Honors Majors & Academic Options

Honors Majors

Honors in Architecture and Community Design

The Loading... thesis project is the pursuit of a topic of study over the students' final two semesters to produce thoughtful, thorough and innovative solutions which can make true contributions to their field. The Honors thesis projects are likely to be in one of three categories:

    1. experimental research to determine behavior of an innovative building material or technique
    2. architectural/landscape/urban design to address a unique socio‐economic, environmental or cultural design problem
    3. a critical written document synthesizing and exploring a theoretical or aesthetic condition arising from an environmental design problem

All projects address issues of social and/or environmental justice. Projects are formally presented at the end of the final semester and submitted to the Library's Scholarly Repository.

Biology Honors Major

The Department of Biology offers a Loading... . This degree program requires a research thesis in an area of Biology. The program is designed to provide superior undergraduate students with opportunities to carry out original research in preparation for graduate school, professional training, or a position in an industrial or government research laboratory.

Students with an overall grade point average of 3.2, plus a grade point average of 3.4 or above in Biology and supporting science courses (Chemistry, Math and Physics) are eligible for acceptance into the program. Depending on the area of research interest, students are assigned a thesis committee consisting of a research advisor and one additional faculty member. Honors students present a departmental seminar on their research. Successful completion of the Biology Honors Program is recorded on the student's transcript.

Honors Track in English

The Loading... is an enhancement of the two existing tracks in English. All English majors select either the writing or literature track. Honors students draw upon courses in both tracks and complete an additional 12 units, or 3 courses, beyond the requirements of the major. In addition, students write an Honors Thesis incorporating both creative and critical components.

Mathematics Honors Major

The Loading... offers a Bachelor of Science degree with Honors. The program is designed to provide superior undergraduate students with opportunities to carry out original research in preparation for graduate school, professional training, or a position in an industrial or government research. Mathematics Honors students satisfy all the requirements for a Mathematics Major, as well as satisfying the following requirements:

  • Two (2) additional upper division courses, including at least one 400-level course, and
  • PHYS - 110 General Physics I
  • PHYS - 210 General Physics II

Physics Honors Major

This track is recommended for students choosing physics as their main professional field, or students planning to pursue graduate studies in physics or related fields. The Loading... requires completion of a total of sixty-six (66) units, of which fifty-four (54) units correspond to Physics, and 12 to Mathematics support courses.

Psychology Honors Major

Students majoring in psychology may be eligible to graduate with the designation Loading... , if both their GPA in psychology and overall GPA are 3.5 or higher, have successfully completed PSYC 498 (Thesis Development Seminar) and 499 (Honors Thesis Seminar), and make an oral presentation.

PSYC 498 and PSYC 499 are a two-course sequence for high achieving and highly motivated psychology majors, which will give them hands-on experience in generating, conducting, analyzing and communicating the results of empirical psychological research.

Honors in Sociology

In addition to achieving a 3.5 or above GPA in the major and a 3.2 or above GPA overall, Sociology students complete a rigorous two-semester honors thesis sequence of courses; independently design, research, and complete an honors thesis in their subject of choice; and publicly present their research in two public forums.

Honors Academic Options

Honors in History

Senior Loading... majors having a 3.5 grade point average (GPA) for twenty-four (24) or more units of History courses may elect to prepare, for Honors, a senior thesis under the supervision of a professor in the area of the student's emphasis. In most cases the thesis will be completed in one semester, earning the student four (4) units of credit. Under special circumstances, the thesis may be extended to two semesters and eight (8) units of credit.

Honors Seminar in Media Studies

This is a Loading... for selected senior Media Studies students in which they will research a significant Media Studies problem and produce an Undergraduate Honors Thesis in Media Studies.

Honors Thesis in Philosophy

Open to senior Loading... with a 3.3 cumulative GPA and a 3.75 GPA in Philosophy together with departmental approval of a prospectus, which must be submitted to the Department at the end of the semester prior to its being written. Philosophy students produce an Undergraduate Honors Thesis.

Politics Honors Thesis and Seminar

For those who have most excelled in their Politics courses, the Department offers, on a competitive basis, the option of enrolling in a Senior Politics Honors Seminar. The seminar is designed to engage students in a sustained discussion of significant political questions and to provide a context for writing their Senior Thesis … the Seminar will focus on varying themes, such as service, justice, participation, utopia, development, and so forth. Students will be immersed in the literature on one of these themes. They will be taught how to construct and carry out a major research project, and they will write a Senior Honors Thesis as a result of their research.

Public Service Honors Seminars

These seminars examine the role of public service in our society. They explores themes such as what motivates individuals to serve, do individuals have an obligation to serve, and what is the role of the government in encouraging/coercing service. Students will have the opportunity to complete an original piece of research. Enrollment is limited to students enrolled in the McCarthy Center Honors Minor program or with instructor permission.

View information about Academic Societies