Honors College Requirements
All Honors College students must complete the Honors College core curriculum and a senior thesis/creative project supervised by and presented in front of a faculty committee. Honors students must meet the undergraduate degree requirements set by the University, including those governing total credits earned, upper division credits, the writing requirement, residence credit, and degree (BA/BS) requirements. University Honors students are exempt from all University Studies (UNST) requirements. In order to graduate with University Honors, students must have a cumulative PSU GPA of 3.25 or higher.
Honors courses satisfy many BA/BS requirements and the writing requirement, as detailed below. In addition, Honors students may count courses, including departmental Honors seminars (“H” courses), research, and internships, toward both Honors and major requirements simultaneously.
Students are welcome to transfer into the University Honors College from outside institutions or from within PSU at any point in their academic studies. (See below for placement guidelines.)
First Year: The Global City (15 credits)
- Hon 101, Hon 102, Hon 103
- The sequence fulfills 8 credits of Arts and Letters, 4 credits in Social Science, and the University’s lower-division writing requirement.
Second Year: Urban Discourses (12 credits)
- Hon 201, Hon 202, Hon 203
- These three courses fulfill 4 credits in Arts and Letters, 4 credits in Social Science, and 4 credits in sciences respectively. The sequence completes the lower-division writing requirement.
- Students entering Honors with 30-89 college credits should begin with the second year curriculum; all three courses are required.
Junior Year: Research and Praxis (12 credits)
- Students are required to take at least one 4-credit Honors Junior Seminar: Hon 407
- The additional 8 credits of Honors Junior requirements may be fulfilled through any combination of Honors seminars (Hon 407), internships (Hon 404), research (Hon 401), departmental honors seminars, or approved study abroad courses.
- Students entering Honors with 90+ credits should begin with Honors Junior Seminars; 12 credits are required.
Senior Year: Honors Thesis (minimum 6 credits)
- Hon 403: Thesis seminar (4 credits); Hon 403: Research and writing (minimum 2 credits); public presentation and defense
- Students wishing to transfer into Honors as seniors should contact Honors College faculty to discuss their research experience and plans.
Current PSU students
Students at PSU who have completed some University Studies coursework may transfer into Urban Honors at the freshman, sophomore, or junior level. Where you begin in Honors will depend on the number of UNST courses you have completed.
All Honors College students must maintain a 3.25 cumulative PSU GPA and make progress toward fulfilling the requirements of the Honors College and their disciplinary major. Honors College student grades will be audited each term. Those at risk of falling below the threshold will be notified in writing and are required to meet with the Honors Academic Adviser, Brianna Avery.
Honors College students falling below the specified 3.25 cumulative GPA must:
- Meet with Brianna Avery, Honors Academic Adviser, to discuss their academic schedule and make a plan for improvement.
- Receive a term GPA (minimum of 12 credits) above the threshold in the following term.
- Obtain a cumulative GPA above the 3.25 threshold at the end of two terms of course work subsequent to the term in which they fell below.
If the cumulative GPA remains below the threshold, the student will no longer retain Honors College status. Students have the right to appeal their circumstances to an Honors College Adviser in writing and/or in person.
Reinstatement to Honors
Students may apply for reinstatement when their cumulative PSU GPA is above the 3.25 threshold.
Students enrolled in the University Honors College are assessed an additional $7.40 per credit hour for in state tuition or $7 per credit hour for out of state tuition. The additional tuition supports new and enhanced programs and activities which enrich our students' educational experiences inside and outside the classroom. See the 2014-15 fee book for tuition estimates by credit load.