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Honors Program


The Honors Program, also called Honors in General Education, adds value to a Chico State degree and enhances opportunities after graduation by providing an innovative, inclusive, and challenging interdisciplinary arts and sciences education that culminates in an integrative capstone project. The program attracts and supports an inquisitive and diverse group of first-year, transfer, and international students through personalized advising, engaged faculty, and intentional community.

There are no additional costs or fees to participate in the Honors Program, but students who complete the program receive special recognition that makes their degree from Chico State even more valuable:

  • Greater involvement in the cultural, intellectual, and social life of the University
  • Opportunity to work with great professors and motivated students
  • Priority registration until graduation
  • Recognition at graduation with a medallion and certificate
  • Recognition on your diploma and transcripts
  • Personalized academic advising and guidance
  • Opportunity to live in Honors Housing

For additional information regarding admission to the Honors Program, including admission requirements, please visit the Honors Program website.

Honors in the Major

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major, administered by your department (not the Honors Program). It requires 6 units of honors coursework completed over two semesters.

The Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the University for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or academic competition. Such experience is valuable for graduate school and professional life. Your honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are:

  1. You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major coursework. All 6 units are honors classes (marked by a suffix of H), and at least 3 of these units are independent study (399H, 499H, 599H) as specified by your department. You must complete each class with a minimum grade of B.
  2. You must have completed 9 units of upper-division coursework or 21 overall units in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements for your major carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.
  3. Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  4. Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  5. Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of coursework over the two semesters of their senior year.

Please contact your major department or major advisor to apply.

Other Distinctions

While not administered by the Honors Program, the following are also available for students:

Dean's List

Each semester the college deans recognize superior scholarship by including on their Dean's List those students who earn a 3.5 GPA or better on 12 or more graded units the preceding semester.

Honors at Graduation

The University recognizes superior academic performance at graduation and on students' diplomas and transcripts. Each college of the University may award honors to up to 5 percent of its undergraduates each year. Honors designations are distributed as follows:
Summa cum laude may be given to no more than the top 1 percent of the graduating class.
Magna cum laude may be given to no more than the top 3 percent of the graduating class.
Cum laude may be given to no more than the top 5 percent of the graduating class.

Catalog Cycle:21