Awards, Scholarships, and Opportunities

Many Honors Program students have made significant achievements in academics, service, and leadership, making these students ideal candidates for scholarships and grants. Two scholarships in particular—the Kirby-Jones and Duval Scholarships—are set aside specifically for Honors Program students.

Students who successfully complete the Honors Program receive the Academic Excellence Award at graduation. Along with this recognition, some honors students may be eligible to receive additional awards at graduation, or may choose to participate in other honors opportunities not directly affiliated with the Honors Program.

Duval Scholarship

Bettina and Glenn Duval, whose family has long-standing ties to the University of California and to UC Santa Barbara, generously endowed a scholarship in honor of their son Bennett (Business Economics and Asian American Studies 2011) for students who are in the College of Letters and Science Honors Program and who are pursuing a double major.

Students who meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply:

  • Are in good standing in the College Honors Program
  • Will have at least 90 units completed by the end of the spring quarter in which they are applying
  • Will be registered full-time students at UCSB during the entire academic year for which they apply
  • Are planning to complete a double major at the time of graduation

Selection criteria will include GPA, overall academic achievement, motivation for pursuing a double major and involvement in campus and community activities in college. Some consideration will be given to financial need, which will be evaluated in consultation with the Office of Financial Aid; however, eligibility for financial aid is not a criterion for application. Students being considered for the scholarship will be interviewed by the selection committee. The recipient will be announced by the end of spring quarter.

Please address any questions via email to Valerie Gonzalez at vgonzalez@ltsc.ucsb.edu.

Note: The 2017-2018 Duval application deadline was April 10, 2017.

Kirby-Jones Scholarship

Marvel and Robert Kirby, whose family has long-standing ties to UCSB, generously endow a number of scholarships in honor of their granddaughters, for students in the College of Letters and Science Honors Program. 

  • Applicants must be students in the College of Letters and Science Honors Program who will have at least 90 units completed by the end of the spring quarter in which they are applying.
  • Applicants must have been residents of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, or Kern Counties for a majority of their lives and/or have graduated from a high school in one of these counties.
  • Applicants must be registered full-time students for the entire academic year in for which they apply.

Selection criteria will include GPA, overall academic achievement, and involvement in campus and community activities. Some consideration will be given to financial need, which will be evaluated in consultation with the Office of Financial Aid; however, eligibility for financial aid is not a criterion for application. Students being considered for the scholarship will be interviewed by the selection committee. The recipients will be announced by the end of spring quarter.

Please address any questions via email to Valerie Gonzalez at vgonzalez@ltsc.ucsb.edu.

Note: The 2017-2018 Kirby-Jones application deadline was April 10, 2017.

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa is an honorary society that recognizes and encourages a commitment to excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Membership is by invitation only. Please visit the UCSB chapter's website for more information.

Commencement Awards

The Commencement Awards are presented each year to four graduating seniors. Applicants for the awards must graduate during the relevant academic year As the primary purpose is to recognize outstanding academic achievement, nominees should have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.60. 

Interested students submit an online application upon *nomination or self-nomination for one of the following commencement awards. The application window for the commencement awards will be announced on this page; it is usually during late winter quarter. Email notices will be sent to the Honors Listserv about the application period.

The four Commencement Awards are:

  • Deans' Award for Outstanding Senior
  • Frances Colville and Terry Dearborn Memorial Award
  • Luis Leal Social Sciences Undergraduate Award
  • William R. Reardon Undergraduate Award

For full details, and to apply, see this page.

Commencement Speakers

Have you dreamed of addressing your class at the commencement ceremonies? Now is your opportunity to do so! The College of Letters and Science is accepting applications for Student Commencement Speaker positions for this year's comencement ceremonies.  The Letters and Science Student Speakers will address their peers in a 5 minute speech during their chosen ceremony. Please be certain to reserve your spot in commencement before applying to be a speaker.

If you are a senior who has graduated or will graduate during the current academic year, please consider applying for this exciting opportunity. For full details, and to apply, visit this page.

