Through the Honors Program, students nearing graduation can write and defend an honors thesis in order to graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder with Latin honors: cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude.
Graduation with honors is a process students usually begin in their junior or senior year. Most students can graduate with honors without having taken Honors Program courses. The most important thing you need to have is a thesis idea in mind - and it really helps if it's something you're passionate about researching. Once you have your idea, narrow it down. It needs to be as focused as possible so that you can clearly present your idea and goals when you meet with your prospective thesis advisor, Honors Council representative and other committee members. Clarity on your part allows faculty to effectively gauge whether or not they can help you.
Students in the College of Arts and Sciences:
If you are pursuing honors within your major (Departmental Honors), your first point of contact must be your department. You have to fulfill both your department's requirements as well as all Honors Program requirements. As your department will be supporting you through this process, and in some cases may require you to take thesis-related courses, it is crucial you communicate with them first. You must also read our Graduation with Honors FAQ.
Students in the College of Arts and Sciences who want to pursue General Honors - an interdisciplinary thesis project that cannot fit within any one major - must have a CU-Boulder cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, have taken 12 credits of Honors Program courses and meet with the Director of the Honors Program for thesis project approval before turning in any paperwork to the Honors Program. You must also read our Graduation with Honors FAQ. You will be required to acknowledge that you have read this document when you sign your registration paperwork.
Students in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Architecture and Planning, the College of Music, Journalism and Mass Communication or the Leeds School of Business:
Stop by the Honors Program Office to discuss pursuing General Honors from outside the College of Arts and Sciences. Before you do, read the Graduation with Honors FAQ, which includes information pertinent to General Honors students. Students from outside the College of Arts and Sciences wishing to pursue General Honors must have taken 12 credits of Honors Program courses and have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. You will be required to acknowledge that you have read this document when you sign your registration paperwork.
Complete and deliver the Registration to Graduate with Honors form - plus the required prospectus, bibliography and timeline - to the Honors Program Office (we do not accept mailed, faxed or emailed forms) before your semester's deadline and keep the list of Honors Program deadlines for your own reference. Deadlines marked Faculty are for faculty only.
The Registration to Graduate with Honors form is not an application; when the form is signed by an Honors Council representative, that means your department has decided to support you and your project. You will not be contacted by the Honors Program regarding your registration form.
Attachments: We require a prospectus, bibliography and timeline so that we can see that you've given your topic and your planned workload some thought. We hope that this process will help you develop realistic deadlines for yourself and time the work more efficiently.
Your department may have additional deadlines and requirements but you must follow all Honors Program deadlines and requirements in order to successfully graduate with honors.
If you have questions, your first contact should be your thesis advisor or Honors Council representative; if they cannot answer your question, feel free to contact us.