We have written previously about the Southeast, referring to it as the “land of great honors programs.” Like some other programs in the region, the one at the University of Tennessee actually has two honors programs that are interrelated: the Chancellor’s Honors Program (CHP) admits about 420 extremely talented students each year, and another 15 extraordinarily fortunate students become Haslam Scholars, who receive the most generous support of any undergraduate scholars on campus.
While the CHP does not list a definite minimum set of requirements, the average freshman entrants score 32 on the ACT and have a 4.0 GPA. This equates to about the top 10 percent of freshmen who enroll at UT.
The required curriculum for the CHP is 25 semester hours, including two courses in the freshmen year (total of 1 credit hour) and another seven courses in the remaining years (21 additional hours). The final requirement is a 3-hour thesis or “approved substitute,” which can be within the department or related to an honors topic. Continuation and completion in the CHP require a cumulative GPA of 3.25.
About 75 percent of freshmen honors students live in Morrill Hall, which, though not centrally located, features appealing double suites with one adjoining bath for only four students to share. It does not appear to be the case, however, that only honors students can live in Morrill, so choosing the right roommate could be extremely important.
Haslam Scholars at UT (similar to other elite undergraduate scholars at Alabama and Georgia, for example) receive scholarship packages worth more than $17,000 a year–and out-of-state students receive a waiver that allows them to enroll at the in-state level. Haslam Scholars also receive a free laptop, a grant ofg $4,500 for studying abroad, and special mentoring for research and thesis work.
The Haslam Scholarships are funded through a $5 million grant from the Haslam family. While the university does not list specific requirements, the likelihood is that Haslam Scholars would need to have credentials approximating National Merit Finalists (in regard to test scores), extremely high GPAs, AP/IB results at the highest levels, and other evidence of superior accomplishment in leadership, service, and cultural activities.
Haslam Scholars must complete at least 28 semester hours of honors work, including 6 hours of research coupled with a presentation, and 3 hours of service or executive internships.
Haslam Scholars are essentially a part of the CHP as well, and are eligible to live in Morrill Hall and participate in CHP programs and activities.