Do I have to be a genius to get in?
If you are a genius, then you certainly should consider applying. However, there just aren't very many geniuses around. An average Honors Student is probably more accurately described as above-average in ability, ambitious in some way, and mentally active.
Will being in the Honors Program hurt my grade point average?
No. You will be graded by your Honors Professor the same as if you were in a regular section. You will be graded neither more harshly nor more leniently than the regular student. Grades will not be curved. If every person in a class earns an A, then everyone in the class will get an A.
Will I have to do twice as much work as the regular student?
No. The Citadel's Honors Program is based on the concept of enrichment, not acceleration. The work you will do in your Honors Courses may be more challenging, but there won't be a significantly greater amount of it. Honors Courses will emphasize depth of understanding, not the amount of material covered.
How do I apply?
If I'm on scholarship, will the Honors Program lower my grades so I lose it?
First: don't worry. I don't think you're going to lose your scholarship. It doesn't happen very often. Also, being in the Honors Program doesn't seem to hurt people's grades. That's what statistics show. Compared to students who are similarly prepared in terms of gaps and SAT scores, Honors students actually score a little higher (a 3.5 gpa for Honors students compared to a 3.2 for similarly-prepared non-Honors). So, like I say, don't worry. Work hard, yes, but don't worry. However, if for any reason you decide that you don't want to stay in the Honors Program, you can easily just withdraw at the end of the semester. No hard feelings. But, I don't think that will happen.
Will I get credit for my AP courses?
AP courses cannot take the place of Honors courses at The Citadel, though you may be able to claim the credits as General Electives (see last paragraph). There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that high school AP courses are intended to be the equivalent of normal college courses, not Honors courses. Another is that in every Honors course, we require our students to meet with their instructor individually (or sometimes in a group of two or three) on a regular basis-often weekly--for a tutorial, in which they will work together on one of the goals of the course, usually a writing assignment or a project of some kind. High school AP courses don't normally do this. Additionally, our Honors courses are significantly different from both the non-Honors courses they take the place of in The Citadel curriculum and from the AP courses that take their place. For instance, in English 101 and the AP equivalent (English Language and Composition), students study essay writing. They may or may not also read some essays or works of short fiction to provide material to write about. The Citadel's corresponding course, HONR 101, focuses on works such as Homer's Iliad, Vergil's Aeneid, and Dante's Inferno, and students write about them.
So, AP credits don't take the place of Honors courses at The Citadel. However, if you have earned AP credits for AP Language and Composition, AP Literature and Composition, and AP Western Civilization, The Citadel will accept those credits. They count as General Electives.