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FAQs - Honors

1. Applying to Honors
How do I apply to the University Honors Program?
Are there minimum requirements to be considered for the University Honors Program?
What's the different between the University Honors Program and a college or departmental Honors program?
Can I participate in both the University Honors Program and college or departmental Honors?
Do I need to apply to my college or departmental Honors program?
Can I be in both the University Honors Program and the Corps of Cadets, or a sorority or fraternity?
What is the timeline for notification after I apply?

Can I apply as a transfer student?

2. Honors Housing Community
I have been accepted into the University Honors Program as an incoming freshman.  Do I have to live in Honors Housing?
Why do I have to live in Honors housing?
What are Sophomore Advisors?
What are Junior Advisors?
What's the difference between a Sophomore Advisor and a Resident Advisor?
I've heard about "freshman families." What are they?
What is the freshman learning community seminar like?
Which LLC?

What can I do if my roommate and I don't get along?

3. Honors GPR Requirements
My GPR is below a 3.5. What happens now?
I am a freshmen who will not have a 3.5 GPR at the end of my first semester, will I be moved out of Honors Housing?  
I have "Bs" in the only HNR courses I've taken, but have over a 3.5 cumulative GPR, will I be put on probation for not having a 3.25 GPR in my Honors course work? 


4. Honors Fellows Distinction Requirements
What are the requirements I need to meet to stay in the University Honors Program?
Why do I have to attend Honors Student Council (HSC) events?
What is an ePortfolio? How do I do it?
I no longer wish to be in the University Honors Program. What should I do?
Can I use Honors credit from another school?


5. Honors Benefits
What are the benefits of being in the University Honors Program?
What is Honors Priority Registration? How do I use it?
I got invited to join an honor society. Should I accept?
What's the difference between an Honors program and an honor society?
Does the University Honors Program offer scholarships?

What recognition will I receive for completing Honors Fellows?
What about Latin honors?

What do students have to say about their experience?

6. Honors Courses
How can I find out which courses are offered for Honors credit?
How can I contract a course for Honors credit?
Are Grades in Honors courses weighted differently in my GPR?
Are Honors courses harder than regular courses?
Do all of my courses need to be taken for Honors credit?
Can I count my AP / IB / Dual-credit courses toward my Honors Fellows distinction?
I've tested out of or already taken my core curriculum classes. How do I complete the core curriculum distribution requirement for Honors Fellows?
Do I have to take Honors courses only in my major?
My major offers very few Honors courses. What are my options for Honors coursework?
I'm not taking an Honors course this semester. Is that a problem?

 

 



1. Applying to Honors

How do I apply to the University Honors Program?

You must first complete your application to the university and obtain your NetID (login ID) and password. The process between submitting your application and getting your NetID sometimes can take up to a week, so we recommedn applying early.

Incoming freshmen apply to our program between August 1 and December 1 each year. Prospective students can indicate their interest by checking the appropriate box in the ApplyTexas application. This action will generate an email with a link to our application. Because we require students to live in the Honors Housing Community, students also have to apply for on-campus housing by the deadline.

Continuing students, those who are already enrolled at TAMU, can apply to the University Honors Program between December 1 and February 1 each year.

See Apply to Honors for details on both application processes.

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Are there minimum requirements to be considered for the University Honors Program?

There are no set minimum criteria to be considered for the University Honors Program. We select the strongest applicants from the pool each year. Applications are evaluated on the basis of the student’s record of academic achievement and demonstrated potential for creativity, intellectual ability, imagination, curiosity, willingness to try new things and self-awareness.

The test score and class rank minimums at
this page describe Honors eligibility critera for students on in the University Honors Program or a college or departmental Honors program.


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What's the different between the University Honors Program and a college or departmental Honors program?

The University Honors Program is open to students of all majors, while college and departmental Honors programs are more narrowly designed for those specific academic fields. University Honors is a great fit for students interested in an interdisciplinary academic experience and who would like to interact with Honors students from many majors.

College and departmental Honors programs typically require 18-21 hours of Honors coursework and usually require that those courses be taken within one department or college. Currently, there is no housing requirement for college or departmental Honors programs. Some students find that an Honors program more specifically tailored to their major is a better fit for them than University Honors.

