Welcome to the University of South Alabama Honors College! You have joined a vibrant community of scholars who are dedicated to high quality research, community service, and leadership.

We want to make sure you have the information you need to succeed. This all begins with course selection.
For incoming freshmen, we have created a series of videos to assist you with registration and orientation during the summer before your freshmen year. Please watch these videos and contact Dr. Cooke (, Ms. Pamela Howard ( or Dr. Marshall ( with questions. You may also CALL the college office at (251) 461-1637, or the First Year Advising Center at (251) 341-4017.

Please click on one of the following links below to get more information.

Incoming Freshman

Please click on the link above to view videos and materials specifically for incoming freshmen. Dr. Doran has put together a list of helpful tips for entering Freshman.

Current Students

Please click on the link above for the current check sheet that lists college requirements. Upper class students are also encouraged to read these tips as they still apply to you.


2017 Entering Honors Freshmen

  • The curriculum check sheet points out the requirements that must be met. This is a minimum and extra Honors electives and seminars can be taken. The required courses which focus on your research track leading up to the senior thesis are: HON 101/201/301 and the 499’s offered by your department.
  • You MUST take HON 101 or HON 105 (for STEM majors) in the Fall of freshmen year. If you are in a leadership scholarship and must take a special FYE take that version of 101 and contract it for H credit. You do not need to take 2 versions of the 101.
  • You MUST take HON 201 in either the fall or spring of your sophomore year.
  • You MUST take HON 301 in your junior year and I strongly suggest you take it in the fall so that you can get started early on your senior thesis.
  • You MUST take 6 credit hours of 499, which will be offered in your home department for 3 credit hours in each semester of your final year. You MUST be registered for one of the 499 courses in the semester you defend your thesis.
  • PT/EDUC majors and others with special curriculum issues might need to consider an alternative ordering of HON 201 and 301 to finish the thesis early. Please discuss this with your adviser and Honors Dean for more details.
  • The lower level Honors electives are general education core courses that fit into and are required of just about every degree. You are required to at a minimum take 9 hours of these lower level H credit courses. You are encouraged to take more, in fact, that is a perk of being in Honors is to take Honors courses instead of the regular run of the mill versions offered to the general university student population. One of these lower level electives MUST be taken in the spring semester. The reason for this is to allow you to continue to take general courses needed with your Honors colleagues in Honors from any major. This in a sense makes Honors a more meaningful and complete learning community that does not end after the fall semester. Whenever you have the chance to take and Honors version of a needed class it makes sense to take it and not only enjoy the benefit of being in Honors but also to work with other talented students in a more enriching and rewarding class. All lower Honors electives should be taken in the freshmen year or first semester sophomore year.
  • The upper Honors seminars should not be taken until all lower level electives are completed. The upper level seminars are special topics courses that generally do not normally exist and allow students and faculty to explore a topic or area of interest. These courses should be taken in the sophomore and junior year. Do not delay then until the senior year since you should be focused on your thesis in the senior year. These courses often are interdisciplinary in nature, required more reflection and analysis, have speakers and field trips and presentations. These courses are meant to be fun learning experiences but will require a serious effort and outside class time. When planning your long term schedule you should leave room for them and also keep in mind many of them are classified as humanity or social science electives. These courses cannot be used to replace specific required humanity or social science core requirements but are valid electives. For example, all students must have a HY course as a general university core requirement and the specific courses allowed are HY101/102/135/136. If an upper Honors seminar is offered in Mardi Gras as HY 390H it is a valid HY social science elective but cannot be used to replace the university core requirement of one of the four listed specific HY core courses. These courses cannot be contracted and are meant to be a chance for all Honors students to again rejoin the Honors learning community in the sophomore and junior year for a fun and engaging advanced course. Previous seminars are listed on the web site and have included: Hero’s Journey of Harry Potter, Science in the Movies, Health and Healing in Literature and Film, War and Memory in Literature and Film, Mardi Gras, Global Cultures and Food, God and Evil, Trees/Forest & a Walk in the Woods, 1st Amendment & Current Legal Issues, Creativity Problem Solving Robotics & Narrative.
  • There is no limit to the number of Honors courses you can take. Besides the required 9 hours leading to the thesis, the 15 hours of lower electives and upper seminars are the minimum needed. Some students have taken 18 or more hours of lower and upper H credits. You should view this as a benefit of being in Honors and not a burden. It is probably the best perk of the college.
  • When you consult your academic adviser in your major department please share with them the Honors requirements and check sheet. When you can take a course for H credit please do so and explain to them the benefit of doing it. Please leave room in your degree plans for the upper seminars in the sophomore and junior year. Please explain to them the role of 499, the need for 6 credit hours of it, 3 credits in the fall and spring of the senior year and how it might be used in your curriculum. If your degree requires a capstone project (CS, ENGR, BMD) it should be substituted to satisfy that capstone experience. If your degree does not require a capstone experience it should count as a technical or upper or general elective in your major. When you reach senior year your department must create a section of 499 for you and assign your mentor as the instructor. If any point your academic adviser is confused and has trouble with the Honors requirements please have them call me. Never do what your academic adviser tells you to do if it contradicts or violates something you have been told to do by Honors staff. If your academic adviser ever tells you to not take and H credit course and replace it with a regular non Honors course please do not do it and inform the Honors Dean and staff.



EH 105H and CA 110H are only offered in the fall of your freshmen year. Each is STRONGLY encouraged to be taken and contribute to the effective communication necessary as part of the research process. Both are taught in popular small Honors sections instead of larger or even on-line versions. EH 105H is the same as EH 102 and must be taken unless you have dual enrollment credit from another accredited university. HY 135H and 136H form an approved HY sequence if you do not have AP credit for it already. ST 210H will not count towards most STEM degrees for credit.

Sample Fall freshmen Honors schedule – courses marked with * should be taken and the others should be considered if they are needed and fit the schedule. You should take at least 6 credit hours of electives in the fall and 3 in the spring. If you do not need the courses marked with an * please discuss this with the Honors Dean and staff. Also, keep in mind that labs are only 1 credit hour.