USCs Honors College has earned a top honor.
In a ranking of public university honors colleges, USCs was ranked first, according to a soon-to-be-published guide, A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs.
The ranking, done by Public University Honors, is based on curriculum, retention and graduate rates of honors students, housing, study abroad programs and priority registration.
The USC Honors College also earned a fifth-place ranking in the Smaller Programs/Overall Excellence category, recognizing honors colleges within the context of their universities.
We have said for a long time that we are very good and one of the best honors colleges, said USC Honors College Dean Steven Lynn. We do have curriculum that is unparalleled in terms of the number of courses taught by superb faculty. The money we put into undergraduate research is unprecedented.
The college will offer 250 courses this fall, Lynn said. And about $170,000 was spent last year for students to conduct research, travel and present their work.
Past courses have included a jazz history class that convinced Honors College senior Taylor Thul that shes a jazz fan and a Chinese language class that prepped her for a trip to Taiwan, where she studied cultural attitudes about food.
Thul, a nursing major from Chattanooga, Tenn., said the honors college has been a perfect fit.
Its been the best of both worlds the relationship and rigor of a smaller school but the resources of a bigger school, the labs, the research opportunities and football.
Established in 1978, the Honors College enrolls 1,400 students and emphasizes cutting-edge thinking and problem-solving skills.
The guide book, scheduled for release in April, is intended to aid prospective college students. It reviewed honors programs at public universities and those that are members of the Association of American Universities.
If we can get students to come to campus and really look at the curriculum, Lynn said, it becomes a difficult decision for them no matter what other schools theyre considering.
The new ranking could give USC even more leverage, Lynn predicted.
Reach Smith at (803) 771-8658.