Academic Programs

University Honors Courses

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One of the requirements of graduation from the University Honors Program is completion of 20 units of University Honors Courses with at least 8 units outside the major.

Learn more about the requirements to graduate from the University Honors Program.

Types of University Honors Courses

University Honors Courses are of several types, including:

  • regular classes in which the instructor agrees to design and grade a special extra project to be completed by the University Honors Student.
  • one-unit seminar classes, restricted to University Honors Students.
  • independent study/research classes at the upper division level in which a University Honors Student works closely with a faculty member on a project.

Criteria for University Honors Courses

Honors work must extend beyond the normal course work. In addition, honors work must place expanded intellectual demands on the student and be consistent with the highest standards of rigorous academic performance. To fulfill this standard:

  1. The honors work should be extra, yet related, work that is above the normal level of course work. It should be given with a greater expectation of performance on the part of the student. This might include, but is not limited to, additional readings and/or additional assignments such as papers, speeches, presentations, research proposals, artistic or literary works, performances, computer programs, laboratory projects, case studies, etc.
  2. The honors work can either explore other dimensions and applications of the subject matter (e.g. the interdisciplinary nature of the subject) or delve into a narrow and specific area of the subject in expanded detail (e.g. work that is a preview of graduate school experience).
  3. The honors work should include additional faculty effort in supervision, guidance, and ongoing assessment, yet it should also require substantial independence on the part of the student.
  4. Honors work should not be considered "extra credit" in determining the student's course grade. Honors work is considered separate from regular course grading. Students receive the University Honors Course credit designation if their work is completed at an acceptable level.

Honors units will only be assigned upon completion of courses approved by the University Honors Program Director in which the student earns a "B" or better and completes an honors project to the satisfaction of the instructor of the course. University Honors Courses may be in the student's major or minor, as well as in general education, and/or free electives. At least 8 honors units, however, must be taken outside the student's major. University Honors Courses may not be taken "credit/no credit."

To obtain approval for credit for a University Honors Course, students must work with their professor to complete and sign the University Honors Contract. A contract must be completed for each University Honors Course. Signed contracts are due to the University Honors Program office, Student Services Building 4500, by the end of the third full week of the quarter. The contracts must be approved by the University Honors Program. At the end of the course, the student must contact the professor to obtain a signature confirming that the student completed the course with a grade of B or better and completed the honors work or project.

Download a contract.

Review sample contracts: Sample Contract

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