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.

See information



30 outstanding 2020 high school graduates were selected to be members of PSU's Honors College.

From those 30 new freshmen:

Average ACT score: 30.6

Average high school GPA: 3.97

Male/Female ratio: 10/20

Kansas Residents: 23

Gorilla Advantage Residents: 7

Mission & Goals of the Honors College

Mission of the Honors College
  • The mission of the Honors College is to provide a more meaningful educational experience for select high-achieving students. The Honors College curriculum at the freshman-sophomore level offers intellectually stimulating general education courses. The junior-senior level Honors College students become integrated into the Academic Honors program.  Students of all levels are encouraged to participate in undergraduate research, research presentation, and study abroad experiences to expand and enhance their educational experience.


Goals of the Honors College

  • First and foremost, the Honors College at Pittsburg State University has the goal of not only attracting high-quality applicants, but also of retaining them as high-achieving students until graduation.
  • A second goal is to provide educationally enriched experiences (reflected both in and out of the classroom) for the members of PSU's Honors College.
  • A third goal is to provide a socially responsive, supportive environment to the students in the Honors College whereby members feel personally connected to others throughout the college.
  • A final goal is to promote a sound start for incoming freshmen through an overnight orientation experience, enrollment in an Introduction to Honors course their first semester, and completion of a cohort community service requirement.
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 Process

The Freshman Honors College application includes the following:

  • Completed Online Application Form which includes:
    • An official copy of your 7th semester transcript (This is a separate process from Admission to the University) uploaded by your counselor
    • Reference forms and letters completed by a school administrator/community member and a teacher uploaded by the reference writers
    • Essays (2) uploaded in the online application
    • Official verification of ACT score either on official transcript or photocopied from ACT results material and uploaded in the online application
  • NOTE: The online application must be completed and received by January 15 to ensure consideration for the applicant in the Freshmen Honors College Class. Applications received after January 15 will not be considered for review by the selection committee.

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
  • 20 points-Essay Evaluations (10 each)
  • 10 points-Letters of Recommendation
  • 5 points-Discretionary

Once the scores are collected from each committee member, a matrix will be created, scores averaged, and a line drawn at the top 44 applicants.  These are the applicants who will be invited to campus for On-Campus Interviews. The interview will be evaluated on a 45-point rubric with points as follows: Fluency of Response, Depth of Response, Non-Verbal Communication, Perceived Attributes, and Overall Suitability for the Program.

Once the scores 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 14 students will be kept in a holding pool and moved up should someone in the top 30 not accept their invitation.

On-Campus Interview Information

Invitations for on-campus interviews will be extended the first week of February if not before.  Interviews will typically be held on the second Sunday in February.  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 members of the selection committee, current students 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.  Following the interview process, the scores will be added to the matrix, it will be recalculated, and the top 30 students will receive invitations to become members of the PSU Honors College for the fall.

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.

Requirements and Admission to the Honors College

The requirements to apply for and to be admitted to the PSU Honors College are as follows:

Students graduating from an accredited high school:

  • First consideration - superscore of 28 or higher on ACT and a 3.5 unweighted GPA
  • Second consideration - superscore of 25 to 27 on ACT and a 3.5 unweighted GPA, AND
  • Meet all admission requirements as determined by the PSU Office of Admissions

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


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

The Peer Mentor program is a vibrant and vital part of the success of the incoming cohort each year. Incoming students are paired with an upperclassman who has been selected to be a Peer Mentor and we use a 1-1 pairing, although group activities are strongly encouraged within the peer groups. 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 periodically. 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
  • History and Culture in Spain and Portugal

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.

2020-2021 Honors College Association Officers and Executive Team

President – Allison Gregg

Vice President – Travis Linn

Secretary – Sam Eddington

Treasurer – Marci Heatherly


Senior Class Representative – Josh Tegarden

Junior Class Representative – Grace Haworth

Sophomore Class Representative – Taylor Brynds

Freshman Class Representative – TBA

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 200: Intro to Honors. Schedules must be adjusted so that the student can enroll in this specific course. 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 Honors 200, 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 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 2 hours of community service each semester.



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. The only exception to this rule would be for students in their last year/semester who do not have that many hours left to complete their degree. As long as those students are taking courses required for their degree, it may be less than the 28 per 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 Students
  • Honors Gen Ed Information
  • Other Information
  • Faculty Teaching Honors

2 Year Honors Gen Ed Rotation

Subject to change based on faculty availability to teach courses and funding

Fall Even Semesters:

Honors 200-The Power of Music

Comm 207-Speech Communication 

Spring Odd Semesters:

English 190-Honors English Composition

History 201-American History

Fall Odd Semesters:

Psych 155-General Psychology

English 113-General Literature

Spring Even Semesters:

English 190-Honors English Composition

Geography 300-Elements of Geography


Dr. Paul McCallum - Honors English Composition

     Ph.D., University of New Hampshire, New Hampshire, U.S.A. 
     M.A., University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.A. 
     B.A., Morningside College, Iowa, U.S.A.

Dr. Kirstin Lawson - American History Post 1865

     Ph.D., University of Missouri, Missouri, U.S.A., April 2008.
     M.A., History, University of Missouri,Missouri, U.S.A., June 2001.
     B.A., History, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.A., June 1999.

Dr. Julie A. Allison - General Psychology and The Power of Music

     Ph.D., University of Kansas (Social Psychology) 
     M.A., University of Kansas 
     B.A., University of Kansas

Dr. Susan Carlson - English Literature

     M.A., Ph.D., Ohio State University, Ohio, U.S.A. 
     B.A., Drew University, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Professor Michele Barnaby - Elements of Geography 

     M.A., Geography, Kansas State University, Kansas, U.S.A., 1996
B.S., Geography, Eastern Michigan University, Michigan, U.S.A., 1992

Dr. Craig Fuchs - The Power of Music

     D.M.A., UMKC Conservatory of Music, Wind Conducting, 1999
     M.M., University of Missouri-Columbia, Music Education, 1989
     B.M.E., Missouri Western State University, 1985

Honors College Association

Dr. Fuchs Portrait

Dr. Craig Fuchs has been the Director of the Honors College since June of 2010.  Dr. Fuchs has been at PSU since the Fall of 1998 when he was hired as the Director of Bands in the Department of Music.  Fuchs still teaches classes in the Department of Music.  In addition to his responsibilities in music and the Honors College, Dr. Fuchs also serves as the Director of the Bachelor of General Studies Program at PSU.

Dr. Fuchs is married to his wife Kelly and has three children. Andrew is a professional singer in New York City, Kelsey and Caleb both attend Pittsburg State University. They have six pets that pretty much run the show. Two dogs named Duke and Charlie, and four, yes four cats named Snowflake, Gabby, Bella, and Bubba.

In his free time, Fuchs likes to play golf, play more golf, play more golf and travel.