0-Credit Course: A course worth no credit toward graduate. These are used in the Honors College to mark completion of your experiences on your transcript and identify your progress in Degree Works. Students are enrolled in a 0-credit course upon successfully completing an automatically approved or independently crafted experience.
8-Week Course: A course that lasts 8-weeks and can begin at the beginning or in the middle of a semester. Honors utilizes 8-week courses for Honors 101 and our 0-credit experience designation on the transcript. After having an Experience Completion Form approved, students are automatically enrolled in the relevant 0-credit course to document that they have received credit for the experience.
Academic Advisor: A UTSA staff member who advises students on their degree, major, and university policies related to their degree.
Alvarez Opportunities Fund: Scholarship awarded through an endowment. The fund has provided support for study abroad, external certifications, student research, unpaid internships, service trips, amongst other things. The application can be found on the Hub and is accepted the first of each month from September through May.
Archer Fellowship Program: A special program in the College that places students in an internship in Washington D.C. Students spend the entire semester in the program. This is a competitive program.
Asynchronous: A mode of online course delivery that, though having a beginning and end date, students progress through at times convenient to their ability to focus on the work.
Automatically Approved or Pre-Approved Experiences: Experiences earned though special UTSA opportunities that the Honors College has “pre-approved” as a substitute for a 3-credit honors course. Students completing experiences through this list must still submit an Experience Completion Form to receive the appropriate curricular substitution.
Certifications: Credentials that officially recognize a student as having a certain skill or skillset. Certifications are common ways that students earn credit for the Skills or Professional Development experience category.
Citymester Program: A special program in the College that places students in an internship and service opportunity in San Antonio. Students also take a place-based course called City Sites. This is a competitive program.
Civic Ethos: This is a one-credit course required for students completing The Honors Experience’s curriculum. Its goal is to introduce students to the civic dimensions of service and volunteerism.
Comparative Studies in the Humanities, Honors Section: A required course for students completing The Honors Experience curriculum. It provides a unique opportunity to make connections across the humanities and helps to fulfill Core requirements.
Co-op: Like internships, Co-Op programs are experiential learning experiences that are extensions of the classroom. Co-op programs provide students the opportunity to partner with local and national business to apply what they learn in the classroom in a professional setting.
Cultural Exploration: One of the SPICES. This category includes experience that demonstrate that they student has deeply engaged with a culture other than their own. Generally, experiences like study abroad, language learning, and “sense-of-place” learning fall into this category.
ELF (Experiential Learning Fair): The ELF is a celebration of student experiences. Students completing an experience may present a poster at the fair that highlights their accomplishments. Posters are judged and winning posters earn students scholarships. Students must sign up to participate in the ELF.
Engaged and Intentional Lifestyle Choices: One of the SPICES. These are experiences that demonstrate a sustained commitment to personal excellence and motivation to better one’s self through taking on new challenges. Students have earned this experience by competing in athletics, performing in bands, hiking National parks, personal fitness challenges, etc. This is generally considered the “bucket list” category because of all of the fun possibilities included.
ESTEEMED: The NIH/Federally-funded UTSA ESTEEMED (Enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Educational Diversity) Program helps freshman and sophomore-level trainees develop as scholars and scientists. It lays strong foundations through academic enrichment, financial support, faculty and peer mentoring, and training in UTSA biomedical research laboratories. It will also guide the ESTEEMED Scholars into an elite extramural summer program, advanced upper division undergraduate research training at UTSA, and eventually a Ph.D. program in biomedical sciences.
Experience Agreement: Similar to an honors contract, an experience agreement is a document co-designed by an honors staff member and a student that outlines the parameters of what a student must complete to earn credit for a self-designed experience. The advantage of an experience agreement is that a student knows in advance that completing the agreement will result in earning credit for the experience. These can be filled out with an honors staff member in the experiential learning lab.
Experience Completion Form: The form a student completes to earn credit for an experience. Students can record participation in automatically approved experience, work, volunteerism, or self-designed experiences. Students completing experiences through honors or designated courses do not need to complete an experience form.
Experience: Perhaps the most important term in the College, an experience is a signature accomplishment that helps fill out a student’s resume. Students can earn experiences through honors courses, special programs, by participating in automatically approved experiences, or by designing their own with or without the help of honors staff. An experience completed outside of coursework is recorded with the College only after a student fills out the Experience Completion Form
Experiential Learning Lab: The ELL is a physical space in the College where students can stop in or make appointments to meet with Honors Counselors or staff and receive coaching for completing experiences, assistance with applications, resume review, or assistance with any issues or questions that they have about UTSA.
