Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the questions we are most often asked by prospective students:


A: No. In fact, participating in HSP provides you with access to a broad selection of honors-level courses that are not available to the general SMU population and most of these courses meet requirements within the Common Curriculum. Most students take the WRTR and PRW courses, plus one other in the program. The rest of your schedule is yours to shape to your needs and interests.

A: No.  But we do recommend them! We strive to offer social, cultural, and academic events that students want to attend and that will enhance their experience here on campus. Our goal is to foster student leadership and community service interests while also providing students an opportunity to connect with their peers socially. 


A: Between 180-195 of our top first-year students will participate. The program is by invitation only.


A: No. Hilltop Scholars belong to a variety of campus groups, including fraternity and sorority life. HSP students are active participants in all aspects of campus life.
A: Yes and no. The program-specific courses, such as WRTR 2303, WRTR 2304, and PRW 3303, are designed to meet the needs of high-achieving students.  For those students seeking a more challenging academic experience, Hilltop Scholars have the opportunity to enroll in courses cross-listed with the University Honors Program
A: HSP is part of the Honors and Scholars community here at SMU, but it is separate and distinct from the University Honors Program.   The University Honors Program is a four-year program that allows students to graduate with Honors. HSP, on the other hand, is a first-year honors experience with an emphasis on leadership and community engagement.  After the successful completion of WRTR 2303 and WRTR 2304, you will be eligible for the direct path to UHP if you desire a four-year honors and experience and have a 3.65 GPA.