Honors College

Providing high achieving students with resources they need to excel.

We are excited that you have navigated your way to this site and we hope that the information provided within the various links will help you understand what our Honors College is all about and also see the benefits of becoming part of our group.

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Information for Incoming Freshmen
  • Application Process
  • Financial Opportunities
  • Overnight Orientation
  • Living-Learning Community
  • Peer Mentor Program
  • Priority Enrollment
  • Study Abroad Opportunities
  • Honors College Association
  • Condition of Acceptance

Application & Reference Forms

Application form completed by the student. Must be typed.

The Freshman Honors College application includes the following:

  • Completed Application Form
  • An official copy of your 7th semester transcript (This is a separate process from Admission to the University)
  • Reference forms and letter completed by a school administrator/community member and a teacher in sealed envelopes to the applicant
  • Essay attached to application packet
  • Official verification of ACT score either on official transcript or photocopied from ACT results material.

Evaluation Process

A committee of five faculty members and two current students in the Honors College will review each qualified application against a 100 point rubric with points as follows:

  • 40 points-Academic Record to include ACT, GPA, and Transcript Analysis
  • 25 points-School Activities, Community Service, Employment, Honors and Awards
  • 15 points-Essay Evaluation
  • 10 points-Letters of Recommendation
  • 10 points-Discretionary

Once the points are collected from each committee member, a matrix will be created, scores averaged, and a line drawn at the top 42 applicants.  These are the applicants who will be invited to campus for On-Campus Interviews.

The interview will be evaluated on a 50 point rubric with points as follows: Aappearance, Fluency of Response, Depth of Response, Non-Verbal Communication, and Perceived Personality.

Once the points are collected from each Interview Panel Member, an average will be calculated and these points added to the original 100 points.  A line will be drawn at the top 30 applicants and those are the students who will be invited to the Honors College.  The remaining 12 students will be kept in a holding pool and moved up should someone in the top 30 not accept their invitation.

2018-2019 Application

2018-2019 Reference Form

On-Campus Interview Information

Applications are due January 15, 2018.  The committee will do a preliminary screening of all applicants and the top 42 will be invited to campus to participate in the interview process.  These invitations will be extended the week of February 5th if not before.  Interviews will be held on Sunday, February 11th.  Students will be placed in two cohorts on that day, with the first group reporting to campus at 12:00 noon and the second group at 2:30pm.

After a brief introductory session, students will proceed to one of four interview rooms where they will meet with an interview team consisting of a member of the selection committee, a current student in the Honors College, and an alumnus of the Honors College.  Each interview will last approximately 20 minutes and each applicant will be asked the same set of questions.  Students will also have the opportunity to take a campus tour if they have not already done so.  Following the interview process, the committee will meet and the top 30 students will receive invitations to become members of the PSU Honors College for the fall of 2017.

The on-campus interview is required for any student who desires to be a part of the Honors College program.  For  those individuals who live a great distance from PSU or who might have conflicts with making the trip to campus, a SKYPE room will be set up in order to conduct the interview.  All skype connections must be video in format.   It will be the applicant’s responsibility to have the necessary computer technology in their possession to facilitate the interview.  All SKYPE interviews must be established well in advance of the interview day to ensure scheduling coordination.  SKYPE can be downloaded free from the internet at http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/home.

NOTE: All materials must be postmarked by January 15, 2018, to ensure consideration for the applicant in the 2018-2019 Freshmen Honors College Class. Applications received after the Jan. 15 postmarked date will not be considered for review by the selection committee.

Requirements and Admission to the Honors College

Entering freshmen whose applications are postmarked by January 15th prior to the fall semester in which the student will enter Pittsburg State University will be considered for membership.

Students graduating from an accredited high school:

  • ACT composite score of 28 or higher OR SAT Critical Reading + Math score (CR+M) of 1310 or higher; AND
  • Complete the Kansas pre-college curriculum (or equivalent for non-residents) with at least a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale

The Pre-college Curriculum as established by the Kansas Board of Regents includes:

  • 4 units of English
  • 4 units of Math (nothing below Algebra I will be accepted) OR 3 units and one of the following: an ACT Math score of 22 or college credit in College Algebra
  • 3 units of Natural Science
  • 3 units of Social Science
  • 3 units of electives (English, Math, Natural Science, Social Science, Fine Arts, Computer Information Systems, Foreign Languages, Personal Finance, Speech, Debate, Forensics, Journalism and Career Technical Education)

International students:

  1. 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale; AND
  2. ACT/SAT/National Standardized Test; AND
  3. Rank in the to 1/3 of high school graduating class; AND
  4. Minimum TOEFL Score of 68 (Internet based); AND
  5. Recommendation from the PSU International Program and Services

Of the thirty students selected as members of the new incoming freshman class, the top twelve will receive the Presidential Scholar Award, the next twelve will receive the University Scholar Award, and the final six will receive the Crimson and Gold Scholar Award.


Presidential Award

$9,500 per year for four years plus a one-time Study Abroad Stipend up to $2,000.

