Shorter Honors Academy - Shorter University
Graduating Honors Students at Nat’l Avg (5%)
in the Honors Program Since 2012

Join our community of scholars!

Students in the Shorter Honors Academy share a love of learning and an enthusiasm for idea exchange. Our activities and programs are designed to support, strengthen, and highlight the achievements of our members.

HON 2000/3000 – Honors Colloquium

Here are some examples of Honors Colloquium courses taught at Shorter:


C.S. Lewis:

  • On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature
  • The Great Divorce: A Dream
  • Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold

J.R.R. Tolkien

  • The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again
  • “Leaf by Niggle”
  • “On Fairy Stories”
  • Excerpts from The Silmarillion
  • Excerpts from The Lord of the Rings

Description: A consideration of the intersection of music and U.S. politics from the colonial era to the present, considering music’s role in conveying and constructing political identity across U.S. history by examining the contexts of government sponsored/endorsed music, political campaigns, protest music, and other contexts.

Description: A study of the history and philosophy of science and mathematics which examines such questions as: What is the relationship between science and mathematics? To what degree are science and mathematics affected by the concepts and ideas of the times?

Description: The Arthurian Legend is one which has endured for centuries since clerks first of this possibly mighty warrior in the 6th century. Although the silver screen has been host to many potential substitutes in the shape of the form of our invincible super heroes, Arthur keeps returning to the imagination of many, young or less young. The course explores the origins of Arthur, his development into the ideal of chivalry and courtly love as well as its current representations in all art forms. We also address the power of Arthur as an effective agent of Christianity in a paradoxically pagan world.


  • De Troyes, Chretien, Erec & Enide, Cliges, The Knight with the Cart, Yvain, The Knight with the Lion (Penguin Classics)
  • Beroul, The Romance of Tristan (Penguin Classics)
  • France, Marie de, Lais (Penguin Classics)
  • White, T. H., The Once and Future King
  • Twain, Mark, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
  • Monmouth, Geoffrey of, The History of Merlin and King Arthur
  • Wace, The Brut (Hard Press)
  • Boron, Robert de, Merlin and the Grail (D. S. Brewer)


  • The Problem of Pain
  • The Abolition of Man
  • A Grief Observed
  • The Magician’s Nephew
  • Out of the Silent Planet
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • Till We Have Faces
  • Surprised by Joy

Recent Honors Academy Grad School Admissions:

University of Edinburgh

(English, Art)

Peabody Institute


University of Bath


The College of William & Mary

(Political Science)

University of Georgia


University of Florida


Georgia State


Louisiana State University


Georgia Tech


Mercer University

(Law School)

Recent Employers:

Lewis Chemical
Shorter University

(Financial Aid)

Park Ranger Services
Surya Marketing

Honors Study Lounge

Active Honors Academy students earn access to an exclusive study lounge, courtesy of generous donors who value the community that an Honors Academy should develop.


View the Honors Checklist


View the Honors Add-On Form

View the Honors Add-On Guidelines

What is the Shorter Honors Academy?

Sigma Eta Alpha or SHA (Shorter Honors Academy) is the official name of Shorter University’s prestigious Honors Program. The Shorter Honors Academy offers a challenging environment for talented and intellectually gifted students who seek an enhanced education. The aim of the academy is to challenge students to cultivate strong habits of critical thinking and creativity in a community of scholars

What is the mission statement for the Shorter Honors Academy?

The Shorter Honors Academy provides an enriched curriculum for students who want to go beyond regular undergraduate requirements and creates an intellectually charged and engaged community of students and faculty. It promotes a distinctive educational experience that challenges students to cultivate depth and breadth in critical and creative thought, as well as facilitates students’ interdisciplinary contributions to intellectual life and the community. No matter what program of study a student desires to pursue, the Shorter Honors Academy can enhance the quality of that educational experience.

What are the benefits of the Shorter Honors Academy?

