Honors Degree Tracks

Letters & Science students can pursue an Honors degree through the following tracks: Honors in the Liberal Arts, Honors in the Major, or Comprehensive Honors. Learn more about each of the tracks below.

For full details of policies and requirements, you may visit the Guide.

All L&S students are invited to apply to the Honors in Liberal Arts degree track. Students pursuing Honors in the Liberal Arts complete Honors credits in broadly distributed subjects from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Courses taken for Honors can count toward the general education, breadth, and major requirements for students in the College of Letters & Science.  Through Honors coursework, students select enriching academic opportunities and build connections with faculty throughout the completion of their degree.

Requirements for Honors in the Liberal Arts

  • Completion of the College of Letters & Science degree requirements
  • University GPA of 3.300 or higher at the time of graduation
  • Completion of at least 24 credits in Honors courses with grades of B or better, of which:
    • At least 15 credits must be in courses with the Honors Only or Accelerated Honors designation
    • 6 of the credits must be courses designated as Humanities (including Literature)
    • 6 of the credits must be courses designated as Social Science
    • 6 of the credits must be courses designated as Biological, Physical, or Natural Science

You can also find requirements for the Honors in the Liberal Arts degree in the Guide and reference this handout with the basic degree requirements for a BA/BS with HLA.

Recognition upon Graduation

Students who successfully complete the HLA curriculum will wear the Honors stole at their commencement ceremony and their transcript and diploma will bear the designation “with Honors in the Liberal Arts.”

After formally declaring a major in the College of Letters & Science, students may opt to pursue Honors in that Major. Honors in the Major can be completed independently from or in conjunction with Honors in the Liberal Arts. Honors in the Major is especially appropriate for students who want deeper training in major-specific content as well as the research, writing, and critical thinking skills useful to a wide range of graduate programs and career choices.

Requirements for Honors in the Major

Honors in the Major requirements vary by program, but typically include a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3, a minimum major GPA, Honors coursework in the major, and successful completion of a two-semester senior Honors thesis or other capstone experience. We encourage interested students to meet with their major advisor to confirm requirements and begin planning for major-specific courses and thesis work.

Recognition upon Graduation

Students in the College of Letters & Science who successfully complete the HM curriculum will have the designation “with Honors in the Major” on their transcript and diploma.

Comprehensive Honors is the highest undergraduate degree offered by the College of Letters & Science.

Requirements for Comprehensive Honors

Comprehensive Honors is awarded to students who:

  • Are degree candidates in the College of Letters & Science
  • Apply and are admitted to both the Honors in the Liberal Arts and Honors in the Major degree tracks
  • Complete the requirements for Honors in the Liberal Arts and Honors in the Major

Recognition upon Graduation

When a student earns Comprehensive Honors, the graduate’s transcript and diploma will bear the words “with Comprehensive Honors,” and graduation candidates will wear both the Honors in the Liberal Arts stole and the Comprehensive Honors medallion at their commencement ceremony.