The Honors College curriculum comprises four distinct categories — Foundations, Lower-Level Honors Coursework, Upper-Level Honors Seminars, and Experiential and Advanced Learning.

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Honors Requirements

Students joining the Honors College as incoming freshmen generally complete 24 units of Honors requirements to earn the University Scholars citation. Transfer students and incoming freshmen may complete fewer units, based on the number of credits transfered in and the student's academic standing at the time of admission to Honors.

A single Honors course may only fulfill one Honors requirement at a time, but may simultaneously count toward an Honors requirement in addition to a Core Curriculum requirement, a major requirement or both.

Admission in the First Year of Undergraduate Study

Students in this category must complete a total of 24 units of Honors College courses:

  • 6 units of Foundations courses
  • 6 units of Lower-Level Honors Coursework
  • 6 units of Upper-Level Honors Seminars
  • 6 units of Experiential and Advanced Learning

Admission with 30–59 Undergraduate Credits

Students in this category may be exempt from Honors requirements based on transfer credit received for the Core Curriculum Towson Seminar or Core Curriculum English Composition requirements. Students who have satisfied their Core Curriculum requirements for either category through transfer credit are exempted from Honors Towson Seminar or Honors English, respectively. Students who have satisfied both Core Curriculum categories through transfer credits have their Honors English requirement waived and their Honors Towson Seminar requirement replaced with an additional Lower-Level Honors Coursework requirement. In all of the above cases, a student must complete a total of 21 Honors units:

  • 3 units of Foundations courses (or an additional Lower-Level Honors Course)
  • 6 units of Lower-Level Honors Coursework
  • 6 units of Upper-Level Honors Seminar
  • 6 units of Experiential and Advanced Learning

Admission with 60 or More Credits

Students in this category are are exempt from the Foundations requirement (only if both the Core Curriculum Towson Seminar and English Composition categories have been satisfied with transfer credits) and 3 units of Lower-Level Honors Coursework. These students must complete a total of 15 Honors units:

  • 3 units of Lower-Level Honors Coursework
  • 6 units of Upper-Level Honors Seminars
  • 6 units of Experiential and Advanced Learning

Requirements of All Honors Students:

  • Make satisfactory progress towards the completion of their Honors requirements (based on the time of entry in the Honors College). Students should complete a minimum of 6 Honors units per year.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, and a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 for seniors. Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 at the time of graduation in order to graduate from Honors.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in courses taken for Honors credit.
  • Complete all Honors courses with a grade (the "pass grading" option may not be used for Honors courses).

Concerns about your Honors status?

If you're concerned about your Honors standing due to GPA, course completion, or any other reason, please to set up an appointment with your Honors advisor.

How Will I Complete the Honors Curriculum?

Foundations (6 units)

This requirement consists of Honors English and Honors Towson Seminar.

The Honors English requirement may be fulfilled by completing either:

  • ENGL 190: Honors Writing Seminar
  • ENGL 290: Honors Seminar in Literature (if a student has existing credit for ENGL 102)

The Honors Towson Seminar requirement must be fulfilled by completing TSEM 190: Honors Towson Seminar.

Lower-Level Honors Coursework (6 units)

This requirement may be fulfilled by taking Honors enhanced courses (Honors versions of existing courses, such as Honors Introduction to Psychology, Honors Acting I, etc.), 200-level Honors seminars such as HONR 235 or HONR 240, or any Honors course that could also fulfill the Upper-Level Honors Seminar requirement. First-year students with more than 30 credited units upon arrival and with Core Curriculum credit in English will take ENGL 290 to meet one lower-level course requirement. Students who have fulfilled their Honors English requirement at Towson may also take ENGL 290 towards lower-level coursework requirements. All 200-level seminars may be repeated for a maximum of 6 units of credit toward Honors College requirements if topics change. ENGL 290 can only be taken twice with different topics, whether for seminar credit, Honors English credit, or some combination thereof.


Upper-Level Honors Seminars (6 units)

Honors College seminars are specialized courses with topics that vary each semester. Some seminars may fulfill Core Curriculum requirements and/or major requirements. Students may take special topics upper-level seminars like HONR 345 or HONR 370 multiple times to count toward these requirements, as long as the student does not repeat a course with the same topic. All approved Honors courses at the 300- or 400-level count as Upper-Level Honors Seminars, even those not listed under the HONR departmental code (such as ENGL 332: Honors Writing Fiction and KNES 354: Honors Sport and Society).


Experiential and Advanced Learning (6 units)

Each student must complete an additional 6 Honors units toward Honors College course requirements in the Experiential and Advanced Learning category. All options except for Upper-Level Honors Seminars require advance approval of the Faculty Director and the submission of all required paperwork prior to the start of that credit option. Syllabi and other details are available at the Forms, Syllabi & Online Resources page. The following types of work can count toward this category:


  • Capstone projects
  • Departmental Honors
  • Directed Readings
  • Independent Study/Independent Investigation
  • Internships
  • Study Abroad
  • Thesis projects
  • Service-Learning courses
  • Additional Upper-Level Honors Seminars
  • Accelerated Graduate Courses

Honors Capstone

Honors capstone options are available for students in select majors. The Honors capstone allows students to complete the Honors experiential and advance learning requirement as part of their major requirements, much like a department honors program. Honors capstones give students flexibility in designing a final Honors experience that relates to their interests and career goals.

Honors capstones result in a significant piece of writing and a public presentation of the work, and can range from the traditional thesis to a field experience. Students should contact the following faculty if they are interested in the Honors capstone:

Please consult these resources for more information about the Honors College curriculum: