University Honors in General Education

University Honors allows students to participate in a vibrant academic community throughout their entire career at Chico State. Honors students satisfy nearly half of their General Education (GE) requirements by taking distinctive Honors courses that provide interdisciplinary approaches to big questions. University Honors is compatible with the pursuit of every Pathway minor. Participation in Honors qualifies students for priority registration for classes, eligibility to live in Honors House, and special recognition at commencement and on the diploma.

Academic Plan

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 while making your plan.


Students must take 12 units of Honors coursework that count towards the 39 unit, 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 fall 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, they 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. Each seminar counts in multiple GE Pathways and multiple GE upper-division disciplinary areas. If you are completing a Pathway minor, one of your two seminars should fall in your Pathway. Your senior thesis or project must fit within the Pathway you intend to complete, and your proposed project is subject to approval of the Pathway coordinator. Your Pathway seminar and senior thesis or project must cover the three upper-division disciplinary areas: Natural Sciences (UD-B), Humanities (UD-C) and Social Sciences (UD-D). Some students with high-unit majors are exempted from one upper-division class.

Lower-Division Honors Courses

Incoming freshmen should enroll in at least one Honors course their first semester to join the Honors interdisciplinary learning community. After the first semester, you will typically take one Honors course a semester, but you are not formally required to be enrolled in an Honors course every semester to remain in the program.

4 courses selected from:

Course Number  Course Name Semester Offered GE Disciplinary AreasPathways
HNRS 200C WI/GC Honors Survey of Civilization*    Fall Any C or A2 FS, GNS, GDS, GBI, IS, STV, S
HNRS 200D WI/GC Honors Survey of Civilization* Fall Any D or A2 FS, GNS, GDS, GBI, IS, STV, S
HNRS 200E WI/GC Honors Survey of Civilization* Fall E or A2 FS, GNS, GDS, GBI, IS, STV, S
HNRS 201WI Beauty Fall A2, C1, C2 or E FS, GBI, STV
HNRS 202 Nature Fall B1, B2, C2 or E FS, GBI, STV, S
HNRS 203WI Virtue Spring A2, C2, D1, D2 or E FS, DS, HW, GDS, GBI, STV, S, EJP, IS
HNRS 204GC Truth Spring A3, C2, D1, D2 or E FS, GNS, GDS, GBI, IS, STV, S

* HSC LINK: you enroll in all three sections of HNRS 200C,D and E for a total of 9 units; no exceptions; counts as three Honors classes, and one WI.

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. 

Click here to see students comments regarding their experience in HSC.

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:

Course NumberCourse NameSemester OfferedGE Disciplinary AreasPathways
HNRS 310WI Agents of Change Fall UD-D DS, EJP
HNRS 320WI Science & Human Values Fall UD-B or UD-C DS, EJP, GBI, STV, GNS
HNRS 330WI Mind in the Machine Spring UD-B or UD-D HW, GBI, STV
HNRS 340WI/USD Men, Women & the Land Spring UD-C or UD-D GBI, STV, S, FS, GNS

2 courses required*:

Course NumberCourse NameSemester OfferedGE Disciplinary AreasPathways
HNRS 399ZWI The Honors Thesis Fall Any** Any**
HNRS 499ZWI/C The Honors Thesis Spring Any** Any**

*An Honors in the Major thesis may be substituted for the University Honors thesis requirement; in that case, 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. 

Studying Abroad and Earning University Honors

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 must 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.

Honors House

The Honors Houses will be moving to Sutter Hall in Fall 2017. Sutter Hall is the newest residence hall on campus. More information can be found at the University Housing webpage.

Note: Only students that are applying as first-time university students may apply to live in Honors House.

More information about Honors House and how to apply can be found on the Honors House page.

Interested in Applying?

Visit the Honors in the General Education Requirements page for more information and steps to apply.