Advising, Honors Curriculum, and Honors Academic Standing

Honors Advising

The Honors College conducts regular, scheduled advising sessions with our students. These come in two basic forms: We have the First-Year Check-In and our regular Honors Advising sessions. Each form of advising session is arranged by invitation from the Honors Advisor to students (by email) at the appropriate point in a given semester and a student’s studies at Marshall.

First-Year Check-In is an opportunity for students to sit down with an advisor in the College to discuss the Honors Curriculum (as seen below under) and identify the best and most efficient way to complete it given the specific situation of each student. Students have their mandatory appointment during their first semester. Incoming student schedules are arranged by university advisors. The Honors College does not create student schedules. First-Year Check-In is also a chance to learn the College’s expectations for students to stay in Good Standing and continue making Satisfactory Progress toward graduation with University Honors (as described below). First-Year Check-In is held in the last two weeks of September and first two weeks of October. Sessions are booked by students by rolling invitation (alphabetically by student last name) and are 30 minute appointments. For more information or to book an appointment upon invitation.

Honors Advising is an opportunity for students to meet with advisors in the College to discuss options for fulfilling the requirement that students complete 6 hours of approved upper-division courses (HON 480, HON 300, HON 481, or HON 490) as part of the Honors Curriculum (as seen below). Every student must take at least 3 hours of HON 480. Each semester there are several of these small, interdisciplinary seminars offered through the College by outstanding faculty from across the university offered as sections of HON 480. Most students in the college will complete their upper-division requirements through taking two sections of HON 480, but may substitute 3-hours of HON 300, HON 481, or HON 490 for one of the sections of HON 480. Students are permitted to enroll in these courses by the college. Those students who are nearest to graduation are given priority to complete these seminars or one of our other options for upper-division credits. These Honors Advising sessions also allow the college to continue to “check-in” with students along the way and for them to ask honors-related questions.  Students may also request to be permitted to enroll in either HON 484 (the Honors Oracle news) or HON 488 (the Steering Committee of the Honors College Student Association). Honors Advising begins after the coming semester schedule is released and goes “live” for students. Sessions are booked by students by rolling invitation (based on total student credit hours earned) and are 15 minute appointments. For more information or to book an appointment upon invitation.

Honors Curriculum and Graduation Requirements

Students who wish to graduate from the Honors College must complete 24 credits of honors experiences as described in the University Honors Curriculum. For many students, as many as 15 hours of the required curriculum can be earned while also fulfilling requirements that they have as students in a degree program at Marshall–typically as General Education courses that would also carry Honors credits. For students successfully fulfilling the requirements, their official transcript will state that they have graduated with University Honors through the Honors College. These students are also awarded an Honors Medallion at either the Winter Honors Medallion Ceremony or the Elisabeth Gibson Drinko Honors Convocation, depending on the semester of their graduation.

The Honors College does not issue “honors cords.” Based solely on GPA, eligible undergraduate students should inquire with the Office of the Registrar prior to Commencement to pick up academic honor cords and tassels.

CORE Honors Requirements

A total of 12 credits, as specified below.

Lower Division Seminars 

6 credits

    • FYS 100HFirst-Year Seminar. An honors section of a General Education course, which is required for all Marshall students.
    • HON 200Second-Year Seminar in Leadership, Ethics & Civic Engagement. This unique honors seminar is only offered in the spring semester and must be taken at the end of a student’s second year with the rest of their cohort.

Upper Division Seminars & Experiential Learning 

6 credits

Students must reserve a seat and obtain permission to register for the courses below by arranging an advising appointment during Honors Advising the week before Priority Registration. At least *one* section of HON 480 is required for all honors students. Students may take another HON 480, a section of HON 300, or two consecutive semesters of HON 483 to complete the Upper-Division Core Honors requirement. Details for the following courses can be found each semester on our Courses page.
  • HON 300Honors Peer Mentoring. A collaborative, experiential learning course focused on developing practical skills an assist in providing service to other honors students. NOTE: Taught *only* in Fall semesters. Generally only *one* section of 15-20 students. May be repeated as an independent study in the Spring (for General Honors credits) if a student receives per-approval for a project developed in the Fall.
  • HON 480 – Special Topics Honors Seminar. HON 480 is taken during a student’s third and/or fourth year after HON 200 is completed in their second year. Interdisciplinary, topical courses change each semester. See our website for details. NOTE: Taught every semester in multiple sections. The most common course for completion of Upper-Division CORE requirements.
  • HON 481Design for Defense. A collaborative, experiential learning course focused on developing practical skills through work with the National Strategic Innovation Network. Generally only *one* section of 15-20 students.
  • HON 490TEDxMarshallU Internship. A collaborative, experiential learning course requiring two semesters (Fall and Spring) designing, developing, and staging a TEDx event for a total of 3 earned credits. Requires a short application to the Faculty Mentor and TEDx licensee for Marshall.
HON 490 is a two-semester commitment that must start in the Fall semester and continue into the Spring semester to earn the 3-credits. Before Spring 2024, this course was designated “HON 483.”

