Houston Baptist University Catalog

Smith College of Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Programs Graduate Programs

Smith College of Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Programs

The Honors College

Admission to the Honors College is by application only. There are no minimum SAT, ACT, or GPA requirements to apply to the Honors College, but students who have been admitted to the Honors College in recent years have had an average SAT score of 1280 (which is equivalent to an average ACT score of 29) and an average high school GPA of 3.6. (The SAT score includes only the critical reading and mathematics scores.) Because the ideal Honors College candidate is a well rounded individual who excels in a diversity of fields, strong applications to the Honors College usually include two letters of recommendation (one academic, one character) and evidence of leadership experience and service to the church and community.

The mission of the HBU Honors College is to provide students with an interdisciplinary curriculum rooted in the Christian faith that cultivates knowledge, character, and wisdom by examining the great works of Western civilization and exploring timeless questions.

The Honors College provides a unique general education core curriculum in the liberal arts, social and natural sciences for exceptional undergraduates.  It fosters curiosity and creativity, challenges students to grow intellectually, socially and spiritually, and inspires life-long learning.

Students in the Honors College examine the great works of Western civilization and hone their reading, writing and critical thinking skills through spirited discussions with their peers and distinguished faculty.  Some courses are taught by a team of professors so that students learn from various perspectives and recognize the interconnectedness of all knowledge.

Only students accepted into the Honors College may take Honors College courses.  The Honors Scholars do not take the complete complement of Liberal Arts Core Curriculum courses since the Honors College curriculum meets the general education requirements of the University.  In addition, students must complete the University mandated competencies (see below).  The Honors curriculum does not constitute a major but does provide the foundation courses for any undergraduate degree offered by the University.

Honors College classes are taught in a seminar setting and are structured to include co-curricular activities including symposia, roundtables, undergraduate research, service learning projects, and broad exposure to cultural and learning opportunities in Houston and beyond.  Honors Scholars are encouraged to participate in additional learning experiences including study abroad programs, the national honors college convention, and others.

Honors College students are required to complete the Honors Core (43 hours) plus all university mandated competencies.  Students who leave the Honors College prior to completing the Honors core will be required to meet the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum requirements not met by analogous courses in the Honors College core curriculum.  The Liberal Arts Core Curriculum courses do not meet the Honors College core requirements and may not be substituted for Honors classes.

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Bachelors of General Studies (BGS)

The Bachelor of General Studies degree is a degree completion program designed to help meet personal goals. This degree is reserved for students within 45 hours of graduation who are not seeking licensure or certification. Applicants for the BGS degree should be aware that the degree may not be appropriate for admission to graduate or professional schools.

Required Courses  
Christianity 1313, 1323, 3373 9
English 1320, 1330 6
Mathematics 1305 or higher level course (depending on concentration) 3
Science with laboratory 4-8
Social and Behavioral Sciences requirements 6-9
Humanities and Fine Arts requirements 15

Option A
Option B

Electives to complete degree requirements including FYS 1100,  if required

Total required:  125

Program Requirements: Option A or B
Option A:
Academic Major (See Note 8 under Undergraduate Degree Programs) = 24-36
Second area of study = 18

Option B:
Concentrations Program Requirement
Two academic concentrations of 24 sem. Hrs. each minimum   48

  • Concentration I - Communications.
    Courses to be drawn from Communication, English, Languages, Communication and Rhetoric, and Journalism/Mass Communication
  • Concentration II - Humanities & Social Sciences.
    Courses to be drawn from Christianity, Geography, History, Philosophy, and Government
  • Concentration III - Behavioral Sciences.
    Courses to be drawn from *Criminal Justice, **Education, Kinesiology, **Nursing, Psychology, Sociology and *Social Work
  • Concentration IV - Business Administration.
    Courses to be drawn from Accounting, Business Administration, International Business, Economics, Finance, Management, and Marketing

NOTE: A minimum of 125 semester hours is required for the degree, 30 of which must be at the upper level. A minimum cumulative scholastic standing of 2.00, with no grade below "C" in courses completed in the concentrations, is required. Institutional recommendations for certification, licensure, or professional school admission (e.g. medical school, etc.) cannot be given with this degree. A minimum of 36 semester hours must be taken in residence at HBU, including at least 18 semester hours of upper level courses, 6 hours in each concentration, or 12 upper level courses in residence for the major in Option A.
*    Currently, the University does not offer work in these fields; therefore, only transfer credit in these areas is applicable.
**  Credit for education or nursing courses previously taken will not lead to educational certification or nursing licensure. For certification or licensure, other degree options must be elected.


Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies Major

The Interdisciplinary Studies program is designed to offer students the opportunity to form a course of study across disciplines.  There is a long and fruitful history of scholars exploring multiple areas in support of their projects.  The interdisciplinary degree is suited for students whose academic or personal goals require that they take courses from a number of different disciplines across the university and who are best served by not majoring in any particular field.  The classes taken are ones that are offered by the existing academic units on campus.  There are no classes that are only Interdisciplinary Studies classes and there is no Interdisciplinary Studies department.  Students should work closely with their advisor in determining whether or not this degree is right for them and for determining what classes will best suit their goals. 

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Bachelor of Arts, Managerial Studies Major

The Managerial Studies program is designed to offer students the opportunity to maximize the benefit of attending a University with a strong liberal arts focus, while simultaneously gaining marketable skills in the business disciplines. The BA in Managerial Studies includes a “concentration” requirement (Management; Marketing; or International Business) that infuses the market value of a business major into the broad liberal arts preparation of a Bachelor of Arts degree.

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Graduate Programs

Masters of Liberal Arts

The Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) offers students an interdisciplinary panorama of knowledge in art, literature, history, culture, and science. The MLA is designed for those who have completed their undergraduate education but who wish to continue intellectual enrichment in a formal academic environment. A thesis option is available.

Students in the MLA program represent a variety of educational backgrounds and ages. The degree is of particular interest to those in areas such as education, business, law, medicine, and engineering who desire a high level inquiry into the liberal arts. Classes meet once each week in the evening. A selection of courses from the various liberal arts is offered each semester.

Students who have completed a MLA degree at a regionally accredited university are eligible to receive complete a postgraduate Certificate upon the completion of an additional thirty (30) hours of course work in the MLA program. Applicants who did not complete their MLA degrees at HBU must complete a graduate application for admission and submit official transcripts of all previous college work.

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