Skip to main content

Shape your future in science

Tomorrow's scientific discoveries and innovations will grow from the research and education pursued in today's great universities.   From work in neuroscience and emerging fields like bioinformatics, to the widespread applications of nanoscience and studies of the living ocean, science will broaden and deepen our understanding of life, the Earth, and the universe.   We created the Freshman Science Honors Program to provide promising students like you the fundamental knowledge you'll need to shape your future in science.


An Alternative Learning Environment

The Freshman Science Honors Program (FSH) is more than just great classes and faculty; it's a vibrant learning environment that includes special events, small labs, academic support, and a lively student community. The FSH curriculum gives exceptional freshmen a strong grounding in the natural sciences with an emphasis on understanding scientific research. Our outstanding faculty, lab directors, graduate assistants, and caring advisors help you through the first year of your science studies and guide you toward your goals. FSH students are a community of aspiring scientists who share a passion for understanding the natural world. They are exposed to new developments in science and learn about many opportunities available to natural science majors in terms of continuing education at the graduate level and various career options.

FSH Curriculum

The Freshman Science Honors Program is built around science courses taken in the freshman year. Taught at an advanced level, these courses explore the sciences deeply and with greater individual attention. These courses and their associated lab sections are small; students get to know each other and their faculty well. Enriched lab sections give students hands-on opportunities to work with new technology and cutting-edge methods that they would otherwise not be exposed to until later in their science education.


A Community of Science Scholars

A central purpose of the Freshman Science Honors Program is to create a community of freshmen science students who can work together to further their studies while having a rich and enjoyable experience. To that end, FSH extends beyond the classroom with various special events, lectures, tours, and field trips. Professors and students are also brought together in informal and social settings to foster relationships that can advance students' academic interests, research opportunities, and career plans. FSH faculty, advisors, and lab directors strive to reduce the competitive atmosphere that often exists in the sciences so students can ask questions, work together, and help each other.

Academic Success

Faculty, lab directors, academic advisors, and continuing students serve as a resource for the Freshman Science Honors Program. FSH professors mentor students and provide invaluable information on career paths and research possibilities. To reach these goals, advisors help you chart an academic path during one-on-one meetings. You can also take advantage of USC's highly-respected Supplemental Instruction (SI) program, in which some of the best continuing students who were previously in the same classes help current FSH students. These SI leaders run weekly study sessions where they discuss main concepts from class that week and build on existing strengths to instill better study skills.


Statement on Academic Conduct and Support Systems


Academic Conduct

Plagiarism – presenting someone else’s ideas as your own, either verbatim or recast in your own words – is a serious academic offense with serious consequences.  Please familiarize yourself with the discussion of plagiarism in SCampus in Section 11, Behavior Violating University Standards  Other forms of academic dishonesty are equally unacceptable.  See additional information in SCampus and university policies on scientific misconduct,


Discrimination, sexual assault, and harassment are not tolerated by the university.  You are encouraged to report any incidents to the Office of Equity and Diversity or to the Department of Public Safety  This is important for the safety whole USC community.  Another member of the university community – such as a friend, classmate, advisor, or faculty member – can help initiate the report, or can initiate the report on behalf of another person.  The Center for Women and Men provides 24/7 confidential support, and the sexual assault resource center webpage describes reporting options and other resources.


Support Systems

A number of USC’s schools provide support for students who need help with scholarly writing.  Check with your advisor or program staff to find out more.  Students whose primary language is not English should check with the American Language Institute, which sponsors courses and workshops specifically for international graduate students.  The Office of Disability Services and Programs certification for students with disabilities and helps arrange the relevant accommodations.  If an officially  declared emergency makes travel to campus infeasible, USC Emergency Information provide safety and other updates, including ways in which instruction will be continued by means of blackboard, teleconferencing, and other technology.