LAUNCH does not handle admissions or academic requirements for college or departmental Honors programs. You should contact an advisor or program coordinator within your college or department. You can find a list of college and departmental Honors options here: http://honorsprograms.tamu.edu/


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Can I participate in both the University Honors Program and college or departmental Honors?
Yes, many students do! The programs are often compatible in many ways, so you will not necessarily double your workload. For example, Honors courses can count toward more than one distinction. While each program has its own good-standing requirements and required courses, you should be able to “double-dip” much of your Honors coursework in two or more Honors programs. Be aware that each program has its own admission standards and application process.

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Do I need to apply to my college or departmental Honors program?
Each Honors track has its own process. You should refer to http://honorsprograms.tamu.edu for an up-to-date listing of programs, their entry processes, and contact person.

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Can I be in both the University Honors Program and the Corps of Cadets, or a sorority or fraternity?

Absolutely! We encourage Honors students to become involved across campus in organizations and leadership roles that allow them to add depth and context to their academic experiences. Many students are able to be successful in both University Honors and other major commitments like the Corps, Greek life, the Residential Housing Association (RHA), and Memorial Student Center (MSC) committees.

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What is the timeline for notification after I apply?
We will contact applicants by the end of March to give the status of your application. If you are waitlisted, you may not hear a final status until after May 1.

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Can I apply as a transfer student?

Prospective Transfer Students should visit with an Honors Advisor at their Transfer Student Conference to see about being marked eligible to take Honors courses in their first semester. Transfer students can apply to our program using the Continuing Student Application, which is open December 2 - February 1 each year.

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2. Freshman Honors Housing

I have been accepted into the University Honors Program as an incoming freshman, do I have to live in Honors Housing?
Yes. We have a few standard exceptions to this rule (e.g. Corps of Cadets). Please contact us if you need to inquire about exceptions. 

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Why do I have to live in Honors housing?

Feedback from our current and former students tells us that the friendships formed in Honors freshman housing are some of the strongest and longest lasting. We want our students to have a common freshman experience, and living in Honors freshman housing is our way of helping to make that happen.

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What are Sophomore Advisors?
Sophomore Advisors (SAs) are University Honors students who have just completed their first year in the Honors Housing Community (HHC). They volunteer to live in HHC for another year and serve as social and academic mentors to the freshmen. SAs lead the weekly meetings of the first year seminar and implement the seminar curriculum. They also host a variety of events for HHC, including formal dances, field days, movie nights, and an ongoing casual lecture series with their favorite professors. SAs coordinate Honors freshman participation in campus traditions like football games, Midnight Yell, Silver Taps, and Muster. They are trained in suicide prevention (QPR) and safe bystander intervention tactics (Green Dot), as well as other leadership and facilitation skills. Your Sophomore Advisor can offer a listening ear for any concerns you encounter during your freshman year.

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What are Junior Advisors?
Junior Advisors (JAs) are former Sophomore Advisors (SAs) who lead the current SA team. There are typically three or four JAs each year; they also live in the Honors Housing Community. JAs are not assigned to individual freshman “families,” but they help coordinate SA team efforts and can be an additional mentorship resource for you.

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What's the difference between a Sophomore Advisor and a Resident Advisor?
Resident Advisors (RAs) are official Texas A&M employees who are responsible for issues concerning safety in the residence halls. Sophomore Advisors (SAs) are volunteer mentors in the University Honors Program. Both RAs and SAs live in the Honors Housing Community, plan hall events to support you academically and socially, and can be excellent resources!

If you have concerns regarding the safety or functionality of the residence hall (your toilet is overflowing, a suspicious person has entered the building, you have a noise complaint, etc.), talk to your RA. If you need advice about Honors coursework, guidance about Honors program requirements or assistance in the first year seminar, your SA is the best source of information. RAs and SAs can offer general life advice and are happy to help you make friends, find a student organization, and connect with campus resources.

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I've heard about "freshman families." What are they?
Sophomore Advisors are assigned to small groups of freshmen, the “families” they will mentor throughout the year. Within the context of the Honors community, SAs are referred to as “parents” to their freshmen. Each SA selects a partner who serves as a “spouse,” or additional mentor to the family group. The family system can be a great way to connect with upperclassmen in Honors by meeting your “grandparents” and even “great-great-grandparents”!

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What is the freshman learning community seminar like?
The Honors freshman learning community seminar (LCS) is a weekly small group meeting that gives you the opportunity to discuss current events, career objectives, personal values, and connect to other highly-motivated students. A few times each semester, you will also attend large group presentations based on the current discussion topic. You will be responsible for responding to writing prompts and recording your thoughts on your experience in eCampus.


