Honors College

We Change Lives

Message from the Director

If you want to learn in an inspiring and supportive community, and if you meet the criteria, please consider applying for admission to our program. We offer unique courses taught by excellent teachers, special lectures and social opportunities, and exceptional scholarships. It is our goal to help make your college learning experience productive and enjoyable.
— Dr. Scott Goins, Director

Contact and Application

Dr. Scott Goins, Director
MSU Box 93430
Lake Charles, LA 70609
(337) 475-5456


McNeese will award its best four-year academic scholarships to freshmen entering the Honors College. Each scholarship provides partial funding toward the cost of tuition and fees, partial room and board, and up to $1,200 annually for books and supplies. Students may also earn extra spending money through an on-campus work-study job. Priority registration and individualized academic counseling by an experienced advisor help students obtain the optimum schedule for their curricula. Small class sizes (10-25) allow for interaction with academically talented peers and personal attention from professors. The Honors Lounge offers a place for honors students to study, discuss issues, and exchange ideas, as well as to socialize. Honors courses will have a special designation on University transcripts. Special recognition will be given to Honors College graduates at commencement and on diplomas. Special honors events (seminars, field trips, and conferences), cultural opportunities, and social activities provide frequent interaction among students and between students and faculty.

Admission Criteria

  • An excellent high school record including a college-preparatory background.
  • A minimum academic grade point average of 3.40 (on a 4.0 scale).
  • A composite score of 27 on the American College Test (ACT) or a combined Critical Reading and Math score of 1260 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
  • A written essay and interview with Honors College Admissions Committee.
  • Three letters of recommendation from teachers, principals, or guidance Counselors.
  • Acceptance by the University.

International Students

International students are eligible to apply for the Honors College.  Upon submission of your application for admission, the Office of International Programs will review your documents and scores and determine if you are an Honors College candidate.  At that time, the International Programs Office will inform you of your Honors College initial qualification and will forward you a separate Honors College application, which must be completed and submitted for final consideration.  The first round of consideration will be on December 31, 2020.

To be considered for recommendation by the International Programs Office, students must:

  • Have an active application for admission with the International Programs Office.  Apply now!
  • Submitted official High School Transcripts (for internal GPA calculation)
  • Submitted official SAT or ACT scores
  • Submitted official TOEFL/IELTS scores (if required)


To earn the Honors College diploma, students must graduate with at least 24 honors hours and a 3.0 academic grade point average.  The honors hours must be approved by the Director of the Honors College and should include HUMN 105H, ENGL 204H, HONS 100 (2 hours) and HONS (2 hours).

  • Core Honors Courses: During the first year, honors students enroll as a group in unique core courses which satisfy general education requirements. These courses are designed to foster critical thinking, enhance written and oral communication skills, and promote classroom discussions.
  • Honors Option Courses: Students choose the honors option designation in traditional courses by adding independent elements, e.g., a research paper/project or a presentation at a regional or national meeting, as decided by the professor of the course, department head, and director of the Honors College. Prerequisites for the Honors Option course designation include admission to University Honors College or 3.0 college GPA and permission of department head. Students earning hours in courses with the Honors Option designation may not get credit for the traditional course of the same number.
  • International Study Abroad: Students successfully completing the first two years in the honors program have the option to study abroad in established programs.
  • Honors Independent Study: During the junior year, students can investigate a special topic through independent reading and writing, in-depth scholarly research, or completion of a creative project under the guidance of an honors professor.