What is the Honors College?

The Honors College is a community of academically motivated students who think independently, are willing to take responsibility for their own learning, like to read and discuss ideas, engage in critical discourse, and enjoy small interdisciplinary classes.  Honors students also participate in community service, outdoor activities, special seminars, conferences and symposia.

How and when do you apply for the Honors College?

You may apply anytime, even before entering MSU. However, completed applications are due by the first day of classes. The application procedure requires an honors application form, a copy of an official high school or college transcript, ACT/SAT test scores (test scores may be printed from your College Board login), a typed essay on a topic of your choice (not to exceed 500 words), a statement about your academic career plans, and a reference letter from a former teacher, high school counselor, or faculty member. The Honors College also accepts applications from transfer students, students on National Student Exchange, and current MSU students who wish to join the Honors College.

Requirements for membership in the Honors College

Once admitted to the Honors College, students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Students whose grade point averages are lower than a 3.0 GPA, for two consecutive semesters, are dropped from the Honors College and are no longer eligible to live in Honors residence halls or take honors designated courses.  Honors students are required to take HONR 201US and 202IH, preferably in their first year at Montana State University, or HONR 301US as transfer students or students seeking admission to the Honors College later in their academic careers.  HONR 201US, 202IH or 301US do not have to be taken in sequence; however, both courses are prerequisites or co-requisites for all other Honors courses.

Requirements for an Honors Degree

To graduate with an Honors degree, students must have a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA, 16-28 credits of Honors courses and one year or equivalency of a single second language (i.e., two semesters of German but not one semester each of German and French).  There are three levels of distinction for honors graduation (see "Honors Degree Requirements" for specific requirements).  A separate Honors Baccalaureate degree is awarded to students fulfilling the requirements for their Honors degree, in addition to the degree a student earned in his/her major department.  A special Honors commencement ceremony is held every term, during which medallions and diplomas are presented to the graduates.

What are Honors courses?

Most Honors courses and seminars carry Core 2.0 designation; therefore, you can, with careful planning, obtain an Honors degree without taking additional credits. Honors courses, however, are more challenging and usually require more reading and writing than other courses. Enrollment rarely exceeds 15 students. Classes are taught by distinguished faculty members, mostly in seminar settings. Honors College offerings are restricted entry courses, therefore students need to contact the Honors College office in order to register for Honors courses.

How do my AP classes count?

Advanced Placement courses may be used for university credit, may satisfy Honors second language requirements where equivalent, but cannot be used to fulfill Honors credit hour requirements.  CLEP (College Level Examination Program) tests are available in certain subjects (see current MSU-Bozeman Course Catalog) for university credit.  CLEP tests may be taken on an appointment basis (application forms are available online). You may satisfy the Honors College second language requirement with a CLEP test in French, German, or Spanish.  We strongly recommend that you take your language CLEP test during your first year at MSU. Other languages may be accepted with proper certification.