The Citadel Honors Program is designed to provide an exceptionally broad background of cultural knowledge and learning skills which students can then apply to their chosen areas of academic specialization. Most of the Honors Program curriculum will come in courses designed to be taken in lieu of Core Curriculum requirements, and most will, therefore, be taken in the freshman and sophomore years. The other Honors courses will take the place of General Electives, although in some cases individual departments may accept them as Departmental Electives. The emphasis in Honors Program courses will be not primarily acceleration, but enrichment. They will go into extra depth, examining more closely the significance and implications of the material studied, or presenting that material in a broader cultural context.
In general, it is expected that Honors courses will employ discussion in order to establish habits of rigorous inquiry and intellectual independence. The plan behind the curriculum is to create an environment of learning in which the students' intellectual habits can be formed. The patterns and processes of intellectual and scholarly inquiry will be taught, not merely the results of other people's having conducted that inquiry.
Each Honors course will have a tutorial foundation. Individual students, or sometimes small groups, will meet with their instructors frequently--usually, once every week--to discuss and develop ongoing writing, research, and laboratory projects. Tutorials will be arranged at a time mutually convenient for the student and professor.
Honors Program students may follow one of two tracks: Gold Seal or Certificate
Upon completing the requirements for a Gold Seal, students receive an Honors certificate, a lovely Honors gold seal on their diploma, and a notation on their transcript highlighting the completion of the uppermost program and its requirements.
Students who complete the Honors Certificate requirements receive an Honors certificate, and a notation on their transcript highlighting the completion of the lower program and its requirements.
A note about transfer credits
Advanced Placement (AP), Dual Enrollment (DE), and courses taken at other colleges will be evaluated by The Citadel Registrar for determining what credits will transfer. In general, these transfer courses will be credited as electives. The structure of The Citadel (and many college's) General Education requirements stipulate that these General Education courses be taken at the college itself and are not satisfied by transfer credits.
The Honors Program offers Honors Program versions of these General Education requirements, giving Honors Program students the opportunity to both satisfy the college's requirements and also participate in engaging Honors Program courses with other academically-focused students and dynamic instructors. Note that in every Honors course our students meet with their instructor individually (or sometimes in a group of two or three) on a regular basis for a tutorial, in which they will work together on one of the goals of the course, usually a writing assignment or a project of some kind. Additionally, our Honors courses are significantly different from both the non-Honors courses they take the place of in The Citadel curriculum in terms of class size, course structure and topics, and student interaction. We believe that this ensures that the Honors Program courses will be significantly different from the transfer courses that high school students experienced--and may have erroneously thought would serve to satisfy college requirements.