The Citadel Honors Program provides exceptional learning experiences for outstanding students whose aptitudes and interests indicate that they will take full advantage of the strong student-teacher relationship and inquiry-based learning that the Honors Program experience offers. Honors courses will augment the current curriculum of The Citadel by offering selected students an alternate means of education grounded in the methods of discourse and interdisciplinary intellectual inquiry. Honors students will apply their drive to excel to become leaders in not only the classroom but also the corps and the community. The Honors Program encourages students to intermingle their academic focus with a positive impact in student clubs, athletics, volunteer efforts, ROTC units, the Corps of Cadets, and The Citadel community as a whole.
The Honors Program is an autonomous program of The Citadel, with an Honors Director serving as the head of the program. The Director is responsible for recruiting and admitting Honors students, reviewing courses which are proposed to meet Honors requirements and selecting those which will be included in Program offerings, critiquing Honors courses and the performance of the faculty leading them, establishing and enforcing entrance and exit requirements, serving as the Honors Advisor for all Honors students, establishing and monitoring the operating budget for the Honors Program, and coordinating the Honors Program requirements with those of the academic majors.
The Honors Council is comprised of members of the faculty who have taught Honors courses the previous semester. The Honors Council will advise and assist the Honors Director in the governance of the program.
The Honors Students’ Association is comprised of academically proficient participants or past participants in the Honors Program. Its purpose is to promote closer association among participants in the Honors Program, to provide a student forum for discussion of the Honors Program and its operation, and to assist the Honors Council.
Honors Learning Objectives
The Honors Program enhances The Citadel experience through a rigorous, student-driven, interactive, multidisciplinary approach to academic and experiential learning. The Honors Program has adopted five learning outcomes that are met through self-directed and active learning and immersive engagement in their selected discipline, professional field, and The Citadel experience.
- Honors students will achieve cross-discipline intellectual agility illustrated through the ability to analyze and synthesize a broad range of material.
- Honors students will cultivate self-directed learning practices that promote life-long curiosity and continual personal and professional growth.
- Honors students will become more independent and critical thinkers, demonstrating the ability to use knowledge and logic when discussing an issue or an idea, while considering the consequences of their ideas, for themselves, for others, and for society.
- Honors students will build intergenerational, multidisciplinary networks and connections to community to enhance their academic, leadership, and personal development.
- Honors students will develop and implement effective written and oral communication skills.
Admission and Retention
In addition to securing for admission to The Citadel, interested students must apply separately for admission to the Honors Program. Formal essays, recommendation letters, and personal interviews at minimum are required as part of the application process. The Honors Director will evaluate all applications and select participants based upon the strength of the student’s application, evaluating previous academic performance, class rank, personal interview, essay responses, recommendation letters, extracurricular activities, leadership potential, and intellectual and academic promise. Applications are available online at www.citadel.edu/honors. Selections will be made on a rolling basis; early applications are strongly encouraged. Interested high school students should apply early during their senior year, no later than October 1 in order to be fully considered for selection and all scholarships, and no later than February 1. There is no application fee.
Current cadets with strong academic and cadet performance at The Citadel may apply for admission to the Honors Program. Interested cadets should contact the Honors Program Director to express interest and complete an application which includes a formal essay, one letter of recommendation from a Citadel faculty member, and an interview.
With the Director’s permission, academically-strong students may be admitted to individual Honors courses on a space-available basis; in such cases, the Honors courses will meet General Education or elective requirements as appropriate.
Students in the Honors Program must maintain a minimum 3.00 GPA in their Honors courses, a minimum 3.00 overall GPA, and exhibit conduct that reflects positively upon The Citadel and fellow Honors Program students. The Honors Council will review the record of any Honors student whose academic performance or cadet conduct do not meet requirements and will take appropriate action, including establishment of a probationary period or separation from the Honors Program. Any academic requirements pertaining to scholarship retention, regardless of Honors Council actions, will be dictated by the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.
Honors Program Curriculum
The Honors Program is designed to provide an exceptionally broad background of cultural knowledge and learning skills that students can then apply to their chosen areas of academic specialization. Most of the Honors Program curriculum will come in courses designed to be taken in lieu of General Education requirements. Honors Program students will satisfy their General Education Strand requirements by completing Strand courses designated as Honors. The Honors General Education courses will not follow a single strand but will be offered across all Strands.
The emphasis in Honors courses will not primarily be acceleration but enrichment. The courses will go into extra depth, examining more closely the significance and implications of the material studied or presenting that material in a broader cultural context. In general, it is expected that Honors courses will employ discussion in order to establish habits of rigorous inquiry and intellectual independence. Additionally, Honors course will introduce opportunities for examining and communicating the external, multidisciplinary causes and impacts of a topic.
