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A Brief Overview of the USU Honors Program


The Honors Program has many benefits for History students: it allows students to develop research projects with faculty members, it can help you prepare for (and get into) graduate school, it allows you to register for classes one week early, and it has a generous research fund for honors students to attend conferences or study abroad.


For a more detailed description of the Honors Program, please contact the Honors advisor for History, Dr. Susan O. Shapiro ( or visit the Honors website:


Honors students must earn at least 28 Honors points, as follows:

I. Honors Core Requirements: 9 points, typically begun in the 1st year

-At least one Honors Introductory Seminar (3 credits/points)

-Two additional Honors sections of introductory courses

II. Practical Application Requirements: 9 points, typically in the 2nd & 3rd years

All HPA (Honors Practical Application) work: 1) puts academic knowledge into practice; 2) involves projects completed outside the classroom; 3) is supervised by a faculty mentor; and 4) results in a tangible end product (poster, report, presentation, etc.).

Students may complete any combination of the following:

  1. Think Tank Collaborative Seminars (3 points each) that fulfill USU Gen Ed Depth requirements.
  2. Contracts with faculty members for academic work outside the classroom; 3 points each for approximately 20 hours of work.

This work can take many different forms: it may be part of a research project, an upper-division course (3000-level or above), an internship, a major grant application, a community service project, study abroad, or other approved work.

The Honors Contract does not need to be associated with an upper-division course; if is it associated with a course, however, the Contract needs to be submitted to the Departmental Honors Advisor by end of the 2nd week of class.

3. Honors Excel Graduate Courses (3 points) - undergraduate USU Honors students take approved graduate-level courses


III. Thesis/Capstone: 4 points completed in the final three semesters by taking the following two courses:

HONR 3900 - 1 credit/point - a pre-thesis seminar that results in a polished thesis/capstone proposal

HIST 4990 - 3 credits/points - results in a Senior Thesis/Capstone Project

IV. Community Engagement: 6 points for attending co-curricular activities.

Activities, such as lectures, discussions, films, concerts, and plays, are designed to enhance the students' academic program.

Students must attend and report on (in Canvas) at least three events per year, for a total of twelve. Students will earn .5 point for each activity they attend.