The Arts and Sciences Honors Program is an enrichment program for undergraduate students who want to add something extra to their experience at CU Boulder. Everything our program offers is optional, which means that each student can make the Arts and Sciences Honors Program work for their individual needs.

Honors-qualified students can choose to:

First-year fall students: if you received an invitation from us in your printed admission packet (usually mailed 1-2 days after a student is admitted), you are eligible to register yourself for an Arts and Sciences Honors Program course in the fall and spring semester of your first year at CU Boulder. After that, as long as you maintain a CU Boulder GPA of 3.3 or higher, you can continue taking our courses whenever you like. You do not have to take Honors Program courses to remain honors-qualified.

Transfer students: Transfer students are not automatically invited into the Arts and Sciences Honors Program. If you are a student transferring to CU Boulder with a GPA of 3.3 or higher from your previous college/university, you are qualified to take Honors Program courses during your first semester here. Once you have confirmed your CU Boulder enrollment, contact our office for more information. Transfer students who would like to live in the Honors Residential Academic Program should contact the Honors RAP office for information on how to apply.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join the program? Do I apply?

You do not have to apply to the Arts and Sciences Honors Program. For first-year students, the Office of Admissions automatically evaluates and invites qualified first-year fall students who have been admitted into the College of Arts and Sciences. Generally, students in the top 10% of the incoming class receive an invitation. Invitations are issued in a student's printed admission packet (typically mailed 1-2 days after the admission decision is posted). Invitation status is not available online.

For information about prospective, transfer, and continuing students, visit our Admission page.

What is the Arts and Sciences Honors Program?

The Arts and Sciences Honors Program is an enrichment program for undergraduate students who would like to add something extra to their experience at CU Boulder. Everything our program offers is optional, which means that each student can make the Arts and Sciences Honors Program work for their individual needs.

Honors-qualified students can choose to:

Do I have to respond to the invitation?

Not at all! If you confirm that you'll be attending CU Boulder, you'll automatically be added to our list of students to contact about registering for honors courses.

I've been admitted and I didn't get an invitation, what can I do?

First, don't panic! For incoming first-year students, honors invitations are issued as part of the printed admission packet - you won't be able to see your honors status online. Once you've received your printed admission packet (admission packets are typically mailed 1-2 days after a student is admitted to CU Boulder) and confirmed that you were not invited, you're more than welcome to get in touch with us to request a personal review. Personal reviews are available from December 1st to May 1st. Please have your nine-digit CU Boulder Student ID number available when you contact us. Please do not send us transcripts or any other documents. The personal review and notification process take approximately ten to fourteen business days.

Transfer students: transfer students are not automatically invited into the Honors Program and we do not conduct personal reviews; transfer student eligibility during the first semester at CU-Boulder is solely based on a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 from a student's previous university. If you are a transfer student interested in taking an Honors Program course during your first semester here, you can contact our office when your enrollment window opens to discuss your options. Once you are established at CU Boulder you must maintain a GPA of 3.3 or higher to continue taking our courses.

I didn't apply for the Honors Program, why did I get an invitation?

Receiving an invitation into the Honors Program means that you were automatically selected by the Office of Admissions as an honors-qualified student. There is no separate application process.

The Office of Admissions automatically evaluates all students who are admitted into the College of Arts and Sciences. Generally, students in the top 10% of the incoming class are invited to participate in the Arts and Sciences Honors Program.

Do I have to take honors courses?

You do not have to take Honors Program courses, it's completely optional. But we're a great option! Our courses are limited to 17 honors-qualified students, which means that every student is essential to how the class functions. You'll get to know your peers as well as your professors, and it's a great way to start building friendships here at CU Boulder.

And in the future, as long as you maintain a 3.3 or higher, you are considered honors-qualified, which means you'll have access to our courses whenever you want. (The exception is the Honors Residential Academic Program, where taking a RAP class is part of the contract.)

Are Honors Program courses harder?

Our courses aren't necessarily harder - they're just different. Our classes, most of which fulfill some part of the Arts and Sciences Core Curriculum, are limited to 17 students. Students in our courses discuss, debate, and exchange ideas in ways that students in large lecture courses cannot. In most of our classes, students can expect to undertake more individual research, have some influence on the direction and topics of the course, and be counted on by the rest of the class for input. Arts and Sciences Honors courses are intellectual preparation not only for honors thesis research, but also for intellectual inquiry of any kind.

What kinds of courses does the Honors Program offer?

We offer a variety of courses that change every semester. Some of them are honors versions of courses you can take elsewhere on campus and some are uniquely ours. In addition, the majority of our courses fulfill some part of the Arts and Sciences Core Curriculum. While you won't be able to take most of your major-specific courses with us, our courses are a great way to help you fulfill your core requirements.

