Honors Program Requirements

The Honors Program “Annual Requirements” for your continued participation and the “Requirements for Completion” of the Honors Program are listed below. As the Honors Program continues to evolve, we periodically reassess student needs and program goals. For this reason, requirements for joining, staying in, and completing the program may change over time. Please refer to any specific guidelines that apply to the year you joined the program.

Honors Program Annual Requirements

To ensure your continued participation in the Honors Program and progress towards meeting the “Requirements for Completion”, you need satisfy the following criteria:

Complete an average of Two Honors Experiences per year.

To meet the 6 total required to complete the program, you must complete a minimum number of experiences each year.

  • Students (including transfers) who complete at least 1 Experience in their first year in Honors will be able to remain in the Program but will be expected to complete at least 3 Experiences during their second year.

  • Transfer Students: It is highly recommended that transfer students complete at least 2, ideally 3, Experiences during their first year in order to complete the 6 Honors Experiences required for Completion of the Honors Program.

If you need to verify the number of Honors Experiences you have completed, submit the “College of Letters and Science Honors Program Experiences Progress Request”. Our Honors Advisors will verify the information provided and notify you via email. Please expect 2 weeks to process.

Maintain a minimum GPA.

  • Students joining Honors beginning in Fall 2021 or later, must have a 3.2 GPA after Spring quarter, prior to the annual review of records conducted in the Summer. 
  • Students joining Honors during the 2020-2021 academic year or earlier must have a 3.5 GPA after Spring quarter, prior to the annual review of records conducted in the Summer.

Annual Review by Honors Advisors

Each Summer, advisors will review student records and contact any students who did not meet the annual requirements. Please meet with an Honors advisor if you think you might not meet one of the requirements.

Requirements for Completion of the Honors Program

To receive recognition for completing the Honors Program, you need to satisfy the following criteria:

Note: Specific requirements may apply to the year you joined the program. For unique cases not addressed in the criteria below, contact Honors Advisors at honorsmail@ltsc.ucsb.edu.

For Students who joined beginning in Fall 2021 and beyond, regardless of class standing when they joined

Recognition received upon graduation from UCSB:

The Honors Program gives two types of recognition to students:

  1. “Completion of the Honors Program” on your transcript.
  2. The Honors “Academic Engagement Award” for those that exceed the standards.

Criteria for "Completion of the Honors Program":

Criteria for the Honors “Academic Engagement Award”

Complete the criteria for "Honors Program Completion” listed above and exceed the standards by:

Non-Transfer Students who joined as first-years or second-years in Summer 2017 through Fall 2020

Recognition received upon graduation from UCSB:

  • “Academic Excellence Award” indicated by “Completion of the Honors Program” on your transcript.
  • This group is NOT eligible for the “Academic Engagement Award”, as this is a new option only for students who joined in Fall 2021 or later.

Criteria for "Completion of the Honors Program":

Program Completion Review by Honors Advisors

Honors staff will review completion forms after the submission deadline and email students their status within a couple weeks. Keep in mind that in order to be approved, you must have maintained continued eligibility for the Honors Program during your time at UCSB, and you must complete the Program/Award requirements by the time your degree is finalized.

Capstone Experience (For students seeking "Academic Engagement Award")

Goal of the Capstone

The goal of the Honors Program is to mentor students into a transformative capstone academic experience. Upon the completion of the capstone, the student will submit a 500-800 word statement placing the capstone in the context of their overall UCSB Experience. This written statement should be included on the “Honors Program Capstone Experience Log”, which should be filled out as soon as the Capstone is completed.

 List of Options for the Capstone:

  • Complete Departmental Honors (aka, Distinction in the Major)
  • Participate in the URCA Colloquium
  • Complete at least full term (not summer only) in UCEAP, UC DC, or UC Sac
  • Design an Interdisciplinary Studies or Individual Major (Requires a Formal Proposal)
  • Design and implement a community service project (connected to coursework or research) approved by the Dean of the College of Letters and Science (Requires a Formal Proposal)
  • Propose and complete an alternative capstone approved by the Dean of the College of Letters and Science

Capstone Experience Formal Proposal Guidelines

A formal proposal needs to be completed for students designing a Major, Community Service Project or alternative project, and we suggest you call in to speak with an Honors advisor about your idea before submitting the proposal. For example, if a student were to design and implement a community service project (connected to coursework or research), they should write a formal proposal including the following basic information:

  • Why is the community service is important? Provide background information.
  • What gap is being addressed that existing service projects/organizations do not already address?
  • Who is the project’s target audience?
  • Which organizations (if any) will you be partnering with and who will be your supervisor?
  • What courses have you taken and what theories/authors are you utilizing to inform the project design and implementation?
  • How will the project be executed?
  • How will the project’s impact to the community be evaluated?

Finalize Completion of the Honors Program

Complete the Intent to Complete the Honors Program” form during the first 2-weeks of your final quarter.

Note: Summer and Fall graduates who plan to participate in Commencement must submit their form early for review (at the start of Spring Quarter) to be included on the Honors-related Commencement list.