Departmental Honors

Creating and maintaining Departmental Honors programs

Departmental Honors is an academic honor for students who demonstrate particular promise in their field of study and meet specific requirements determined by the faculty.

The student-facing policy is published in the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.


Academic units are given considerable flexibility in designing Departmental Honors programs. At present, the only requirements are that each program:

  1. Be approved by the unit and College;
  2. Have admission criteria that include the student having at least a 3.300 College GPA;
  3. Have requirements that include the student must have at least a 3.300 College GPA at the time of graduation. Additional requirements can include a minimum Major GPA, course requirements, comprehensive exam, and/or a project or thesis.

It is implied that students will complete substantive work beyond what is typically required in a major to earn Departmental Honors. In other words, simply completing the major requirements and earning a 3.300 College GPA will not be sufficient to earning Departmental Honors.

Students follow the Departmental Honors requirements as listed in the Bulletin year that corresponds to that of their major.

Students who are awarded Departmental Honors will have "with Honors" appended to major (B.A. students) or degree (B.S. and B.F.A. students). "With Honors" will also appear at the bottom of the diploma for each degree/major.

Proposing new programs and changes to existing ones

Proposals for new Departmental Honors programs should be submitted to by the bulletin change deadline. Changes to existing programs should be submitted via the College’s Bulletin Updates and Review app by the bulletin changes deadline.

Administering programs

Academic units manage the admission process to Departmental Honors programs and maintain the list of students in the program. Academic advisors assigned to the unit should have access to the list and be made aware of changes. Advisors will periodically be asked to report to the College whether students have been admitted to the program and will also be asked to report when students have successfully completed all requirements.

The College Recorder’s Office will use this information along with available information in the student’s record to verify that Departmental Honors requirements are completed. Regular, clear communication and record-keeping related to Departmental Honors is therefore essential.