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Building Your Own Major

Building Your Own Major- The University Studies - Honors (USHN) degree is an innovative degree that provides motivated Texas A&M students the flexibility to combine multiple areas of interest into an single degree plan, thereby allowing students with unique intellectual interests to create a curriculum that best suits their needs.

The University Studies - Honors degree provides the opportunity for a unique educational experience. Rather than focusing their course of study on an academic field, USHN students select a range course work that defines an "area of concentration," in combination to two established minor fields of study.

The University Studies - Honors curriculum is distinguished by the following components:

  • A flexible area of concentration tailored to each student
  • A network of faculty, staff, and high-achieving students committed to interdisciplinary education
  • An emphasis on "problems-based," experiential education
  • Access to enrichment opportunities offered through the Honors Programs
  • An inquiry capstone experience through the Honors Research Fellows Program

To declare a University Studies - Honors major, students must complete the University Studies application, develop an Area of Concentration curriculum, and assemble an Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee. For further guidance, contact the Honors Programs office.

Procedure to Declare USHN
Because the University Studies - Honors degree plan allow for a remarkable amount of flexibility, the procedure for declaring the major is quite involved.

A student applying for admission to University Studies - Honors must meet the following criteria:

  • Be Honors Eligible
  • Be seeking an interdisciplinary undergraduate education that transcends the boundaries of the undergraduate majors at Texas A&M University
  • Have conceived a curriculum that does not replicate any other area of concentration in the University Studies degree

Application Materials
To apply for admission to the Honors Area of Concentration in the University Studies degree, students must submit the following:l:

  • Completed application form
  • Completed University Studies Degree Plan
  • Typed Essay
  • Alternate Minor Form (if necessary)
  • Endorsement by the University Honors Program
  • Endorsement by the academic college that has agreed to provide the academic “home” for the student while he or she completes the University Studies degree with the Honors Area of Concentration.

Notification of Acceptance
Students will receive notification of acceptance or denial via their TAMU e-mail account.

The University Honors Program will provide academic advising to students pursuing a University Studies degree with the Honors Area of Concentration and will coordinate with the academic college that has agreed to administer the student’s degree plan.


USHN Degree Plan
The University Studies - Honors degree plan must include a minimum of 120 semester hours of accredited college level work, which must include:

An Area of Concentration (24 hours)
The combination of courses that comprises the Area of Concentration will be selected by the student and must be conceptually linked. The total must also include at least 18 Honors credit hours. The Honors credit hours will include one to six credit hours of Honors Independent Study, completed as part of the Undergraduate Research Scholars program.

Two minors (15-18 hours each)
As part of the overall degree plan, the student must also select two established minor fields of study. At least one of the two minors must be offered from outside the college offering the honors area of concentration. A list of approved minors offered in each of the academic colleges at Texas A&M University is available at:

Additional Requirements
The degree plan must also satisfy the general degree requirements at Texas A&M:

  • Two courses in the area of concentration and/or in the minors must be approved as writing-intensive (W) classes. The list of W-courses is available online at http://writingcenter.tamu.edu/Students/W-and-C-Course-Facts.
  • University Core Curriculum (43 hours).
  • Electives (17-23 hours).
  • Within the 120 credits in this degree, the student must have at least 33 credit hours of Honors course work and 36 credits hours of 300-400 level coursework at Texas A&M University.
  • The student must graduate with:
    • A Texas A&M University cumulative GPR of at least 3.5
    • An Honors GPR of at least 3.25, and
    • No honors class grade on his/her transcript that is lower than a C.
Honors credits are normally limited to Texas A&M University classes designated as Honors. However, with approval, students may complete Honors Course Contracts, complete an Honors Independent Study, or enroll in graduate courses for undergraduate credit.