Honors Degree FAQs


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

An Honors Degree option is available in most majors at UD but not all. For an Honors Degree to be available, the University Faculty Senate must have approved the Honors version of the major. 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.

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 401-080 and UNIV 402-080 for 6 credits total—typically 3 credits each.

Do UNIV401-080 and 402-080 count toward the 30 Honors credits needed for the Honors Degree with Distinction?

Yes. They can count as part of 6 credits at or above the 300-level, and UNIV 402-080 counts as the Honors Degree Capstone Requirement, when taken for at least 3 credits. They do not typically count as part of the Honors coursework in the major.

If I have two (or more) majors, can I pursue more than one Honors Degree?

If your 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 include Finance and Accounting; International Relations and Economics (BA); History and English; Neuroscience and Biology/CMG concentration; 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. Because of this, 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 majors but not in more than one.

If your 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 Spanish Studies (BA); Communication (BA) and Marketing or Computer Science (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). You would need to complete two separate Honors capstone courses. In this case, it could 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. In some cases a specific major GPA may also be needed for the Honors Degree. These specific requirements are listed in the Undergraduate catalog under the Honors Degree in the major.

Some examples of specific requirements include the following:

  • For the HD in Economics, both ECON301 & 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 ENGL480. (Honors ENGL110 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 requirements for the 12 credits in the Honors major.

When can 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.

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 the Honors web site under student resources.

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

In some cases, an approved Honors capstone course is available within a student’s major(s). In many majors, however, there is not.  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 an Honors Degree capstone course, UNIV490 the Honors Tutorial, which is interdisciplinary and designed for students in any major (similar to the colloquium but at the senior level). Topics for UNIV 490 vary by semester but tend to focus on great books.

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 and/or Honors ENGL110 required for 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 those only offered on a pass/fail basis (such as UNIV101). A student cannot opt to take an Honors course pass/fail and count it toward the Honors Degree.

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 you choose to complete the requirement with the graduate level course, this 600-level can count as an Honors course.  In majors were specific 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.  Students completing a 4+1 degree, should check with the Honors Program about the ability to count Master’s degree courses as Honors. Restrictions apply in these cases based on the number of Master’s courses that can count toward the Bachelor’s degree (if any).

Do I have to do something to have an Honors Degree audit in UDSIS?

Yes, you must declare yourself a candidate for the Honors Degree through the HD web form. This web form can be submitted once you have more than 60 credits earned (i.e. JR standing) and should be submitted at least a year prior to graduation. Information on the Honors Degree Declaration web form is available on the Honors Program website under Declaring the Honors Degree and Options. The Honors Declaration Form can only be submitted once. Therefore, please read all of the information related to this process on the website prior to submitting the web form. Note: The thesis application and proposal required for the Honors Degree with Distinction is available on the Undergraduate Research Program’s website. The thesis application is due a year prior to graduation.