How Honors Works
If you are a prospective freshman, welcome! We are delighted by your interest. For information about how Honors will work for you, read this summary of Honors Info For Incoming Freshmen. Students are welcome to apply to the Honors Program at http://honors.usu.edu/htm/prosp-students/how-to-apply.
All other interested students, including continuing students, must submit an application in order to join Honors. You can access the current student application here: https://honors.usu.edu/htm/prosp-students/how-to-apply.
Honors comprises 27 credits of coursework and what we call Honors contracts, culminating in a senior thesis or project. This gives you an opportunity to take classes with other Honors students and then to branch off and pursue your individual interests within your major.
Honors in University Studies (12 credits)
Each semester, Honors offers a number of general education courses and seminars. Students earn the Honors in University Studies portion of their Honors degree by taking 12 credits of these courses, typically during the first two years. Nothing lower than a B grade is accepted in Honors general education courses going towards Honors in University Studies, and may put your status in Honors in jeopardy. Please note that this degree must be completed in conjunction with Departmental Honors; Honors does not offer Honors in University Studies as a degree.
Departmental Honors (15 credits)
Once Honors students enter upper-division coursework in their majors, they begin Departmental Honors. Unlike Honors in University Studies, in which students take classes reserved for Honors students only, Departmental Honors students take the regular upper-division courses required for their majors. These students then earn Honors credit by doing extra projects, or contracts, outside the regular coursework for their majors. Departmental Honors requires a total of 15 credits; each major divides those 15 credits into major-appropriate Plans of Study, which you can view via the Departmental Honors link to the right. Generally, the final 3 credits is the senior thesis or project. Nothing lower than a B grade is acceptable in courses in which a contract is being completed.
Most transfer students, as well as those students who enter the Honors Program with a significant portion of their general education requirements already met, do not complete Honors in University Studies. Instead, they begin directly with Departmental Honors.
Honors Degree Options There are three different Honors degrees available at USU.
The Utah State University Student Code states:
Students have a responsibility to promote academic integrity at the University by not participating in or facilitating others' participation in any act of academic dishonesty and by reporting all violations or suspected violations of the Academic Integrity Standard to their instructors.
The Honor Pledge - To enhance the learning environment at Utah State University and to develop student academic integrity, each student agrees to the following Honor Pledge:
"I pledge, on my honor, to conduct myself with the foremost level of academic integrity."
Students are directed to the Student Code for further information.
The USU Honors Program maintains a policy of zero tolerance for Honor Code violations. A student found in violation of the USU Honor Code will be dismissed immediately from the Honors Program.
(Effective Fall 2012)
Students admitted to the Honors Program are required to maintain a semester GPA of 3.30 and a cumulative GPA of 3.30 to remain in good standing with Honors. However, keep in mind that most departments/majors require a 3.50 GPA (in your major or overall) in order to graduate with Honors. Students who do not maintain this GPA are placed on Honors Probation for one semester, and given a chance to bring up their GPAs. Students who earn a GPA of below 2.75 in any semester are academically ineligible to continue with Honors. If dismissed students can get their GPAs up to 3.30, they may participate in the program again.
Students must earn at least a "B" in any contracted course in order to receive Honors credit. If students fail to complete an Honors contract once entered into with a faculty member, they will be placed on Honors probation for one semester. Failure to complete 2 Honors contracts may result in dismissal from the program.
Honors Probation is one semester. While on probation, students will not be able to participate in Honors priority registration, receive extra print money from Honors, or apply for Honors scholarships for the duration of their probationary period. After the probationary period, if students have earned a semester GPA that places them within Honors standards, they will be able to continue with Honors and enjoy all of the Honors perks available to students.