The Honors Experience
The Honors Experience provides students with an enhanced curriculum and the ability to engage and collaborate with faculty and peers in a supportive academic environment.
Honors pedagogy is distinguished not by difficulty or the number of assignments, but by enhanced experiences that promote critical thinking, heightened reflection, and deeper learning.
The Honors Program’s academic requirements complement the existing curriculum set by the degree programs and allow students to focus on their major area of study while also benefiting from the interdisciplinary tradition of collegiate Honors.
HONORS CREDIT (H-Cred)
All Honors students commit to earn at least two Honors units or “H-Cred” per academic
year (fall to fall). Most Honors students exceed the minimum H-Cred requirements needed
to fulfill the graduation requirements of the Honors Program.
Minimum H-Cred Requirements
Students may request substitution of one banked H-Cred (credit earned beyond the minimum)
to fulfill part of the annual requirement, but this option may be used only once and
cannot be used in the final senior semester. Any student who does not earn H-Cred
for two consecutive long semesters (fall and spring) will be excused from the Honors
Program regardless of GPA.
Honors Sections are regularly offered in the long semesters. These “Honors only” small sections of existing courses fulfill degree requirements and earn H-Cred. Most Honors sections are core level, but the number of upper level offerings is growing. Honors sections are often discussion or project driven and always taught by enthusiastic faculty with innovative hands-on approaches that put you at the center of what happens in class.
*This is just a sample of some of the sections we’ve offered over the last few years, but the options are always growing. See the semester schedule for specific courses and times.
As you progress in your major, you’ll be able to earn H-Cred related to your area of study and research interests. An Honors Contract provides students a way to earn H-Cred in upper level courses and in disciplines unable to offer stand-alone Honors sections. Your course grade will be based on your completion of the requirements outlined in the course syllabus, but your professor will use the contract assignment to determine if you should receive H-Cred for the course.
Contracts are essentially independent study projects, but with a twist. Your contracts will probably result in some of the most engaging and memorable experiences from your undergraduate education. Projects might entail developing research or technical skills, improving expressive capacities, or exploring content in greater depth, all while developing a more meaningful relationship with a faculty mentor. Projects run the gamut from traditional research to creative works and designs, from service projects to professional internships.
Before you can propose a contract, you’ll need attend the Honors Contract workshop offered virtually or face-to-face. These are offered every month in the summer and twice during each long semester.
STANDARDS FOR COURSE-BASED H-CRED
H-Cred is attached to exceptional academic experiences and awarded separately from academic credit that meets basic degree requirements. It is possible to earn credit toward your degree, but not receive the H-Cred because of the course grade, the professor’s assessment, or overall GPA requirements.
One of the first traditions established by the Honors Program was awarding high-achieving students a distinctive varsity-style Honors cardigan. Students must meet the eligibility standards and submit a completed cardigan application. The application opens at the end of the spring semester and cardigans awarded in late September.
- Successful Completion of 4 H-Creds
- GPA 3.5+
- Good Standing in the University Honors Program
- Submission of Cardigan Application