and they will be allowed to retain membership in the Honors College until their UTSA grade point average reaches 3.25, as long as their grade point average in each subsequent term is 3.25 or above. If a student on probation earns a term GPA of less than 3.25, he or she will be declared academically ineligible for Honors College membership.

Students who have been declared academically ineligible for Honors College membership may apply for readmission if they have attained a minimum UTSA grade point average of 3.25.

Dual College Membership

All Honors College students are also members of a degree-granting college. Admission to the Honors College is independent of admission to any other academic unit.

Facilities and Services

The UTSA Honors College provides the following opportunities to members of the College:

Advising and Priority Registration

The Honors College Advising Center provides academic advising for all honors students. Honors College students are given priority registration if they register for the following semester through the Honors College and have completed at least one Honors course in the past year or include an Honors course in their schedule.

Honors Scholarships

The Honors College, in conjunction with the UTSA Scholarship Office, annually awards numerous Honors scholarships. Many Honors scholarships are renewable for up to three years for students who maintain the requisite 3.25 grade point average and complete an Honors course each semester. More information on scholarships is available at http://honors.utsa.edu/scholarships/index.php.

Honors Undergraduate Research Programs

The Honors Undergraduate Research Program assists students in finding research assistantships in their academic disciplines. In addition, the Honors College Research Program provides students working on research with financial assistance for their projects.

Honors Study Abroad

The Honors Study Abroad Program works with the Office of International Programs to offer opportunities for Honors students to acquire new knowledge and understanding of the people, events, movement, ideas, and objects of cultures other than their own. Scholarships are available through the International Education Fund.

Honors Internships

Honors students are encouraged to work in their fields prior to graduation. Internships may be assigned locally, nationally, and internationally. Students may earn credit for Honors internship experiences.

Undergraduate and Graduate Fellowships

The Honors College coordinates on-campus efforts to assist graduating students interested in applying for graduate awards such as Rhodes Scholarships, Marshall Scholarships, Mitchell Scholarships, Fulbright Scholarships, National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellowships, and Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships. Additionally, the Honors College staff identifies and assists students interested in undergraduate awards such as Harry S. Truman Scholarships and Goldwater Scholarships.

Participation in Honors Councils

The UTSA Honors College is an institutional member of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), the Great Plains Honors Council (GPHC), and the Council of Honors Administrators in Texas (CHAT). These organizations support honors education in the United States and address issues that face higher education and honors programs across the country. Honors students are encouraged to participate in these organizations and are, thus, able to meet and interact with honors students from across the region and nation.

Recognition for Honors Graduation

Members of the Honors College who complete the requirements for any form of College Honors qualify to graduate with an Honors College diploma and to participate in a special Honors College graduation ceremony where they receive an Honors stole to wear with their academic regalia. Recognition for Honors graduation includes a notation on the transcript and diploma and mention in the commencement bulletin.

Honors College Requirements

To graduate with an Honors College diploma, a student must be enrolled in the Honors College and must have a minimum UTSA grade point average of 3.25 at the time of graduation.

Business Honors

Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) majors who have been admitted to the Honors College may earn Business Honors if they maintain a minimum UTSA grade point average of 3.25 and complete an Honors section of five of the Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) courses. Business Honors classes emphasize class discussion, presentations, and business research.

General Honors

General Honors is designed to provide students with a broad, interdisciplinary Honors experience, primarily through Honors core curriculum coursework. Because the General Honors experience is targeted primarily at lower-division Honors coursework, students are only eligible to earn General Honors if they enter the Honors College with fewer than 30 hours (not including AP, CLEP, or dual credit hours).

