Undergraduate Honors Programs
Campuswide Honors Collegium
The Campuswide Honors Collegium is dedicated to promoting high standards of scholastic excellence and personal growth by combining the qualities and support of a liberal arts college with the resources and prestige offered by a major research university. The unique opportunities provided by the Campuswide Honors Collegium for students to learn and engage with other talented and motivated students and with faculty in a supportive learning community help students get the most out of their education, achieve ambitious goals, and prepare for future careers and graduate and professional school.
Special features of the Campuswide Honors Collegium include:
- A General Education curriculum designed especially for honors students and taught by leading faculty
- Undergraduate research under the mentorship of a member of the faculty
- Special activities involving faculty, visiting scholars, and community leaders
- Personalized one-on-one honors academic advising
- Academic workshops and social activities with peers
- Leadership and service activities
- Opportunities for professional development and mentorship
- Honors theme housing
- Four-year eligibility for on-campus housing
- Priority enrollment in courses
- Honors notation on the transcript and the diploma
- Campuswide Honors Alumni chapter
Additional information about opportunities for Campuswide Honors students, the honors curriculum, and admission to the Campuswide Honors Collegium is available on the Campuswide Honors Collegium website.
Requirements for completion
Successful completion of the Campuswide Honors Collegium requires that students take required honors courses, engage in faculty mentored research that culminates in an honors thesis or project, and fulfill Campuswide Honors Collegium GPA requirements. Specifically, students must meet/fulfill the following requirements in order to be certified as completing the Campuswide Honors Collegium:
- Enroll in a minimum of 12 graded units each quarter
- Achieve an overall GPA of 3.2 or above by graduation
- Complete required honors courses with a letter grade of C or better
- Complete two quarters of research and develop it into an approved honors thesis project
Campuswide Honors Collegium students must also meet various designated academic progress and advising requirements as appropriate.
How to join the Campuswide Honors Collegium
The Campuswide Honors Collegium seeks to admit students who have a demonstrated passion for learning, a willingness to explore and be challenged, and an interest in pursuing academic excellence in a range of disciplines outside of their major area. Incoming freshmen may be admitted to the Campuswide Honors Collegium upon entering the university on the basis of their UCI application. Incoming transfer students who have completed a community college honors program with a specific GPA may be eligible for special consideration for admission to the Campuswide Honors Collegium through the Honors to Honors Program agreement with the UCI Office of Admissions. Current UCI students may also apply to the Campuswide Honors Collegium after completion of at least one quarter at UCI with 12 or more graded units and a grade point average of 3.5 or better. The application is available via the Campuswide Honors Collegium website.
Campuswide Honors Collegium classes
The Campuswide Honors curriculum is designed to provide a comprehensive educational experience for students of all backgrounds and interests. It is composed of honors core courses and seminars in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences that build on each other, and which hone students’ writing, communication, and critical thinking skills. Students who take honors classes will learn deeply about a broad variety of topics and will develop transferable skills that will prepare them well for future careers as well as graduate and professional school. Most Campuswide Honors students complete 3-9 honors courses, depending on major. Current Campuswide Honors students should contact an honors advisor for more information about their specific honors curriculum requirement.
Campuswide Honors Collegium research and thesis project
Honors research provides important preparation for life after college. Students who complete honors research and a culminating research project will have practical experience in their field that demonstrates their ability to take initiative, work independently and as part of a team, solve problems, and communicate professionally. Campuswide Honors students are also strongly encouraged to participate in major-specific and school honors programs. Research and thesis projects completed by Campuswide Honors students in major-specific or school honors programs can meet the requirements of both their major-specific or school honors program and the Campuswide Honors Collegium. Additional research and thesis support is provided by the Campuswide Honors faculty and staff, major-specific and school honors faculty, and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
UCI offers many challenging and enriching honors opportunities to its most accomplished and motivated students. These include the comprehensive Campuswide Honors Collegium, which enrolls outstanding students of all majors from the freshman through senior years, including transfer students; a variety of major-specific honors programs at the upper-division level; the Humanities Honors Program, also offered at the upper-division level, but open to all majors on campus; and several Excellence in Research programs.
These programs offer some of the advantages usually associated with selective liberal arts colleges: rigorous, personalized classes and the intellectual exchange that creates a community of scholars. The difference, however, is that UCI’s programs are supported by and benefit from the resources of a major research university, including renowned faculty, research opportunities, and the 40.8-million-print volume University of California Library system.
Honors students enhance their education by participating in the UC Education Abroad Program, the International Opportunities Program, and the Capital Internship Program. Qualified honors students are also encouraged to take advantage of resources available through the Scholarship Opportunities Program and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. These programs are also described in other sections of this Catalogue.
Honors programs for qualified junior- and senior-level students also are available to Drama, Music, and Art majors in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, and to all qualified junior- and senior-level majors in the following Schools: School of Biological Sciences, Humanities, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Ecology, and Social Sciences; and to qualified junior- and senior-level majors in the Program in Public Health. The focal point of each of these programs is the development of analytical and research skills through the pursuit of research under faculty supervision. An honors-level thesis or creative project is required by most of the programs. Campuswide Honors Collegium students are encouraged to participate in these programs as well as in the Collegium. The honors thesis or creative project that is developed through these programs by Campuswide Honors students also satisfies the Campuswide Honors Collegium research and thesis requirement. Additional information is available in the specific academic unit sections of this Catalogue.
The School of Biological Sciences and the School of Social Ecology offer students the opportunity to pursue research through their Excellence in Research Programs. Students work on their research projects under faculty supervision and have the opportunity to present their results to peers and faculty and, in certain instances, to have their research papers published. Additional information is available in the specific academic unit sections of this Catalogue.
Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most respected undergraduate honor society in the United States. It supports and recognizes academic excellence and scholarly achievement in the liberal arts and sciences, and promotes the principles of freedom of inquiry and liberty of thought and expression. UC Irvine’s Phi Beta Kappa Chapter (Mu of California) was founded in 1974. Phi Beta Kappa is UCI’s most selective honor society, with only 5 percent of graduating seniors and 1 percent of juniors invited to become members each year. An annual initiation ceremony for new members is held in June. For additional information, including selection criteria, visit the Phi Beta Kappa website.
Students who graduate during the academic year with academic honors, and those who receive special school awards, are honored in school-based ceremonies. Some honors societies may also hold special ceremonies for selected students. Of the graduating seniors, no more than 16 percent will receive academic honors: approximately 2 percent summa cum laude, 4 percent magna cum laude, and 10 percent cum laude. The criteria used in selecting candidates for these honors are available at the counseling office of each school. One general criterion is that students must have completed at least 72 quarter units in residence at a University of California campus. The student’s cumulative record at the end of the final quarter is the basis for consideration for awarding Latin Honors. Students who have on file recorded acts of academic dishonesty, as defined in University of California Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students, may be excluded by the Associate Deans from consideration for academic honors at graduation. For further information contact the academic counseling office of each school.
Of the graduating seniors, no more than 16 percent will receive academic honors: approximately 2 percent summa cum laude, 4 percent magna cum laude, and 10 percent cum laude. The criteria used by each School in selecting candidates for these honors are included in each School’s section of the Catalogue. A general criterion is that students must have completed at least 72 units in residence at a University of California campus. The student’s cumulative record at the end of the final quarter is the basis for consideration for awarding Latin Honors.