South Carolina Honors College

Department Website

Steven Lynn, Ph.D., Dean
Andrea Tanner, Ph.D., Associate Dean
Kay Banks, Ed.D., Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Chappell Wilson, Assistant Dean of Administration
Novella Beskid, Assistant Dean for National Fellowships & Scholar Programs


The South Carolina Honors College (SCHC) combines the benefits of a small college in the context of a large comprehensive research university. The College provides academically gifted and motivated students with the opportunity to develop their intellectual potential to the fullest. It emphasizes small classes with intensive interaction between students and professors. The Honors College curriculum is designed to exploit fully the talents of both students and teachers. Any qualified student, regardless of major or career interest, can take advantage of the College’s rich educational environment.

Retention in the College

To remain in good standing in the College, Honors College students must maintain a minimum GPA on a sliding scale that starts at 3.00 for first-year students and rises to 3.30 for seniors. In addition, Honors College students must earn Honors course credits - 9 by the end of their first year, 18 after their sophomore year, and 27 after their junior year-to remain in good standing in the college. Students who fall short of these requirements are allowed one semester of probation to increase their GPA or the number of honors credits to reach the required level. Any student who wants to apply for grade forgiveness for a South Carolina Honors College course must first petition the dean of the Honors College.

Honors College Advising

Entering Honors College first-year students are advised by the staff of Honors College prior to and during Freshmen Orientation, and the College continues to advise all Honors College students throughout their time in the College. Once a student has selected a major, he or she also is advised by faculty and/or staff members in that discipline. For this reason, most Honors College students have two advisors.

Graduation with Honors from the South Carolina Honors College

Honors College students have the opportunity to “graduate with Honors from the South Carolina Honors College.” This accomplishment is recognized on their transcript, their diploma, and during commencement. In order to graduate with honors, students must complete at least 45 credit hours of Honors College courses, including a minimum 3 credit hours of senior thesis or project. The course requirements must include one course each in English, laboratory science, the history of civilization, analytical reasoning, the humanities, the social sciences, and an outside the classroom experience (Beyond the Classroom) that could be either undergraduate research, an Honors service learning course, study away, or an internship. Honors College elective credits may be in any area. All Honors College students, regardless of their major, can complete these requirements.

SCHC Curriculum

The Honors College offers two types of courses: courses that are unique to the Honors College and Honors College versions of courses offered by other academic units. Honors College sections of courses offered by other academic units carry the same departmental designator and number as their non-honors equivalent, but they have a “Hxx” section number (e.g., ENGL 101, Section H01). Courses developed specifically for the Honors College are designated “SCHC.” While SCHC courses have no exact equivalent in the non-honors curriculum, every effort is made to ensure that these courses fulfill university core, major, minor, or cognate requirements.

SCHC courses that are numbered 200 or higher, “proseminars,” are designed to be similar in style to graduate-level seminars and are taught, where possible, through the use of discussion rather than lecture. Normally no more than 18 students may enroll in an Honors College proseminar.

At the 200-level, proseminars are usually broad in scope, providing a firm grounding in the general area described by a discipline. At the junior (300) and senior (400) levels, proseminars are more specific in content, providing the students and the professor the opportunity to delve deeply into a specialized subject. Of special interest are the interdisciplinary proseminars, which are designed to bring knowledge from several academic disciplines to bear on a particular problem. Proseminars may be taught by more than one faculty member.

South Carolina Honors College students may meet University Core Curriculum requirements through Honors courses determined to be core-appropriate by the South Carolina Honors College, with the oversight of the Provost. The South Carolina Honors College maintains a list of such courses.