More Meaningful Work

The Cohen Honors College curriculum engages intellectually curious students in more meaningful work that leads to honors distinction on the transcript or diploma. Most honors courses and experiences also fulfill university general education or major requirements.

Honors courses and experiences are a different way to do your degree, designed to be "measurably broader, deeper, or more complex than comparable learning experiences typically found at institutions of higher education" (National Collegiate Honors Council definition of Honors Education).

As an Honors student, you will complete:

  • an HNRS seminar course of your choice that engages you in dialogue with thinkers, writers, complex problems, great ideas, and other students;
  • a substantive research or design-thinking experience;
  • additional courses/experiences of your choice to earn honors credit and an honors distinction.

Click on the links in the chart below to see details about each honors distinction option.

Visit the Current Undergraduate Catalog for details.

Multiple Ways to Earn Honors Credit

In addition to honors seminar (HNRS) courses, you may take department courses such as calculus or psychology as honors courses or use what we call an "honors option" to turn traditional courses into honors courses with faculty permission. You may earn honors credit for applied learning such as study abroad and undergraduate research, and we offer scholarships to support these experiences.

Compatibility with Any Major

Because Honors seminars can be used to fulfill general education and elective requirements and because honors options give you the flexibility to turn almost any course into an honors course, the Honors academic program is compatible with any major.


Through the combination of class discussions with faculty and students in multiple majors, experiences outside of the classroom, and portfolio reflections, you will cultivate your curiosity about the world we live in and begin to build your future.

Our faculty and students have developed a set of Honors Learning Outcomes based on the original Honors College pillars that guide our work.

Cohen Honors Learning Outcomes

Not sure where to start?

  • Most students work toward the general University Honors minor and diploma distinction. To earn University Honors, you take an HNRS seminar, engage in research or design-thinking, and choose additional courses or experiences to reach 18 honors credits.
  • Visit the Suggested Honors Course Sequence page and fill out a planning sheet to explore options. 

    Visit the types of honors courses page to find out how to turn a regular course into an honors course or how to get honors credit for applied learning such as study abroad. 

  • You may choose the multi-disciplinary Honors Baccalaureate major (HB), and  students typically wait until their second year to declare this major. This gives you time to take some classes in your areas of interest and meet some faculty who might serve as mentors.
  • The HB empowers students to design their own degree with faculty advisors. You select 2-3 concentrations from two academic colleges and complete a thesis project. Concentrations must be existing certificate, minor, major, or graduate programs, but you select the courses you take with your faculty advisor.

Contact the Honors Academic Advisor to schedule an appointment to talk about your Honors path.