Experiential Learning: A type of learning commonly thought of as “learning by doing.”
Externship: A type of experiential learning in which a student generally does a whole semester of coursework in an internship setting.
FYE: An acronym commonly used in universities: First-Year Experience.
Graduate School Funding: Outstanding graduate students are often given both tuition waivers and a stipend by the school they attend. This is more common for students earning a doctorate over a master’s and for pure research areas than applied/professional. There is a basic formula for any given discipline. If you are thinking about graduate school, please reach out as early as possible so we can help you put together a fundable application.
Graduate School: A course of study leading to a post-baccalaureate degree or certificate. Graduate school is often funded and different programs have different timelines or requirements. If you are interested in studying in a graduate program, please reach out to us as early as possible.
Grow with Google Program: A professional development experience jointly sponsored by UTSA and Google. Students complete professional development moduals developed by Google and earn Google certifications.
Guadalupe Hall: “Guad” is the residence hall that houses the first-year Honors Residential Community.
HERBS: An acronym for the values of the College: Honorable, Equitable, Resilient, Benevolent, and Supportive
Honors 101: This is a required orientation to the Honors College for all students completing The Honors Experience’s curriculum. It is primarily structured to introduce students to experiential opportunities and to guide them toward creating an Experience Plan.
Honors College Scholarships: Scholarships awarded through application from the Honors College. These scholarships can be applied for through the Scholarship Hub generally from November through April.
Honors Contract: An agreement made between a student and professor as to what the student would need to do to earn honors credit for a non-honors course. These are generally due by the last day to add a class for the semester.
Honors Counselor: An Honors staff member who coaches & assists students with the Honors curriculum, experiences, and opportunities.
Honors Counselors: Honors Counselors are coaches who assist students in creating an experience plan, finding courses or experiences that will advance the student’s pursuits, review student documents (resumes, applications, personal statements, etc.), and provide general assistance navigating college. Though students are assigned a Counselor, they can visit with any member of the Counseling staff by making an appointment or simply stopping by the Experiential Learning Lab.
Honors Course: An honors course is a course specially designated to offer honors credit. They are generally smaller than regular courses and focus on providing students unique learning opportunities. Unlike high-school honors courses, they are not designed to be “harder” or to have more content.
Honors Development Fund: A fund to which honors students can apply for resources to support experiences or scholarly/professional development. The fund has provided support for study abroad, external certifications, student research, unpaid internships, service trips, amongst other things. The application can be found on the Hub and are accepted the first of each month from September through May.
Honors Elective: This includes any HON course, Honors sections of non-Honors courses, Honors contracted courses, internship courses, independent study courses, thesis courses, research courses, and graduate courses taken for undergraduate credit.
Honors Event: An event sponsored or co-sponsored by the College. These can be social, educational, informational, etc. Students swiping in at an event are eligible for receiving swag from the College. Students are encouraged to complete 3 honors events per semester.
Honors Lounge: Adjacent to the ELL, the Honors Lounge is a physical space in GSR where students can hang out, study, meet other students, sleep, or generally distress.
Honors Thesis: An honors thesis is the write up of independent research that the student is conducting, a major creative piece, or a detailed description of the state of a field of knowledge. These are highly encouraged for students going to graduate school and should ideally be completed before the beginning of the student’s penultimate semester.
IES Pathways Fellowship: A research program for students wanting to do interdisciplinary PhD work in education inequity topics. Open to all majors. Deadline generally mid-Summer for following Fall.
Independent Study: A for-credit course in which a student or small group of students work independently with a faculty member on a topic of their interest. These are almost always organized by the student.
Intellectual Achievement and Research: One of the SPICES. This category includes experiences that demonstrate that the student can apply academic learning outside of the classroom. This can include researching in a lab, producing a creative piece, participating in discipline-based competitions, etc.
Internship: A type of experiential learning in which students are placed in an employment setting and given professional responsibilities as part of a learning experience. These can be paid or unpaid, for credit or not for credit. Internships at major corporations are often their pathway to hiring entry level employees.
Legislative Scholar Program: A special program in the College that places students in internships in an Austin legislative office during the Texas Legislative Session. This is a competitive program.
Lower-Division Course: Courses beginning with “1” or “2” are lower-division (freshman and sophomore level).