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Which LLC?
You may have several options for participating in a living learning community (LLC) at Texas A&M. We encourage you to carefully consider the focus and benefits that each offers, and choose the one that best fits your own goals.
 
The freshman Honors learning community in McFadden|Lechner Halls is an interdisciplinary program with students from a number of different majors (we typically see about 50% engineering students). The focus in our program is on fostering critical thinking skills, introducing students to research, creating opportunities for networking, and helping students create a plan for their college years and beyond. Participation in this LLC is a requirement first-year students in our program, and requires students to set a preference for the Honors Housing Community when applying for on-campus housing.

No matter which LLC you choose to live in, you’ll benefit from interaction with a small group in a large university setting and special attention to the needs of first-year students. For a list of the LLCs at Texas A&M and a description of their programs, see http://reslife.tamu.edu/livingOnCampus/livingLearning/llcs.


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What can I do if my roommate and I don't get along?
Talk to a Resident Advisor (RA) in your hall. RAs are trained to help you navigate roommate conflict. First, the RA will talk through the situation with you and offer advice. Then, the RA may set up a mediation session with you and your roommate to discuss possible solutions. The session is followed by a trial period to see if the issue improves. In rare circumstances, a Community Director (fulltime staff member living in the hall) may then mediate the issue and consider a change of roommates. Most situations are resolved before that level, however.

Our best advice is to be proactive in establishing boundaries with your roommate and to speak up when you have a concern! Your RA can provide a roommate contract to help you and your roommate develop guidelines for your shared space. You can also talk to a Sophomore Advisor about your concerns if you need emotional support.


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3. Honors GPR Requirements

My GPR is below a 3.5. What happens now?
When your cumulative TAMU GPR falls below 3.5, you are no longer eligible to register yourself for any Honors classes. You may remain in any Honors sections for which you are already registered, but cannot add more or change into different Honors sections.

University Honors Students who fall below 3.5 GPR are given a semester of probation (see University Honors Program Policy Guide 2.f) to meet requirements. While on probation, you will not be assigned Honors Priority Registration, but you can work toward distinction requirements using Honors Course Contracts. If you do not meet requirements after a semester of probation, you are removed from the program.


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I am a freshmen who will not have a 3.5 GPR at the end of my first semester, will I be moved out of Honors Housing?  
No, freshmen living in our dorms have until the end of their first academic YEAR to establish 3.5 GPR and will not earn probationary status unless you have also not met participation expectations of the Learning Community Seminar.

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I have "Bs" in the only HNR courses I've taken, but have over a 3.5 cumulative GPR, will I be put on probation for not having a 3.25 GPR in my Honors course work?
No, you will not be put on probation, but you should discuss this with your Honors Advisor to ensure you have a plan for meeting this requirement by graduation. You must have a 3.5 cumulative GPR and a 3.25 in your Honors course work to graduate with a distinction. Additionally, you must not have a grade lower than a "D" in any Honors course.


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4. Honors Fellows Distinction Requirements

What are the requirements I need to meet to stay in the University Honors Program?

Please see our Program Requirements page.

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Why do I have to attend Honors Student Council (HSC) events?
Feedback from graduating and former Honors Students highlights the important role that participation in the Honors community played in their experiences. After the freshman year, we set a minimum expectation for this participation by requiring University Honors Students to participate in at least one HSC event each semester.

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What is an ePortfolio? How do I do it?

Please see our ePortfolio page.

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I no longer wish to be in the University Honors Program. What should I do?

Please schedule an appointment with an Honors Advisor to discuss your reasons for leaving the program. We will take care of administrative tasks related to removing you from the program after meeting with you and ensuring you understand any options still available to you.

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Can I use Honors credit from another school?

No, Honors courses from other schools will not count for Honors Fellows distinction requirements, but the courses may transfer to meet degree requirements. Only TAMU Honors courses can meet Honors Fellows distinction requirements.

Prospective Students should check with an advisor in the department they are applying to for help on how transferred work will meet degree requirements.


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5. Honors Benefits
What are the benefits of being in the University Honors Program?

Some benefits are the same for Honors Students participating in any of the university, college, or departmental Honors programs. These benefits include:

In addition to these benefits, the University Honors Program offers these specific benefits:

  • Emphasis on interdisciplinary interaction. We have students from all of the academic colleges participating in our programs, which means that you will have the opportunity to hear different perspectives on the same issue.
  • Strong freshman learning community. Our Honors freshman learning community features small-group interdisciplinary discussions led by dedicated peers.
  • Focus on your personal, professional, and intellectual development. Our program requirements--such as the learning community course, Honors Student Council participation, and ePortfolio--are designed to help you make purposeful decisions as you work toward your own personal vision of success.

