Many of you may be seeking advanced academic opportunities and distinction during your undergraduate years. Two of SMUs academic residence communities, the University Honors Program and the Hilltop Scholars Program, feature special academic offerings in the context of a dynamic living environment. In addition, there are other Academic Distinction Opportunities available in a given major.
The University Honors Program strives to create a sense of community for those interested in ideas and the life of the mind. Admission to the program is by invitation only. Currently the program numbers more than 700 students with approximately 200 in each entering class.
All Honors Program classes are small and feature a seminar format that lends itself to discussion and participation. This challenging curriculum, meant to allow students to flourish under the care of dedicated teachers, begins with the foundation of a two-semester Honors rhetoric course sequence as well as five additional Honors courses, a part of the General Education Curriculum required of all SMU undergraduates.
The University Honors Program also provides many additional opportunities for its students – both inside and outside of the classroom – through the Richter International Fellowship, designated Honors Students Study Abroad Funds, the Gartner Lecture Series, and frequent receptions and dinners that bring students and professors together.
Honors students also have the option of living in the Honors residence hall, an academic focus community located in Virginia-Snider Hall.
For more information, visit University Honors.
The Hilltop Scholars Program gives students with promising academic backgrounds and leadership abilities the opportunity to enrich their first year at SMU through a common living/studying experience. The program eases the transition from high school to college by providing a strong academic community, conducive to individual success.
Students are invited to participate in the program. These 80 students live together for their first academic year in Perkins Hall and take English and one or two additional courses together each semester.
These classes are taught by some of the most popular faculty on campus and often meet right in the residence hall.
For more information, visit Hilltop Scholars.
Earning a high grade point average (GPA) during your first year starts you on a path toward possible membership in national and international honorary societies such as Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and largest academic honor society recognizing outstanding achievement in the Arts and Sciences; Golden Key National Honor Society, an organization that recognizes the top 15% of juniors and seniors in all disciplines; and Mortar Board, a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for distinguished ability and achievement in scholarship, leadership, and services. Additionally, a strong first-year GPA sets the foundation for earning distinction within your major and graduating with honors.
If your GPA is high in your first year, you can receive the following accolades:
Honor Roll – Awarded each fall and spring term to the top 15 percent of the class. This distinction usually requires a 3.6 GPA.
Alpha Lambda Delta – This first-year honor society is for students earning a 3.5 GPA or better in the first term.
First-year students living in the residence halls and earning a GPA of 3.75 or above will be recognized at the annual Academic Excellence Reception, sponsored by Residence Life and Student Housing, the Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center, and Dedman College.