A student reads on campus

Freshmen and Sophomores complete an enhanced version of the University's Discovery Program, the set of course requirements that ensures a broad foundation of academic knowledge for students in all majors. Honors Discovery courses are intimate and highly participatory, and are designed for students who embrace academic challenges.

In the Junior and Senior years, students follow more specialized curricula as they focus on their chosen fields. The Honors in Major program entails individualized work in selected classes, which students work with their professors to design. The program culminates with the Honors Thesis, an extended research project conducted under the supervision of a faculty advisor.


Completion of the University Honors Program requires at least 32 credits of Honors work, which is typically begun in the Freshman year. University Honors students must:

  • Maintain and graduate with a cumulative overall GPA of at least 3.5 for students entering Fall 2017 or after. Maintain and graduate with a cumulative overall GPA of at least 3.4 for students entering before Fall 2017 (see Academic Standards)
  • Complete 16 credits of Honors Discovery courses, of which
    • 4 credits must be in an Honors Inquiry Seminar (with the course number 444) (see Honors in Discovery)
    • [for students entering in Fall 2016 or later] 4 credits must be in an Honors Symposium (with the course number 440)
  • Complete the requirements for Honors in the Major, as specified by the major OR complete the requirements for Interdisciplinary Honors [as of Fall 2016]. Students who complete only Discovery Honors will not receive special recognition upon graduation. (see Honors in Major)

Honors in Major without University Honors

Students with a qualifying GPA may complete Honors in Major by itself, without participating in the University Honors Program or completing Discovery Honors requirements. Members of the University Honors Program who do not fulfill Discovery Honors requirements remain eliglble to graduate with Honors in Major, but not University Honors.

Typical progress through the program

The Honors requirements can usually be completed by taking one Honors course each semester, though there is no requirement to do so. Many students follow a plan like the following:

  • Freshman year: One Honors Inquiry Seminar and one Honors Discovery course
  • Sophomore year: Two Honors Discovery courses
  • Junior year: Two Honors-in-Major courses
  • Senior year: One or two Honors-in-Major course(s); one or two semester(s) of Honors Thesis

Students are not required to follow this calendar. The only deadline for completing Honors work is graduation.

University Honors Program Overview

Honors Discovery Courses    Honors-in-Major Courses

1.  ____________________   (4 credits)                     1.  ____________________  (4 credits)  
2.  ____________________   (4 credits)                     2.  ____________________  (4 credits)  

3.  ____________________   (4 credits)                     3. ____________________   (4 credits)  

4. Discovery 444H Seminar   (4 credits)                     4. Honors-in-Major Thesis  (4 - 8 credits)  

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16 credits from Honors Discovery  Courses     +       16 credits from Honors-in-Major Courses  = 32 credits  of Honors work