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What is Honors Priority Registration? How do I use it?
Honors Priority Registration is a privilege reserved for students actively pursuing an Honors distinction at the university, college, or department level (for a list of programs, visit http://honorsprograms.tamu.edu). This privilege is granted to help students arrange the rest of their courses around the relatively limited Honors course offerings.

Students in good standing (not on probation) with their Honors program(s) are automatically given an Honors pre-registration assignment. This assignment will show up in the registration channel in the Howdy portal.
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I got invited to join an honor society. Should I accept?
The Texas A&M University Honors Program is not formally associated with any interdisciplinary or disciplinary honor societies. There are some honor societies (e.g. Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi) that are fairly universally recognized and are generally recommended to students. Invitations to these programs are held in such regard that your college may have funds available to help you with membership fees, if needed.

If you are not familiar with the organization that has sent you an invitation, you may want to see what information the American College Honor Society National Clearinghouse has to offer: http://www.achsnatl.org/.

Finally, check out what kind of activities the honor society has locally and if those activities would be personally meaningful to you and your goals.


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What's the difference between an Honors program and an honor society?
You may be invited to join an honor society based on your GPR or other accomplishments. Honor societies are typically student organizations; some are affiliated with academic colleges or departments. An honor society may require you to pay a membership fee in order to join and does not require Honors coursework. While many honor societies are legitimate and may be worth your time, scams do exist. We encourage you to investigate any invitations you receive to ensure that they are from real and significant organizations. LAUNCH does not oversee any honor societies.

Honors programs are coordinated by LAUNCH or academic colleges or departments. They require completion of Honors coursework and result in graduation distinctions officially recognized by Texas A&M. Some of these programs require an application to join, but you will not be charged for joining them.


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Does the University Honors Program offer scholarships?
No, with the exception of the University Scholars Program, the University Honors program does not administer scholarships or provide tuition waivers. Although many of our students receive generous financial aid offers, there are no scholarships specifically associated with being a University Honors student. Questions about financial aid should be directed to Scholarships & Financial Aid.

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What recognition will I receive for completing Honors Fellows?
You will receive a gold stole and medallion to wear at graduation, and your status as an Honors Fellows graduate will be announced at graduation. You will also be invited to the LAUNCH Recognition Ceremony prior to your graduation to celebrate your accomplishment. Your Honors Fellows completion will be noted on your official Texas A&M transcript, and all Honors courses you take will be listed as Honors on your transcript.

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What about Latin honors?
Latin honors are graduation distinctions based only on your final GPR. You do not need to participate in University Honors or any other Honors program to receive Latin honors at graduation. The GPR cutoffs for Latin honors are:

3.50 - 3.69 GPA = Cum Laude
3.70 - 3.89 GPA = Magna Cum Laude
3.90 - 4.00 GPA = Summa Cum Laude

For more information about Latin honors, see: http://graduation.tamu.edu/Graduating-Students/Honors-Graduates


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What do students have to say about their experience?
Learning Community
“Being in honors classes and living in the honors dorm helped me to find and connect with other students who valued learning the way I did in a way I might otherwise have missed on such a large campus.”

Critical Thinking & Writing-Intensive Courses
“The honors experience gave me a great foundation in critical thinking and writing skills far beyond just the subject-matter knowledge I gained from studying the course material.”

Enhanced Networking/Collaborative Skills
“In hindsight, my Honors experience is something that I utilize on a regular basis in my career and in interactions with people both professionally and personally.”

Critical Thinking & Life-Long Learning
“The honors classes encouraged a deeper understanding via discussion and practical experience. This differentiation in learning styles (I have reached for the honors class approach when learning a topic in my life after school) has allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of anything that I desire to learn about.”

Undergraduate Research
“Doing undergraduate research provided me the experience of really doing science. I was able to observe and participate in all aspects of scientific research, including writing proposals, designing experiments, writing and publishing results. The experience prepared me for graduate studies and for my career as an academic researcher.”

“I pursued research at the graduate level because of my positive experience in the Research Fellows program. I currently find myself providing support for a developing Honors program for college students because I know participation in such a program can be a defining experience in a student’s intellectual and personal maturation.”

Common Intellectual Experience
“I value the fact that I had the opportunity to take Honors engineering courses as well as sociology courses that were entirely outside my major.”