General Honors Requirements

Honors Coursework
1. Required coursework 3
Academic Inquiry and Scholarship (must be taken in an Honors section)
2. Select one of the following:3
Honors Seminar in Social & Behavioral Sciences
Honors Seminar in Arts & Humanities
Honors Seminar in Business & the Professions
Honors Seminar in the Sciences
3. Six additional Honors elective courses, at least one of which must include an Honors contract in an upper-division major course.18
Total Credit Hours24

Leadership Honors

Leadership Honors is designed to provide students with the opportunity to expand their leadership capabilities and to explore ­possibilities for enhancing learning capacities and strategic thinking. Students who pursue Leadership Honors have the opportunity to explore a new model of leadership that makes sense in the emerging competitive environment in which humans work and live. Students are asked to enhance their understanding of leadership and hone their personal leadership skills through coursework and action. Students who select to follow Leadership Honors may select from two different options, one that involves students in the College of Business’s Leadership Challenge program and one that involves ­students in the University of Texas System’s Archer Fellows Program.

Leadership Honors Requirements

Leadership Honors Coursework
1. Required coursework3
Academic Inquiry and Scholarship (must be taken in an Honors section)
2. Required Honors coursework. Select one of the following options:21
Option 1
Special Studies in Management
Honors Internship (or an internship in the major)
15 hours of elective Honors courses, at least one of which must include an Honors contract in a major course.
Option 2
Policy-Making Process
Beyond Congress and the White House
Advocacy in Applied Settings
Honors Internship
6 hours of elective Honors coursework
Total Credit Hours24

Highest Honors

Highest Honors is the most rigorous and most prestigious Honors degree program available through the Honors College. What distinguishes Highest Honors from the other Honors options is the opportunity to pursue greater depth in one’s academic field. To earn Highest Honors, students must complete an Honors Thesis under the supervision of a capstone advisor. The Honors thesis must be signed by a three-member committee approved by the Assistant Director for Undergraduate Research.

Highest Honors Requirements

Honors Coursework 1
1. Required coursework3
Academic Inquiry and Scholarship (must be taken in an Honors section) 2
2. Select two of the following:6
Honors Seminar in Social & Behavioral Sciences
Honors Seminar in Arts & Humanities
Honors Seminar in Business & the Professions
Honors Seminar in the Sciences
Policy-Making Process
Beyond Congress and the White House
Advocacy in Applied Settings
3. Select 21 semester credit hours of Honors elective coursework, including no more than 9 semester credit hours of Honors contract coursework. (It is highly recommended that students complete 6 hours of Honors Capstone Project to count toward their 21 hours of Honors elective coursework.) 21
4. Completion of an Honors thesis
Total Credit Hours30
1

Students who enter with 45+ hours may be granted a waiver of 6 hours of Honors coursework to reduce the required number of Honors hours from 30 to 24 hours. This reduction of hours will be reflected in section 3 of the Highest Honors requirements, reducing the number of hours from 21 to 15.

2

Students who enter with 45+ hours may petition to substitute an additional Honors Seminar to replace AIS 1203 if they have already taken AIS 1203 or enter the College with core curriculum requirements complete.

International Distinction

Students who have been admitted to the Honors College and pursue any of the Honors distinctions may also qualify for graduation with international distinction. Students qualify for graduation with international distinction if they do the following: (1) complete all the requirements for Business Honors, General Honors, Leadership Honors, or Highest Honors; and (2) either master a foreign language at the 2023 level or above or participate in a study-abroad experience for at least one Spring or Fall semester.

Honors (HON) Courses

HON 2201. Honors Community Service. (0-0) 1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Honors College or consent of instructor. Supervised community service experience relevant to an Honors education. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 3 semester credit hours will apply to a bachelor’s degree. Generally offered: Fall, Spring.

HON 3021. Honors Essay Writing. (0-0) 1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisites: WRC 1013 and WRC 1023, enrollment in the Honors College, and consent of instructor. A special Honors course designed to allow students to receive credit for work on writing essays for competitions. Involves substantial rewriting. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 3 semester credit hours will apply to a bachelor’s degree. Generally offered: Fall, Spring.

