Students graduate with University Honors upon satisfaction of the following requirements:

  • completion of Honors course requirements
  • satisfaction of all requirements for distinction in the major
  • a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher at graduation

Students from any majors may be a part of the Honors program. As with all DU students, the requirements set out in the Bulletin for the year they entered must be satisfied for graduation. 

To remain active in the Honors Program, students must be in “good standing” at the University, continue to make positive progress towards completing Honors requirements, and remain responsive to communication from Honors Program staff.

  • Honors Course Requirements

    Honors students have the opportunity to meet many of their university requirements in small, discussion-based, Honors-only courses. We offer a small but diverse menu of courses that vary from quarter to quarter.

    Honors courses are meant to be more engaging, not more difficult. Faculty who wish to teach with our program must apply and indicate how their course will go above and beyond to provide an Honors experience - for example with special speakers, field trips, or work with primary sources or special collections. Because they are small and honors-only, they provide students the chance to get to know faculty and their peers and to delve into topics in discussion and develop their skills in critical thinking and reflection. Please see the advising notes for a list of this year’s courses. Honors Geography, for instance, explores the science of sustainability. Our two-hour seminars explore a broad array of topics, including Nobel Laureates in the Sciences, the man and myth of Che Guevara, the literature of Truth and Reconciliation.

    Students are expected to take the following courses. Please reference the checklist in the right sidebar for more information.

    • One Honors Humanities course (AISC) 
    • One Honors Social Science course (SISC) 
    • An Honors Natural Science sequence
      • For non-science majors, this is either Honors Geography: Global Environmental Change and Sustainability (GEOG 1264/1265/1266) or Honors Biology: Living in the Microbial World (BIOL 1270/1271/1272)
      • For science majors, your three-quarter introduction to a natural sciences will meet this requirement
    • Two Honors Writing courses (WRIT 1622 and 1733)
    • One Honors Advanced Seminar (ASEM)
    • Two Honors Seminars: HNRS 2400 (HSEM)

    Some modifications to this sequence are possible for students bringing in transfer and/or AP/IB credit that counts towards their Common Curriculum requirements. Please reference the Checklist in the right sidebar for more information.

    Common Curriculum classes in the Humanities (AISC) and Social Sciences (SISC) may also meet major or minor requirements. For instance, Honors SOCI 1810 Understanding Social Life (AISC) or Honors ECON 1020 Economics: A Critical Introduction (SISC) would count toward the Sociology or Economics major or minor, respectively (just as the non-Honors version would). The same course would thus meet Common Curriculum, major/minor, and Honors requirements. 

    Requirements Checklist

    Nearly all honors requirements can be completed as part of DU's Common Core and thus do not require any additional credit hours beyond what DU requires of all undergraduates. However, a couple of requirements are additional. Below you will see how honors requirements overlap with Common Core


  • Distinction in Major

    Students gain depth in their discipline and continue their Honors experience by completing the requirements for distinction in their major. Double majors need only complete distinction in one of their majors.

    Note that acceptance into a major's distinction plan is not automatic. Every department has developed a distinction plan with its own timing, admission criteria, procedures, and completion requirements.  Requirements might include courses in research and methodologies, interdisciplinary courses, or a larger percentage of upper level course work. It usually also includes some type of culminating project or a thesis. Honors students should therefore contact and work with their major advisor as soon as possible in order to learn about the distinction program in the major they declare.

    If you need funding to complete your project, there are resources available. The Undergraduate Research Center provides numerous funding opportunities for research, scholarship, and creative activity, as well as opportunities for funding to present your research at a conference. The Honors program also has some limited funding available for student research. 

    After students have completed their distinction requirements, they should do the following: 

    Ready to start planning your honors requirements?

    View Upcoming Courses

  • AP/IB/Transfer Credit

    The Registrar’s Office evaluates all incoming students’ previous college credits and AP/IB scores for potential DU credit.  The Honors Program uses these evaluations to determine any exceptions to Honors course requirements.  AP/IB/Transfer credit may be used to fulfill some Honors requirements as follows:

    • WRIT 1622 waived with WRIT 1122 credit (through AP, IB, or transfer credit)
    • WRIT 1733 waived with WRIT 1133 credit (through transfer credit)
    • Scientific Inquiry: Natural & Physical World (SINP) requirements may be waived or reduced via AP, IB, and/or transfer credit.  We defer to how the Registrar’s Office evaluates incoming natural science courses.  If a student brings in sufficient AP/IB/transfer credits for the Registrar’s Office to mark their SINP requirement as satisfied, this requirement is also satisfied in terms of Honors requirements.  If a student brings in some of the required 12 SINP credits but not all, they must complete any remaining credits by selecting courses from the Honors SINP list. See checklist linked at right for more details and possible course options.
    • AP/IB/transfer credit may not be used to fulfill Honors AISC/SISC, Honors ASEM, or HNRS 2400 (HSEM) requirements.