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The Honors Program

Melinda Jones, Ph.D., Director
105 Honors Hall, (901) 678-2690

The Helen Hardin Honors Program provides exceptional educational opportunities for highly motivated and talented students. The Program enables students (regardless of major) to take advantage of the more intimate learning environment offered by small classes. Honors faculty members promote active learning and provide excellent teaching, including individualized support and attention.

The Program offers special curricular options and the opportunity to earn honors distinction. In most cases, participation in the Program does not increase the number of credit hours required for graduation. Classes within the Program span the entire range of the University.

The Honors Program encourages and supports opportunities that are designed to enhance the educational experience of its members. The Honors Program also coordinates special academic, social, and cultural events for honors students in which they can become part of a community of friends and fellow scholars outside the classroom.

The Helen Hardin Honors Program Office is located in Honors Hall on Patterson Street. There is a conference room, quiet study areas, a lounge area, and  computer rooms for the use of honors students. The Director and Program staff may be reached at 901-678-2690.

Admission and Retention Standards and Procedures

National Merit Finalists and recipients of the Cecil C. Humphreys Presidential Scholarship, the Provost's Scholarship, and the Dean's Scholarship Incoming are automatically admissible to the Program upon receipt of their applications. Other incoming freshmen who score a minimum of 27 on the ACT, or its equivalent on other tests, and have a 3.5 high school GPA are invited to apply to the Honors Program. Transfer students or students currently enrolled at the University of Memphis are also eligible for the Honors Program if they have earned an overall grade point average of 3.00 for freshmen and sophomores and 3.25 for juniors and seniors. Students who do not qualify in one of these ways will be considered for provisional admission upon direct application. Letters of recommendation, though not required, may also be submitted.

To be considered for admission, applicants must be admitted to the University of Memphis and complete a separate application for admission to the Honors Program. An application for admission may be obtained from the Honors Office or downloaded from the Honors Program web site: http://www.memphis.edu/honors.

Honors students are expected to maintain good academic standing to continue in the Program; normally this is a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the freshman and sophomore years, and a minimum of 3.25 cumulative GPA in the junior and senior years. Students whose GPAs fall below the minimum will be allowed one probationary semester to raise their GPAs to the expected level. Students in the  Honors Program are expected to take a least one honors course each semester in order to maintain the privilege of priority registration and to fulfill scholarship service obligations.

The Honors Curriculum and Requirements

The honors curriculum includes honors sections of General Education Program courses and other courses that fulfill core curriculum requirements. Honors programs offered by some departments also offer special honors sections of courses required for the major. Honors sections have the advantage of small class size, specially selected faculty, teaching that emphasizes student participation, and assignments that encourage students to think independently.

In addition to honors sections of regularly offered courses, the Honors Program also offers courses designed specifically for honors students. Courses carrying the UNHP subject area are interdisciplinary in nature, designed to explore a particular topic intensively and creatively.

Students also may earn honors credit by designing their own special projects based on independent study, fieldwork, or an internship experience (see UNHP 4900 course descriptions), or by contracting for honors credit within the context of a regularly scheduled course not officially offered as an honors course. Detailed information about earning honors credit through these approaches is available in the Honors Office. A minimum grade of “B” (3.0) is required in each honors course for it to count toward fulfilling the honors course requirement, but regular credit for the course will be earned if the grade is lower than a “B” (3.0).

Students within the Honors Program may pursue one of two tracks leading to "graduation with honors": University Honors or University Honors with Thesis.

University Honors: To attain "University Honors," with transcript and diploma notations, students complete 25 semester hours of honors coursework that includes UNHP 1100 (see UNHP course descriptions). Students must earn a minimum grade of "B" (3.0) in all honors courses and achieve a 3.25 cumulative grade point average.

University Honors with Thesis: The highest honor an Honors Program student can achieve is "University Honors with Thesis," which carries transcript and diploma notations. To attain this honors designation, students must complete a mininum of 25 semester hours of honors coursework that includes UNHP 1100 and a 3-credit senior honors thesis or project. Student must earn a minimum grade of "B" (3.0) in all honors courses and achieve a 3.25 cumulative grade point average.

The UNHP 1100course requirements may be waived for students who are accepted into the University Honors Program after completing university coursework at the University of Memphis or another institution, with the expectation that they will substitute three semester hours of honors courses for this requirement.

Departmental or College Honors Programs: Some academic departments offer honors programs based on work in the major. Academic areas in the Fogelman College of Business and Economics offer a college-wide program for students pursuing the Bachelor of Business Administration, and several disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Communication and Fine Arts, and the Herff College of Engineering offer students the opportunity to earn honors distinction through special projects and independent study.

Generally speaking, students must have a 3.25 cumulative grade point average to pursue and receive department or college honors. Students should consult the specific department or college listing in this Catalog for detailed requirements, or contact the Honors Program Office for a listing of departments offering honors work in the major.

The Non-Resident Honors Student Award

A limited number of Non-Resident Honors Student Awards are available on a competitive basis to non-resident students who enroll full-time and who are actively pursuing an Honors Program designation. This award allows out-of-state students to pay in-state tuition. Students who receive this award are required to maintain good standing with the Honors Program, take at least one honors course every semester until they have earned the baccalaureate degree, and work toward graduation with an honors designation. Entering freshmen receive primary consideration for this award. Application forms for admission to the Honors Program and for the Non-Resident Honors Student Award may be obtained by writing to the Helen Hardin Honors Program, 105 Honors Hall, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152-6140; by calling 901-678-2690; or by faxing 901-678-5367. Students may also submit an on-line application for the Non-Resident Honors Student Award at http://honors.memphis.edu

Special Opportunities for Honors Students

Students in the Honors Program participate in an intellectually vibrant atmosphere that extends beyond the classroom. Honors students are challenged by enriched honors courses, interdisciplinary seminars, and conversations with visiting scholars. Students have opportunities to extend their learning beyond the classroom and into the community through internships and public service. Students in the program may elect to live in honors-designated housing, which provides an atmosphere conducive to studying, but at the same time a place where friendships are easily established. Because of the special nature of their contribution to the University, honors students enjoy other privileges as well, including priority registration, extended library borrowing privileges, an honors computer lab, and special ceremonies that recognize outstanding students.

Students in the Honors Program are strongly encouraged to participate in undergraduate research opportunities. The Honors Program administers the Undergraduate Research Scholar Program that provides students the opportunity to present individual research at student research forums on campus. The Honors Program sponsors the Works-in-Progress Symposium (WIPS) held at the University of Memphis each November, which gives all undergraduates an opportunity to present their research. Students who present at WIPS are encouraged to apply for acceptance to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) during the spring semester. Students who attend both WIPS and NCUR, and present at one other approved research forum can earn the designation "Undergraduate Research Scholar" on their transcript. Membership in the Honors Program is not required for this transcript designation.