Admission to the Honors College

Incoming Freshmen

If you meet the criteria for direct admission, making this deadline allows you to apply for Honors housing. Once you submit the online application, you will receive notification from the Honors College within 2 weeks.

If you don’t meet the criteria for direct admission and wish to petition for admission, you need to petition well before March 1 if you wish to apply for Honors housing, and no later than the third Friday in May to be considered for Fall Honors College admission.

Eligibility for Students Entering MU as Freshmen Fall 2014 or Later

You may apply for admission to the Honors College if you satisfy any one of the following three criteria:

  1. An ACT* score of 31 (SAT 1360*) AND either a top 15% class rank OR a high school Core or Enhanced Core** GPA of 3.58
  2. An ACT* score of 30 (SAT 1330*) AND either a top 10% class rank OR a high school Core or Enhanced Core** GPA of 3.74
  3. An ACT* score of 29 (SAT 1290*) AND either a top 5% class rank OR a high school Core or Enhanced Core** GPA of 3.91

If you meet i, ii, or iii above, you need only complete an online application to be accepted by the Honors College.

* SAT scores (Critical Reading and Math only) are converted to ACT scores by the MU Admissions Office.

** Core GPA is calculated by MU using your grades from all English, science, social studies, and foreign language courses, all math courses Algebra I and higher, and your highest fine art grade. Enhanced Core GPA is calculated by MU Admissions and gives extra weight to Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) coursework, if any, for which you received a grade of C or higher.

NOTE: If your school does not report class rank, eligibility will be determined by your ACT or SAT* score AND your Enhanced Core GPA. Enhanced Core GPA is calculated by MU Admissions and gives extra weight to Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) coursework for which you received a grade of C or higher.

Eligibility for Students Entering MU as Freshmen Before Fall 2014

You may apply for admission to the Honors College if you have a 29 or above on the ACT (or 1280 or higher on the SAT) AND are in the top 10 percent of your graduating high school class*. If you meet these criteria, you need only to complete an online application to be accepted by the Honors College.

* If your school does not use class rank and your “core GPA” is at least 3.70, you can use your core GPA for direct admission to the Honors College in place of the class rank criterion. Core GPA is calculated by MU using your grades from all English, science, social studies, and foreign language courses, all math courses Algebra I and higher, and your highest fine art grade.

Petitioning for Admission If You Don’t Meet the Eligibility Criteria

If you don’t meet the criteria for direct admission to the Honors College, you may petition for admission by submitting two essays as part of your application. You will be notified of the decision within 2 weeks. In order to petition for admission, select that option at the bottom of the online application and the necessary fields and text boxes will open.

Note that if you are admitted to the Honors College through the petition process and you wish to apply for Honors housing, you must petition well before the March 1 deadline.

Students Transferring to MU

The Honors College enthusiastically welcomes transfer students.

For students entering MU Fall 2014 or later:

You are eligible for admission to the Honors College if you have completed at least 30 credit hours of college credit at an accredited institution and have achieved a GPA of 3.7 or above. If you meet these criteria, please fill out the online application.

For students entering MU before Fall 2014:

You are eligible for admission to the Honors College if you have completed at least 30 credit hours of college credit at an accredited institution and have achieved a GPA of 3.5 or above. If you meet these criteria, please fill out the online application.

Please include the name of your previous college or university and the number of credit hours you have completed.

Please note that AP/Dual Credit taken during high school counts toward your 30 hours, but does not qualify you as a “Transfer Student.” You must have completed at least one semester as a full-time student at an accredited college or university to be considered a Transfer Student. Up to 6 honors credits earned at another accredited college or university may be transferred to MU if they appear as honors credits on your previous college or university transcript.

Current MU Students

Current students at MU are enthusiastically encouraged to join the Honors College if they meet the following criteria:

For students entering MU Fall 2014 or later:

You are eligible for admission to the Honors College if you are an MU student who has completed at least 12 credit hours and achieved a cumulative MU GPA of 3.7 or higher. If you meet these criteria, please fill out the online application.