  • Total four-year package: $40,000
  • Presidential Scholars cannot receive any admission based awards (AAA, Valedictorian, Diversity)
  • on top of their Honors College award, however, they can receive college or departmental awards up to the
  • cost of attendance.

University Award

$4,500 per year for four years plus a one-time Study Abroad Stipend up to $2,000.

  • Total four-year package: $20,000
  • University Scholars can receive admission based scholarships up to the cost of tuition and fees, as
  • well as college or departmental awards up to the cost of attendance. The Academic Achievement Award
  • will be the first admission based scholarship applied.

Crimson and Gold Award

$1,000 per year for four years plus a one-time Study Abroad Stipend up to $2,000.

  • Total four-year package: $6,000


Other Available Prestigious Scholarships

Members of the Honors College have many opportunities to make great new friends and lay a solid foundation for their success. It all begins with the Honors College Overnight Orientation experience. More than two months prior to their first semester of college, the new incoming freshmen attend this orientation, allowing them the opportunity to stay in the residence halls on campus, meet other Honors College members, and learn more about Pittsburg State University and the Honors College.

On the first day, students participate in a variety of events throughout the day and evening, including a pre-enrollment information session, help sessions, team building activities, and a Who Am I? Show. The Who Am I? Show is simply an opportunity for students to share a special talent or just something about themselves that would help everyone understand who they are and what they are about. This fun and informal activity provides the freshmen with a great way to get to know each other better. There is also an information session for parents to attend.

In the evening, everyone meets back up for the Freshman Honors College Dinner, where parents are invited to join for the special event. On the second day, freshmen participate in the first session of Pitt C.A.R.E.S. (Campus Advisement, Registration and Enrollment Services), which is designed to assist new freshmen with their transition to Pittsburg State University. During Pitt C.A.R.E.S., students gain valuable insights about college life through small-group activities, meet with an academic advisor to plan their fall semester, and complete university enrollment procedures.


"Walking into the Honors College Overnight, I had no clue what to expect, but it turned out to be an exciting learning experience. There was food, plenty of friendly people, never a dull moment, and the talent showcase gave us all a good laugh and a unique way to get to know others. Afterwards, I was really thankful we had that opportunity, because the start of freshman year I was so much more comfortable, knowing how to get around campus and having friends from day one because of the overnight.   ~ Nick Bartelli

All first-year students at Pittsburg State University must live in a residence hall for their first two academic semesters on campus unless they live within a fifty mile radius of campus. For Honors College students living on campus, there is the opportunity to live with other members of the Honors College within a, Living-Learning Community formed in the dorms. By placing Honors College students in rooms right next to each other, they may find it easier to make friends with their fellow members, and even take advantage of their placement to form study groups.

“Having the chance to live in the Living-Learning Community is such an amazing part of the Honors College. It is so nice to be surrounded by like-minded people who have their goals and values aligned with your own. On any given night, we are in and out of each other’s rooms doing homework and just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company. It's an amazing family to have while away at school.”   ~ Hannah Overbey

Peer mentor groups are groups within the Honors College, usually consisting of around 2 - 3 sophomore "mentors" and 5 - 6 freshman "peers." The Peer Mentor Program is intended to help the new incoming freshmen acclimate to the college’s academic and social life. Freshmen sometimes struggle through their first weeks or months at college as they adjust to the very different academic and social world of college. Students may feel lost on campus, the diversity of student social life may pull them in many directions, faculty may seem intimidating, and course demands may feel overwhelming. Students often feel that no one – not their advisors, their faculty, or even their parents – can offer them insights into the current realities of college life as well as other students can. Peer mentors are trusted and effective because they have been there, done that.

Peer mentor groups typically address, formally or informally, aspects of the college experience that lie outside (but often overlap) those academic areas where college faculty are most knowledgeable. Peer mentors are experienced students selected for their ability to share basic college information and their personal experiences and insights about college life. For new students, mentors function as models of student success who are willing to share the pitfalls they have encountered in college and the strategies they have developed to overcome them. The mentors’ positive attitudes, their ground-level insights into college life, and their personal experiences effectively map paths to success through the college territory for their slightly younger freshmen.

For example, mentors usually cover time-management strategies; discuss the places, times, and strategies they have found best for studying; offer insights into the ins and outs of residence hall life; and give good advice about avoiding pitfalls in their academic and social lives by sharing the shocks and confusions of their own freshman year.


“I really enjoyed seeing my excitement and appreciation for the Honors College Association mirrored in a number of mentees. They went through the same process as I did: moving to college, meeting other HCA members that ended up being their best friends, and discovering the true value of being a member of the Honors College.”   ~ Cassidy Barnard

Each semester, members of the Honors College are able to take advantage of Priority Enrollment. Students will have 30 hours added on to the total number of hours completed so that they are moved forward into the enrollment time slots. Typically, this means students will enroll one day earlier than their peers each semester. This ensures first choice of seats in classes during each enrollment period.

