Prospective Students

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Benefits of Becoming an Honors Scholar

This curriculum challenges academically motivated students, fosters interdisciplinary curiosity, and equips students with the skills necessary for success at a 4-year institution. Students engage in a close community of scholars dedicated to earning a rigorous education, and they work closely with faculty to develop an in-depth understanding of the subject matter in various fields. Students have access to high-impact experiences-like conference presentations, study abroad courses, and self-directed research projects – designed to deepen their appreciation for their career field and prepare them for higher-level learning upon graduation.

Experience all of this while taking advantage of Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Reconnect, the Hope Lottery Scholarship, or any other form of financial aid you plan to utilize! Use the links below to apply for the program and the prestigious Presidential Honors Scholarship.

Presidential Honors Scholarship

Applications for the Presidential Honors Scholarship are open! The application requires a few short essays and a letter of recommendation written by an instructor, teacher, employer, or someone from an organization at which you volunteer.

To deliver this letter of recommendation, you can scan and upload the letter directly into the application, deliver via email to, or mail it:

Cleveland State Community College c/o Scholarship Coordinator, 3535 Adkisson Drive, Cleveland, TN 37312.

We will review applications and contact applicants as soon as possible to set up an interview.

Apply to the Honors College!

Applicataions for the Honors College are open year round, and we can’t wait to receive yours! Click on the “Apply to Honors College” button below.
The application includes some general information and a few essay questions about your educational goals and how you approach a challenge. As soon as we receive your applicaiton, we’ll be in touch to discuss how to get you involved in honors courses. (If you apply for the Presidential Honors Scholarship, do you do not need to apply to join the program separately. The scholarship application will give us plenty of information to determine which honors path will serve you best!)


Four Opportunities to Earn an Honors Diploma

Civic Scholars: This is our most structured, most rigorous Honors track at Cleveland State. During your first semester in the program, you’ll enroll in the Introduction to Honors Learning Community, which includes your Honors First Year Seminar course, the Leadership Development course, and a service learning course. After that, you’ll take at least three general education courses for Honors credit. During your final semester, you’ll complete a Capstone research course where you’ll engage in deep research on a subject related to your major field of study. Only students on this track are eligible for the Presidential Honors Scholarship, but in order to receive it, they must apply before the annual deadline and complete the interview process during the month of March.

Honors Experience: Students on this track are asked to take Leadership Development, three general education courses for Honors credit, and the Capstone course. With the exception of the Capstone course (which has to be taken during a student’s final semester at Cleveland State), these Honors courses can be taken at any point in a student’s degree program. While still offering a more rigorous education, this track is designed to accommodate a busier schedule and multiple demands on a student’s time. 

Honors Nursing: Students accepted to the Nursing program with a 3.25 GPA or higher are welcome to join the Honors Nursing cohort. On top of the already rigorous requirements for the Nursing program, Honors Nursing students are expected to complete the Leadership Development course, engage in volunteer service each semester, and complete a Capstone research project during their final semester at Cleveland State.

Honors Business ADVANCE: Students accepted to the Business ADVANCE program with a 3.25 GPA or higher are welcome to join the Honors Business ADVANCE cohort. On top of the already accelerated course structure, Honors Business ADVANCE students are expected to complete the Leadership Development course, engage in extended volunteer hours, and complete a Capstone project during their final semester at Cleveland State.