LSU Honors College
French House, The
The French House, home of the LSU Honors College
|Location||Louisiana State University Campus, Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
|Area||3 acres (1.2 ha)|
|Architect||Weiss,Dreyfous & Seiferth|
|Architectural style||Renaissance, French Renaissance|
|NRHP Reference #||
|Added to NRHP||January 13, 1982|
The Honors College at Louisiana State University provides an intimate learning environment with all the resources of a major research university by offering small interdisciplinary classes, valuable opportunities for independent research, and mentoring relationships with some of LSU’s most prominent faculty. The LSU Honors College is led by dean Nancy Clark, who joined the University in 2002. In recent years, the Honors College has produced LSU’s Rhodes, Truman, Goldwater, and Soros scholars.
History and setting
In 1992, the LSU Board of Supervisors approved the transformation of the honors program at the University—a collection of courses in a number of departments across campus—into the LSU Honors College. Bill Seay served as the College's first and only dean until 2003 when Nancy Clark assumed the role. The Honors College was initially located in the Old President's House on Highland Road.
The French House In 1999, the Honors College moved into the French House, Renaissance-style chateau originally constructed as a center for intensive study of the French language, literature, and culture. The French House was dedicated on April 15, 1935, when French Ambassador André de Laboulaye traveled to Louisiana to celebrate LSU’s Diamond Jubilee. The French ambassador laid the structure’s cornerstone, which included a piece of wood from the original Fort de la Boulaye, the first French settlement in Louisiana. Ambassador François de Laboulaye, André de Laboulaye’s son, rededicated the building on April 3, 1981. The French House remains the only non-Quadrangle LSU structure on the National Register of Historic Places. Plans for renovating the French House have been set in motion as the University attempts to raise money through a major capital campaign.
Laville Honors House Located near the French House is the Laville Honors House, a residence hall for students enrolled in the College. The Laville Honors House includes an East Hall, West Hall, and central lobby. The East and West wings are mirror images of one another. Plans were approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents in 2008 to add 3,600 square feet (330 m2) of new space and renovate 110,500 square feet (10,270 m2) of existing dorm space, which included expanding lounges and study space and providing for faculty residence on the first floor. The West Hall renovations were complete in fall 2010. The renovations of the East Hall and addition of a central lobby were completed in April 2012 at a cost of $14 million. 
Courses, undergraduate thesis, and awards
There are three different types of Honors courses at the University. Courses offered through the Honors College are designated by the HNRS prefix and include interdisciplinary courses which generally exist as seminar-lecture pairs and feature the history, politics, philosophy, art, languages, and literature of specific civilizations or time periods. Academic departments across campus also offer honors equivalent courses. Students may also choose to "Honors Option" a course by entering into a contract with a professor of an upper level course and fulfilling a set of agreed upon requirements that go beyond the expectations laid out in the course's syllabus.
Students in the College have the opportunity to complete an undergraduate thesis, graduate with College Honors, and earn two different distinctions. Sophomore Honors Distinction is bestowed upon a student who completes 20 hours or more of Honors courses by the end of the second year, maintains a 3.5 cumulative GPA in Honors courses and in all course work, and completes one Honors interdisciplinary course. Upper Division Honors Distinction can be earned by completing Honors work in courses at the 3000 level or above, including three to six hours of research, and by writing and defending an undergraduate thesis in the student’s main field of study. Students who attain both Sophomore and Upper Division Honors Distinction graduate with College Honors—a designation that appears on a student's diploma.
Admission and enrollment
Although the Honors College accepts continuing and transfer students, most of the incoming students enroll as college freshmen. Recommended SAT scores (V+M) and GPA for prospective high school students are 1320 and 3.5 respectively. Students may also have a minimum composite score of 30 on the ACT and should complete the writing component of the SAT or ACT for consideration.
Today, the LSU Honors College has a student enrollment of approximately 2,000. Applications for fall 2006 reached 2,400 by December 15. The Honor College enrollment grew by 33 percent in the fall of 2007.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
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- "Meet Our Scholars--2006". Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. Accessed on 2 February 2008.
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- Ballard, Ernie(2007). "LSU Fall Enrollment Figures Released, Freshman Class Figures Highlight Positives for the University". Louisiana State University Media Relations. Accessed on 28 September 2007.