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Honors Eligibility and Graduation Requirements


Incoming students are considered automatically Honors eligible if they meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • ACT score of 27 or higher
  • SAT score of 1280 or higher
  • Top 10% of their graduating class

Current SDSU students or transfer students are also considered automatically eligible to join the Honors College if they have a cumulative 3.0 GPA in their college coursework.

Students who do not meet the automatic eligibility criteria but who are interested and motivated to pursue the Honors curriculum are encouraged to contact the Honors College to discuss their options.

If you don’t meet the initial requirements but think Honors is right for you please email us! 

Graduation Requirements

General Education (12 credits)

Students enroll in Honors sections of general education courses needed for university and/or major/minor requirements. These Honors sections feature smaller classes, outstanding faculty, more in-depth discussion and hands-on activities. All these factors contribute to a more engaging learning environment for Honors students. AP exam scores of 5 may also be counted toward Honors general education (up to 6 credits).

Upper-Division Honors Contract (3 credits)

Students are given the opportunity to delve deeper into a course with an Honors contract. This involves the student working with a faculty member in a non-Honors section of a 300-400 level course on a supplemental project that allows the student to engage more with the course material. This is a great opportunity for students to learn more about a subject matter they are particularly passionate about. Once the contract is completed, the student earns Honors credit for the course.

Honors Colloquium (3 credits) 

The colloquium is an exciting, multidisciplinary course focused on teaching material that is both relevant and contemporary. Topics vary from semester to semester, and the purpose of the course is to emphasize higher-order thinking skills, as well as oral and written communication skills. Recent examples of Colloquium topics include: Current and Future Issues in Healthcare, Mathematics and the Arts, Media and the Election and The Work of Creativity. Participating in an Honors study abroad experience also fulfills the Colloquium requirement. 

Additional Upper-Division Honors Coursework (3 credits)

Students can choose to complete an additional upper-division contract, take a second Honors Colloquium, enroll in Honors undergraduate teaching assistant credits or complete a second independent study project to fulfill their remaining upper-division Honors credits.

Independent Study (3 credits)

Students conduct original research, creative work or scholarly activity under the direction of a faculty mentor to fulfill the independent study requirement. The project is accompanied by an academic paper and a presentation of the research or creative work in a public venue. Presentations can be done at a regional or national conference or here on campus at the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Day (URSCAD) and many students go on to publish their independent study papers in academic journals or campus publications. Many Honors graduates cite the independent study as their most rewarding academic experience at college.


Students who complete the above criteria and earn a 3.5 cumulative grade point average will graduate with Fishback Honors College distinction. This distinction appears on the student's transcript and diploma and is acknowledged during a special Honors Medallion Ceremony prior to Commencement.

Progression Standards

Students enrolled in SDSU’s Honors College are granted priority registration if they are meeting the established Honors progression standards. This privilege is provided to allow students to meet the academic requirements of their major while also fulfilling unique scheduling demands associated with graduating with Honors College distinction. Priority registration is intended only for students who are committed to pursuing graduation with Honors College distinction.

Eligibility for priority registration will be based on the following progression standards:

  1. Students must have an Honors Continued Enrollment Form on file in order to be eligible for priority registration. The Continuing Enrollment Form will be available to you once you arrive on campus. 
  2. Honors credit and GPA requirements are as follows:
Current Semester*Honors credit requirementGPA Requirement
1stEnrolled in the Honors Orientation (HON 100) courseN/A
2ndCompleted at least 3 Honors creditsMinimum GPA 3.2
3rdCompleted at least 6 Honors creditsMinimum GPA 3.3
4thCompleted at least 9 Honors creditsMinimum GPA 3.3
5thCompleted at least 12 Honors creditsMinimum GPA 3.4
6thCompleted at least 15 Honors creditsMinimum GPA 3.4
7thCompleted at least 18 Honors creditsMinimum GPA 3.5
8thCompleted at least 21 Honors creditsMinimum GPA 3.5
9th (and on)Completed at least 24 Honors creditsMinimum GPA 3.5

*Current Semester refers only to fall and spring semesters. Summers are excluded.

Students intending to pursue graduation with Honors College distinction complete and submit the Honors Continuing Enrollment Form during their first semester on campus. Honors students are then assigned an adviser from the Honors College who will monitor their progress toward the requirements for graduation with Fishback Honors College distinction. Those who meet Honors College progression standards each semester are also eligible for priority registration.