Selection for Honors Program
The Honors Program will consider for review:
- Graduating high school seniors who have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and a SAT score of 1200 or an ACT score of 25. Students must be highly recommended by at least two academic instructors. Special consideration is given for those students with Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses.
- Transfer students who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, with at least 15 transferable credits and must have been part of an honors program at their previous college.
NOTE: This limited entry program is highly competitive. Only those students selected to apply for the Honors Program will receive notification. This is a separate notification from the general acceptance to the University.
Students entering the program as freshmen and sophomores are required to take at least 24 credits of honors general education courses. Upper-level students entering the program (juniors or seniors still requiring more than 30 credits to graduate) shall complete 12 credits in honors, selecting the courses from their major or using an honors contract to earn credits in electives. A grade of B or better is mandatory in courses in which honors credit is claimed.
Freshmen and sophomores in the program are required to complete honors general education courses in areas where they are offered. Freshmen selected for the program are required to take honors core courses unless placement tests militate against the enrollment. All students must maintain continuous enrollment in classes and uphold an overall GPA of 3.5, to stay in the program and retain their scholarships.
Students must take 24 honors credits to have "Honors Scholar" indicated on their transcripts. Most of these credits should be completed in the freshman and sophomore years through general education requirements.
Upper-level students entering the program (as juniors, or seniors still requiring more than 30 credits to graduate) shall complete 12 credits in honors, selecting courses in their major or using an honors contract to earn credits in electives. A grade of B or better is mandatory in courses in which honors credit is claimed. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.5 and fulfill all other requirements of the program to graduate with "Honors Scholar" on their transcripts.
- Perform 200 hours of documented community service
- Take at least one graduate or professional school examination
- Attend 16 cultural events or honors activities, such as guest speakers/lecture series, university sponsored plays, and all convocations.
TOPS Program Requirements
Only STEM majors in the Honors Program may participate. There are two ways of gaining admission into the TOPS program.
- First-time students entering Bowie State University may be recruited directly into the TOPS program via the Honors Program with applicable scholarship
- Other STEM majors may apply at the end of their freshmen or sophomore years for consideration. These students receive some scholarship funding.
TOPS scholars are expected to graduate in four years with a minimum GPA of 3.5/4. Each time a student's GPA drops below a 3.5, he/she will be placed on probation for one semester. Failure to correct the deficiency by the end of the semester will result in dismissal from the program.
Honors Learning Goals
Our students have diverse skills, interests, and aspirations, and as a program, we attempt to accommodate this diversity as much as possible. We understand learning goals as descriptive rather than prescriptive markers that guide our effort to realize the highest and broadest possible level of education, personal growth, and achievement for our outstanding students. As a whole, the Honors Program at BSU advocates:
- Interdisciplinary education
- Interactive, discussion-oriented inquiry
- Personal as well as collaborative learning through individual and group work
- Research and creativity
- Excellent oral and writing skills
- Willingness to explore new areas of knowledge
- Innovative methods of learning (different, not more, work)
- Close faculty-student collaboration