Honors Degree FAQs


Is it possible to earn the Honors Degree in any major at UD?

An Honors Degree is available in most majors at UD but not all. For an Honors Degree to be available, the Honors version of the major must have been approved by the University Faculty Senate. To determine if an Honors Degree is available in your major (and see any specific departmental requirements), please see the list of Honors Degrees in the Undergraduate Catalog. Available Honors Degrees are listed by College, below the Major listings.

What is the GPA requirement for the Honors Degree?

The Honors Degree requires a minimum 3.40 cumulative grade point index at the time of graduation. This is an absolute requirement; we cannot round to the 3.400 index. (Please note that the more credits you have earned the more difficult mathematically it becomes to improve your cumulative grade point average).

What is the difference between the Honors Degree and the Honors Degree with Distinction?

The Honors Degree with Distinction has the same requirements as the Honors Degree, but it also requires the completion of an Honors thesis and the two semester thesis courses, UNIV 401 and UNIV 402 for 6 credits total—typically 3 credits each.

Do UNIV 401 and 402 count towards the Honors credits for the Honors Degree with Distinction?

Yes. They also count as 6 credits at or above the 300-level, and UNIV 402-080 counts as the Honors Degree Capstone Requirement, if taken for at least three credits. They do not typically count as part of the Honors coursework in the major.

If I have two majors, can I pursue Honors Degrees in both?

If both majors lead to the same type of degree (i.e. a BS, a BA, etc.), you would be pursuing a double major. Examples of this would include: Finance and Accounting majors; International Relations and Economics (BA); History and English; Neuroscience and Psychology (BS); etc. In the case of a double major (two majors leading to one degree, even if the majors are in different Colleges at UD), it is only possible to earn one Honors Degree since you are only earning one diploma. Since you would only earn one Honors Degree, you would need to choose which major you want to complete your major specific Honors requirements and would need to complete one honors capstone course. You must fulfill the 12 honors credits in the major in one of the two majors but not both.

If both majors lead to different types of degrees (i.e. a BS and a BA, etc.), you would be doing a double degree (or sometimes referred to as a dual degree). Examples of this would include: Chemistry (BS) and FLL-Spanish Studies (BA); Communication (BA) and Marketing or Economics (BS); any Engineering degree with any other major; etc. In this case, it could be possible to earn Honors Degrees in both (i.e. 2 Honors Degrees) since you would be earning 2 diplomas. Or you could decide to earn Honors in just one and not the other. If you want to earn 2 Honors Degrees in the case of a double degree or dual degree (two majors leading to two different degree types–a BA and a BS), you would have to complete 12 Honors credits in each major (with no overlap—i.e. no less than 24 Honors major credits between the 2 majors) and you would have to complete two separate Honors capstone courses. In this case, it could also be possible to earn an Honors Degree in one and an Honors Degree with Distinction in the other.

Do individual departments have specific Honors Degree requirements?

Many departments do have specific requirements for the 12 Honors credits in the major needed to earn the Honors Degree or in some cases a major GPA requirement needed for the Honors Degree. These specific requirements are listed in the University catalog under the Honors Degree in the major. See the UD Catalog.

Some examples of specific requirements include the following:

  • For the HD in Economics, both ECON 301 & 304 must be taken Honors.
  • For the HD in English, 9 of the credits in the major must be in Honors ENGL courses at the 300-level or above and must include an Honors ENGL 480. (Honors ENGL 110 does not count as part of the 12 credits in the major.)
  • For the HD in Psychology and Neuroscience, 6 of the Honors credits in the major must be in courses at the 300-level or higher.
  • For the HD in Art History, students must have a major GPA of a 3.5.

As a result of the examples above, it is important to check the catalog to see if there are specific requirements for the Honors Degree in your major. If the Honors Degree requirements are listed as generic in the catalog, there are no specific major requirements for the Honors major.

Is the Honors Capstone course for the Honors Degree the same as the University Capstone course?

No, these are not necessarily the same. The Honors Degree capstone list is different from the University Capstone list. There are courses on the University Capstone list that would never count for the Honors Capstone requirement. Courses for the HD capstone requirement must be on the Honors Degree Capstone list and must be taken Honors to count.  For a list of all the approved Honors capstone courses, go to Honors-Degree-Capstone-List.

When do I take the Honors capstone course?

An approved Honors Degree capstone course must be taken in one of the last two semesters before you graduate. Courses taken too early will count as Honors credit toward the Honors Degree but not as capstone courses.

What if there isn’t an Honors capstone course in my major?

In some cases, there is an Honors course that is available within a student’s major(s) that has been approved to fulfill this requirement. In many majors, however, this is not the case. If there isn’t an approved Honors capstone course in your major, you are free to take any course on the approved list which is not designated as only open to majors and for which you meet the pre-requisites.  This means that if there is an approved Honors capstone course in your minor or 2nd major (for a double major), you can take that course to fulfill your Honors Degree capstone course. If there is still nothing that applies for you, the Honors Program offers capstone courses which are interdisciplinary and designed for students in any major (similar to the colloquium but at the senior level). These courses are UNIV490 the Honors Tutorial and UNIV495 the Honors Degree Seminar. Topics for these courses vary each semester depending on the faculty member teaching the course. In general, UNIV490 Tutorials tend to be focused on great books and the Honors Degree Seminar is an interdisciplinary seminar with a focus on the intersection between the sciences and humanities. Students must fill out the registration request form for these courses, available on the UDHP website during fall and spring registration.

Is the General Honors Award a requirement of the Honors Degree?

No. The 18 or more Honors credits earned for the GHA, however, may apply towards the total Honors credits needed for the Honors Degree.

Is the first-year Honors colloquium course a requirement of the Honors Degree?

No. These are requirements for the General Honors Award but not for the Honors Degree. They may, however, be counted toward the 30 Honors credits total needed for the Honors Degree. Please note that Honors Colloquia and Honors ENGL110 do not count toward the Honors coursework in the Major for any program.

Can the 12 Honors credits required at or above the 300-level be Honors courses in my major?

Yes. In fact, we strongly encourage you to take upper-division Honors courses in your major, although 300-level Honors coursework outside the major may also satisfy this requirement (please make certain you have reviewed the requirements in the catalog to meet the 12 Honors credits in the major). When double counting 300-level Honors courses in both the Honors major requirements and the 300-level requirements, please note that you still must meet the 30 honors credit total required to earn and Honors Degree. Your Honors Degree capstone course may also count as an Honors course at or above the 300-level, provided you still meet the 30 Honors credits required for the HD.

Can pass/fail Honors courses count towards the Honors Degree?

The only pass/fail courses that can count toward the Honors Degree are courses only offered on a pass/fail basis (like in the case of LEST210, for example).

Do 600-level courses count as Honors courses?

A 600-level course can count as an honors course when the 600-level course is not a specified course that is required for every student completing that major. When a 600-level course is listed as an option in a list containing courses at the undergraduate level or is a dual listed 400/600-level and the student chooses to complete the requirement with the graduate level course, this 600-level can count as an Honors course.  In major were 600-level courses are required for anyone in the major (for example in the BS PHYS, BIOC, and CHEM degrees), only additional 600-level courses beyond those required would count as Honors courses.

Do I need to do anything to show I am planning to earn the Honors Degree?

Yes, in order to earn an Honors Degree, you must declare yourself a candidate for the Honors Degree. The webform is available when you have more than 60 credits earned. Information on the Honors Degree Declaration webform is available on the Honors Program here. Please be sure to read this information carefully since the form can only be completed once.