Course Work

Photo of Camille Hosman

“The Honors College has given me unparalleled opportunities to expand intellectually and academically. The Honors College has greeted me from the first day of my freshman year, with the Honors Learning Community, and has supported me throughout my college career with helpful administrators and staff and exciting, creative, coursework.”

—Camille Hosman

As a student at the University of Missouri, there are several ways to graduate with honors. The first way is to graduate with an Honors Certificate from the Honors College. Earning an Honors Certificate from the Honors College requires you to take honors courses in a variety of disciplines and maintain an acceptable GPA (see the specific requirements at Graduating With Honors).

The second way is through Latin Honors, which is based on your GPA, with varying requirements for different schools within the university.

Additionally, some departments on campus offer their own honors programs. Usually, students are eligible for departmental honors if they earn a specific GPA in that major in addition to participating in departmental research.

Thus, some students at the University of Missouri graduate with departmental honors; others graduate with the Honors Certificate awarded by the Honors College; and many graduate with both—called graduating with University Honors. Each of these distinctions will appear on your transcript as evidence of the challenging and enriching program of study you have undertaken at the University of Missouri. They also make you eligible for the Honors Convocation, held in Jesse Hall for fall graduates and at Mizzou Arena for spring graduates.

Course Work for the Honors Certificate

In addition to maintaining an acceptable GPA, students are eligible to graduate with an Honors Certificate by completing 20 or more hours of Honors courses. The 20 hours may include any General Honors and Departmental Honors course credits, and up to 6 hours of honors transfer credit, 8 hours of Learning-by-Contract credit, and 8 hours of approved graduate credit (form required). Students must achieve a minimum letter grade for each course: a C or better for regular honors or graduate courses or a B or better for Learning-by-Contract courses.

For complete information about graduating with an Honors Certificate and participating in the Honors Convocation, go to: Graduating With Honors.

To get you started toward your 20-hour goal, you are required to take two honors courses per year for your first two years. These courses exist in the curriculum of almost every department across campus. With a greater selection of small classes, you'll have ample opportunities to express yourself and interact closely with professors and classmates.

Honors courses often include more extensive reading lists or more ambitious laboratory work than non-honors classes. They rely on original sources rather than on a textbook’s summary of ideas. They may cover more intellectual territory, involve more in-depth conversation, and require more original written work. For more information about what an honors course involves, please see the Honors Course Criteria.

Types of Honors Courses

Honors classes take two forms: honors sections of regularly offered courses and special honors classes. Honors courses include the four-semester Humanities Series, the Human Science Series, the Science Series for non-science majors, and a changing menu of seminars. Recent special honors classes include:

  1. The Science Wars
  2. Positive Psychology
  3. Exploring the Arts at MU
  4. Italian Civilization
  5. Utopias
  6. Monstrous Births
  7. Cross Cultural Psychology
  8. Ethics and the Brain
  9. Terrorism: Ethnic, Religious and Ideological Politics
  10. Environment and Behavior
  11. Discussion of Science and Public Policy
  12. The Washington Process in Producing Agriculture Policy