For students entering MU before Fall 2014:

You are eligible for admission to the Honors College if you are an MU student who has completed at least 30 credit hours and achieved an MU GPA of 3.5 or higher. If you meet these criteria, please fill out the online application.

Maintaining Honors College Membership

In order to remain members of the Honors College, students must fulfill both the GPA and Participation Requirements:

GPA Requirement

For students entering MU as Freshmen Fall 2014 or later:

To retain membership in the Honors College, students must maintain an MU cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above. Students with an MU cumulative GPA below 3.5 will receive a warning letter the first semester in which this occurs. Students with an MU cumulative GPA below 3.5 for a second consecutive semester will no longer be members of the Honors College. Students wishing to reapply to the Honors College must meet the eligibility requirements for current MU students (see above).

For students entering MU as Freshmen before Fall 2014:

To retain membership in the Honors College, students must maintain an MU cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above. Students with an MU GPA below 3.0 will receive a warning letter the first semester in which this occurs. Students with an MU cumulative GPA below 3.0 for a second consecutive semester will no longer be members of the Honors College. Students wishing to reapply to the Honors College must meet the eligibility requirements for current MU students (see above).

Participation Requirement

Students who join the Honors College as first-year students will be required to complete two honors courses per year for their first two years at MU. All honors courses will count toward this requirement, including honors-designated courses, and Honors Learning-by-Contract. MU students who join the Honors College in their sophomore year and transfer students who are admitted with sophomore standing will be required to complete two courses in their first year of Honors College membership. MU students who join the Honors College after their second year and transfer students who are admitted with junior or senior standing will be exempted from the participation requirement.

Requirements for Graduating with the Honors Certificate

For students enrolling at MU for the first time in Fall 2014 or later:

Students who complete 20 or more hours of courses for honors credit and maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA (as calculated after final grades are posted at the end of the semester in which the student is graduating) are eligible to graduate with an Honors Certificate. In addition to General Honors and Departmental Honors course credits, the 20 hours may include 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 classes or a B or better for Learning-by-Contract courses. Students must apply for the Honors Certificate by completing the application. In order to participate in the Honors Convocation, students must apply no later than the end of the third week of classes in their final semester. For more information, see the Application for Graduation with the Honors Certificate.

For students enrolling at MU for the first time before Fall 2014:

Students who complete 20 or more hours of courses for honors credit and maintain a 3.3 cumulative GPA (as calculated after final grades are posted at the end of the semester in which the student is graduating) are eligible to graduate with an Honors Certificate. In addition to General Honors and Departmental Honors course credits, the 20 hours may include 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 classes or a B or better for Learning-by-Contract courses. Students must apply for the Honors Certificate by completing the application. In order to participate in the Honors Convocation, students must apply no later than the end of the third week of classes in their final semester. For more information, see the Application for Graduation with the Honors Certificate.

Your Honors Certificate eligibility will be verified after Graduation to confirm that your GPA is still within the eligibility limits, that Learning-by-Contract courses are complete, and to make certain you have completed 20 eligible honors credit hours. Participation in the Honors Convocation does not guarantee you will be awarded an Honors Certificate.

Requirements for Participating in the Honors Convocation

Eligibility to participate in the Honors Convocation will be made based on the honors credits for which you are enrolled in your final semester (if any), along with the honors credits listed on your transcript and your cumulative GPA as recorded at the end of the semester prior to the one in which you graduate. For example, if you plan to participate in the Spring Honors Convocation, you must have (or must be enrolled to complete) at least 20 eligible honors credits and have a 3.5 cumulative GPA at the end of the Fall Semester (3.3 if initially enrolled prior to Fall 2014). Students must complete the application no later than the end of the third week of classes in their final semester. Graduating students who do not apply in time will not be eligible to participate in the Honors Convocation.

Your Honors Certificate eligibility will be verified after Graduation to confirm that your GPA is still within the eligibility limits, that Learning-by-Contract courses are complete, and to make certain you have completed 20 eligible honors credit hours. Participation in the Honors Convocation does not guarantee you will be awarded an Honors Certificate.