The motivation behind the Honors curriculum is to create an environment of learning in which the students’ independent intellectual habits are further developed. The patterns and processes of intellectual and scholarly inquiry will be taught, not merely the results of other people’s having conducted that inquiry. Many Honors course will have a tutorial component; students will meet individually or in small groups with their instructors to discuss and develop ongoing writing, research, and laboratory projects.
An additional key component of the Honors Program experience is the Personal&Professional Development tutorials. Each year, the Honors Director meets with every sophomore, junior, and senior in the program once a month to engage in a program of research, writing, discussion, and strategizing about the student’s post-graduate goals, focusing on graduate school and career goals.
There are two levels of Honors Program completion. The top level, referred to as the Gold Seal level, requires the completion of eight Honors Program courses. The alternate level, referred to as the Certificate level, requires the completion of five Honors Program courses. The Certificate level is particularly designed for those who are admitted to the Honors Program after their first semester at The Citadel. Furthermore, all Honors Program students, at both the Gold Seal and Certificate level, will be required to complete the entire, six semester Personal and Professional Development series.
Honors Program Gold Seal:
Eight (8) Honors courses plus Personal & Professional Development tutorial series (6-semester)
Honors Personal & Professional Development
PLUS For Majors Requiring Calculus
PLUS For Majors that do Not Require Calculus
One Additional Honors Course
One (1) additional Honors course selected from available Honors
Honors Program Certificate:
Five (5) total Honors courses plus Personal & Professional Development tutorial series (6-semester)
Five (5) total Honors Classes
selected from available Honors
Honors Personal & Professional Development Tutorials
Honors Program Recognition
Students who complete the Honors Program Gold Seal requirements will be recognized as Honors Program graduates in The Citadel commencement ceremony, will receive an Honors Program certificate plus an Honors Seal on their Citadel diploma. A notation will be added to their official college transcript to indicate they have completed the Gold Seal requirements of the Honors Program.
Students who complete the Honors Program Certificate requirements will be recognized as Honors Program graduates in The Citadel commencement ceremony, will receive an Honors Program certificate. A notation will be added to their official college transcript to indicate that they have fulfilled the Certificate requirements of the Honors Program. Unlike Honors program Gold Seal students, they will not receive an Honors Seal on their diplomas.
Honors First-Year Academic Seminar
Students enrolled in the Honors Program may meet The Citadel’s General Education requirements for freshmen by successfully completing these two courses. Students who join the Honors Program after the first semester may satisfy The Citadel’s requirement by completing the non-Honors sections of the freshman seminar and linked writing intensive courses.
Honors Program students whose majors require two semesters of Calculus will complete these Honors Math classes in lieu of MATH 131 /MATH 132 .
Students enrolled in the Honors Program may meet the General Education requirement in mathematics by successfully completing HONR 131 /HONR 132 in lieu of all other two-semester Math sequences required by their major, including MATH 131 /MATH 132 and MATH 106 /MATH 107 .
Students who successfully complete the first semester of Honors Mathematics and then cease to participate in the Honors Program can fulfill the General Education requirement in mathematics for their major, if required, by completing approved classes including MATH 106 , MATH 107 , STAT 160 , or MATH 132 .
Honors Strands Courses
Honors Strands courses will develop students’ skills, confidence, and independence in six essential areas: quantitative literacy, written communication, critical thinking, inquiry and analysis, intercultural knowledge and competence, and ethical reasoning and action. Honors Strands classes will also have a strong multi-disciplinary component, require significant independent thought, and contribution to classroom discourse.
Honors Program students will not select a single strand theme but will instead be offered courses from each of the strands. These classes will strengthen student’s multidisciplinary knowledgebase and encourage a deeper understanding of multiple relevant world themes. Honors Strands classes will be offered every semester. These courses will satisfy the General Education Strands English (ENGS 30x), History (HISS 30x), Social Science (SCSS 30x), and Elective (ELES 30x) requirements. (The x in 30x will be based on the course’s relevant strand theme.) Individual degree plans differ, but, as a rule, students will begin taking these Honors Strands classes in the first semester of their second year and will complete them in senior year.
The Honors Program curriculum does not have a research or thesis requirement as most students will be engaged in rigorous research as part of a capstone course within their major. However, Honors students are encouraged to engage in independent research either in preparation for or in addition to this capstone work.
Honors Personal and Professional Development Tutorial Series