Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College
Four-Year Program: Students from all majors and schools may participate in the program. Admission is competitive, based on a combination of considerations: grade-point average; class rank (where available); SAT and/or ACT scores; writing ability; commitment to public service; and recommendations of teachers and counselor. Students must apply to the SMBHC through the university’s Special Programs and Scholarships Application after applying to the university. Junior-Entry Program: Students who did not enter the college as freshmen—either current UM students or transfers—are invited to join the SMBHC through the Junior-Entry Program. Through the Junior-Entry Program, students will become involved in research in their majors, take honors courses, and contribute to the larger society through community action. To be admitted into the Junior-Entry program, a student must have a minimum 3.50 undergraduate GPA in at least 45 earned hours and approval of the student’s major department. Junior-Entry students must complete the exploratory research project and senior thesis requirements, take at least one other 3-hour honors course, and complete the community action component for each semester in which they are a member of the Honors College. A student who fulfills the Junior-Entry Program will graduate as an Honors Scholar in his or her major.
Program Completion Requirements
All students must complete the degree requirements of an undergraduate program in either the College of Liberal Arts or one of the professional schools. To graduate as a Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors Scholar, a student must also satisfy the following curriculum: complete a minimum of 29 hours of honors credit, with at least 18 hours by the end of the sophomore year. All students in the four-year program, both liberal arts and pre-professionals, take an intensive two-course sequence (Hon 101/102) in the social sciences and humanities that can count toward freshman composition hours. Students also complete a research project and senior thesis, usually in their majors, which total 3-9 hours. Other hours come from taking honors sections of courses offered in various disciplines.
In the senior year, the honors curriculum requires an instructional or preceptor experience. A broad range of experiences will fulfill this requirement (for example, leading a discussion group based on the honors thesis, or presenting a lecture on the topic). The preceptorship or tutorial can take place at the defense of the senior thesis. As part of the defense, honors students must include a multimedia component (such as PowerPoint) as part of their presentation.
Students must have a minimum of a 3.50 grade-point average in order to graduate as a Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors Scholar. In the service of accomplishing this goal, honors students must attain a minimum GPA of 3.20 at the end of the freshman year, a 3.40 at the end of the sophomore year, and a 3.50 by the end of the junior year. During the senior year, students should have at least a 3.50 cumulative GPA.
Honors students are required to participate in the Community Action Component each semester. The college accepts a wide variety of experiences from churches, clubs, and campus organizations as fulfilling this requirement; visit http://www.honors.olemiss.edu/community-action for a list of many organizations in the Oxford/Lafayette County area. Students report their community action through the Service Administration site of my.olemiss.edu.
Honors students are encouraged to attend at least two sessions of the “Honors Forum Series” each semester. This series will consist of various visiting lecturers, artistic performances, or conferences sponsored by departments on campus. The SMBHC fall and spring convocations count as “Honors Forums.”
Although not a requirement, studying abroad and other field experiences are an important emphasis of the program. When students do study abroad for at least a semester, they are excused from the community action requirement for each semester abroad, and the study abroad may fulfill the exploratory research project. In addition, honors students can apply for fellowships to make studying abroad more affordable or in order to take advantage of an unpaid internship.
General Education Core Curriculum
In addition to satisfying specific degree requirements of both an undergraduate program of study and the Honors College, a student must also satisfy the general education/core curriculum requirements of the undergraduate program being pursued. Honors 101 and 102 can be used to satisfy the 6-hour English composition requirement that is common to all degree programs. Alternatively, a student may apply the credits toward humanities or social science hours, especially if the student has AP English or other college composition credit. As humanities and social science credit, Honors 101 and 102 function differently in the various colleges and schools. In the schools of Business, Accountancy, and Pharmacy, Honors 101-102 can satisfy 6 hours of humanities requirements. In the Schools of Engineering and Journalism, Honors 101-102 can satisfy 3 hours of humanities and 3 hours of social science. In the schools of Education and Applied Sciences, Honors 101-102 can satisfy 3 hours of humanities and 3 hours of electives. In the College of Liberal Arts, Honors 101-102 can satisfy 3 hours of humanities and 3 hours of social science for the B.A. For the B.S. degree, students may use Honors 101-102 to satisfy 6 hours of the required 12 hours of social science.
Two academic counselors at the SMBHC work with the freshmen and sophomore honors students. Each freshman and sophomore is expected to meet with his or her assigned academic counselor at least once each semester. The academic counselors are available to help reconcile students’ field(s) of study and the honors curriculum, discuss research opportunities, internships and study abroad, or to help with other issues that they are having difficulty addressing. Students’ academic counselors do not take the place of their academic advisers in their majors, nor are they able to lift advising holds. After students’ sophomore year, the associate deans in the Honors College will work with them as they complete their undergraduate studies.
Honor Code Policy
The Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College employs an Honor Code centered on honesty, sincerity, and justice. The purpose of this Honor Code is to strengthen the sense of community in which the Honors College takes great pride. Its strength depends on the personal honor and integrity of each Honors College member. Honors students are required to write the following statement on any assignment submitted for grading in Honors classes, thereby reinforcing the atmosphere of trust within the Honors College community:
“On my honor, I pledge that I have neither given, received, nor witnessed any unauthorized help on this ___________”
In addition to this pledge, the Honors College has instituted the following policy that is in effect in all honors classes:
Academic integrity is essential to all the values upon which the university is founded. Honors students must therefore embody academic honesty in all aspects of their work. A student with a documented case of plagiarism or academic cheating in an honors course will face the possibility of receiving the grade of F for the course and being dismissed from the Honors College. Specific consequences of such behavior will be determined by the administration and individual faculty member.
The University Creed—All students should uphold the University Creed and the regulations in the University’s M-Book.