May 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Honors College - Bachelor’s

Return to: 1700 Honors College  

Office of the Dean

Sarah L. Cook, Dean
William Nichols, Associate Dean, Atlanta
Lauri Goodling, Associate Dean, Perimeter College

Centennial Hall, Suite 200
100 Auburn Avenue


General Information

The Honors College serves high ability students in undergraduate programs of study in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, College of Arts & Sciences, College of the Arts, College of Education and Human Development, J. Mack Robinson School of Business, Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing, and School of Public Health. Honors courses, sections, dimensions, independent readings/research, and theses are taught and supervised by faculty in all colleges.


The Honors College was established in 2011 and evolved from the College of Arts & Sciences Honors Program which began in 1975. A major goal of the College is to enhance the quality of undergraduate education and create transformational learning experiences. The Honors College serves eligible students studying across all Georgia State University colleges with undergraduate programs of study including the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, College of Arts and Science, College of the Arts, College of Education and Human Development, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions, Perimeter College, School of Public Health, and Institute of Biomedical Sciences.

The Honors College provides the advantages of a small, highly-selective college with the breadth of programs and opportunities of a large research university. The College is open to incoming first-year students, Perimeter College transition and transfer students, and currently enrolled students who meet eligibility requirements. Honors students take small, seminar-based classes and develop mentoring relationships with outstanding faculty members. Honors sections of a number of regular courses, many of which meet core curriculum requirements (Areas A - E), are offered throughout the academic year. In addition, students in the Honors College may enroll in upper division courses, special interdisciplinary and service-learning courses, and research and write an honors thesis. Students in the college may earn honors recognitions that are noted on transcripts, and pursue additional opportunities such as internships and study abroad experiences to enrich the quality of their education. Honors students may also take advantage of dedicated facilities, a dedicated librarian, priority registration, merit scholarships, graduate and professional school advising, national fellowship and scholarship advising, special travel and study abroad opportunities, and specialized housing in the Honors Living Learning Community in the University Commons and Patton Hall.


Admission to the Honors College (Atlanta campus) is competitive. Criteria for admission depend upon student status at the time of application.

Entering First-Year Students (Atlanta campus): Admission to the Honors College upon admission to the university is typically limited to the top 5-8% of the bachelor degree-seeking fall first-year class. Entering first-year students have outstanding high school grade-point averages and have taken the most challenging curricular paths available to them in their high school environments. SAT and ACT scores are considered but are one part of a holistic review matrix; Honors students usually have records of meaningful community service, leadership, and/or extra-curricular activity. High school students who are jointly enrolled will also be considered.

Continuing students: Students who were admitted to the Atlanta campus as first-year students but were not admitted to the Honors College at the time of admission may apply to the Honors College during the spring application period. Students should have a minimum of 24 credit hours and have a cumulative institutional GPA of at least 3.5 for consideration.

Perimeter College Honors students: Perimeter College Honors students transitioning to the Atlanta campus may enter the Atlanta campus Honors College if they are in good standing for the Honors College (i.e., have a cumulative institutional GPA of at least 3.3) and have at least 12 hours of Honors credit.

Other Perimeter College transition students and transfer students: Perimeter College transition students not already in the Honors College and transfer students must have 30 hours completed with a GPA of 3.5 to be considered for admission to the Honors College.

The application for admission to the Honors College will open for submissions on March 1 and close on May 1 each year; applicants will be evaluated based on their completed credit hours and cumulative institutional grade point averages as of the completion of the spring semester. Admission to the Honors College is for the fall semester and is offered on a space-available basis to the most highly qualified applicants. Students who do not meet the minimum academic requirements for admission consideration but wish to pursue Honors course work should contact the Honors College staff.

Academic Resources & Services

National Scholarship and Fellowship Advisement

The Honors College encourages students to pursue national scholarships and fellowships, such as the Rhodes, Truman, Goldwater, Fulbright, and Gilman awards, by working early in their studies with the College’s Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships. Students seeking to elevate their college experience work with the office to determine appropriate scholarship opportunities, identify resources and engage in experiences designed to make them nationally competitive and prepare them for a lifetime of achievement. The Honors College offers a variety of programs to help student compete for these national awards.

University Assistantship Program

First-year students have an opportunity to apply to the University Assistantship Program (UAP). The UAP provides $2,500 per year to students involved in faculty-mentored research or creative work. In line with students’ educational and career goals, the program matches students with faculty members or staff in relevant offices. The award is contingent on satisfactory performance in the placement and good standing in the Honors College.

Internships and Study Abroad

The Honors College offers internships both locally and through the London Experience in London, England. In London, opportunities are available for internships in government, public relations, fashion, risk/reward management, government relations and public affairs, film and video, business administration, and private wealth management. The College also offers a variety of other internships and works individually with students to identify internship opportunities. Internship opportunities are open to students from all majors.


The Honors College publishes Discovery, an undergraduate research journal that showcases students’ research and creative works. The journal is published annually online at ScholarWorks@GeorgiaStateUniversity. Co-edited by faculty and students, all submissions are peer-reviewed and accepted for review throughout the year.

Herndon Human Rights Initiative

The Herndon Human Rights Initiative recognizes the legacy of Alonzo F. & Norris B. Herndon in the modern civil rights movements. The Initiative sponsors an annual experimental, research-based course that culminates in a university and community presentation. The Initiative also funds Herndon Scholarships for students with demonstrated participation in research, creative work, or service in support of human rights.

Accelerated Bachelor’s/J.D. program

Students who enter the college with at least 15 credit hours from high school may be eligible for the Accelerated Bachelor’s/J.D. degree program. Credits from high school typically come through programs such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or dual enrollment. Eligibility is subject to approval by the program coordinator in the Honors College as well as by the Office of Admissions in the College of Law. Students must complete all of the course requirements for their undergraduate major (not including non-major electives) as well as submitting a statement of interest to the Honors College program coordinator. Students will also need to take the LSAT and complete the College of Law’s application process. Students will be classified as undergraduates during their first year in the College of Law and will earn their bachelor’s degree when they successfully complete all first-year law courses, typically at the end of their fourth year. Credits earned during the first year of law school can be used to fulfill upper-level elective and residency requirements for the bachelor’s degree.


The Honors College maintains a computer lab with areas for working on personal laptops and for group collaboration. Students can print at reduced rates in the lab, and all computers and software are routinely upgraded.

Study Lounges, Project Rooms, Kitchen, and Lockers

The College has three study lounges throughout the college, conference rooms, a group study room, lockers, and a dedicated student kitchen.

College Academic Regulations

Scholastic Standard

Continuation in the Honors College requires students to maintain at least a 3.3 cumulative grade-point average. A student whose average falls below 3.3 will be given two academic terms in which to attain a 3.3 average again, at which point the student may continue to take honors courses.

Active-Inactive Status

Although there is no minimum number of courses required to remain enrolled in the Honors College, students who are in good academic standing in the program (see above) and who have taken at least one honors course in the past three academic terms (including summer session) will be considered active in the program. Students newly admitted to the college will be counted as active during their first four academic terms. All others will be considered inactive.

One-Semester Registration

Any student in the university with a 3.0 or higher GPA may take one honors course without being admitted to the college. Authorization for all honors courses must be obtained prior to registration from the Honors College office.

Degree Requirements

The Honors College does not confer a degree. Students earn their degree through the college in which their program is situated. Students in the college may earn honors recognitions that are noted on their transcript.

Lonnie C. King Jr. Leadership Certificate

The Lonnie C. King, Jr. Leadership Initiative honors the legacy and leadership of Mr. King in the pursuit of social justice for the advancement of civil and human rights. Human rights are generally considered the most fundamental rights. As a concept, they were conceived in the aftermath of World War II. Human rights arise simply by being human; civil rights arise by virtue of a legal grant of that right from the state. Social justice refers to the ideal condition in which all members of society have the same human and civil rights, protections, opportunities, obligations, and benefits. Instilling leadership skills and abilities in students in pursuit of social justice is one goal of the Lonnie C. King, Jr. Leadership Initiative.

The Lonnie C. King, Jr. Leadership Certificate is a three-year certificate program focused on leadership development, a quality that employers actively seek in recent graduates. The certificate program focuses on Mr. King’s community-oriented leadership style, which emulates the values of the Social Change Model of Leadership Development. The curriculum will focus on the exploration of leadership as a means of producing social change. Participants in the program will complete 13-hours of coursework focused on leadership and social change, while also participating in co-curricular programming to practice the values of the Social Change Model. The program will build from the previously funded and still operating Herndon Human Rights Initiative by incorporating its endowed seminar into the full curriculum.

Honors students apply after 30 credits and complete 13 credit hours including an honors seminar, the Herndon Human Rights Initiative Seminar, a course on activism or social change, an upper division course addressing complex social issues, and a leadership practicum experience.

Program Requirements: The Lonnie C. King, Jr. Leadership Certificate requires the following courses to be taken.

  • HON 2000 Introduction to Lead with Honors (1 credit)
  • HON 3260 Herndon Human Rights Initiative Seminar (Honors Topics Interdisciplinary Seminar)
  • 3.0 hours of pre-approved interdisciplinary course on activism or social justice from the following:
    • AAS 4550 Activism and the Black Freedom Movement
    • CRJU 4720 Law, Justice & Social Change
    • HON 3280 Honors Service Learning
    • RELS 3030 How to Change the World
    • SOCI 3220 Activism, Protest, and Revolution
    • SOCI 3350 Social Change and the Future
    • SOCI 4350 Social Justice I
    • WGSS 4760 Activism: History and Theory
    • A student may substitute a course with permission of the Lonnie C. King, Jr. Leadership Certificate faculty associate.
  • 3.0 honors of pre-approved courses addressing complex social issues, power, social change history, leadership, ethics, or group dynamics from the following:
    • AAS 4180 Politics of the Civil Rights Movement
    • CNHP 3000 Communication/Cultural Diversity
    • CNHP 3300 Human Services Policy, Planning and Trends
    • CNHP 4010 Leadership and Ethics in Healthcare
    • HON 2500 Leadership and Group Dynamics
    • HON 3000 Honors Lead Seminar
    • HON 4500 Enduring Question
    • LGLS 3610 Legal and Ethical Analysis of Business Environments CTW
    • MGS 3400 Managing People in Organizations
    • NURS 3300 Human Services, Policy, Planning and Trends
    • PHIL 3730 Business Ethics
    • PHIL 4760 Ethics and Contemporary Public Policy - Ethics Bowl
    • PHIL 4820 Philosophy of Law
    • PMAP 3031 Policy Leadership
    • PMAP 4911 Selected Topics (Women Lead)
    • POLS 4131 Civil Liberties and Rights
    • POLS 4157 Politics of the Civil Rights Movement
    • POLS 4215 Politics of Peace
    • POLS 4422 NGOs and World Politics
    • POLS 4427 Politics of International Human Rights
    • PSYC 3560 Leadership and Group Dynamics
    • SOCI 3100 Identity, Self, and Social Interaction
    • SOCI 3201 Wealth, Power, and Inequality
    • SOCI 3212 Race and Ethnic Relations
    • SOCI 3216 Gender and Society
    • SOCI 4218 Power and Politics
    • SOCI 4360 Religion and Society
    • WGSS 4750 Black Feminist Thought
    • WGSS 4780 African American Lesbian and Gay Activism
    • A student may substitute a course with permission of the Lonnie C. King, Jr. Leadership Certificate faculty associate.
  • HON 4300 Lead with Honors Senior Practicum (3 credits)

Community Events

In addition to certificate courses, students are required to attend two community events each semester beginning in the spring semester of the sophomore year. Community events are designed to create meaningful connections that enhance, expand, and engage the concepts of leadership, social change, or social justice. Students in the Lonnie King, Jr. Leadership Certificate program are required to attend 10 events to fulfill the certificate requirements. Each event must be unique and not duplicate the content of another.

Each semester students will receive a calendar of community events at Georgia State and in the Atlanta community. Students will document attendance at events by submitting a 500-word reflection and photo from the event. The photo must include the student at or participating in the event.

