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USU Honors Program Requirements

Students must earn a minimum of 28 Honors points by successfully completing course credits and/or documenting extracurricular contracts and co-curricular activities, as outlined below:

9 to 12 points recommended, usually in the second and third years:

Students may complete any of the following:

  • Honors Think Tank seminars (3 points each), which fulfill USU's General Education Depth requirements (Think Tank courses may count either for core course requirements (see above) or practical application requirements, depending on need)
  • Contracts with faculty for academic work outside the classroom (3 points each) and Honors Book Labs (1 point each)
  • Study abroad or internships (up to 6 points for experiences taken for credit; up to 6 points as contract work for non-credit experience)

4 points, completed through coursework in the final 3 semesters:

  • HONR 3900: 1-credit, pre-thesis/capstone class that requires students to write and submit a thesis/capstone proposal (course does not count toward honors course requirements)
  • 3-credit thesis/capstone course resulting in the thesis/capstone project

6 points, earned by attending and reporting on co-curricular activities:

  • Earn .5 points per event attended and reported in Canvas
  • Attend and report on a minimum of three events per year (at least one per semester plus one additional event)
  • Mandatory department/college and honors advising each term for first-year students, annually thereafter (students enjoy priority registration only if they have met with both their department/college advisor and the honors advisor before registration begins)
  • Earn at least a B+ in ENGL 2010 or equivalent course
  • Maintain at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA to graduate with honors (NOTE: To ensure success, the Honors Program issues academic warnings to students whose semester GPA falls into the 3.3-3.5 range; we remind these students of honors graduation requirements and offer additional advising as necessary. Students who earn a semester GPA between 2.5-3.29 are put on honors academic probation and have one semester to improve. Students who do not earn at least a 3.3 GPA during that probation semester become academically ineligible for the University Honors Program. Any student whose semester GPA drops below 2.5 immediately becomes academically ineligible for the Honors Program. Academically ineligible students may petition to be readmitted to Honors by contacting Program Coordinator Amber Summers-Graham (


Transfer or Existing USU Students

Transfer or existing USU students may apply to the Honors Program if they have time remaining at USU to complete all honors requirements (usually 4 semesters). There will be time during those four semesters to earn 9 practical application points, 4 thesis/capstone points, and at least 3 co-curricular points (16 points total).  In addition, these students can earn 3 of the honors core course requirements by documenting that they have passed ENGL 2010 (or equivalent) with at least a B grade. They must make up the additional 9 points through a combination of the following options:

Credit for Past Work: Students should list on their extracurricular resumes previous college work in honors courses, service projects, internships, research, and study abroad. Previous honors course credits transfer directly; academic work outside the classroom typically earns 3 points per 20 hours (please indicate clearly on your resume the amount of time spent on each activity).

Credit for Present Work: Students may attend and report additional co-curricular activities during their final four semesters and/or complete additional contract work.

While it is possible to complete the program this way, the benefits of a four-year honors experience are the regular opportunities to create social and professional connections with peers, professors, and alumni; the individualized academic attention in smaller General Education classes; and the special programs that allow honors students to pursue Service-Learning Scholar, Global Engagement Scholar, and Undergraduate Research transcript designations.