Advising FAQ

Should I wait until I complete my Liberal Arts Core - or other- requirements before taking Honors courses?

No, you should use Honors courses to fulfill those requirements, where possible, because many Honors courses count toward school, college and program requirements. (The Honors course WRT 209, to take just one example, will count for WRT 205.)

During your first semester in Honors, you will take an introductory Honors course, and we recommend you take at least one Honors course per semester early on in your career.

Can I take more than 19 credits in any given semester?

In rare cases, it may become necessary to take over 19 credits, and you can request permission from Honors to do so, as long as you are making good progress in completing Honors requirements. This is intended to provide exceptional students the opportunity to take the number of credit hours they need for an appropriately challenging course load.  Registration for courses beyond 19 credits is subject to extra tuition charges (but see exemption information below). 

To request permission to register for more than 19 credits in the following semester:

  • submit the ‘request for overload’ form well before the day you register.
  • You must have a minimum cumulative gpa of 3.5 to request this permission.
  • You must be making good progress in completing Honors. requirements.
  • Please do not abuse this privilege by signing up for more credits than you actually intend to complete–you are taking space in classes from other students when you do so.
Are Honors courses harder than regular courses?

Because Honors courses are smaller, and are limited to Honors students, they often engage the material in greater depth, and pursue it in greater detail, than other courses. Honors students enjoy the intellectual stimulation of having other Honors students in a small class where the quality of discussion is excellent, and many students report that this enhances their learning.

How many Honors courses do I have to take? Do I have to take one every semester?

Honors students take a minimum of four Honors courses during their four years and a one-credit introductory Honors seminar. Many students take additional Honors courses as electives, and to fulfill other curriculum requirements.

You are not required to take an Honors course every semester. However, we do check to ensure that Honors students are making satisfactory progress in Honors requirements, including coursework.

What is the difference an HNR-prefix course and other Honors courses?

Courses designated by the HNR prefix are special courses designed for the Honors program.  They are not formally connected to the requirements of any major on campus, so faculty have the freedom to explore a wider variety of topics, and engage content from multiple perspectives.  However, HNR prefix courses can be used to fulfill humanities (HNR x40), social science (HNR x60) or natural science (HNR x50) liberal arts requirements in every school or college.  Other Honors courses (sometimes referred to as “departmental honors courses”) are honors versions of courses already being offered through various academic departments, for example WRT 109, PAF 101/honors, PSY 209, and so on.

What is the difference between the Honors Program and honorary societies?

The Honors Program is an institutional, academic program that is part of Syracuse University. Honors has a set of academic and other requirements that students complete. Students who do so graduate with “Renée Crown University Honors” — as noted on their transcripts and diplomas. In doing so, they become part of the Honors alumni group.

Honorary societies such as Phi Beta Kappa is an independent, national organizations that recognize outstanding academic achievement. Qualified students receive invitations to join. It’s a genuine honor to receive an invitation, and you should consider it seriously.

Does Honors provide funding for students to attend conferences.

Honors occasionally supports Capstone students who are presenting their work at disciplinary academic conferences – the same ones attended by faculty. In general, we do not fund student travel to undergraduate conferences.

How do I maintain good standing in Honors? Is it possible to be withdrawn from Honors?

The four components of good standing in Honors are grades, academic integrity, progress through Honors requirements, and the capstone project.

Grades.  A cumulative gpa of 3.4 (3.2 in Architecture) is required to remain in good standing.  If you drop below a 3.4, you will be given time to bring your gpa back up to good standing.

These are the circumstances under which you can be withdrawn from Honors because of grades:

  • If your cumulative gpa is below 3.4, and there have been three consecutive semesters in which your semester gpa is below 3.4, you will most likely be withdrawn from the Program.
  • If you reach your junior year and it becomes mathematically unlikely or impossible for you to return to good standing, you will be withdrawn from the Program.

Academic Integrity.  All Honors students sign a statement that they have read, understood, and agree to abide by the University’s academic integrity policy.  If we receive a report that you have violated the policy, we will withdraw you from Honors.

Progress.  Honors students are expected to make steady progress through the Honors requirements.  While progress will vary among academic programs because of their very different course requirements, we will let you know if we are concerned about your lack of progress.  Continued lack of progress in fulfilling Honors requirements may be cause for being withdrawn from the Program.

Capstone.  The normal deadline for submitting an Honors capstone proposal is in the fall of junior year.  Students studying abroad or in other circumstances may receive an extension, but all Honors students must have an approved capstone proposal no later than the end of the junior year to ensure there is sufficient time to carry out a high quality project.  Those without an approved capstone proposal will not be allowed to continue as seniors in Honors.

I'm planning on studying abroad. Can I still complete the Honors Program requirements?

As many as 50% of Honors students study abroad at some point. If you are interested in going abroad, you should plan to make progress on your Honors and major requirements while abroad, so meet with an Honors Advisor when you begin to make your study-abroad plans. Study abroad actually counts toward the Honors “global awareness” requirement and, if you complete our process, it can count for an Honors course as well. Talk to Hanna Richardson well in advance of your trip to initiate that process.

Read more about our Honors course substitution and off campus study in Honors.

Can NON-Honors courses from other universities and colleges count toward Honors requirements?

We are happy to evaluate descriptions or syllabi of your previous coursework for possible fulfillment of our presentation, collaboration, global awareness, and interdisciplinary requirements.  As is the case at Syracuse, you must have received a grade of “B” or higher in order for the course to complete an Honors requirement.

Can Honors courses from other universities and colleges count toward Honors Program requirements?

We will accept up to two Honors courses in which you received a “B” or higher to count toward Honors requirements.  If you have taken an unusual honors course that is similar to our HNR-prefix courses, we will consider using it to fulfill one HNR-prefix course requirement.