MARC Program: The MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program is an Honors research training program that develops its trainees as exceptional applicants and trainees for doctoral (PhD) programs in the behavioral and biomedical sciences. MARC supports students with ethnic, socioeconomic, and physically-challenged backgrounds. 12 positions (16 in 2023) are for outstanding second-, third- and fourth-year students who must have at least two years prior to graduation when admitted,
McNair Scholars: A scholars program for first-generation or low-income undergraduates to engage in mentored research and receive guidance regarding graduate work. Info sessions for the program are offered each fall and applicants are accepted on a rolling basis.
Mellon Humanities Pathways Fellows: A grant-funded research program for humanities students seeking to pursue a Pd.D. to work on mentored research. Students must apply and be selected. Fellows receive a stipend of $4,000 and a small research fund. Deadline generally early Summer for following Fall.
Micro Internship: An internship that is quite short or is built around a short-term project. These can be as short as 10 hours.
MSRP: Mentored Student Research Program; Minority Summer Research Program: These are paid summer research programs, similar to REUs and SURFs that are hosted on campuses across the country. Minority-focused programs help serve underrepresented students and match them to faculty members of similar backgrounds. MSRP can also refer to Medical Student Research Programs, which are typically for students in medical school programs.
National Parks Trip: A study-away opportunity regularly offered by the College in which students tour the National Parks of the American West.
Nationally Competitive Graduate: An undergraduate or recent graduate whose accomplishments offer multiple choices for their upcoming career path. Generally a nationally competitive graduate can produce a competitive application for they types of opportunities to which many of the top-qualified students from across the nation will apply. These can be internships, jobs, research positions, graduate programs, fellowships, scholarships, etc.
NCHC Conference: The National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) sponsored conference for sharing research, ideas and best practices in collegiate honors education. The regional conferences (in our case, Great Plains) tend to be more focused on student research projects, with the national conference relevant primarily to honors professionals.
Office of Nationally Competitive Awards and Fellowships: UTSA’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards is housed in the Honors College, and supports students throughout their undergraduate university careers. We help students develop apply to a variety of amazing academic and career opportunities worldwide that promote leadership and civic engagement, research, and study abroad. Please visit the ONCA page for more opportunities. Select opportunities include:
Boren Scholarship: Funding for 6-10 months to study critical languages abroad. This award is for students who would like pursue a career in the federal service upon graduation.
Department of Defense SMART Scholarship: The SMART award aims to create a STEM workforce that competes with dynamic trends and innovation in the interest of national security. This award can be used to fund undergraduate or graduate education, and also places students in summer internships. 3000+ students each year are awarded $28,000-$40,000 toward tuition. Students can apply in their first year and second years or the year they apply to graduate school.
Fulbright Student Program: Awards to enroll in a one-year Master's degree program, do research, or teach English abroad in any of 140+ countries. Students start the application process at the end of their junior year.
Gilman Scholarship: 3,000+ scholarships each year of up to $8,000 to support study abroad. The Gilman Scholarship supports Pell-Grant eligible students with the goal of increasing access to study abroad. This is an entry-level scholarship that first year students should definitely consider! There is no minimum GPA and the application does not require a letter of recommendation.
Goldwater Scholarship: The Goldwater Scholarship celebrates students seeking research careers in natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering. Students apply in their sophomore or juniors years, and will demonstrate significant research experience, which includes the development of original ideas and mastery of technique.
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship: A fellowship program recognizing and supporting outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (relevant to NSF) disciplines, who are seeking research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. Students apply in the fall of senior year before they apply to graduate school.
Truman Scholarship: This award supports future generations dedicated to public service careers across academic disciplines and career trajectories. Students apply in their junior year, and the award provides $30,000 for graduate school funding.
Peer coach: An honors student employee trained to assist students through the honors curriculum
Performance: The Honors College’s primary role is to help students “perform” to their best. Performance means assisting a student to exceed their own expectations of themselves. This builds self-efficacy and makes the student more of a nationally competitive graduate. We strongly believe that performance is best demonstrated through experiential opportunites.
Professional Development: One of the SPICES. This category focuses upon assisting a student in transitioning from a student to a professional. Generally, professional development happens through internships, employment, leadership development programs, or participation in experiences relevant to a future career.
Research: An endeavor aimed at producing new knowledge or artifacts that support a knowledge-centered ecosystem.
