University Honors Program

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am eligible for the Honors Program?

If you are entering Chico State as a first-semester freshman, you should have a High School GPA of 3.50 or above.  If you are a continuing student or transfer student, you should have a cumulative GPA of 3.3.

If your GPA is below 3.5 (high school) or 3.3 (continuing or transfer student), you can still apply and explain your GPA and other accomplishments.

Is the Honors Program committed to diversity and inclusion?

Yes! The Honors Program recognizes that historically underserved students have not had equal access to Honors programming in high school and college and seeks to maximize the recruitment, retention, support, and graduation of diverse students.  The Honors Program is committed to supporting an inclusive, accessible, and equitable learning environment that embraces diversity of thought, freedom of expression, and respect for others.

Is the Honors Program the same as Honors in the Major or Honors at Graduation (summa cum laude, etc.)?

No! The Honors Program is Honors in General Education. Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major. See the Honors University Catalog(opens in new window) for a definition of Honors in the Major, as well as information about the Dean's List and Honors at Graduation (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, cum laude)

Are Honors courses harder than others?

No! Honors courses do require more involvement in the material, but they are not more difficult. In fact, most honors students find that taking honors classes actually enhances their GPAs.

Do I have to take more courses to graduate?

No! The Honors Program is Honors in General Education, so all Honors courses are General Education Courses.  Students complete nearly half of their General Education requirements by taking courses in the Honors Program.

What are the benefits of the program?

One of the goals of the program is to help students get involved as soon as possible in the rich cultural and intellectual mix of the University. But there are many other important benefits you will also appreciate. You will work with excellent faculty and other motivated students in small classes and will receive priority registration each semester. As an Honors student, you may be eligible for membership in Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi, both nationally recognized honors organizations. And, of course, successful completion of the program results in special recognition on your diploma and transcripts. 

Are there scholarships available for Honors students?

About $2000-3000 in merit-based scholarship money is available each year for Honors students who have excelled in HNRS 200 (Honors Survey of Civilization) and have a GPA of 3.50 or above. Outstanding HSC students are encouraged to apply for scholarships in their freshman year.  Students apply by completing a Wildcat Scholarship Application.  

How much input do students have?

Honors students have direct access to the program director and to the program advisor. The program also conducts course evaluations for each Honors class every semester, soliciting the anonymous input of all students in the class. These evaluations encourage students to share their opinions regarding Honors classes and the program in general.

Are there social aspects to the program?

Yes. The Honors program, besides accommodating about half the Honors Freshman in the Honors Housing, sponsors program-wide events every year – all involving free food and socializing: a fall welcome, a finals fuel-up at the end of each semester, as well as Honors student presentations of Honors theses and projects. Moreover, individual Honors classes, such as HSC sometimes have activities outside of class. 

How do I register for Honors classes?

You register for Honors courses the same way as other classes: through your Portal(opens in new window) account. You will find Honors courses listed in the Class Schedule. Special advising for Honors students is available at summer orientation and throughout the year.

Do I have to maintain a certain GPA?

Yes. You need to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or above to remain active in the program.

What if my GPA drops below 3.3?

Students whose GPA falls below 3.3 but remains above 3.0 will be placed on Honors probation and allowed to remain in the Honors Program if they make satisfactory progress toward improving their GPA. Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 will be removed from the program. In order to earn University Honors at graduation, the final GPA must be 3.3 or above, however, a student can appeal if there are extenuating circumstances.

Do I have to take an Honors course every semester?

No. You should take an Honors course your first semester in the program, but after that, you just need to continue to make progress toward completing the requirements. The requirements can easily be met by taking one course every semester, but depending on your particular situation and course history, there may very well be semesters in which you do not enroll in an Honors course.

Is it possible to earn Honors in GE and study abroad?

Yes! The Honors Program encourages its students to study abroad and offers one of the most flexible ways to study abroad while completing upper-division General Education requirements. Go to the study abroad website for more information about their programs, and make sure to stop in to speak with an Honors advisor before you leave.

How do I apply to the program?

You can apply through the Honors in GE Program Admission Page. If you wish to talk with a faculty member about the Honors Program, please contact Dr. Jason Nice, Honors Director. Trisha Sweet Honors Advisor.