Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for admission to the Honors College?

There is not a separate application to join the Honors College. If you have been admitted to MTSU and you qualify as an entering freshman (3.50 high school GPA and 25 or higher ACT or 1200 SAT) you are automatically eligible to take Honors courses. If you do not qualify initially, once you establish a college GPA of 3.25 or higher, you will be eligible to take Honors courses. 

Who is eligible to register for Honors classes?

Any entering freshman with a high school GPA 3.5 or higher and an ACT composite score 25 or higher (1200 SAT) may register for Honors classes. There is not a separate application process. Students must maintain an overall college GPA of 3.25 to continue to take Honors classes. Transfer students or established MTSU students who have completed at least 12 semester hours may enroll in Honors courses if their overall college GPA is 3.25 or higher.

Why should I take Honors courses? Is it worth taking Honors classes in college?

College courses are challenging enough, but for high-achieving students looking for more advanced classes, the University Honors College at MTSU can be an enriching opportunity and enhance a student’s overall undergraduate experience. The College fosters the academic excellence and nurturing environment of a small, select, liberal arts college within the setting and with the resources of a major university. Students in Honors receive exclusive benefits such as: 

The benefits of Honors courses include:

  • Early Priority Registration
  • Smaller, more interactive classed (20 for lower-division; 15 for upper-division)
  • Unique curricular and extra-curricular experiences (Collage, Scientia et Humanitas, Honors Ambassadors, etc.)
  • Specially-designed General Education courses
  • Access to Interdisciplinary Seminars and Honors Lecture Series
  • Study Abroad Honors credit and scholarships
  • Undergraduate Research opportunites and scholarships
  • Dedicated faculty who enjoy working with bright, inquisitive students
  • Residence in the Honors Living and Learning Center
  • Competitive edge for admission into prestigious graduate schools
  • Special diploma and other recognition

What classes count towards Honors credit?

Honors credit may be earned in many ways:

  • Any lower- or upper-division class designated with an "H" in the section number
  • Advanced Placement (AP) classes with a score of 4 or 5 (up to nine hours)
  • Governor's School with a grade of "A" (up to three hours) - if claimed, then only six hours of AP credit may be counted
  • Students who receive course credit at MTSU for Higher Level (HL) IB tests can utilize those courses towards Honors College graduation requirements. Students who receive course credit at MTSU for Standard Level (SL) IB tests must receive one point higher than the MTSU requirement in order to receive honors credit for that course. (NOTE: a maximum of nine hours in any combination of AP, IB, and/or Governor's School may apply toward the lower-division Honors requirement)
  • Study Abroad, up to nine hours (must have approval prior to trip)
  • Internships, or research substitution, up to six hours (must have approval at the beginning of the semester enrolled)
  • Honors Contracts (no more than two classes)

What do I need to do to graduate from the Honors College?

Starting Summer 2024 - Honors Graduation requirements include:

  • 15 hours any level Honors coursework
  • 8 hours upper-division (3000/4000 level) Honors coursework to include:
    • three-hours of Interdisciplinary Seminar or approved substitution
    • one-hour of Honors Lecture Series
    • one-hour Thesis Tutorial
    • three-hours Thesis Project 

When can I register for classes and what is Priority Registration?

Honors students are eligible to be considered for early priority registration approval if they take Honors courses on a regular basis and attend an honors advising workshop every semester by the posted deadline. Students must also maintain a 3.25 GPA and be on track to complete one of the Honors College's minors requirements.  Early Priority Registration means you may register before everyone else, including seniors.

There aren't any Honors courses in my major. What do I do?

If you run out of honors options within General Education/True Blue Core requirements or your major/minor requirements, then Honors credit may be earned by creating an Honors Contract with the professor teaching a regular course. Such an agreement must include a specific, measurable component that other students in the class are not doing. For more information on the procedure and the application, click here.

What does graduating with Honors mean, including the difference between graduating from the Honors College and receiving Latin Honors?

Latin honors, known as Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Suma Cum Laude, are awarded based strictly on GPA upon graduation.  Students who complete all graduation requirements and achieve a cumulative grade point of 3.50 or higher will graduate with Latin honors. 

