May 17, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

University Honors Program

Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Studies: Kerry Johnson

Interim Director: Dr. Bonnie Gasior

The University Honors Program provides high-achieving students with a unique educational experience through a commitment to academic excellence and undergraduate research,  mentorship and professionalism, and meaningful civic engagement both on campus and in local and global communities. These opportunities are supported by a close-knit community of scholars, faculty and staff to ensure students are thoughtfully and rigorously prepared for leadership roles, whether in the pursuit of advanced graduate degrees, and/or in personal and professional pathways in local and global settings. Honors students are eligible for merit-based financial support from President’s Scholarships, and receive valuable benefits such as priority registration, small classes, individualized academic advising, and undergraduate research experiences.

University Honors Program offers students the best of a small college experience alongside the opportunities afforded by a comprehensive university setting. Students will be fully immersed in the learning process and therefore must have both the ability and willingness to do intense and often self-directed intellectual work as well as a desire to make the most of all opportunities available at and beyond the University. Students will be prepared to lead their communities with intellectual rigor, transformative vision, and global acumen. Students are expected to make a sustained commitment to excellence.

The University Honors Program offers a special approach to the General Education requirements of the University through a cohesive and unified program of study. The program consists of carefully selected courses and specially designed, multi-disciplinary seminars, most of which are applied toward the 48 units of General Education courses required for graduation of all students.

Program Requirements

Honors Plan I and II students must complete all respective plan requirements, all University-wide graduation requirements, and the requirements for their major. Honors is itself not a major.

  1. Honors Plan I (minimum of 21 lower- and upper division units) is designed for entering freshmen and consists of a minimum of 15 units of lower- and upper division General Education, major, and/or elective Honors courses and a culminating 6-unit senior thesis/project ( UHP 496 - Research Participation - Honors, and  UHP 498 - Senior Thesis/Project - Honors).
  2. Honors Plan II (minimum of 15 upper-division units) is primarily designed for upper-division transfers from community colleges and continuing CSULB students. Honors Plan II consists of a minimum of 9 units of upper division  General Education, major, and/or elective Honors courses and a culminating 6-unit senior thesis/project ( UHP 496 - Research Participation - Honors, and UHP 498 - Senior Thesis/Project - Honors).

In addition to completing the number of academic units required for Honors Plan I or II, a student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher in Honors and in all University courses attempted to earn an Honors Certificate. Students who fall below these required minimums are placed on Honors Probation until they have regained a GPA of 3.00 or higher in all GPA calculations. Additionally, students who have failed to enroll in courses for Honors credit for two consecutive semesters are not considered in good standing and will normally be withdrawn from the Program. Demonstrated lack of engagement in the CSULB Honors community or dishonest behavior/plagiarism are also grounds for dismissal from the University Honors Program.

Admissions Requirements

Detailed application guidelines can be found on the website of the University Honors Program at

Incoming first-year students are invited to apply to Honors Plan I (see website above for detailed admissions criteria). Normally, students should be in the upper ten percent of their high school classes, and have an ACT composite score of at least 24, and/or strong SAT scores, and a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Even if not all criteria are met, under special circumstances, applicants may be evaluated for admissions consideration by the Honors Program Director and Honors Council.

Any continuing student who maintains a 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA at California State University, Long Beach and can accommodate 15 units of upper-division Honors coursework into his/her graduation timeline is eligible to apply to Honors II. CSULB students not meeting the designated criteria may petition for admission. These exceptional cases will be reviewed by the Director and the University Honors Program. Students are encouraged to petition if they have a good explanation for not meeting the basic requirements and/or a strong motivation to participate in the Program.

Transfer students may apply to Honors Plan II, provided they have a minimum equivalent of a 3.5 GPA in all coursework at the accredited institution from which they are transferring. Where University Honors transfer agreements have been negotiated with a community college (such as with Long Beach City College), the terms and conditions of these agreements govern admission to the CSULB University Honors Program.

Please be advised that the University Honors Program offers a distinct Engineering Honors option for students pursuing a major in Engineering. These students must meet specific application criteria and procedures that are outlined on the website indicated above. Admitted Engineering students follow the general requirements of Honors Plan I or II.

Honors in the Major (available in select majors only)

Honors in the Major is distinct from the University Honors Program. Select CSULB majors provide students with an option to pursue Honors in the Major. Although Honors in the Major requirements may vary among departments, usually they entail independent study, seminar courses, high levels of performance, and senior projects or theses culminating in a broad knowledge of subject matter. Information concerning Honors in the Major is available in participating departmental offices.

Admission Requirements

Please contact the department office for information regarding admission. Normally, a student must be a declared major, usually with at least sophomore (30 units) standing.

For a list of University Honors courses, please see “Courses”.