1700 Honors College

Office of the Dean

Larry Berman, Founding Dean
Sarah L. Cook, Associate Dean
Jeffrey Portnoy, 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, 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 freshmen, 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 can enroll in upper division courses, special interdisciplinary courses, and research and write an honors thesis. Students in the college may earn honors recognitions that are noted on their diplomas and 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.

1700.10 Admission

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

Entering Freshmen (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 freshman class. Entering freshmen should have an outstanding high school grade-point average combined with excellent SAT or ACT score; Honors students usually have a record 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 freshmen but were not admitted to the Honors College at the time of admission may apply to the Honors College once they have completed a minimum of 24 credit hours and have a cumulative institutional GPA of at least 3.5.

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.

1700.20 Academic Resources & Services

National Scholarship and Fellowship Advisement

The Honors College encourages students to pursue national fellowships and scholarships, 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 distinguish themselves 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 each year for four years 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 Honors College students’ research and creative works.  The journal is published annually in hard copy and 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 PCs, Macs, and areas for working on laptops. Students can print at reduced rates in the lab. 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.

1700.30 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.

1700.40 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 diplomas and transcripts.

1700.45 LEAD with Honors Certificate

The Honors College Certificate in Leadership is a three-year program that develops small cohorts of Honors College students into tomorrow’s change agents through the practice of leadership principles and group dynamics. Students apply as rising sophomores and are accepted in cohorts of no more than 20. Cohort members each complete 16 credit hours over the course of the program, including an honors seminars, an honors course in leadership and group dynamics, and a leadership practicum experience.

Program Requirements: The Lead with Honors Certificate requires the following courses to be taken in sequence starting fall semester of a student’s sophomore year. Deviations from the sequence are not permitted due to the cohort structure of the program. Each cohort takes one class each semester.

Sophomore Year

  • HON 2000 Introduction to Lead with Honors (1 credit)
  • PSYC 4650 Leadership & Group Dynamics (3 credits)

Junior Year

  • HON 3000 Lead with Honors Seminar (3 credits)
  • HON 3280 Honors Service Learning (3 credits)

Senior Year

  • HON 3500 Lead with Honors Internship (3 credits)
  • HON 4300 Lead with Honors Senior Practicum (3 credits)

Thrive Events

In addition to certificate courses, students are required to attend five Thrive events each semester beginning in the spring semester of the sophomore year. Thrive is designed to create meaningful connections that enhance, expand, and engage the cultural and intellectual life of the LEAD cohort. Students in LEAD with Honors are required to attend 25 events over the course of cohort participation. Each event must be unique and not duplicate the content of another. Thrive events are divided into three categories requiring 8-9 events each over five semesters:

Imagine — Get to know your world; attend a speakers series, named scholar lectures, Rialto events, conferences, etc.

Engage — Interact with others and experience your world; participate in Touch the Earth, community service, etc.

Achieve — Take a leadership role in an event that serves the Honors College, Georgia State Community or Atlanta Community

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

Students are encouraged to attend events in the Atlanta community and beyond that enhance their cultural and intellectual knowledge. As such, students may opt to attend events other than those listed on the Thrive-eligible calendar. However, students are limited to two of these events each semester or ten total. Each non-GSU event must be approved by the program director before it will count towards the Thrive requirement.

1700.50 Honors Recognitions and Requirements

Students may choose to work toward any or all of three formal recognition levels. These are recorded on transcripts and on diplomas and acknowledged at graduation. 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 satisfaction of the requirements for honors recognition. All incoming freshmen honor students are required to enroll in Honors 1000, a one-hour seminar that introduces students to research-based academic work in the disciplines.

  • Honors: Granted to students who complete at least 12 credit hours of coursework in lower-division honors classes at Georgia State University (in addition to Honors 1000). The 12 hours of lower-division coursework (1000 and 2000 level courses) must be in classes selected from at least three major areas of study with no more than two classes in any one area.  Many of these courses can fulfill core requirements (Areas A – E).
  • Advanced Honors: In addition to fulfilling the requirements for Honors, Advanced Honors are granted to students who complete at least 12 semester hours of honors coursework at the upper division level (3000 ad 4000 level courses), plus two upper-level honors interdisciplinary seminars, for a total of 18 hours of upper-level courses. Three semester hours of thesis research work (4870), nine hours of honors dimensions, and nine semester hours of graduate courses may be applied toward this recognition.
  • Research Honors: Granted to students who complete the requirements for Advanced Honors and an honors thesis, including at least six semester hours and not more than nine semester hours of honors research and thesis coursework.

1700.60 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 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.

1700.70 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 University Information Section 1050.80 under Policies and Disclosures in this catalog or visit enrollment.gsu.edu/assistance for details.