University Honors Program

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Any current or admitted Chico State student who is committed to excellence may apply to the Honors Program.

What are the benefits of the program?

Honors Program students receive many benefits, including:

  • Early registration for courses
  • Individual and personalized advising
  • Community with other Honors students
  • Instruction from award-winning faculty
  • Student lounge with snacks, computers, and printing
  • Honors recognition on diploma and transcript

What is expected of students in Honors courses?

The Honors faculty ask that students be curious and that students care about the well-being of others.

When should I apply?

Newly admitted students to Chico State for the Fall semester may apply after February 1. Ideally, admitted students apply before Summer Orientation so that we can help schedule your GE courses during advising meetings. Continuing Chico State students may apply at any time.

Before applying, applicants in the following high-unit majors must first receive permission from their major advisor:

  • Computer Information Systems
  • Computer Science
  • Liberal Studies (a BA degree for students planning to apply to a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential program)
  • Mathematics (Option in Mathematics Education)
  • Music (Option in Music Education)
  • Nursing and Pre-Nursing

These majors require multiple and specific non-Honors courses for Honors GE Areas, and applicants to the Honors Program from these majors commit to re-taking at least one GE Area (thus adding units to graduation).

You can find the application on this page of the website - Honors in GE Program Admission.

What does the Honors Program application look like?

The Honors Program application involves three questions about your interest in the program:

  1. Why do you want to join the Honors Program?
  2. What comes to mind when you think of “excellence”? What does “excellence” look like for you? For your family? For your community?
  3. Choose 1 of the following:
    1. Describe a time when you overcame adversity or accomplished something you are proud of. 
    2. What is something in the world that you would like to change? What do you need in order to make the change? How will you know when the change is successful?

What GE subject areas are required in the Honors Program?

  • A1 Oral Communication (HNRS 100)
  • B1 Physical Sciences (HNRS 103)
  • C1 Arts (HNRS 101)
  • C2 Humanities (HNRS 102W)
  • F Ethnic Studies (HNRS 300)
  • Upper-Division B Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning (HNRS 350)
  • Upper-Division C Arts and Humanities (HNRS 391W or HNRS 392)
  • Upper-Division D Social Sciences (HNRS 390 or HNRS 393)

What if I have satisfied some GE subject areas prior to applying?

In some cases, students are unable to complete all course requirements. In these cases, students may request the following substitutions from the Honors Advisor or Honors Director.

  • A maximum of two Honors lower-division GE Areas (A1, B1, C1, C2, or F) may be substituted with required GE course(s) for the major or with courses completed prior to admission to Honors.
  • A maximum of one Honors upper-division GE Area (B, C, or D) may be substituted with a required GE course or substitution for their major.
  • Honors GE Area(s) may be substituted by a successful AP, IB, or CLEP test score.
  • Honors GE Area(s) may be substituted by study abroad courses.
  • Honors GE Area(s) may be substituted by GE Area(s) completed by an Adelante student prior to admission to the Adelante Program.

Is the Honors Program committed to equity, 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 we seek 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. Honors at Graduation is done through your specific college. 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)

I see the Honors Program has undergone changes since I joined the program. Where can I find information about how the changes will affect me?

There is information on the “Program Requirements” page on our website and there is also a convenient chart of all of the past classes and what GE area they would satisfy.

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 Freshmen 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.

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 need to maintain a certain GPA?

Yes. To graduate with Honors in General Education, you need a 3.0 GPA in General Education courses.

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 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 or Tricia Sweet Honors Advisor.

You can also email us at