REU: A Research Experience for Undergraduates, or REU, is an NSF funded research program that introduces undergraduates in STEM fields (including many social sciences like Economics, Political Science, Psychology, etc.) to academic research. The sites include many of the best research universities in the country, and students may find programs on the NSF’s REU website. Most REUs will give the student a stipend (generally around $5,000), a cost of room-and-board allowance, and paid travel to and from the sites. Most students to REUs in Summer. They are open to students of all levels of experience, so many students take them between 1st and 2nd year.
RISE Program: The UTSA RISE Undergraduate program supports research training for students who are interested in developing professional careers as research scientists. This federally funded training program is designed to ensure that talented and motivated minority or disadvantaged students are able to obtain the background and skills that they need to enter and succeed in doctoral education.
Self-Designed Experiences: Experiences that are 1) not honors classes/sections and 2) not on the automatically-approved list. These are earned through opportunities the student seeks out or designs on their own or with help from a UTSA office. To guarantee that the Self-Designed Experience will count for credit substitution, students are encouraged to work with a UTSA staff member to submit an Experience Agreement Form prior to beginning the project.
Service: One of the SPICES. This is a category of experiential learning that demonstrates an accomplishment in the civic sphere. Generally service is performed through volunteerism, however many students engage in their own service experience through designing service projects.
Skill Development: One of the SPICES. These experiences help students to earn a skill that they might not otherwise learn in their courses. Many students earn certifications or badges that allow them to earn skills that are valuable for advancing their careers.
SPICES: This is an acronym for the areas where all students should be looking to gain experiences. They are Service, Professional development, Intellectual achievement beyond GPA, Cultural Exploration, Engaged & intentional lifestyle choice, and Skill development.
Students and Startups: A special program offered through UTSA and the 80/20 Foundation in which students spend the summer doing a paid internship at a startup in San Antonio. This is a competitive program.
Study Abroad: A type of experiential learning in which students learn in a place outside of their home country. These can be long term (a semester or more) or short term. There are many opportunities to fund study abroad and by studying through UTSA partnerships it can actually be less expensive than studying at UTSA.
Study Away: The same as study abroad, but within the student’s home country. Generally, students performing study away learn through place-based learning, rather than simply at another US university.
Summer Undergraduate Research Programs: A great Google search term for finding a research opportunity for a summer job.
SURF: Similar to REUs, a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) is a paid Summer research program that is hosted on campuses across the country. Benefits are generally comparable to those provided by REUs. These are explicitly for students working in STEM related areas.
Terry Scholar Program: A highly competitive scholarship offered by the Terry Foundation. Applications are open to incoming first-time students in college. This is a competitive program. Students cannot be admitted to the Terry Scholars Program after attending UTSA.
THE (The Honors Curriculum): The flagship program of the College. All students admitted to the Honors College receive automatic admission to THE (students may decline that admission if they wish to pursue other Honors College programs. THE is the most experience-based honors college curriculum in the country. Students completing THE receive a stole and honors notation on both the transcript and diploma.
Thesis: A mentored signature work of research or creative production. Generally, this would be the write-up of the work one was doing to prepare for graduate programs or niche portions of the economy. Theses are most valuable if written before the Fall of a student’s last year.
Top Scholar Program: A highly competitive scholarship/student development program for incoming UTSA students. Admission is through application and a competitive process. Students cannot be admitted to Top Scholars after attending UTSA.
Undergraduate Research: A type of experiential learning in which students work independently or with a professor to create new knowledge. Research is possible in all disciplines and there are specific programs, such as McNair Scholars, that match students to research opportunities.
UTSA Honors College: The Honors College is one of 8 colleges at UTSA. It houses several honors and scholar programs. It is primarily focused upon experiential learning and coaching achievement-oriented, hard-working students to become nationally competitive for awards, graduate and professional programs, and career opportunities.
Work/Volunteer Policy: A way for students to receive experiential substitution credit for work or volunteer activity. The student must submit an Experience Completion Form to be considered for credit. The policy is as follows:
Work, paid or unpaid, can count as an experience. It must be a total of a minimum of 90 hours for a sustained period that lasts no less than 56 days. To have work count for an experience, students should fill out the “Work as Experience” form that will ask you to detail your dates of employment, employer information, responsibilities, and verification by your employer.
Students seeking credit for multiple work experiences need to show different or increasing responsibilities, involvement in different work experiences (management training, shift in position, etc.) with the same employer, and/or change of employer or position within an organization.
Your counselor will review the form for approval and may contact you with additional questions or to assist you with articulating your position on your resume, cover letter, or in job interviews.