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Frequently Asked Questions

Does being in the Pierre Laclede Honors College (PLHC) mean that I take extra classes?

No. Honors classes fulfill general education, university requirements, and in many cases classes in your major. Honors students graduate on time! 

If I’m in PLHC, will all of my classes be in Honors?

No. Approximately 1/3 of your coursework will be in Honors.

Are Honors classes harder?

Honors classes are taught differently than many other classes. They are discussion based, and students work on papers, presentations, projects, and other types of engaging activities/assignments.  Students are not assessed via standardized, objective testing.  If you learn more effectively in an interactive, hands-on environment, you will like our classes!  Honors does not mean the same material as in non-Honors classes but with faster lectures or harder tests.

If I’m in PLHC, will I have enough time for my other classes/part-time job/co-curricular activities?

Yes. Honors students are the most active students on campus! They hold leadership positions, participate in events and activities, do volunteer work, have part time jobs, and spend time with family and friends just like any other college student. If you find that you’re having difficulty keeping up with any of your classes, we have an awesome support system. Please talk with any of our faculty or academic advisors. They are happy to help!

Can I be in Honors and be an athlete?

Yes. PLHC has students from all sports!  Our advisors can help you design course schedules that fit extremely well with your practices and games. 

If I’m in PLHC, do I have to live on-campus?

No. About half of all Honors students have lived on campus at some point in their college career, and it’s a great way to enhance your college experience, but you don’t have to live on campus. Students who do choose to live on campus have many options.  You do not have to live in Honors specific housing, but living with other Honors students or being part of one of our Living Learning Communities are popular choices.

Will I have a traditional college experience in PLHC?

Yes. In fact, this is something that draws many UMSL students to the PLHC.  Our students have the best of both worlds – a small liberal arts education and a large research university.  Many Honors students have said that being in PLHC has been their favorite part of college. 

Will my AP/college credits be accepted by PLHC?

Yes. Just make sure these transcripts are sent to UMSL.

Will Honors work with my major?

Yes. All students take general education and university requirements, so Honors will fit with any major for incoming freshmen. Honors works for nearly all transfer students, depending on major and transfer credits.  Please consider meeting with an Honors academic advisor (contact Holly) to see how Honors will work for you.   

What are the advantages of being in PLHC?

  • A focus on writing and communication skills that are needed in all career paths
  • Small class sizes with a lot of interaction with faculty and peers
  • Innovative and interesting seminar-style courses that aren’t found anywhere else on campus
  • Friendly and supportive environment with mentorship for incoming freshmen
  • Full service academic advising
  • Scholarship support
  • Research, internship, and independent study opportunities
  • Capstone course focusing on your plans for after graduation and the career documents you need to make these happen
  • Social and service opportunities
  • Creative opportunities – including an art show, annual literary anthology, satirical student newsletter, writing contest, and more

Is Honors more expensive?

No. The tuition rate for Honors courses is the lowest offered at UMSL.

What are the requirements to get into PLHC?

We know that you are more than just a number, so we look at each student holistically.  This means that besides test scores, grades, and class rank, we also ask for writing samples, recommendation letters, and an opportunity to meet you in-person (or remotely, for students outside the area). Typically, students that apply have at least a 24 ACT, top 20% class rank, and a 3.5 GPA. Transfer students typically have a 3.2 or higher. We believe that anyone who is interested in Honors and this style of learning should apply!