General Beadle Honors Program

General Beadle students check out a neutrino lab with Professor Gaylor.

An honors program that goes beyond the classroom.

The General Beadle Honors Program allows you to fulfill many of general education requirements in limited-enrollment, honors-only classes that move beyond simple lecture to focus instead on discussion and dialogue between students and faculty.  Every honors course stresses the key intellectual skills that employers everywhere look for: keen analysis, verbal communication, and critical writing.

Led by devoted faculty, the Beadle Honors Program will help give you a unique and rewarding undergraduate experience designed to prepare you either for graduate school or the post-college career.

As part of the Beadle Honors Program, you will:

  • Enroll in honors classes - Smaller classes allow for more student-faculty interaction, making students active participants in the learning process. You will also work with success-oriented, accomplished peers just like you.
  • Build your professional network – Create close, professional relationships with faculty along with mentorships that can assist with post-graduate plans.
  • Engage in a living/learning community - You have the option of living in the honors dorm with other honors students from your cohort.  This creates a stable living community where you can live with peers who share some of the same academic interests.
  • Gain greater academic stability - In addition to a regular academic advisor, honors students are also advised by the honors director, ensuring they remain on track for both their academic program and their honors designation.  You will meet with the honors faculty both as a whole and in small groups throughout the year, allowing for greater connections and mentoring opportunities.

Admissions Requirements

  • All on-campus incoming freshmen at Dakota State University are eligible for admission to the General Beadle Honors Program. 
  • Students with an ACT score of 26 or higher or high school GPA of 3.9 automatically qualify for admission.  Shortly after students have been notified of their admission to DSU, they should receive in the mail notification of their eligibility for the General Beadle Honors Program. 
  • Students with ACT scores lower than 26 can still earn admission by submitting the application found on the website.  The application deadline is July 31, but applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and students should hear about their application no later than 30 days after they apply.

Applications (PDF) and questions should be submitted to the Honors Director, Prof. Kurt Kemper.

Curriculum and Program Requirements

All students must complete the courses for their academic major with a 3.0 GPA or higher and fulfill the following requirements:

Required Courses:

  • HON 102 Introduction to Honors Program: Popular Culture (1 credit)
  • HON 390 Honors Seminar (1-3 credits, course subject rotates annually; can be taken more than once)
  • 400-level Capstone in student’s major (credit hours vary)

22 credit hours from the following electives:

  • ENGL 101 Honors Composition I (3 credits)
  • ENGL 201 Honors Composition II (3 credits)
  • HIST 152 Honors US History II (3 credits)
  • ECON 201 Honors Macroeconomics (3 credits)
  • ART 121 Honors Design I 2D (3 credits)
  • CSC 105 Honors Introduction to Computers (3 credits)
  • EPSY 210 Honors Lifespan Development (3 credits)
  • SOC 285 Honors Society and Technology (3 credits)
  • ENGL 210 Honors Introduction to Literature (3 credits)
  • A&S 121/L Honors Integrated Science I
  • SPCM 215 Honors Public Speaking and Rhetoric (3 credits)

Students may also use any 400-level class from a field not in or affiliated with their major field and any course as part of a study abroad or campus exchange program.


Besides the course requirements, students must also attend or participate in at least one activity from each of four categories listed below each academic year:

  • Athletic: Any University athletic event
  • Aesthetic: Campus concerts, plays/theatre productions, art/photo exhibits
  • Intellectual: Off-campus speakers, library exhibits, Underground Forums, serve as Trojan Times staff
  • Social: Club membership, Global Game Jam, Nanocon, Poetry Slam, Battle of the Bands, Humans vs. Zombies

Students will document their participation/attendance by submitting photographs of themselves at the event, either by themselves or in groups with other members of the Honors program. Wacky photos are acceptable and college-level humor is expected.


Students must propose and complete during their senior year a significant act of service or leadership to either their campus or their community, subject to approval from the faculty Honors Committee.

Graduation Requirements

Students must:

  • Complete graduation requirements for a baccalaureate degree at DSU
  • Complete all program requirements listed above
  • Graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher

And finally, who was General Beadle?

William Henry Harrison Beadle grew up on the Indiana frontier before the Civil War.  His father gave him the option of providing him a farm or the money for a college education and in deciding on the latter, he famously wrote to his father the line that adorns every acceptance letter to students in the honors program that bears his name: “I have been thinking that I ought to have a college education.  I am convinced in my own mind that such a preparation fo life will be a better investment…”  After graduating from the University of Michigan, he enlisted in the UGeneral Beadlenion Army to suppress the rebellion that threatened the Republic and eventually rose to the rank of Brigadier General.

He first came to the Dakotas in 1869 where he quickly devoted himself to the task of assuring that a part of available public lands be used to support public education.  His idea eventually was enshrined in the State Constitution and Congress was so impressed with it, they required five other incoming states to include similar provisions.  Before his death in 1915, he served as Professor of History and President of what eventually became DSU.  He is one of two South Dakotans enshrined in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol and he has a Twitter account @GenBeadle.

Questions about this program?

Want to know a little bit more about the Beadle Honors Program? No problem, just contact the Director Dr. Kurt Kemper.