University Honors Program
The mission of the University Honors Program is to help academically gifted students achieve their fullest intellectual potential, preparing them to enter a world acutely in need of their talents. The program offers motivated, intellectually curious students a unique educational experience that integrates curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular learning in both interdisciplinary study and the students’ major discipline, engaging them in a rigorous and dynamic course of study that complements and enhances their non-honors learning.
Entry into the University Honors Program is offered to academically gifted incoming students and to students who apply to the Program after their first year of study at the Mount. Students applying from outside of the University are required to hold an overall GPA of 3.75 to enter and must maintain an overall GPA of 3.4 to remain in good standing and graduate from the program. Students in the Honors Program who have a 3.75 semester GPA or higher for the previous semester may enroll in a 6th course for no extra charge.
Honors students are required to enroll in Honors sections of the following core requirements:
Students with unavoidable scheduling conflicts may request a waiver from the Honors Director to take a non-honors version of one of the above required courses.
All Honors students must complete the 4-credit Senior Honors Project (HP 470 and HP 471) that consists of a senior research project or thesis that serves as the capstone experience of the Program. Students present their work to the campus community during the SPARC Festival of their senior year. This project often serves as a powerful transition to graduate school or to a profession. Students who plan to graduate a semester early must notify the Honors Director by the prior December of their intentions so that all deadlines can be adjusted to allow completion of the Senior Honors Project and graduation in December.
The University Honors Program promotes an atmosphere of collegiality among its members through a series of socials, dinners, lectures, and field trips. The University Honors Program also encourages students to offer their talents to the University and local community through service programs.
Mount St. Mary’s encourages students to participate in credit-based and other experiential career opportunities so they can explore professional interests and apply academic learning to various work environments. Internships give students the opportunity to practice work skills, to reflect on the relationship between work and study in on- and off-campus settings, and to represent the university in meaningful, professional work. Students seeking an internship can begin by meeting with the staff of the Career Center and seeking guidance from a potential faculty sponsor in their academic department.
A student must read the Internship/Experiential Education Policies and Guidelines before providing internship information (learning agreement) ahead of a semester or term’s registration deadline to register an internship for academic credit. The internship learning agreement must be approved by the student’s faculty sponsor, department chair, site supervisor, and Career Center staff. A student must also meet listed eligibility criteria provided in the program policies and guidelines.
Students may register for an internship outside their major department. Approval for non-major internships must be approved by the faculty sponsor from the department the student has selected, by that department’s chair, and by the dean of their college/school.
Students may take up to 12 credits in internships, though departments may limit the number of hours of internship credits that can be applied toward a major. Apart from Education internships (student-teaching) by the School of Education, all internships are processed through the Career Center. Students are expected to complete 40 hours of work per credit hour earned. Internship credits are bound by the same financial policies as all academic credits. Students can find the guidelines and procedures, important deadlines, and registration information at msmary.edu/internships.
Students also can apply for semester-long internships through the Mount in Washington Internship Program and International Internships. Please contact the Career Center for more information.
Through the Office of International Programs, Mount St. Mary’s University (MSMU) undergraduate students may earn credits while traveling abroad. Students may participate in full semester study abroad programs or short (1 to 6 week) programs. These programs may be designed and led by MSMU faculty members or managed by one of our partners at the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS), College Year in Athens (CYS), Explorica, or Education First (EF). Either way, all our MSMU study abroad programs have MSMU faculty leaders.
Undergraduate students may earn credit hours for internship work, research work, required core courses, and courses in some majors while studying abroad. If the student plans for it in their schedule, undergraduate students from any major may study abroad at Mount St. Mary’s University. For a list of our upcoming programs, please see our Study Abroad website.
Students may also study abroad with other academic institutions or programs. To do so, students must research the program and bring the details to the Director of International Programs for review of course plans and accreditation. MSMU scholarships or other aid cannot be transferred to external study abroad programs. Students will need to work with the chair of their department to establish course equivalencies and submit approval of those equivalencies by filling out a Consortium Agreement. Students may find more information about this option under our Student Resources for International Education webpage.
The Coastal Experience program is a unique partnership between Mount St. Mary’s University and Hood College. Students take their courses with Hood College faculty and transfer the credits back to MSMU. These students will travel for approximately three weeks of the semester, engaged in field research with Environmental Science and Policy professors. Please visit the MSMU Study Abroad website, and the Hood College Coastal Experience Program website https://www.hood.edu/academicsprograms/coastal-studies-program for more information. Please contact Dr. Abby Kula for more information on advising and course equivalencies.
Course Registration Information
For all MSMU faculty led study abroad programs, students register for their study abroad courses just like they would for any other courses. The process is as follows:
1. Check the semester schedule for advising and registration dates - Academic Calendar. Plan to meet with your advisor and complete your study abroad application at least one week before advising week. This timeline also applies to winter and summer session registration.
2. Use the International Programs advising guide to select between 1 and 16 credit hours from the list of study abroad course options, depending upon your study abroad program offerings.
a. Each semester, the Office of International Programs works with faculty trip leaders to create an advising guide for their upcoming programs. These advising guides will be emailed to the community and shared by the faculty trip leaders at least one week before advising week each semester.
b. One-week programs are typically 1 credit hour.
c. Three-to-four-week programs typically offer between 1 and 7 credit hours in course work.
d. Four-to-six-week programs typically offer between 4 to 9 credit hours in course work.
e. Full semester programs are typically 12 to 16 credit hours. Students are required to take a minimum of 12 credit hours in order to maintain full-time status as a student.
