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Honors Eligibility and Graduation Requirements


The Fishback Honors College has automatic eligibility criteria for incoming students. Any student who meets at least one of the automatic eligibility criteria does not need to fill out a separate application to join the Honors College.

First-time college students are considered automatically Honors eligible if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • ACT score of 27 or higher
  • SAT score of 1280 or higher
  • 3.7 or higher high school GPA

Current SDSU students or transfer students are considered automatically eligible to join the Honors College if they have a cumulative 3.2 GPA in their college coursework.

Students who do not meet one of the automatic eligibility criteria but who are interested in joining the Honors College are invited to fill out the application linked below.

Honors College Application 

Graduation Requirements

Honors students complete 24 credits of Honors coursework along with the requirements for their major(s). Most of the Honors credits are taken in place of (or along with) courses that are already required for the student's major. At most, students will enroll in an additional three to six credits over their entire undergraduate experience to complete the Honors requirements.

The 24 credits of Honors coursework must include at least three credits of Honors Colloquium or study abroad and at least two credits of Honors capstone. The remaining 19 credits can come from any honors coursework or experience. The options for earning Honors credit are outlined below.

Students can enroll in Honors sections of 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. 

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 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.

All Honors students complete at least one Honors Colloquium or study abroad course.

The Colloquium is an exciting, multidisciplinary course focused on teaching material that is both relevant and contemporary. Topics vary from semester to semester, and recent examples have included: Current and Future Issues in Healthcare, Mathematics and the Arts, Sport and Globalization and The Work of Creativity.

Students also have the option to participate in an Honors study abroad experience. Typically, students enroll in a spring course followed by a two-week travel opportunity in the summer. Past study abroad locations have included Indonesia, The Netherlands and Belgium and Ireland.

All students complete an Honors capstone project--often in conjunction with the capstone project for their major. Depending on their interests, students conduct original research, generate creative work, or focus on applied projects in their discipline or community under the direction of a faculty mentor. The project is accompanied by a final paper and a presentation of the work in a public venue. Presentations can be done on campus or at a regional or national conference, and many students go on to publish their capstone papers in academic journals or campus publications. 

Students can earn up to six credits toward their Honors graduation requirements from experiential learning credits including:

  • Graduate-level coursework 
  • Non-Honors study abroad
  • Internship
  • Non-Honors teaching assistant/research assistant credit
  • Student teaching/practicum

Most of these options will include an additional assignment that incorporates the Honors values.

Students can earn up to six credits toward their Honors graduation requirements from Honors enrichment opportunities including:

  • Honors program participation
  • Honors organization leadership
  • Honors teaching assistant
  • Honors conference attendance/participation

Students who would like to earn credit from any of these options will register for a credit of HON 495 to accompany the experience.

Students who complete the Honors curriculum 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.