 This differs from graduating from the Honors College. All students who complete the full 29-hour Honors minor, including the thesis, and maintain a 3.25 GPA or higher receive a notation on their transcript and diploma that denotes the individual is a “University Honors College” graduate. If a student has a 3.65 GPA or higher, the notation reads “University Honors College with Distinction.” Those who complete the Honors Associate minor will have it listed on their transcript but do not receive Honors notation anywhere else. 

Does MTSU offer housing for Honors students?

Yes, but space is limited in the Honors Living and Learning Community in Lyon Hall. Contact Housing and Residential Life at (615) 898-2971 to check availability.

Does the Honors College recommend any particular Honors Society?

In general, qualified students are encouraged to join a national honor society and at least one other honor society within their major. The Honors College is a sponsor of Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Delta Kappa, but makes no specific recommendations about honors societies. Many honor societies sponsor worthy activities. It might be far better to join one or two honor societies and be an active member than to join many simply to add lines to one's resume. A list of honor societies that are registered with MTSU can be found at the Student Organization website.

Do Honors classes look good on a resume and how can I learn more about national scholarships and fellowships?

Absolutely! Honors College students have access to special internships, research projects, study abroad experiences, networking opportunities, and more. These opportunities provide real-world experiences students don’t receive from education alone. 

Since 2008, students have won numerous Fulbright Awards, Goldwater Scholarships, and selection for summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs). Our honors students have been finalists for Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships, the Udall Award, and many have won Phi Kappa PhiOmicron Delta Kappa, Boren, Gilman, and Critical Language scholarships. 

 The Undergraduate Fellowships Office (UFO) is housed in the Honors College, Room 227. For more information on Fulbright, Goldwater, Truman, and a host of other prestigious national scholarships and fellowships, call Ms. Laura Clippard, at 615-898-5464, or visit the Undergraduate Fellowships Office.

What is the Buchanan Fellowship?

The Buchanan Fellowship is the highest award given to an entering student at MTSU. A minimum ACT score of 30 (SAT 1360) and a minimum 3.5 GPA is required for consideration. Buchanan Fellows will receive (1) an amount equal to 16 hours of in- or out-of- state tuition and fees; (2) a $1,000 book allowance; and (3) consideration for study abroad scholarships. Up to 20 fellowships may be awarded per year. For more information, and an application, please visit our scholarships page.

What is the deadline for the Buchanan Fellowship?

The deadline for applying for the Buchanan Fellowship is DECEMBER 1 of the year before which you plan to attend. Buchanan Transfer Fellowship applications typically close in February each year.

Do I need to mail a separate transcript to the Honors College with my Buchanan Fellowship application materials?

You must send an official transcript to the MTSU Admissions Office for MTSU admission purposes. You have the option of sending a separate one to mail with your Buchanan Fellowship application materials or you can attach an unofficial copy to your application materials. Please see the Buchanan Fellowship application website for more information.

Why choose MTSU's Honors College?

MTSU's Honors College offers an intimate college feel in a large university environment, blending academics and student life with intellectual and civic engagement. Honors students form a community with peers, faculty, and staff who share a drive to improve themselves and the world. 

After completing their undergraduate degrees, most go directly to graduate or professional school. A recent survey revealed that 90% had already been accepted into graduate or professional schools (including law and medicine), and that others intended to work for a year before applying for graduate study.

How hard is it to get into MTSU’s Honors College?

On average, the top 15% of freshmen students and 6% of transfer students coming to MTSU gain admittance to the University Honors College (approximately 580 students). More competitively are the Buchanan Fellows and Buchanan Transfer Fellows, who are a select group of top scholars interested in making an impact academically. The University Honors College welcomes 20 Buchanan Fellows and 30 Buchanan Transfer Fellows each year.

How do you say you graduated with Honors?

Graduates can list it as “MTSU, Bachelor of Arts, Graduate with Honors Distinction” or "MTSU, Bachelor of Arts, GPA: 3.8 (Honors)" depending on your preference. Additionally, graduates may want to include any honors or awards that they received during their time at the MTSU. This should include the type of degree earned, their major, their GPA, and their honors. In this format, awards and achievements should be listed directly after the major, separated by a comma. Graduates can include their GPA in parentheses after the Latin honors, or Honors graduate with distinction.