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6. Honors Courses

How can I find out which courses are offered for Honors credit?

Our office does not maintain a list of Honors courses offered each semester. Instead, we encourage students to refer to the course listing maintained by the Registrar.

1. To find which courses are being offered for Honors credit, first log into Howdy (students) and find the "Registration" channel on the "My Record" tab. Click "Search Class Schedule."
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The public can also search the class schedule by finding the "Course Schedules & Syllabus, Faculty CV" link at the bottom of the Texas A&M homepage, http://www.tamu.edu.
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2. Next, select the term that you want to search for Honors courses. In the student view you will need to click the link for "Advanced Search."
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3. Next, select the subjects you want to search. You can use control+click to select several subjects that are not near one another, or you can use shift+click to select a range (including all subjects).
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4. Select "Honors" from the Attribute Types and click the search button.
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How can I contract a course for Honors credit?
Visit "Earning Honors Credit" for detailed information about Honors Course Contracts.
To complete an Honors Course Contract or Honors Independent Study request, login to http://launchportal.tamu.edu. Under “Department Requests,” click LAUNCH. On the following page, click the link for “Academic Course.”
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Honors Course Contracts and Honors Independent Study applications are open between preregistration and the 12th class day of the semester in which you are intend to earn Honors credit. When you login, the workflow will automatically populate with any courses eligible to be contracted for Honors credit.
Select the course you want to contract (one at a time) from the drop-down list. Check the box if you plan to graduate this semester.
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The next question helps us determine how your experience will differ from the non-honors version of the course. Honors experiences should be measurably broader, deeper, or more complex.
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Because expectations are different for an Honors experience than for the non-Honors version of the course, you should understand if/how these different expectations translate to your grade.
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Once your application is complete, push submit to route the request to your professor for approval. The workflow will automatically email the approval request to the instructor of record for the course you selected. A course without an instructor listed will not be eligible for an Honors Contract.

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Are Grades in Honors courses weighted differently in my GPR?
No. Courses are weighted in your GPR based on grade and number of credit honors earned. Learn how to calculate your GPR here.

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Are Honors courses harder than regular courses?
The difficulty of Honors courses varies across departments and professors. In general, however, Honors courses cover the same material as regular courses but require students to engage with the material at a deeper level. For example, students may conduct independent research, write additional reports, prepare class presentations, or complete other hands-on assignments not required in the regular class. Honors students often benefit from increased interaction with their professors, either through smaller class sizes or by meeting with their professors outside of regular class times. You can expect an Honors course to require your initiative and extra effort but also to provide opportunities for you to engage more fully with the material.

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Do all of my courses need to be taken for Honors credit?

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Can I count my AP / IB / Dual-credit courses toward my Honors Fellows distinction?
No, only courses taken through Texas A&M University can be counted toward Honors Fellows.

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I've tested out of or already taken my core curriculum classes. How do I complete the core curriculum distribution requirement for Honors Fellows?
First, check core.tamu.edu for a full list of core courses. You may be surprised to find that you have remaining coursework that is included in the core. For example, all engineering majors must take ENGR 482, Ethics and Engineering, which is in the core. Other core curriculum categories that students typically have not earned credit for through AP/IB testing include Creative Arts and Language, Philosophy and Culture. Your International and Cultural Diversity (ICD) courses required for graduation may also be taken for Honors credit to meet this distribution requirement.

If you still are not able to find core courses you can take, you need to submit an appeal to count a non-core course toward the core curriculum requirement. Discuss the appeal process with an Honors Advisor. To appeal, you will submit an online form describing how the Honors course you are taking or have taken addresses the educational goals of the core curriculum. You can find descriptions of the core categories in the undergraduate course catalog.


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Do I have to take Honors courses only in my major?
No, any courses taken for Honors credit will count toward your required 30 Honors points. These courses can be taken in any department, so you can choose classes from your major, your second major, your minor, or just for fun!

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My major offers very few Honors courses. What are my options for Honors coursework?
You can course contract non-Honors classes, independent study, or research for Honors credit. If you have a minor or are working toward a certification, consider taking some of those courses as Honors. You may also want to take advantage of Honors experience points and leadership/service opportunities in LAUNCH to earn three of your thirty points. Visit our Earning Honors Credit page to learn more about these options.

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I'm not taking an Honors course this semester. Is that a problem?
No. As long as you are making sufficient progress toward 30 points, you do not need to take a certain number of Honors courses per semester. Twelve hours of Honors coursework prior to your junior year is considered sufficient progress.

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