University Honors Program | Graduation Requirements

The University Honors Program's graduation requirements hold students to a common set of high standards while still allowing for a great degree of flexibility and customization based upon each student's individual educational needs and goals.

  1. Common Requirements
  2. Choosing a Distinction
  3. Honors Requirements by Distinction

Common Requirements

All Honors students must complete three different types of requirements, no matter what their major is or which distinction they choose.

Credit Requirement

Honors students accepted as freshmen are required to complete at least 30 total Honors credits by the time they graduate. This requirement can be reduced to as low as 21 total Honors credits for students who self-nominate into the Honors program or enter the Honors program as a transfer student.

Capstone Requirement

Each Honors student must complete a Capstone by the time they graduate. The Honors Capstone is the culmination of undergraduate Honors work and is usually completed in the senior year. The Capstone allows students to work closely with a professor -- a Capstone advisor -- to create a scholarly work or creative project that builds on a student’s knowledge and interest in a field of study.

GPA Requirement

All Honors students must earn a B or higher (does not include B-'s) in an Honors class for that class to count toward completing their Honors credit requirement. Also, each student must have a 3.5 overall cumulative GPA at the time of graduation in order to graduate with Honors.

Choosing a Distinction

An important decision a student in the University Honors Program makes is which Honors distinction to follow, since each distinction has different graduation requirements.

Upon graduation, Honors students will be honored with one of two possible distinctions, general "University Honors" or "University Honors in [Major]."

General “University Honors” indicates that the student’s upper-level coursework was interdisciplinary and the diploma will bear this designation.  If the student has completed their upper-level coursework, including the Honors Capstone project, exclusively in the major, the student’s diploma will bear the designation “University Honors in [Major].”

Both Honors distinctions are considered equally prestigious outside of the university, although a student may gauge that one distinction is more advantageous for his or her specific future plans. For example, if a student will proceed to graduate school to earn a Ph.D in his/her major’s field, then University Honors in that major may be more appropriate than general University Honors. The University Honors Program encourages students to choose the distinction that best suits their educational needs and goals.

Honors Graduation Requirements by Distinction (General or in the Major)

University Honors (General) Graduation Requirements

Credit Requirement

a) The student must complete 30* total Honors credits. (* Both transfer and self-nominated students, who enter the program later, need to complete fewer total Honors credits.)

b) The student must earn 12 of 30* total Honors credits by taking upper-level courses. (Upper-level is defined as any course that bears a course number of 300 or above, including most graduate-level courses.)

Upper-level Honors credits can be earned through any of the following options:

  • Honors independent study (HNRS-490)
  • Honors supplement to any upper-level course
  • Honors sections of upper-level courses
  • Honors colloquia
  • Any Honors capstone option
Capstone Requirement

The student must complete 3 or 6 credit Honors Capstone through one of the following options:

  • Honors independent study (HNRS 490)
  • Honors supplement to any upper-level course
  • Any of the University Honors in [Major] capstone options available (see below)
GPA Requirement

a) The student must have earned at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA at the time of graduation.

b) The student must have earned at least a B grade in an Honors course to receive Honors credit for it.


University Honors in [Major] Graduation Requirements

Credit Requirement

a) The student must complete 30* total Honors credits. *Both transfer and self-nominated students, who enter the program later, need to complete fewer total Honors credits.

b) The student must earn 12 of 30* total Honors credits must be earned by taking upper-level courses that offer major credit. If a student is unsure whether a class would be awarded major credit, he/she may contact his/her Department Honors Coordinator.

Upper-level Honors credits in the major can be earned through any of the following options:

  • Supplement to any upper-level course that counts for major credit
  • Certain, pre-approved Honors Colloquia (View the description of each Honors Colloquium to determine if it counts toward your major)
  • Upper-level Honors courses offered by the school/College/department that count for major credit  
  • University Honors in [Major] capstone options (see below)
Capstone Requirement

The student must complete a 3 or 6 credit Honors Capstone through one of the following options (Click your school/college, locate your major, and read the requirements):

GPA Requirement

a) The student must have earned at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA at the time of graduation.

b) The student must have earned at least a B grade in an Honors course to receive Honors credit for it.