Office in Academic Village, B 102
(970) 491-5679
honors.colostate.edu

Program Philosophy

The University Honors Program, established in 1957, is a special learning community that offers extraordinary students a wide range of enriching educational experiences. Hallmarks of the program include small classes and interdisciplinary seminars taught by some of the University’s finest teachers, individualized academic advising, faculty-mentored research and other creative activities, an optional residential learning community in the Academic Village, early registration for classes, co-curricular activities, a scholarship for students who enter the program in the freshman year, and assistance with applications for prestigious post-graduate awards. Approximately 1,500 students participate in the program where they receive a world class education, enjoy the personalized attention typically found at a small college, and benefit from the resources and diversity of a nationally acclaimed research university.

Main Features

University Honors Core Curriculum. Two curricular options provide enriched educational experiences for high ability students in all majors. The Track 1 curriculum, designed for entering first-year students is composed of five Honors seminars, two Honors courses in the major, and a faculty-mentored senior year creative activity (thesis). Completing Track 1 fulfills five of the categories in Colorado State University’s All University Core Curriculum, as well as the oral communications requirement in most majors that require a speech class. Participating in the Honors program provides for a more enriched and rewarding education without extending the time to graduation.

The Track 2 curriculum, designed for continuing or transfer students, is composed of one to two honors seminars, five or six Honors courses (15-18 credits) in the major and a faculty-mentored senior year creative activity (thesis). Students who have completed 15+ credits at college level and have a 3.5 cumulative grade point average are eligible to apply. Entering first-year students who transfer 30+ credits that already satisfy many AUCC categories through AP, IB, or college courses are eligible for Track 2.

Graduating as a University Honors Scholar. Students who complete the Honors requirements and achieve at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average earn the prestigious designation of University Honors Scholar. Scholars are recognized at graduation, and the University Honors Scholar designation appears on their diplomas and transcripts. For more information on graduation as a University Honors Scholar, see the section on Scholastic Standards.

Admission to the Program. The application and selection process, which targets high school seniors and transfer students, is designed to attract an Honors class that represents high academic achievement, diversity of life experiences, and great promise for contributing to the Honors and University communities. Typically, about 400 first-year students enroll in the Honors Program each year. Currently enrolled CSU students may also apply to the University Honors Program after their first semester of college, and high-achieving transfer students are invited to apply.

The Honors Residential Learning Community. The optional Honors Residential Learning Community (HRLC) is located in the Academic Village and in Edwards Residence Hall. It links in-class and out-of-class student learning through residence life experiences and special programs. Students, especially first-year students, are encouraged to take advantage of this special opportunity. The HRLC is home to the Honors Office and classrooms that are used for seminars, special lectures, study sessions, and a wide variety of co-curricular activities. The 24/7 Fireside Lounge is located near the Program Office in the Academic Village.

The Honors Merit Scholarship. All new freshmen who have been admitted to, confirm to the program, and participate in the University Honors program receive a renewable scholarship. Students who remain in good standing with the University Honors Program and meet the minimum GPA requirement for continuation of the honors merit scholarship will receive the scholarship for four years.  Students entering their senior year are also invited to apply for additional donor-funded scholarships, and all honors students are encouraged to apply for Honors Enrichment Awards and Thesis Improvement Grants to supplement their educational activities.

Honors Entering Student Pathway (Option 1)

Honors Entering Student Pathway (Option 2)

Honors Continuing/Transfer Student Pathway

University Honors Core Curricula

The Honors program of study provides exceptional academic studies that include breadth and perspectives, in-depth studies, a senior year creative activity, and Honors elective courses. Two curricular pathways provide enriched educational experiences for high ability students in all majors. The Entering Student Pathway curriculum fulfills nearly half of the All-University Core Curriculum (AUCC) requirements, allowing Honors students to graduate on schedule and without additional cost. The Continuing/Transfer Student Pathway curriculum satisfies Honors requirements by taking Honors courses in their majors and departments. Students who complete either curriculum and graduate with a cumulative 3.5 GPA or greater receive “University Honors Scholar” designation on their diploma and transcripts.

The Honors courses enroll between 18 and 22 students and are taught by some of the University’s finest teachers.

Honors Entering Student Pathway (2 Options)

Effective Fall 2015

Option 1

Freshman
AUCCCredits
HONR 192Honors First Year Seminar 4
HONR 193Honors Seminar1A3
 Total Credits 7
Sophomore
 
Select one course from the following: 3
Honors Seminar—Knowing in Arts and Humanities (GT–AH2)3B 
Honors Seminar—Knowing Across Cultures (GT–SS3)3E 
Honors course1 3
 Total Credits 6
Junior
 
HONR 392Honors Seminar3B3
HONR 399Pre-thesis 1
Honors course2 3
 Total Credits 7
Senior
 
HONR 492Honors Senior Seminar3C3
HONR 499Senior Honors Thesis 3
 Total Credits 6
 Program Total Credits: 26
1

Sophomore-level Honors course in the student’s major, department, and/or college.

2

Upper-division Honors course in the student’s major, department, and/or college.

Students completing the Honors Core Curriculum will fulfill the All-University Core Curriculum (AUCC) core competency requirements in the following categories: 1A – Intermediate Writing; three credits of the six required for 3B – Arts and Humanities; 3C – Social and Behavioral Sciences; 3D – Historical Perspectives; 3E – Global and Cultural Awareness. Students completing some, but not all, of the program will fulfill some of the AUCC core competencies. Complete details are available from the Honors Program office.

Option 2

Option 2 is available only to entering students with >30 transfer credits.

Freshman
AUCCCredits
HONR 192Honors First Year Seminar 4
 Total Credits 4
Sophomore
 
Select one course from the following: 3
Honors Seminar—Knowing in Arts and Humanities (GT–AH2)3B 
Honors Seminar—Knowing Across Cultures (GT–SS3)3E 
 Total Credits 3
Junior
 
HONR 399Pre-thesis 1
Honors courses in the major1 9
 Total Credits 10
Senior
 
HONR 499Senior Honors Thesis 3
Honors courses in the major1 6
 Total Credits 9
 Program Total Credits: 26

Students may take an Honors course in the major and/or enroll in elective Honors courses in their first year on campus.  

1

Fifteen honors credits (sophomore, upper-division [300- to 400-level], graduate level, etc.) in the major or discipline; not more than 3 credits at the sophomore level; not more than 3 credits may be outside of major or discipline.

Honors Continuing/Transfer Student Pathway

Effective Fall 2015

The Continuing/Transfer Student Pathway is available only to students with >15 college credits taken after admission to CSU.

Junior
AUCCCredits
Select one course from the following: 3
Honors Seminar—Knowing in Arts and Humanities (GT–AH2)3B 
Honors Seminar—Knowing Across Cultures (GT–SS3)3E 
HONR 399Pre-thesis 1
Honors courses in the major1 9
 Total Credits 13
Senior
 
HONR 499Senior Honors Thesis 3
Honors courses in the major1 9
 Total Credits 12
 Program Total Credits: 25

Students may take an Honors course in the major and/or enroll in elective Honors courses in their first year on campus. 

1

Eighteen honors credits (sophomore [200-level], upper-division [300- to 400-level], graduate [500-level], etc.) in the major or discipline; not more than 3 credits at the sophomore level; not more than 3 credits may be outside of major or discipline.