Being a part of the Shorter Honors Academy brings with it numerous advantages, including

  • Enjoy smaller classes.
  • Gain access to Honors-level Core Courses.
  • Gain access to Specialized Honors Colloquia.
  • Register First.
  • Do not incur charges for hours over 19 and up to 21 in any one semester.
  • Enjoy access to the Honors Study Lounge.
  • Have an opportunity to become an Honors Ambassador to provide school service and mentoring.
  • Write and defend an Honors Thesis.
  • Have your thesis published as a part of the Livingston Library.
  • Get Honors Seal on diploma.
  • Wear Honor Cords at graduation.
  • Become part of the elite 5% of college students nationwide that have graduated from an Honors Program.

Several of our students have won major awards in recent years, including Alpha Chi National Awards and scholarships, and many graduates have gone on to acceptance at the following prestigious universities.

How is it different from other Latin Honors and Honor societies?

  • Latin Honors refers to the recognition that students who graduate cum laude (cumulative GPA of 3.5-3.74), magna cum laude (cumulative GPA of 3.75-3.874), or summa cum laude (cumulative GPA of 3.875-4.0) receive on their diplomas.
  • The Dean’s List is a distinction given by semester to any full-time student who earns a minimum GPA of 3.5 for 12 credit hours or more for a semester.
  • Several majors offer Honor societies for their students. See the chair of your major department for more information.
  • Shorter Honors Academy students can achieve any or all of these distinctions; however, not every student who achieves these distinctions is part of the Shorter Honors Academy. Only 5% of college and university students nationally graduate with an Honors Program degree.

How can I join the Shorter Honors Academy?

Admission to the Shorter Honors Academy can be achieved in several ways. Many highly qualified students, including Shorter Scholars, are invited to apply upon admission to the University. Still others apply on their own after discovering the academy during the admission process or their first quarters at the University. Students from any major may be in the Shorter Honors Academy.

If a student chooses to join the Shorter Honors Academy, s/he must meet with the Director. To maintain the high quality of the academy, we reserve the right to limit the number of students accepted.

Incoming students who believe they would be a good fit for the academy, transfer students, and current students are all encouraged to apply to the Director. Students admitted to the academy typically have high school GPAs above 3.5, ACT scores of 28 or higher and SATs of 1400 (verbal and math) or higher. Current Shorter University students must have a GPA of 3.5 or above.

What are the requirements in general?

In a nutshell, Shorter Honors Academy students must take two Honors Colloquia (three credit hours each) and four Honors classes or Honors Add-On classes (12 credit hours). In addition, they must write a thesis that they will defend to the Honors Director and major professor. Students’ progress towards the successful completion of the Academy requirements will be monitored. Students not making sufficient progress must meet with the director to address a strategy for completion.

What are the requirements more specifically?

Shorter Honors Academy students may choose to take regularly offered Honors classes, including ENG 1030, ENG 1040, HON 2000, and HON 3000. Other classes that are often rotated in include COM 1010, HIS 2XXX, and ENG 2XXX. Students may also opt to take Add-On classes. In this case, students negotiate with their professors to enhance the class so that it becomes the equivalent of an Honors class. For students to get credit for an Add-On class, they must fill out the Honors Add-On form and secure the proper signatures.

Along with completing a total of 18 hours of Honors courses, students must write an Honors Thesis. Honors Thesis courses are required (two to four credit hours) if a student’s major does not include a written capstone. If a student’s major does include a written capstone paper, then the student must work with the Honors Director to ensure the quality is sufficient to warrant Honors Thesis credit. The thesis must also be defended to the Honors Director and major professor. The student’s overall GPA must be at least 3.5 upon graduation.

Note that many of these Honors requirements overlap with degree requirements, so students may actually end up adding ZERO additional hours to their graduation requirements.

How can I become an Honors Ambassador?

Active Shorter Honors Academy students with a passion to mentor new participants and evangelize the program can apply to be Honors Ambassadors. Honors Ambassadors serve the Academy by staffing recruiting tables, giving tours to prospective students, providing information to faculty, and being “familiar faces” on campus to promote the Shorter Honors Academy.

Contact us!

If you would like to learn more about the Shorter Honors Academy, please contact:

Dr. Julie Pond