3. The student will meet with their advisor to discuss the courses they selected and how the course(s) fit(s) in with their academic plans.
4. The student will then fill out an application form for study abroad. Applications are found on MyMount or on our partner websites (AIFS, EF, Explorica). See the advising guide or contact the faculty trip leader for application information.
5. The student will pay their deposit for studying abroad and fill out the liability waiver required for all programs.
6. Then, the student is cleared for early registration to ensure that they can take the courses they need for studying abroad. Students should register for study abroad courses using MyMount (as per usual) during their slotted registration date and time.
7. Finally, all student applications are reviewed before students are cleared to study abroad.
Most courses students can take while studying abroad will be labeled with the section code AS or BS for section A, study abroad or section B, study abroad.
Due to time zone differences and, in some destination countries, unreliable internet access, students may only take courses that are in country and in person or asynchronous online. If a student wants to take a blended modality course with some synchronous requirements, they must discuss options with the professor and bring a proposal for how to complete the course requirements to the Director of International Programs, Dr. Amanda Krause. These course requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Full Semester Study Abroad Courses
For all international full semester programs, students are required to take at least two destination-specific courses in person, in country (see table). These two courses usually include at least one Life and Culture course requirement and a Language course requirement. For example, if you study abroad in Florence, Italy, you will take a course called STDAB 205 Italian Life and Culture and a course in Italian language. In the Life and Culture courses, students receive credit for participating in excursions, museum visits, athletic events, or other cultural events and activities with local guides and professors. In the language courses, students learn about the culture of the place through and with language. When a level-appropriate language course is not available, students will continue their study of the culture by taking one of the culture-specific courses offered by the MSMU faculty member leading the study abroad program.
We recommend that students take as many destination-specific courses as will fit in with their academic plans in order to achieve the fullest immersion experience. These courses ensure that the student is taking advantage of being abroad, learning about the culture, and becoming more of a global citizen during their time abroad.
Students may take between 12 and 16 credit hours with their standard tuition fees. We recommend that, when possible, students only take 12 credit hours to leave time for exploring and traveling on their own.
|Full Semester Program
|Semester and Year
|Life and Culture
Requirements (3 cr)
|Language and Culture
Registration (3 cr)
Requirements (3 cr)
Argentine Life and Culture
Beginning Spanish I
Beginning Spanish II
|Course offerings vary each year. Required if student
has previously completed SPAN 101 and 102.
|STDAB 201 :
Greek Life and Culture
Aegean Art and Archaeology
|STDAB 203 :
Ecuadorian Life and Culture
Beginning Spanish I
Beginning Spanish II
|Course offerings vary each year. Required if student
has previously completed SPAN 101 and 102
|STDAB 204 :
Irish Life and Culture
|Course offerings vary each year. Students are required to take
at least one in country, in person course with a MSMU faculty
|STDAB 205 :
Italian Life and Culture
Beginning Italian I
Beginning Italian II
|Varies each semester. Required if student has
previously completed ITAL 101 and 102.
|STDAB 206 :
Czech Life and Culture
Intro to Czech
Recommended but not required.
1 to 6 Week Study Abroad Courses
For all academic break programs (fall break, winter term, spring break, or summer term), students study abroad for between 1 and 6 weeks. Students may enroll in these courses through MyMount. Students should review the advising guide for a list of courses in the proposed study abroad program and reach out to the faculty trip leader of that program for additional information..
Mount St. Mary’s University welcomes study abroad applications from students with a GPA of 2.5 or higher. A valid passport is required. Students must have up-to-date vaccinations. Students with major violations of the university’s code of student conduct or its academic integrity policies may be ineligible to participate in study abroad programs.
Visas are not usually required for U.S. citizens who want to participate in MSMU study abroad programs. If you are not a U.S. citizen or you plan to extend your travel plans beyond the dates or countries specified by the University’s study abroad program, you may need to apply for a visa. Students and faculty applying for a visa may need documentation from Mount St. Mary’s University, but the University is not responsible for participant visa acquisition. The student will need to make an appointment with their consulate’s office to obtain the visa. If you believe you need a VISA, please contact Dr. Amanda Krause for more information.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Accessibility
Mount Saint Mary’s University is a welcoming community where equity is the norm. For over 200 years, MSMU faculty, staff, and students have advocated for social justice. The Office of International Programs strives to serve all students well. The diversity students bring to our programs is a strength and benefit. Our readings, lectures, and excursions present diverse perspectives in terms of gender identity, sexuality, socioeconomic status, ability, ethnicity, race, nationality, religion, and culture. Whether on campus or around the world, Mount St. Mary’s University fosters a learning environment of respect and understanding where each person is seen and valued.
Our mission statement reads, in part: “Mount St. Mary’s strives to graduate men and women who cultivate a mature spiritual life, who live by high intellectual and moral standards, who respect the dignity of other persons, who see and seek to resolve the problems facing humanity, and who commit themselves to live as responsible citizens.”