University Honors

Honors at Graduation

Honors at graduation are awarded to the top 20 percent of graduating students who complete 76 or more letter-graded University of California units, as follows:

  • Highest Honors – Top 2.5 percent
  • High Honors – Next 6 percent
  • Honors – Next 11.5 percent

Please visit the Office of the Registrar’s web site for grade-point average thresholds for the current academic year.

Honors at Graduation are automatically awarded by the University based on the criteria above. You do not need to file any separate paperwork to receive Honors at Graduation if you are eligible. Upon graduation, the appropriate honors level is noted on the diploma and transcript as: "Honors," or "High Honors" or "Highest Honors." Questions regarding Honors at Graduation may be emailed to the Registrar's Office at GraduationMatters@sa.ucsb.edu

Please note regarding Commencement-related honors levels:  For graduating students, the College will receive a list of "potential" honors levels from the Registrar's Office on which to base Commencement-related designations, for any publications and for the honors fourragere cord eligibility list that the UCSB Bookstore will receive.  Questions regarding Commencement-related honors levels can be directed to Honorsmail@ltsc.ucsb.edu. Students eligible to purchase honors fourragere cords at the bookstore will be emailed in mid-May regarding eligibility based on potentially earning at least one of the following honors at graduation:  Highest Honors, College Honors, a City Club Prize, or one of the L&S Honors Graduation Awards.

College Honors

College Honors are awarded to graduating students in the College of Letters and Science who have completed 135 or more letter-graded University of California units with a GPA of 3.85 or higher.

College Honors are automatically awarded by the College of Letters and Science based on the criteria above. You do not need to file any separate paperwork to receive College Honors if you are eligible. “College Honors” is noted on transcripts, and recipients receive a certificate from the College of Letters and Science.

Dean's Honors

Dean’s Honors are granted at the end of each quarter to all students who have earned a GPA of 3.75 or higher on 12 or more letter-graded units for the quarter, with no NP grades. Dean’s Honors are noted on transcripts.

If you have an update to your record for a quarter and feel you are now eligible for Dean’s Honors, please submit a Dean’s Honors Update Request form to the College Advising Office (1117 Cheadle Hall).

Departmental Honors Programs

Most departments offer senior honors programs to give undergraduates the opportunity to pursue research and independent study in their major field. Students are normally selected for senior honors programs at the end of their junior years.

Participation in a senior honors program involves the design and completion of an original research project or senior thesis. Students who complete the project or thesis with distinction are eligible for nomination by the department for the award of Distinction in the Major.

Any courses taken as part of a departmental senior honors program are automatically applied toward participation in and completion of the College Honors Program. In addition, students enrolled in departmental senior honors programs receive library privileges equivalent to those of graduate students and are eligible to apply for research funding through the office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities.

For more information about each senior honors program, contact your department or refer to the General Catalog.

UCSB Scholarship & Grant Resources

UCSB College of Letters and Science Undergraduate Research and Creative Awards Office
The Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) web site includes information about various scholarships. URCA also produces Scholarship Alert, a compilation of scholarship information from various sources.

UCSB Alumni Legacy Scholarship
The UCSB Alumni Legacy Scholarship was created to support children, step-children, grandchildren, and/or step-grandchildren of UCSB Alumni Association members through membership dues paid by members of the UCSB Alumni Association. The UCSB Alumni Legacy Scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate a commitment to the excellence of UCSB and the community through academic achievements, leadership and involvement in campus clubs and organizations.

UCSB Financial Aid Office

UCSB Faculty Women's Club - Programs
Visit the above link for information about undergraduate scholarships honoring Mary Cheadle or to learn about the Broida-Hirschfelder Graduate Fellowship in the Sciences (for graduate students in a PhD program).

International & National Scholarship Opportunities

Honors Program students should consider applying for prestigious international, national, and regional scholarship opportunities, many of which require campus nomination. For information about these scholarship opportunities, please visit the College of Letters and Science Scholarship webpage. If you have questions about scholarships, please contact scholarships@ltsc.ucsb.edu.