Students are welcome to attend events in the Atlanta community and beyond that connect to leadership, ethics, social change, or social justice. However, students are limited to one of these events each semester or five total. Each non-Georgia State event must be approved by the Certificate director before it will count towards the community events requirement.

Honors Recognitions and Requirements

Students are encouraged to earn one formal recognition bestowed by the College: 1. Honors Laureate or 2. Research Laureate. Recognition of Laureates is recorded on transcripts and acknowledged at the Honors College graduation ceremony and the University’s Commencement.

Honors recognitions require 3.3 grade-point averages overall and in honors coursework. No courses with grades of D or F may be applied toward the requirements for Honors or Research Laureate.

  • Honors Laureate: Conferred to students who complete at least 24 credit hours of coursework in honors courses at Georgia State University. Honors credits can be completed in lower division courses to fulfill the core (Areas A -F), in upper-division courses to fulfill the major (Areas F - G), or electives. No more than 12 hours of lower division credit and no less than 6 hours of credit in HON 3000-4000 courses may be applied to the Honors Laureate recognition.
  • Research Laureate: Conferred to students who complete an honors thesis as a part of the Honors Laureate requirements plus one other research activity as specified below. The Research Laureate does not require additional credit requirements beyond the Honors Laureate; it specifies that students take one or both research courses (HON 4870 ; HON 4880 ) within the required minimum of 24 hours.

Students can become an Honors or Research Laureate by taking a selection of upper and lower division courses from the following categories.

  1. HON 1000: Students entering as freshmen are required to complete a HON 1000 seminar. Accepted applicants and transition students may complete a HON 1000 seminar but HON 1000 is not a requirement.
  2. Lower Division Courses: Honors-Only sections in the core or Honors Add-On sections in any lower division course. Students may apply no more than 12 credits in lower division courses.
  3. Upper Division Courses: Students may complete courses in the following categories:
    1. HON 3000 - 4000 courses including interdisciplinary seminars, service learning courses, colloquia, Honors-Only or Honors Add-On sections in upper-division courses, or Honors Enrichment Contracts. Students must earn no less than 6 credits of HON 3000-4000 courses.
    2. No more than 6 credits in special initiatives such as a second Critical Thinking through Writing course, a Writing Across the Curriculum course, a Digital Learning course, a Women Lead course, a departmental or program signature experience, study abroad courses, domestic field schools; the Georgia Legislative Internship Program or the Honors College London Experience,
    3. Graduate courses: 6000 or 8000 level courses with permission of the instructor or College Office of Academic Assistance

Students who wish to be recognized as a Research Laureate may complete HON 4870  but must complete HON 4880  within the 24 required credit hours The student would also need to complete one of three other research activities: 1. Present work at GSURC, 2. submit a manuscript to Discovery, the Honors College Research Journal, or 3. Present at a professional or student-oriented research conference.

Early in their course of study students will be asked to declare their intent to pursue the Honors or Research Laureate recognition. If students indicate a desire to obtain a laureate recognition, they are required to meet with their Honors Academic Advisor on a yearly basis to ensure they are on track to meet requirements without delaying graduation.

Office of Academic Advising

Academic Advisement

The Honors College provides the following services each semester to active Honors students:

  • Academic advisement and honors course selection
  • Review of AP credit and IB credit and how the credit applies to an academic program
  • Review of all honors credit and requirements for Honors recognition at graduation

Honors students are advised on an appointment basis. To schedule an appointment with an honors academic advisor, call 404-413-5577. Students are urged to arrange for advisement in their departments and in the Honors College regularly and well in advance of registration to take full advantage of honors offerings. Students should also meet with their academic advisor in the University Advisement Center and as they advance, with their college’s Office of Academic Assistance.

Student Complaints, Petitions, Policy Waivers and Variances, and Appeals

The appeals procedure for students in the Honors College will follow different courses depending on the nature of the student’s appeal. Please refer to Student Complaints, Petitions for Policy Waivers and Variances, and Appeals  under Policies and Disclosures in this catalog or visit for details.