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Welcome to the IUPUI Honors College!

The IUPUI Undergraduate Honors Program: Philosophy and Requirements

The IUPUI Undergraduate Honors Program, housed in University College, challenges students to strengthen and enrich their university education. The program raises student academic achievement and increases intellectual vitality throughout the campus, the Indianapolis community, the state, and beyond. The Honors Program accomplishes this by being highly inclusive and offering students a number of different access points. Unlike most traditional honors programs, IUPUI's program accommodates the educational needs of beginning traditional and nontraditional students, returning students, and part-time students, while consistently maintaining an emphasis on academic excellence.

Honors Students and Bachelor's Degrees

The Honors Program offers students the opportunity not only to take honors courses, but also to earn honors credit that can lead to completing their degree "with honors." Completion of the Honors Notation signifies that the student has performed at an exceptional level and has been exposed to the principles of undergraduate learning as well as to interdisciplinary course work.

Students may earn a General Honors Notation by completing the following prescribed program of honors study. This notation signifies that the student has performed in an outstanding manner across a broad spectrum of study in diverse fields of the arts and sciences. When successfully completed, the General Honors Notation is listed on the student's IUPUI transcript. Students who graduate with a degree from Indiana University may have the notation also listed on their diploma. Purdue University does not provide this option on its diplomas.
Requirements to graduate with the General Honors Notation, students must:  
Complete 18 credit hours of honors credits:

  • 9 credit hours must be completed in regular Honors course work.  
  • The remaining 9 credit hours may be completed with some combination of course work,  independent research, culture studies, etc., as noted under "Credit Options" below.

Maintain the following grade requirements:

  • A GPA of 3.3 in all university course work completed. 
  • A GPA of 3.3 in all Honors course work completed.
  • To count for credit toward the Honors Notation, a grade of B or higher must be obtained in the course (i.e., courses in which a grade of B- or lower is received will not count toward the 18 hour credit requirement).
  • Submit an Application for Honors Notation by the second week of the semester in which the student will graduate.
Credit Options

Honors courses form the common academic core.

  • A minimum of 9 credit hours are required.  
  • Choose from honors-designated courses (H399, H499) and other honors-approved courses (e.g., "S" prefix courses).

"H" Option courses enable students to design an Honors experience in selected courses with individual faculty.

  • Up to 9 credit hours of H Option credit will count toward the notation.  
  • Application for "H" Option credit is required after consultation with the course instructor.

Research course work provides students with valuable research experience as well as excellent preparation for graduate or professional study.

  • Up to 6 crredit hours of H399 Honors Independent Research will count toward the notation.
  • Up to 6 credit hours of H499 Honors Senior Thesis/Project will count toward the notation.  
  • Students normally pursue a research emphasis that is related to their chosen major or that may serve as their capstone experience.
  • Students may receive financial support through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

Graduate course work enables students to become familiar with graduate education while delving further into their major field.

  • Up to 6 credit hours of approved graduate course work will count toward the notation.

Community service offers valuable professional experience and enables students to give back to communities while examining how their academic programs intersect with the world at large.

  • Up to 3 hours of community service "equivalent credits"* will count toward the notation.
  • For each 30 hours of approved service, students will earn 1 "credit equivalent" upon completion of a six- to ten-page reflection paper on the significance of this service to their academic growth.
  • Service learning course work is also available under regularly offered Honors Courses.

International Experiences and Culture Studies develop informed, empathic, and globally experienced leaders.

  • Up to 6 credits will count toward the notation for participation in an approved study abroad program.  
  • Three "equivalent credits"* can be earned by completing four semesters of a foreign language (including American Sign Language).  
  • Three "equivalent credits"* can be earned by completing two semesters of non-Hhonors courses that focus on cultures other than those of Western Europe. Courses may be selected from a list of qualified courses available online or in the Honors Program Office. Students must choose two courses in the same cultural sphere. Note: Courses used in this way may not be double-counted for another Honors category.

*‑Equivalent credits are not counted toward official degree requirements but are granted toward qualification for the General Honors Notation. They are internal to the Honors Program only and are not included in official credit hour calculations by the Office of the Registrar.

Honors Associate Notation

Candidates for the Honors Associate Notation must complete the 9 credit hours of Honors work as outlined above.  Six of these credit hours should be in Honors-designated courses. Students must also complete all regular associate degree requirements with a minimum overall GPA of 3.3 and at least a 3.3 GPA in honors courses.

Departmental or School Honors Programs

In addition to the General Honors Program that is open to all qualified students, there are currently honors programs in nine departments, each with its own requirements: Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Communication Studies, French, Geology, German, Philosophy, Political Science, and Psychology. Honors degrees also are offered by the Kelley School of Business, the School of Nursing, and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. For information on the requirements for these programs, see each school's section in this bulletin.