To see our current course offerings and their descriptions, check out our Courses page.

What will my schedule look like if I take honors courses?

Students typically take one honors class per semester. This lets students balance classes for their major(s), classes to fulfill their core requirements, and of course electives. Honors courses often count towards the Arts and Sciences Core, so our classes are a great way to fulfill core requirements in a small seminar environment.

Again, taking Honors Program courses is completely optional, and as long as you maintain a CU Boulder GPA of 3.3 or higher, you are considered honors-qualified, which means you have access to our courses whenever you want. (The exception is the Honors Residential Academic Program, where taking a RAP class is part of the contract.)

Are Honors Program courses right for me?

If you thrive in a small group environment, want to dig deeper into topics, and enjoy conversations with other talented students, then you could be a great fit for an Arts and Sciences honors course. Talk to your academic advisor for what courses may be right for you.

How many students are in the Honors Program?

Because we consider any continuing CU Boulder student (continuing meaning any student who has been here for more than one semester) with a GPA of 3.3 or higher to be honors-qualified, there is no set number. As long as a student maintains a GPA of 3.3 or higher, they are honors-qualified and have access to Honors Program opportunities.

Is there an honors dorm?

Yes. The Honors Residential Academic Program (Honors RAP), which is a subset of the Arts and Sciences Honors Program. Receiving an invitation into the Honors Program qualifies you to choose to apply to live in Smith Hall, home of the Honors RAP. You do not have to live in the Honors RAP to participate in the Arts and Sciences Honors Program.

Do I have to live in the Honors Residential Academic Program to be in the Honors Program?

You may live anywhere you choose and still participate in the Arts and Sciences Honors Program. We welcome all honors-qualified students regardless of where they live, with the sole exception of those honors students living in the Honors RAP (who take their honors courses in their dorm).

What is the difference between the Honors Program and the Honors Residential Academic Program?

The Arts and Sciences Honors Program offers courses to all honors-qualified undergraduates at CU Boulder (with the exception of students who live in the Honors RAP). The Honors Residential Academic Program is a RAP (Residential Academic Program) exclusively for honors-qualified students.

How do I register for an Honors Program course?

First-year students have multiple opportunities to register for our courses!

  1. Each June, we contact new first-year students who have confirmed that the'll be attending CU Boulder. In our survey, we ask you to choose four honors courses you'd be interested in taking, and once the survey closes, our staff enroll as many students as we can accommodate.
  2. Enrollment date windows. Every honors-qualified student (and their academic advisor) can drop or add open Arts and Sciences Honors Program courses during a student's enrollment date window.
  3. The open enrollment period. In mid-August, students will be able to make schedule adjustments before classes begin.
  4. After classes begin, students are also able to adjust their schedules.
Do I have to take Honors Program courses to graduate with honors?

No. Graduating with honors in the College of Arts and Sciences is only possible by writing and defending an honors thesis in your senior year. That's not something you need to worry about right now, but keep it in mind for the future!

Will I get an honors advisor?

There is no honors-specific advising for the Honors Program. Because we are an enrichment program and our courses aren't required or tied to any major requirements, there's no need for specialized advising. If you're interested in taking an honors course, your academic advisor will be able to help you integrate it into your schedule.

Does the Honors Program offer scholarships?

While the Honors Program is currently unable to offer funding to incoming students, students who qualify for the Honors Program are often qualified for scholarships; visit colorado.edu/scholarships for more information.

I am deferring my admission. Can I still be in the Honors Program when I come back?

Absolutely. Your invitation should carry over from the previous year.

How can I start getting involved with the Honors Program right now?

We're so excited that you're interested in the Honors Program! You can start getting to know us at the Honors Program blog, run by our Student Advisory Board, and by liking us on Facebook.

What are Honors Program students like?

Our students come from all majors in the College of Arts and Sciences, so we are made up of actors, scientists, economists, linguists, and more. Any Arts and Sciences discipline you name, there are honors-qualified students who are a part of it.

I want to graduate with honors. When do I start planning that?

To graduate with Latin honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude), a student in the College of Arts and Sciences must write and defend an honors thesis in their senior year. While it’s never too early to think about an honors thesis, you may want to take some time to get settled into being a college student before you take on that particular challenge.

Are there other honors options at CU Boulder?

Yes, and they're usually based out of a particular school or college on our campus. Popular options include the Engineering Honors Program, the Leeds Honors Program, and the CMCI Honors Program. If your college or school isn't listed here, ask them about any options they may offer.