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University Honors Program

University Programs

University Programs - Soccer in front of the Pyramid

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies - Cecile Lindsay
Director - Albie Burke
Assistant Director - Duan Jackson
Office - Library West (LBW), Room 213
Phone - (562) 985-4706

The University Honors Program provides a selected group of qualified students with a unique educational experience. It unites the committed student and faculty member in a learning relationship in which each has the highest expectations of the other. It seeks to accomplish these goals in two ways: first, it broadens students' intellectual horizons by encouraging them to explore areas of thought not closely related to their major fields of study; and second, it allows students to work in their major fields in greater depth than would be possible in a conventional course pattern. The work of the first two years satisfies, in part, the University's General Education Requirements and is directed toward the first objective. The work of the Junior and Senior years, which includes independent study experiences and a senior thesis, is directed toward the second objective.

The University Honors Program is designed so that students will not only master a substantial amount of knowledge, but will also develop the capacity for balanced intellectual judgment and the powers of abstraction and conceptualization. Students will be immersed in the learning process and therefore must have both the ability and willingness to do intense and often self-directed intellectual work as well as a desire to make the most of the opportunities available in the University.

Students who successfully complete the requirements of the University Honors Program will receive a Certificate and an annotation on their transcript which mark the graduate as a person of intellectual accomplishment, one who has demonstrated a disciplined curiosity and dedication to the pursuit of knowledge.

Available within the University Honors Program are three alternatives designed to meet the varying needs of students.
1. General Honors;
2. Honors in the Major;
3. Combination of the above for which coursework prescribed for General Honors and departmental requirements for Honors in the Major are successfully satisfied.

General Honors

General Honors is a special approach to the General Education Requirements of the University which enhances and builds on them. It is a program of carefully selected courses and specially designed, multi-disciplinary seminars from which a student chooses a minimum of 30 units (a minimum of 18 units in the case of upper division transfers), most of which are applied toward the 51 units of General Education courses required for graduation of all students. Those courses designated for General Honors credit encourage student participation on an academic level not generally possible in the usual curricular offering.


• to provide highly motivated students an exceptional educational opportunity to challenge and expand their intellectual capacities, especially in terms of increased breadth and depth;
• to deepen the students' intellectual experiences by stimulating and guiding their own curiosity;
• to encourage freedom of initiative;
• to provide an academic and cultural environment that inspires creative activity through close working relationships with distinguished faculty;
• to advise students in their academic planning to meet the University's General Education requirements through a cohesive and unified program of study;
• to prepare students to write an Honors Thesis that is a preparation for advanced study, and a demonstration that the student has acquired the intellectual confidence and academic independence that are indicative of the maturely educated person.

Admission Requirements

There are three ways a student may enter the University Honors Program:
• Incoming students are invited to apply to General Honors on the basis of high school class standings, ACT composite score, and/or SAT scores. Normally, students should be in the upper ten percent of their high school classes, and have a composite ACT score of at least 24, and/or a SAT score of at least 1600, and a GPA of 3.3 or better. However, if not all of these criteria are met, a combination of them may be evaluated in addition to a letter of recommendation and a personal interview with the Honors Program Director.

• Any student who maintains a 3.3 or better overall GPA at California State University, Long Beach in 12 or more units of coursework is eligible to participate in General Honors with a letter of recommendation from one of her/his instructors and a personal interview with the Honors Program Director. Students with a GPA of 3.3 or above in 12 or more units at California State University, Long Beach normally will be granted automatic acceptance into the Program upon application.

• Students not meeting the designated criteria may petition for admission to General Honors. Students are required to submit letters of recommendation from two instructors familiar with their work. These exceptional cases will be reviewed by the Director and the University Honors Council. Students are encouraged to petition if they have a good explanation for not meeting the basic requirements and/or a strong motivation to participate in the Program.

• Transfer students may enter General Honors provided they have a minimum equivalent of a 3.3 average in all course work at the accredited institution from which they are transferring.

Qualified students may enter General Honors as late as the junior year. Where Honors transfer agreements have been negotiated with a community college (such as with Long Beach City College) up to 12 transfer units will be accepted as meeting the requirements of the CSULB University Honors Program. Otherwise a waiver of some of the required Honors credits (not more than 6) may be granted by the Director and the University Honors Council.

General Information

Students who have failed to enroll in courses for Honors credit for two consecutive semesters will normally be withdrawn from the program;

A University Honors student who withdraws from the University during any semester will also be withdrawn from the program. A student may apply for readmission at the beginning of any semester in which he/she plans to enroll.


Every student electing General Honors in the University Honors Program must complete all university-wide graduation requirements, and the requirements for a major. General Honors is itself not a major.

A student must maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 or better in Honors and in all University courses attempted.

General Honors Plan I (minimum of 30 units) is designed for entering freshmen and consists of a minimum of 21 units of lower-and upper-division General Education courses (which include UHP 100 and UHP 150), UHP 300 (a non-General Education course), and a culminating 6-unit senior thesis/project in the student's major (UHP 496, Research Participation, and UHP 498, Senior Thesis/Project).

General Honors Plan II (minimum of 18 units) is primarily for upper-division transfers from community colleges and consists of nine units of upper-division General Education courses, UHP 300 (a non-General Education course), and a culminating 6-unit senior thesis/project in the student's major (UHP 496, Research Participation, and UHP 498, Senior Thesis/Project).

Honors in the Major

Honors in the Major (9 units minimum) is designed for students who elect not to take General Education courses as a part of the University Honors Program or decide to enter the Honors Program too late to do so; Honors in the Major consists of a minimum of one upper-division Honors - specific course in student's major department and a culminating 6-unit senior thesis/project (courses in the major department equivalent to UHP 496 and UHP 498). Students in General Honors whose major department offers an Honors in the Major Program may apply to participate in both programs, in which case the General Honors thesis requirement would be satisfied through the Honors in the Major option.

In consultation with a Departmental Honors in the major Faculty Advisor, a student can plan an enriched course of study in an academic major. This opportunity for program flexibility makes it possible for a student to elect the most relevant, exciting and enriched experiences offered by the department.

Although Honors in the major requirements may vary among departments; usually they entail independent study, seminar courses, high levels of performance, and senior projects or theses culminating in a broad knowledge of subject matter. Information concerning Honors in the Major is available in the University Honors Program Office and in participating departmental offices.

Admission Requirements

Please contact the department office or the University Honors Program Office for information regarding admission. Normally a student must be a declared major, usually with at least sophomore (30 units) standing.


1. Completion of the requirements for the major. (The approval of the department chair and the Departmental Faculty Honors Advisor must be obtained to change any of the general major requirements);

2. Completion of a minimum of one upper-division Honors - specific course in the student's major department and a culminating 6-unit senior thesis/project (courses in the major department equivalent to UHP 496 and UHP 498).