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Honors Program Overview

2 Honors students at Commencement with a faculty mentor

Students can participate in the Honors Program in two ways: by entering Commonwealth Honors or Departmental Honors.

Students who want to be part of Honors throughout their undergraduate career, in both core and major courses, join Commonwealth Honors. Departmental Honors is for upper-division students interested in pursuing honors in their major.

Transfer students can start in either Commonwealth or Departmental Honors. Whether or not you were an honors student at another college or university, you are welcome in the Honors Program at BSU! We can help you determine which path is right for you, depending on how many credits you transfer to BSU.


Commonwealth Honors

Want to be part of a diverse and welcoming honors community from the time you step foot on campus? Then our Commonwealth Honors Program is for you.

  • In your first two years, you’ll complete Honors in the Core, earning 9 honors credits that fulfill core curriculum and graduation requirements.
  • You can choose among a rich variety of honors courses that are offered each semester in nearly every field of study, from Sustainability Leadership, Racial & Social Justice Dialogues, Vampires & Dark Fairy Tales, Introduction to Latinx Literature, Philosophy of Science Fiction Film, Modern Gothic Literature, and Asian Art.
  • After completing Honors in the Core, you’ll transition into Departmental Honors in your major.


Departmental Honors

Interested in pursuing honors in your major? In your junior year, you can join Departmental Honors to earn honors credits in your field of study.

  • Departmental Honors students earn 9 honors credits in their major(s).
  • Departmental Honors credits are earned by completing an honors thesis or capstone (a culminating research or creative project) and honors contract(s) (an independent project completed in a 300- or 400-level major course). (Psychology majors take 1-credit honors colloquia in place of honors contracts.)
  • Students in Departmental Honors enjoy the same benefits as Commonwealth Honors students.

The culmination of Departmental Honors is your honors thesis, a research or creative project of your choice. You have the invaluable opportunity to work with a faculty mentor on your thesis project over a semester or year.

Students frequently say the honors thesis/capstone was their most rewarding experience at BSU. They appreciate the one-on-one mentoring, immersing themselves in an area of study they love, and producing an exemplary sample of their work for competitive job opportunities or graduate school.