General Honors research is designed to demonstrate a College of Arts and Sciences student's ability to conduct creative or scholarly research of a broad interdisciplinary nature. If you are writing a thesis within a major (Departmental Honors), the information on this page is not relevant. The Honors Program recommends that you begin the process for General Honors during your Junior year in order to fulfill all requirements. 

Eligibility criteria for students wishing to pursue General Honors:

  • You must be a student in the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • You must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher.
  • You must have completed or be able to complete the General Honors Core (see below).  Please keep in mind that you can only take one Honors course per semester.
  • Your thesis project idea must be interdisciplinary.

Note for Distributed Studies students: students pursuing a Distributed Studies degree may choose to apply to complete a General Honors thesis project or select an appropriate topic in one of their participating departments (contingent on departmental approval). Any honors designation earned would be attached to the Distributed Studies degree.

Interested in General Honors? Download and read our Guide to Writing a General Honors Thesis.

Getting Started

1. Have an interdisciplinary thesis idea in mind.

Along with your idea, which must be interdisciplinary (substantive engagement with at least two disciplines), you should also try to have one or more members of the CU Boulder faculty lined up as potential members of your thesis committee. Refer to the main Latin Honors page for faculty eligibility requirements. If you'd like to see examples of previous General Honors theses, visit the Undergraduate Honors Theses Repository on CU Scholar and search for the keywords "general honors" (in quotes).

2. Determine your eligibility.

The General Honors Core
There are four areas of the General Honors Core: Humanities, Social Science, Natural Science and the Senior Seminar. To be eligible for General Honors, students must complete at least 4 classes/12 credits of Honors Program/Honors RAP courses with a grade of A or B. This coursework must include one course from each area of the General Honors Core.

How to know which courses count toward the General Honors Core:

  • On transcripts, Honors Program/Honors RAP courses are marked "Arts & Sciences Honors Course." Courses without this marking are not Honors Program/Honors RAP courses and cannot be used to fulfill the General Honors Core.
  • On the BuffPortal, Honors Program/Honors RAP courses will have the section numbers 880-889/888-890R. Courses without these section numbers are not Honors Program/Honors RAP courses and cannot be used to fulfill the General Honors Core.
  • Honors courses offered by departments do not fulfill the General Honors Core.
  • Honors courses taken at another university do not fulfill the General Honors Core.

3. Obtain General Honors project approval.

All General Honors projects must be approved by the Director of the Honors Program. Once you have completed the General Honors Eligibility Worksheet, contact the Director of the Honors Program to set up a meeting to discuss your project proposal. When you meet with the director, bring your unofficial transcript and completed General Honors Eligibility Worksheet to the meeting, as well as a brief written description of your thesis proposal, and a short bibliography of works you've consulted so far. Be prepared to talk about your project and how you plan to complete it.

If your project is approved, your committee must contain an Honors Council representative from the Honors Program faculty (Kate Fischer, Alison Hatch, Abby Hickcox, Jenny Schwartz). This faculty member will function as a co-advisor whose main job will be to ensure your project remains interdisciplinary.

4. Register your thesis project.

Now that your project has been approved, you can register online and begin your research. You also have the option to receive General Honors research and writing credit by taking HONR 4959: Honors Thesis. If you are writing a General Honors thesis and are interested in HONR 4959: Honors Thesis research and writing credit, please have your thesis advisor email the Honors Program to make the request.  You cannot enroll yourself into this class.