HON 3223. Honors Seminar in Social & Behavioral Sciences. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Honors College or consent of instructor. Interdisciplinary seminar that explores broad topics and themes in the social and behavioral sciences. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Generally offered: Fall, Spring.

HON 3233. Honors Seminar in Arts & Humanities. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Honors College or consent of instructor. Interdisciplinary seminar that explores broad topics and themes in arts and humanities. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Generally offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.

HON 3243. Honors Seminar in Business & the Professions. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Honors College or consent of instructor. Interdisciplinary seminar that explores broad topics and themes in business and the professions. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

HON 3253. Honors Seminar in the Sciences. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Honors College or consent of instructor. Interdisciplinary seminar that explores broad topics and themes in the sciences. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Generally offered: Fall, Spring.

HON 3301. Graduate School Workshop. (1-0) 1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Honors College or consent of instructor. A special workshop designed to prepare undergraduate students for admission to graduate school, with special emphasis on admission to Ph.D. programs. Topics include selecting a graduate program, preparing an application packet, writing the personal statement, and preparing for the Graduate Record Examination. Generally offered: Spring.

HON 3501. Honors Capstone Exploration. (1-0) 1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Honors College or consent of instructor. Course designed to help students develop an understanding of what a thesis project is, what resources are necessary to complete the project, and identify a topic and a faculty thesis advisor. Students are encouraged to take this course in the first semester of their junior year. (Formerly titled "Honors Thesis Exploration Seminar.").

HON 3513. Policy-Making Process. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the UT System Archer Fellows Program. This course will focus on the role of Congress and the President in the policy-making process. The course will use a variety of sources (academic texts, newspaper and journal articles, Web sites, blogs, advocacy papers) to compare textbook and "real world" versions of how policy is made in Washington, D.C. Generally offered: Fall, Spring.

HON 3523. Beyond Congress and the White House. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the UT System Archer Fellows Program. This course is designed to help students understand power in our nation's capital and, especially, power that lies outside Congress and the White House. Students will study Washington, D.C., by making visits to local sites, as they examine complex issues, such as the use of DDT to combat malaria, the relationship between democracy and war, and the future of the Internet. Generally offered: Fall, Spring.

HON 3533. Advocacy in Applied Settings. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the UT System Archer Fellows Program. This course will provide an introduction to the issues individuals face when placed in the role of being advocates for an issue, idea, or even themselves. The goal of the course is for students to learn about advocacy in ways that they can apply to their internship settings. Generally offered: Fall, Spring.

HON 4913. Honors Independent Study. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Honors College or consent of instructor. Independent reading, research, and writing under the direction of a faculty member. Designed as preparation for completion of an Honors Thesis. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 semester credit hours of independent study, regardless of discipline, will apply to a bachelor’s degree. Generally offered: Fall, Spring.

HON 4933. Honors Internship. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Honors College or consent of instructor. Supervised experience in a professional setting that provides the opportunity to integrate theory and practice programs relevant to the student’s degree program and honors experience. May be repeated for credit in a subsequent semester, but not more than 6 semester credit hours of internship will apply to a bachelor’s degree. Generally offered: Fall, Spring.

HON 4936. Honors Internship. (0-0) 6 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Honors College or consent of instructor. Supervised experience in a professional setting that provides the opportunity to integrate theory and practice programs relevant to the student’s degree program and honors experience. May be repeated for credit in a subsequent semester, but not more than 6 semester credit hours of internship will apply to a bachelor’s degree. Generally offered: Fall, Spring.

HON 4941. Honors Leadership. (0-0) 1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the College of Business Leadership Challenge program. Supervised leadership experience relevant to an Honors education. Usually involves planning and designing experiences for new Honors students. Generally offered: Fall.

HON 4993. Honors Capstone Project. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Honors College or consent of instructor. Supervised research and preparation of an Honors Capstone project for the purpose of earning Highest Honors. May be repeated once for credit. (Formerly titled “Honors Thesis.”) Generally offered: Fall, Spring.