Honors Program RequirementsHonors Program Requirements

Honors Program Requirements

Honors Program Offers Special Courses, Course Addenda

All honors students register for the following HON courses:

  • HON 100: Honors and University Orientation
  • HON 150: Honors Composition I
  • HON 250: Honors Composition II
  • HON 499: Honors Thesis Project

HON 100 fulfills the University's freshman seminar requirement, HON 150 fulfills the University's Composition I requirement and HON 250 fulfills the University's Composition II requirement.

In an honors addendum, the student agrees with his/her professor to complete an extra project for a particular course.  In all such courses, the successful completion of the course and its honors component is indicated on the student's transcript.  If a student does not complete the addendum that he or she constructed, the course will not be credited as an honors course. UHP students are normally limited to no more than two honors addenda per semester. An addendum form, required for each honors addendum course, is available in the UHP office.

Read all HON course descriptions in the Course Catalog.

Thesis Projects: The Honors Program Capstone

All honors students are required by the PASSHE board of governors to complete an honors thesis project.  Students earn 3 HON credits for their project by registering for HON 499.  For the thesis project, the student works with a committee of three or more faculty members of their choice:

  • A thesis advisor
  • Honors advisory board member
  • Independent reviewer

Members must be faculty at Cal U, and at least one must be from the Honors Advisory Board. The committee guides the student in creating a reliable and valid thesis in his/her chosen area of study.  Once a student has arranged his/her committee and proposed a project, he/she must complete an honors thesis declaration form to the UHP office.  The director's signature signals final approval for the proposed project. 

Students are required to present their theses to their committees and classmates upon completion. They may begin working on their projects at any time; however, they may not register for HON 499 until they have completed 18 honors credits (HON or addenda).  It is common to earn a grade of "Incomplete" for the HON 499 course.  If so, the student is bound by the university's policies for the completion of "Incomplete" courses.  (Students have one year to complete the course from the point at which the "I" grade was assigned.)

Honors thesis projects in the past have ranged from traditional research projects of approximately 30 pages to creative writing pieces to original artistic works.  Students have freedom in designing their thesis projects.  The project is intended to be the capstone of the student's education and honors program experience and an opportunity to show his/her skills in the chosen field. 

Requirements to Remain in the Honors Program

To sustain their membership in the UHP, honors students must:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher
  • Demonstrate ability in all HON courses
  • Demonstrate satisfactory progress throughout their UHP curriculum

Failure of an HON course (not an addendum course) results in immediate ineligibility for the UHP. If a student's GPA slips below a 3.25, he/she may be granted up to two probationary semesters to bring the GPA up to the requirement.  Students who do not meet progress requirements may be granted up to one probationary semester to earn more honors credits.  During the probationary period, students lose some benefits of UHP membership, including early registration, honors courses through addendum and the priority housing option.  Students who earn a GPA that cannot be recovered to a 3.25 within two semesters will be ineligible for the UHP.

Students who join the UHP in their first year must complete a minimum of 12 honors credits (HON or addenda) by the end of their fourth semester of full-time study. Students who join the UHP after their first year of full-time study are required to complete a minimum of nine honors credits (HON or addenda) by the end of their second semester of UHP membership and full-time study.

Students who are declared ineligible for the UHP for any reason lose all UHP privileges, including early registration and the priority housing option.

Questions? Contact the University Honors Program.