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Honors Program

The Honors Program offers a wealth of special opportunities for motivated, academically successful undergraduate students. Opportunities range from specially designed courses in general education (the Honors in General Education Program) and in selected majors (the Honors in the Major Program).

Honors students are eligible to take advantage of both Honors in General Education and Honors in the Major. Through these programs, you enrich your academic experience and forge special relationships with other honors students and with faculty. Completion of Honors in General Education and/or Honors in the Major is noted on your transcripts and diplomas. Honors students are highly desirable candidates for graduate school and for employment.

For more information regarding admission to the Honors Program please visit the Honors Program Admission webpage.

Honors in General Education

For this program, you enroll in Honors-specific sections of general education classes. These sections are small, innovative, and interactive. They are taught by some of the best professors on campus. The classes offer a stimulating environment for learning, as well as an opportunity to work closely with honors faculty and other honors students. You become part of a vital learning community that comes together in the classroom as well as outside for social and educational events. While in the program, you benefit from priority registration for all your classes, and successful completion of the program is recognized at graduation and prominently noted on your diploma and transcripts.

For additional information regarding the Honors Program please visit the Honors Program website.

Honors in the Major

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major. It requires 6 units of honors coursework completed over two semesters.

The Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the University for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or academic competition. Such experience is valuable for graduate school and professional life. Your honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are:

  1. You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major coursework. All 6 units are honors classes (marked by a suffix of H), and at least 3 of these units are independent study (399H, 499H, 599H) as specified by your department. You must complete each class with a minimum grade of B.
  2. You must have completed 9 units of upper-division coursework or 21 overall units in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements for your major carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.
  3. Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  4. Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  5. Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of coursework over the two semesters of their senior year.

While Honors in the Major is part of the Honors Program, each department administers its own program. Please contact your major department or major advisor to apply.

While not administered by the Honors Program, the following are also available for students:

Dean's List

Each semester the college deans recognize superior scholarship by including on their Dean's List those students who earn a 3.5 GPA or better on 12 or more graded units the preceding semester.

Honors at Graduation

The University recognizes superior academic performance at graduation and on students' diplomas and transcripts. Each college of the University may award honors to up to 5 percent of its undergraduates each year. Honors designations are distributed as follows:
Summa cum laude may be given to no more than the top 1 percent of the graduating class.
Magna cum laude may be given to no more than the top 3 percent of the graduating class.
Cum laude may be given to no more than the top 5 percent of the graduating class.

Catalog Cycle:18