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University Honors Program

Program Requirements

To earn University Honors a student is typically required to take 24 units of Honors courses. Some students may be eligible for modification of the total unit requirement. Consult an Honors advisor during your first semester in the program to determine your plan. Utilize the Honors GE Planning Sheet (PDF) while making your plan.


Students must take 12 units of Honors coursework that count towards lower-division GE requirements. Most Honors students will take one Honors course in each semester of their first four semesters to meet the 12 unit requirement. Honors students also have the opportunity to enroll in Honors Survey of Civilization (HSC), a 9-unit, team-taught course that explores the great sweep of human history from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Students who take HSC will typically take it in the fall semester of their first year, and then take one more lower-division Honors course at some point in their first two years. Lower-division Honors courses can be flexibly used to satisfy different GE requirements, depending on the needs of the student.


Honors students take 12 units of upper-division Honors coursework. Typically, students take one upper-division, team-taught seminar each semester of their junior year. During the senior year, Honors students complete a year-long interdisciplinary thesis or project. Students who complete upper-division HNRS courses are not required to complete an upper-division GE Pathway. However, students who wish to complete a Pathway minor should contact the Pathway coordinator to determine whether upper-division HNRS courses can count towards the Pathway minor. Your upper-division HNRS coursework must complete the three upper-division GE areas: Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning (UD-B), Humanities (UD-C) and Social Sciences (UD-D). 

Lower-Division Honors Courses

Incoming students should enroll in at least one Honors course their first semester. After the first semester, you will typically take one Honors course a semester, students are not required to be enrolled in an Honors course every semester to remain in the program.

4 courses selected from:

Lower-Division Honors Courses
Course NumberCourse NameSemester OfferedGE Disciplinary AreasPathways
HNRS 200CW GCHonors Survey of Civilization (PDF)*FallAny C or A2FS, GNS, GDS, GBI, IS, STV, S
HNRS 200DW GCHonors Survey of Civilization (PDF)*FallAny D or A2FS, GNS, GDS, GBI, IS, STV, S
HNRS 200EW GCHonors Survey of Civilization (PDF)*FallE or A2FS, GNS, GDS, GBI, IS, STV, S
HNRS 201WBeauty (PDF)FallA2, C1, C2 or EFS, GBI, STV
HNRS 202Nature (PDF)FallB1, B2, C2 or EFS, GBI, STV, S
HNRS 203WJustice (PDF)SpringA2, C2, D1, D2 or EFS, DS, HW, GDS, GBI, STV, S, EJP, IS
HNRS 204 GCTruth (PDF)SpringA3, C2, D1, D2 or EFS, HW, GNS, GDS, GBI, IS, STV, S

* HSC LINK: students enroll in all three sections of HNRS 200CW,DW and EW for a total of 9 units; no exceptions; HSC counts as three Honors classes, and one W.

In Honors Survey of Civilization (HSC), about 35 students and three faculty examine the history of our species from hunter-gatherers to suburbanites through art, literature, philosophy, psychology, biology, and economics. HSC counts for any three of the following four GE areas: A2, any one C, any one D, E.

Student Perspectives - What were some of the best things about HSC? (PDF)

Upper-Division Honors Courses

Upper-division Honors courses allow students to pursue knowledge in more depth by focusing on specific topics, both in team-taught seminars and through independent work on a senior thesis or project. These courses may not be taken earlier than your last semester as a sophomore.

2 courses selected from:

Upper-Division Honors Courses
Course NumberCourse NameSemester OfferedGE Disciplinary AreasPathways
HNRS 320WScience & Human Values (PDF)FallUD-B or UD-CDS, EJP, GBI, STV, GNS
HNRS 330WMind in the Machine (PDF)SpringUD-B or UD-DHW, GBI, STV
HNRS 340W USDMen, Women & the Land (PDF)SpringUD-C or UD-DGBI, STV, S, FS, GNS

2 courses required*:

Upper-Division Honors Thesis Courses
Course NumberCourse NameSemester OfferedGE Disciplinary AreasPathways
HNRS 399WThe Honors Thesis (PDF)FallAny**Any**
HNRS 399WThe Honors Thesis (PDF)SpringAny**Any**

*An Honors in the Major thesis may be substituted for the University Honors thesis requirement; in that case, students take one or two non-Honors upper-division courses that, with the upper-division Honors seminars, complete a Pathway.

**Subject to approval of the appropriate Pathway coordinator.

GPA Requirement

In addition to making satisfactory progress toward meeting course requirements described above, participation in the University Honors Program requires the maintenance of 3.3 GPA throughout the college career.

  • 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.

Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a valuable experience, and the Honors Program encourages its students to spend a semester or academic year abroad. Honors students may complete one or two of the required upper-division Honors seminars while studying abroad. To earn such a substitution, students will be required to substantially incorporate their study abroad experience in their senior thesis. Lower-division Honors requirements cannot be satisfied abroad.

Students interested in studying abroad should contact CSU, Chico Study Abroad to find out about program options, requirements, and application procedures. Students should then contact the Honors Faculty Advisor to discuss their plans.

Note: Before leaving Chico for foreign lands, students should consult with the Honors Faculty Advisor to determine which courses may satisfy the upper-division requirements. Courses taken abroad cannot be retroactively substituted for theme courses, so be sure to speak with the Advisor beforehand.