GENERAL Honors Requirements

A total of 12 credits in any combination of the following.

  • Departmental Honors-Designated Courses [H]. These courses are typically offered as General Education courses, e.g., ANT 201H, by many academic departments and are restricted to enrollment by honors students. See a list of honors-designated sections on our website each semester.
  • Additional Sections of HON 300, HON 480, HON 481, or HON 490. Additional sections of these courses (beyond what is applied to the CORE) are counted as General Honors when not being applied to fulfill upper-division Core Honors credit requirements.
  • Other Experiential Learning Courses and Co-Curricular Opportunities. These options require permission and/or form submission. No more than 6 credits waived for any reason (e.g., study abroad or incoming college credit waiver)
    • HON 484The Honors Oracle News (a student-led newspaper)
    • HON 488Steering Committee of the Honors College Student Association (a student-led, SGA-recognized organization)
    • Contracted and “Waived” Hours
      • HON 489 – Worthwhile internships may be contracted for between 1-3 honors credits. The college also permits students to arrange to earn credit in the required honors curriculum for enrollment in a departmental internship course. The student must submit, receive approval, and fulfill an Honors Internship Contract in order to receive honors-designated academic credit. The Honors Internship allows students to complete some of their requirements in the Honors College through a rewarding co-curricular experience. Honors students must arrange for a designated On-Site Supervisor and a Faculty Mentor. At the end of the contracted period, the Honors Intern must submit a report and provide a presentation. The On-Site Supervisor must submit a comprehensive evaluation of the intern. See for Forms page for details. And, see our Honors Internship Partners page for a growing list of established partnerships to ease you into a rewarding experience.
      • Study Abroad experience may, in some instances, be substituted for up to six General Honors credits through an approved contract with the Honors College. See the Forms page for details.
      • Honors OptionsArranged through contract with Faculty Mentor to enhance a non-Honors course. Seek permission to submit form and have proposal approved by Dean. See the Forms page for details.
      • College Credit Waiver – Incoming, first-year students may submit an application as a first-semester student at Marshall to have 3-6 hours of General Honors credits waived if you have earned at least 15 hours of AP or DC college credit in high school. The waiver will not be entered as n “exception” in their DegreeWorks until their final semester. See the Forms page for details.
View the Honors College Advising Sheet

Honors Academic Standing

Students who receive an overall GPA below 3.00 in their first semester at Marshall will be dismissed from the Honors College. Students who have an overall GPA between 2.70 and 2.99 in their first semester courses may appeal for a maximum of two semesters of Academic Probation to return to a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher. Approval will be at the Dean’s discretion. Students must earn a C or better in a course to receive Honors credit. A student whose overall GPA falls below 3.30 after their first semester will be placed on probation in the Honors College and notified by university email. If the overall GPA is 3.30 or above at the end of the probation semester, the student will return to Good Standing in the Honors College. If the overall GPA is not 3.30 or higher at the end of the probation semester, the student will be dismissed from the college and forfeit any future Honors College benefits.

Students on Academic Probation in the Honors College must meet with the Honors Advisor to discuss plans for returning to Good Standing in the College. Failure to do so within the specified time will result in loss of Priority Registration privileges. Honors College students on probation who do not register for classes for the following term will be dismissed from the Honors College. If such students return to Marshall and desire to return to the Honors College, they must complete the Appeal for Reinstatement form found on the Honors College website. All decisions about reinstatement are made by the Dean and are final.

To remain in Good Standing in the Honors College a student is required to:

  • be enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program at Marshall University
  • maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher (see above for detailed information)
  • complete 6 honors credits within the first 2 semesters in the Honors College
  • register for HON 200 in the Spring of their second year at Marshall
  • complete a minimum of 3 Honors credit hours per academic year until the curriculum has been completed.

Students who fail to meet these standards will be dismissed from the Honors College and forfeit any future Honors College benefits. Exceptions to any of these standards must be approved by the Dean upon submission of the Honors College Exception Request form by a student.

The Honors Advisor will review all honors students’ academic records after grades are posted each semester. Students on probation and students who are being dismissed from the Honors College will be notified about their status by university e-mail after the records review is complete.

A student who is dismissed from the Honors College may appeal the dismissal. The appeals process begins with a letter to the Dean of the Honors College outlining the basis for requesting reinstatement. Decisions regarding reinstatement will be made at the Dean’s discretion and are final.