Pittsburg State University offers a wide array of Study Abroad Program opportunities that are designed for undergraduate and graduate students. Students that choose to study abroad can either travel for a few weeks with a group program, or individually, for a semester or full academic year. The Honors College sponsors short term, faculty led programs during May of even numbered years. Past programs include:

  • History and Culture in Italy and Greece
  • WWII and the Western Front-England, France, Belgium, Germany and Austria
  • The Cold War in Eastern Europe-Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria
  • Music, Art and Culture in Switzerland, Italy and France
  • History and Culture in London and Paris

Honors College students, who are in good standing, receive a one-time study abroad stipend, of up to $2,000, for a PSU-approved study abroad program.

“I was so excited for the opportunity to study abroad, but my experience was even more incredible than I could have anticipated! I loved learning about the countries I would be visiting before I even got there. Traveling to multiple countries with some of my best friends that I have met through the Honors College was an experience I hope everyone can try at some point in their college career.”     ~ Carlin Greene

“If you're thinking about studying abroad with the HCA, my advice: DO IT. Studying abroad can seem financially impossible or frightening, but it is such an incredible experience! There's nothing like learning and exploring with your Honors College friends and immersing yourself in a foreign culture. I know that I'll recall the memories we made in Europe for years to come!”     ~ Abbey Chaloupka

As members of the Honors College, students are also members of the Honors College Association (HCA), a student organization recognized through the Campus Activities Association. General meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month. These monthly meetings provide students with the opportunity to become involved in numerous on- and off-campus social and service activities. Annual events of the HCA include involvement in homecoming activities, a holiday party, a spring banquet, organization of the Pitt Project, involvement in the Big Event, involvement in the Special Olympics, etc. The HCA also provides excellent leadership opportunities for those who choose to become involved on a higher level. Such leadership opportunities include positions on the executive team, class representatives, Honors College advocates, peer mentors, committee chairs, etc.


2017-2018 Honors College Association Officers

President – Cassidy Barnard 

Vice President – Gage Davies

Secretary – Shelby Thompson

Treasurer – Quinnlyn Walcott


Senior Class Representative – Zach Denton

Junior Class Representative – Wyatt Osterhage

Sophomore Class Representative – Carly Stroup

Freshman Class Representative – Camille Holman

Once students are selected for the Honors College, there are certain requirements they must meet for continued eligibility and to graduate as a member in good standing.


Requirements for Freshman Experience

All freshman members of the Honors College must enroll in and complete the Honors Section of Freshman Experience. Schedules must be adjusted so that the student can enroll in this specific section of FE. If the student does not complete the course with a passing grade, they are automatically removed from the Honors College and will lose all Honors College scholarship funding, with no probation period.



Requirements for Earning Honors Credits

All Honors College students must earn a total of 21 honors credits, excluding freshman experience, to graduate in good standing. These credits can be earned through honors gen ed courses, honors contracts, approved study abroad experiences, participation in the Research Colloquium as long as participation is not required for their degree, non-required graduate classes, the Departmental Academic Honors Program, or completing both semesters of the Senior Honors Project. 

All freshman members of the Honors College must complete a minimum of six honors credits by the end of their first year to be a member in good standing. Any variants to this requirement must be discussed with the Director. Failure to meet this requirement will be cause for probationary status for the first semester of the sophomore year. Failure to meet this requirement by the end of the first semester of the sophomore year will result in dismissal from the Honors College and loss of the Honors College scholarship.

All sophomore members of the Honors College must complete a minimum of twelve honors credits by the end of their second year to be a member in good standing. Any variants to this requirement must be discussed with the Director. Failure to meet this requirement will be cause for probationary status for the first semester of the junior year. Failure to meet this requirement by the end of the first semester of the junior year will result in dismissal from the Honors College and loss of the Honors College scholarship.

All junior members of the Honors College must have completed a minimum of eighteen honors credits to be a member in good standing. Any variants to this requirement must be discussed with the Director. Failure to meet this requirement will be cause for probationary status for the first semester of the senior year. Failure to meet this requirement by the end of the first semester of their senior year will result in dismissal from the Honors College and loss of Honors College scholarship funding.



Community Service Requirement

In order to remain in good standing, students who are members of the Honors College are required to participate in at least one community service project each semester. During their first semester as members of the Honors College, freshmen will fulfill this requirement by participating in the Freshman Experience class community service project. For all other members, an HCA-sponsored community service project must be completed to fulfill their community service requirement.



GPA Policy Requirement

To be eligible for continued enrollment in the Honors College, freshmen must maintain a 3.2 cumulative grade point average and earn no less than 24 credit hours per academic year; sophomores must maintain a 3.4 cumulative grade point average and earn no less than 24 credit hours per academic year; juniors and seniors must maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA and earn no less than 28 credit hours per academic year. Earning credit hours can include summer school, though Honors College scholarships are not available in the summer session.

At the end of each semester, the Director of the Honors College will review the academic records of all Honors College students. Students who failed to achieve the requisite grade point average for their level will be notified that a one-semester probation is granted. The exception to this is first semester freshmen who do not achieve at least a 2.0. They will be removed immediately from the Honors College with no probation period. Sophomores, juniors and seniors who have received a one-semester probation and have failed to earn the requisite cumulative grade point average will be dismissed from the Honors College, will lose all Honors College scholarships, and will receive a letter from the Director of Honors College.

Information for Current Honors College Students