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Requirements for Honors Graduation

General Requirements for Honors Graduates

Students who complete all of the following requirements and who fulfill the requirements of their chosen major will graduate with either University Honors or Collegiate Honors. Students who pursue the University Honors path and complete a senior honors thesis will earn University Honors and Honors in Major, the highest honor a University of Houston student can achieve. Students who enter the Honors College while writing a senior honors thesis graduate with Membership in the Honors College with Honors in Major.

Honors students must:

  • Achieve a 3.25 grade point average.
  • Take (on average) 12 Honors courses each semester.
There are two primary Honors designations:
  • University Honors  for the four-year Honors student
  • Collegiate Honors  for the students who join Honors mid-career
"Honors in Major" can be added to either of the two Honors designations if the student completes a senior honors thesis in addition to the required Honors hours for the respective curriculum.

Special Requirements for Honors Distinctions

University Honors

For students entering the Honors College from high school, a typical 36-hour Honors curriculum comprises the following:

  1. Human Situation sequence, 10 credit hours:
    1. Antiquity (6 hours, fall semester)
    2. Modernity (4 hours, spring semester) 
  1. Other University Core Curriculum, 9 Honors credit hours:
    1. 3 hrs. Honors American Government (POLS 1336/GOVT 2306 or POLS 1337/GOVT 2305)
    2. 3 hrs. Honors American History (HIST 1377 or HIST 1378)
    3. 3 hrs. Honors Core Social and Behavior Science
**The Honors requirements in this second category are waived if a student completed the respective core requirement prior to joining the Honors College.
  1. Honors Colloquium, 3 credit hours: from the approved list in the Honors Coursebook, or three credit hours from the six-hour Senior Honors Thesis sequence.
  1. Additional Honors credit, 14 credit hours: Classes offered with the Honors designation or petitioned for Honors credit, from any discipline, to bring the total Honors credits to 36 hours. 
  1. Non-Honors credit requirements:
    1. 1 hr. Natural Science lab
    2. 3 hrs. credit for (or placement beyond) elementary functions level mathematics, i.e. MATH 1314/MATH 1325, MATH 1330/MATH2312, or MATH 2311/MATH 1342.

Collegiate Honors

The Collegiate Honors curriculum comprises ONE of the following:

I. Honors Coursework (curricular option)
The Human Situation: Modernity 4 credit hours
Honors Colloquium 3 credit hours
Other Honors courses (student selections)  14 credit hours


II. Completion of an Honors minor in:
Center for Creative Work 18 credit hours, including Poetics and Performance
Energy and Sustainability 18 credit hours, including Intro to Energy and Sustainability
Leadership Studies 16 credit hours, including Leadership Theory and Practice and ePortfolio
Medicine & Society
15 credit hours, including Readings in Medicine & Society
Phronêsis: A Program in Politics and Ethics  19 credit hours, including The Human Situation: Modernity
Global Engagement and Research Minor 15 credit hours, including Principles and Practices of Global Engagement

Honors in Major

Honors in Major is an additional graduation designation available to students who earn 6 hours in Senior Honors Thesis credit 3399 and 4399. When it is earned in addition to one of the designations above, "with Honors in Major" is appended to the original designation.

Membership in the Honors College with Honors in Major

Filing of Prospectus and Permission to Begin paperwork with the Office of Undergraduate Research
Honors Thesis courses 6 credit hours
Successful defense of the thesis

The Senior Honors Thesis

The senior honors thesis forms the capstone of a student's work at the University of Houston. Interested students should begin considering thesis topics and considering professors to serve as thesis directors no later than the spring semester of the student's junior year. All students should begin the process by reviewing the senior honors thesis information found on the Office of Undergraduate Research's website.