Message from the Dean

headshot of interim dean Beth Meyer-Bernstein

The Honors College is deeply committed to providing a transformative student experience. With guidance from faculty and staff with a diverse set of skills and academic backgrounds, CofC Honors students pursue undergraduate research, civic engagement, and a rigorous and interdisciplinary curriculum. CofC Honors students become leaders within the campus and Charleston communities, which prepares them as alumni to make meaningful impacts in their professional careers and local communities.

Each CofC Honors student benefits from one-on-one faculty advising and mentorship starting in their first year. Our faculty members get to know each advisee as a scholar, as an emerging professional, and as a person during a critical period of their development.

The Honors College is a center of collaboration on our campus. Faculty from a wide range of schools and departments are affiliated with the Honors College and make important contributions through teaching, mentoring, advising, and other service. Many Honors classes are co-taught by faculty members from different disciplines, thus bringing unique sets of knowledge and skills together to work collaboratively to present a subject in a way that transcends a textbook.

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) and the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards (NCA) are associated with the Honors College and serve the entire campus community. Charlie Calvert, Director of URCA and Associate Professor of Theatre, works to provide CofC students with grant funding to complete and present research projects that offer substantive contributions to their academic fields. Dr. Jesslyn Collins-Frohlich, NCA Director and Senior Instructor of English, encourages CofC students to think critically about their future endeavors and determine how a nationally competitive award might assist them in their pursuits.

The Honors College curriculum sets our academic experience apart from other institutions. With a cap of 19 students for most introductory Honors courses and 15 students for most upper-level Honors Courses, CofC Honors students get the high level of rigor and faculty engagement they seek and the support they need to excel. Honors courses, as compared to general CofC courses, aren’t more work; instead, they offer a different learning environment focused on active and immersive approaches. Many CofC Honors courses are interdisciplinary, crossing the boundaries of traditional disciplines in order to mirror the real world. Students can apply knowledge gained in one subject in order to deepen an understanding of another.

Honors Engaged is our civic engagement program that uses direct service and deliberative democracy tracks to help our students explore and address critical issues such as literacy, affordable housing, food security, environmental sustainability, and justice in the Charleston community. We seek to empower students to think critically about community challenges and opportunities as they engage with their neighbors. Honors Engaged provides the framework for a lifelong appreciation of active citizenship and allows students to develop interpersonal and professional skills.

Experiential learning is critical to ensuring that alumni are competitive for prestigious jobs or top tier graduate programs and is deeply embedded in the Honors College curriculum. Students complete an internship, research project or study abroad to fulfill the Honors Immersed requirement in their sophomore or junior year. As seniors, students engage in a year-long scholarly research project that culminates in a Bachelor’s Essay. Many Honors students receive research grants, have an opportunity to present their projects at professional conferences, and publish articles with their faculty mentors.

To read stories about CofC Honors students and alumni, check out the 10 Green Way blog. To see what jobs, internships, research positions, and other opportunities and information Honors students have available to them, check out Honors Hub.

If you would like to apply to the Honors College, support our scholarship, leadership, and mentoring programs, or become an Honors Engaged community partner, please do not hesitate to contact us by sending an email to


Elizabeth Meyer-Bernstein 
Interim Dean of the Honors College 
Associate Professor of Biology