Honors: Graduation



Students who successfully complete the Program requirements listed below will graduate with Honors Distinction, with a special notation on their transcripts and recognition at graduation.  The requirements are as follows:

  • BYUH 3.5 cumulative GPA
  • 7 Honors Classes
  • At least 4 semesters of Honors Colloquia
  • Honors Senior Project
  • Honors Service Project

Most of the Honors classes fulfill General Education requirements, so participation in the Program should not interfere with or delay graduation.  Reductions in the number of required classes are made for transfer students, depending on their previous work.

Print out a copy of our University Honors Program requirements here.


Your senior project should be a culminating effort that reflects your finest intellectual and creative abilities and is presentation worthy.  It should be started and completed during your senior year and be guided by a faculty mentor selected (usually) from the Honors faculty.

Integrating your senior project with your service effort has rich potential and is always encouraged.

The following are several possibilities for your senior project:

1.    Expanded Senior Thesis
      For those of you in majors requiring a senior thesis, you may expand the thesis, giving to it additional depth and/or breadth.  Your proposal must outline the specific ways your thesis will be enhanced by its Honors component and must include the approval signature of your major thesis advisor.  Members of the Honors faculty and senior Honors students should be invited to the paper’s presentation.

2.    New Angle/Senior Thesis or Previous Paper
      You may draw upon the research done for a previous paper, such as your senior thesis, to develop a new angle on the same subject (20-40 pages).  Your proposal must detail how the paper will utilize previous effort and then how it will go beyond to explore/establish a new premise.  Your proposal must include the approval signature of your selected advisor, which may or may not be the professor with whom the original paper was written.

3.    Original Research Paper

      This option allows you to research and write about a subject of considerable interest to your, within or beyond your chosen field of study but one on which you have done no previous work.  You may approach this in the traditional research/bibliography way or as a fieldwork project, or a mixture of the two.  Your final paper should be approximately 20-30 pages.

4.    Creative Project

      The creative project option is intended particularly (but not exclusively) for those of you in the Fine Arts area.  Design a project that in some way differs from or exceeds (yet of course draws upon) your previous creative experiences.  Include signature of your advisor selected from the area related to your artistic/creative endeavor.

5.    Personal Narrative

      Here is an opportunity to write a personal narrative in which you trace your own intellectual journey, the life of one mind—yours.  Consider key learning experiences and challenges, books, culture, (classical, popular, ethnic), all that went into the kind of thinker and learner you are today.  Integrate specific titles of art, literature, music, history, philosophy (etc.) and their creators into your essay, as well as a number of quotations.  Contemplate your future.  Your final work should fall somewhere between 15-30 pages.  Write first for yourself, but write also for an audience of intelligent, interested people, some who know you, some who do not.  Edit and proofread relentlessly.

      If you select the narrative as your senior academic project, the Honors Director will be your primary advisor and reader.  You should select one additional faculty member to read and approve the final draft.  The signature of that individual should be included in your proposal.

6.    Other/Your Design

      Talk to the Honors Director and discuss your idea.  Then, write a proposal.

Proposal guidelines for Senior Project:

Submit a written proposal in which you include:

  1. Project Description: Indicate whether your project has an academic or creative focus. If academic, include the thesis question/supporting questions you will seek to answer.  If creative, articulate your guiding objective(s).
  2. Reason for selecting project
  3. Intended audience
  4. Useful purpose project will serve (or contribution to field of knowledge)
  5. Types of sources/materials to be used
  6. Bibliography of at least 10 sources
  7. Projected date of draft completion*
  8. Projected date of project completion*
  9. Venue for public presentation or display (if relevant)
  10. Signature lines for you, your faculty advisor, and Honors Director (submit to director with student and faculty signatures)

*June Graduation: Polished Draft no later than May 25.  Final Draft no later than June 12.
December Graduation: Polished Draft no later than Nov. 25.  Final Draft no later than December 10.


Design a project that can be completed in approximately 15 hours, has a potentially lasting benefit, and in some way improves the quality of life of the recipient(s).  You may work individually or in cooperation with others.  You may also integrate your service project with your senior academic project.

The service project can be completed during the junior or senior year.

Meet with the Honors Director to obtain approval for your project.

At completion of your project, submit a 1-2 page Project Report which includes:

  1. Project Description
  2. Potential Benefits and Beneficiaries
  3. Your Assessment

*Latest date for project completion and report is June 12 for June graduation and December 10 for December graduation.


This is an action of last resort and is designed only for those who have attempted first to fill their Honors requirements from the pool of designated Honors courses.  If you reach your senior level and need one additional Honors course, you may discuss with the director possibilities for a course substitution.

One form of substitution entails incorporation of an Honors component into a regular course.  The following action is required of the student seeking the substitution:

  1. Discuss feasibility with the Honors Director
  2. Seek verbal consent of the course professor
  3. Write a proposal which describes the honors component and details your responsibilities
  4. Obtain signatures of the course professor, yourself, and Honors Director
  5. Distribute copies of the signed proposal to the professor and director and keep one for yourself

A second form of substitution entails a self-designed course using one of the Honors Program’s Master Teacher lecture series (video).  Particulars for this substitution approach will be worked out between the student and the Honors Director.