The Honors Program enables motivated students to achieve their highest potential as scholars and campus leaders. The honors curriculum promotes close student-faculty relationships and fosters the vigorous and thorough exchange of ideas so that students develop the investigative, analytical, and creative skills necessary for scholarly research and artistic work. Honors students are provided with leadership opportunities that empower them to build community, promote social justice, and model academic excellence.
ADMISSION TO THE COMMONWEALTH HONORS PROGRAM
High School Students
High school applicants apply to the Commonwealth Honors Program after acceptance by the university.
- Admission criteria: High school GPA of 3.3 or higher, combined SAT score of 1100 or higher (ACT 24 or higher), and a 500-600 word essay.
- Transfer students who have successfully participated in the Commonwealth Honors Program at other colleges and universities in the Massachusetts public system of higher education are automatically eligible to participate in Commonwealth Honors at BSU. Please contact us to join our program.
- Transfer students from other Honors Programs must apply to the Honors Program. In most cases honors credits from other institutions will transfer into the BSU Honors Program.
Current BSU Students
First semester freshmen who meet the above admission requirements may also apply to the Honors Program.
Students can participate in the Honors Program in two ways:
- Runs throughout a student’s undergraduate career.
- Students must complete 21 honors credits:
- 12 honors credits the first two years plus 9 Departmental or Interdisciplinary Honors credits including an honors thesis.
- Students must maintain a GPA of 3.3 to remain in the program.
- Students can undertake Departmental Honors only
- Takes place during the last two years
- Requirements vary by department
- Participants complete 9 honors credits in their major including a thesis under the advisement of a faculty mentor
Honors courses are specifically designed to broaden a student’s perspective. With classes capped at 15 students, Honors courses offer more engaging material, more active discussion, and more interaction with BSU’s world-class faculty. The Honors thesis is a one- or two-semester research and writing project that students undertake with one-on-one guidance from a faculty member. The Honors thesis is not only invaluable preparation for graduation,it is also an exciting opportunity for true independent learning.
The Honors Program is about more than academic excellence. Through programming like the Honors Student Congress and Mentoring Program, the Honors Program at BSU supports student development by encouraging Honors students to become campus leaders both in and out of the classroom. Honors students truly epitomize the values of BSU as they show what motivated and engaged students can achieve. Through their achievements, Honors students inspire others to achieve more.
Honors students are part of a thriving community of like-minded people who learn and often live together. The Honors Center in Maxwell Library offers a welcoming oasis—a place where students relax, work, and even play with their peers. Honors events include dinners each semester to celebrate accomplishments of honors students and recognize outstanding faculty. The Pizza & Prof series allows students and faculty to connect in a casual setting, while the Fall Book Club brings the Honors community together for a day of literary discussions. The Honors Program also hosts a number of other events designed to build community. The Honors Program has a Resident Learning Community (RLC) for first-year honors students focused on promoting community and academic excellence and an upper-level RLC centered on peer mentoring and leadership development. Each RLC anchors programming designed to enrich a student’s experience beyond the classroom, enabling students to explore all that BSU and the region has to offer.
Jenny Shanahan, PhD
Assistant Provost for High Impact Educational Practices
Todd Harris, PhD