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 DU's Common Curriculum requirements in small, discussion-based, Honors-only courses. Most honors requirements can be completed as part of DU's Common Curriculum and thus require very few credit hours beyond what DU requires of all undergraduates.

    Students are expected to complete all requirements outlined in Honors checklist below.

    Classes with the Honors designation are listed in the Honors Course List below.


  • Distinction in the Major

    To graduate with University Honors, all Honors students must achieve distinction in (one of) their chosen major(s). (If they have more than one major, they can choose which major to earn distinction in.)

    However, the requirements for earning distinction are set independently by departments - not by Honors. Most majors require that you start this process some time around your Junior year - but some programs have requirements that start as early as Sophomore year, so please familiarize yourself with the requirements as early as possible.

    The best way to determine what the requirements are for your major are, go to the DU bulletin from the year that you entered DU:

    • Select the year that you entered DU
    • Go to "Undergraduate Bulletin" and then to "Major and Minor Requirements"
    • Navigate to your major and click on it
    • Select "Distinction in the Major." This is where your distinction requirements will be listed!

    If you need funding to complete your project, 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.

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

  • AP/IB/Transfer Credit

    The Registrar’s Office evaluates all incoming students’ previous college credits and AP/IB scores for potential DU credit. Any questions about transfer credits should be addressed to the appropriate contact at the Registrar's office.

    The Honors Program uses their 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 below for more details and possible course options.
    • AP/IB/transfer credit may not be used to fulfill Honors AISC/SISC, Honors ASEM, HNRS 2400 (HSEM), or HNRS 1000/2000/3000 requirements.
  • Honors Contracts

    Honors contracts are a way for Honors students to get Honors credit for one non-Honors AI:Society, SI:Society, or ASEM course. Students may only fulfill one class with an Honors contract during their time at DU. Honors contracts are intended for students who cannot fit an Honors section into their schedule before they graduate due to unresolvable scheduling conflicts. They should only be used as a last resort, as they put an extra burden on the professor and cannot replicate the peer-to-peer learning that is central to an Honors class experience.

    A student's first step is to speak with the professor of the non-Honors course for which they are seeking an Honors contract. Honors contracts constitute work above and beyond the regular expectations of a faculty member, so students must find a professor willing to work with them. All Honors contracts must also be approved by the Honors Faculty Director by the first week of the quarter in question at latest. These contracts may require several revisions before being approved, so students should plan ahead and start the process early.

    Honors Contract Proposal Form

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    Honors Requirements Checklist

    Honors requirements for students who entered DU prior to Fall 2024

    Checklist (FA23 & Earlier)

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    Honors Requirements Checklist

    Honors requirements for students who entered DU Fall 2024 or later

    Checklist (FA24 & Later)

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    Honors Course List

    Wondering what courses will be offered in upcoming quarters?

    Course List