The Honors Program serves Missouri Southern State University by recruiting academically talented and motivated students and engaging them in enhanced educational opportunities and challenges designed to promote their development as scholars and citizens.

Beginning with the first semester of their freshman year, Honors students participate in specially-designated Honors classes. Because admission is selective and competitive, these classes are smaller and often involve more active learning than regular classes, permitting Honors students greater and more intensive interaction with their instructors and other outstanding students.

Honors students also enjoy intensive guidance and personal attention from the Honors directors and from distinguished faculty in their area of study. Independent studies and the Senior Thesis project provide students and faculty with the flexibility they need to pursue scholarly interests and to design and implement innovative, creative approaches to learning.

Performance expectations are high. Honors students are held to the highest standards of academic performance, but are not in competition with one another. Instead, an atmosphere of openness, cooperation and intellectual adventure enables Honors students to inspire and challenge one another to the highest levels of achievement.

The Curriculum

While students will take courses offered in Southern’s regular curriculum, these five features are specifically designed for Honors students:

Honors Forum

This course is an open forum to provide an in-depth discussion of a specific topic, text or other matter of interest. Students engage in critical thinking as they participate in and lead classroom discussions and presentations.

Honors Courses

Special sections of required courses such as English composition are designated as Honors sections. There are a number of such courses offered each semester and Honors students select several from these, particularly during their freshman and sophomore years.

Senior Honors Thesis

Honors Scholars enhance a course in their major for Honors credit during the senior year. Working under the guidance of professors in their major field, they design and carry out independent projects investigating a topic in depth and utilizing original research methods. Each student makes a presentation, of his or her research to an Honors Colloquium open to a campus-wide audience.The presentation is required of each student for completion of the Honors Program.

Honors Recognition

Missouri Southern is affiliated with the National Collegiate Honors Council, The Great Plains Regional Honors Council and the national honor societies Phi Eta Sigma and Alpha Chi. Most Honors students have the opportunity to participate in the activities of these organizations.

Every Honors course completed with a final grade of ‘A’ or ‘B’ is identified as an Honors course on the student’s transcript. Students who maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3, complete the required 26 hours of Honors courses and who maintain acceptable progress in Honors will receive special recognition at commencement.

Honors and Evans Scholarships

All Honors Scholars must be eligible for an academic scholarship at Missouri Southern. In addition to competing for admission to the Honors Program, candidates are also competing for additional scholarships. The Honors and Walter and Fredrica Evans Scholarships will be awarded in varying amounts to the most highly qualified applicants as funds allow. The Evans is a four year renewable scholarship applicable to both tuition and room and board, while the Honors Scholarship applies to tuition only. These scholarships are Southern’s most valuable institutional academic awards and are applicable to fall and spring semesters only.


All students who wish to participate in the Honors Program must first be admitted to Southern. Incoming freshmen with at least a composite score on the ACT of 28 or with at least a GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in high school course work are invited to apply for admission to the program. To complete the application process the student must submit an application form, a transcript and two letters of recommendation mentioning the student’s strengths as a scholar. An essay may also be required.

The Honors Program at Missouri Southern State University is directed by Dr. Michael Howarth.