Program Requirements

The Honors Program includes both academic and non-academic activities

The Honors Program requirements are designed to promote both professional and personal growth. They provide a loose framework in which you have a great deal of choice, so your honors experience can be tailored to your interests and fit easily in your degree program.

Incoming students are expected to complete at least 3 honors points in their discipline, at least 3 points in general education, and at least 9 additional honors points, for a total of at least 15 points. (What is an honors point? Click here.) Click on your entry term, below, to see your particular set of requirements.

Requirements for students who enter through the Internal Admission process are determined by their first full academic year in the program. For example, candidates accepted in the spring of 2022 are considered part of the cohort that enters in the 2022-2023 academic year.

Students complete the Honors Program by earning the equivalent of 15 credits of honors work, and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 by the time they graduate, in addition to annual complementary learning requirements. However, we use the word "points" instead of "credits" because there are ways to do honors-level work outside the classroom (see below).  Please make a note that we expect at least 1 point of Honors work each year.  Honors Achievements A and B are set in place for you and must be completed in a certain way. However, you have another 9 Points worth of Honors Achievements that can be filled in a combination of different options as is noted below:

  • Honors Achievement A: General Education (3 points)
    • Completion of the First-Year Honors Seminar or internal admission waiver
  • Honors Achievement B: Honors in the Discipline (3 points)
    Students in the Honors Program develop an extra layer of depth in their chosen fields by doing honors-level work in their home programs, accelerating themselves toward the frontiers of knowledge, culture, and technology while engaging in positive, collegial relationships with faculty mentors. This should be completed in your final two years in the Honors Program.

    Students can fulfill this requirement in several ways: 
    • Research in your discipline, supervised by a faculty mentor
    • Complete a graduate course in your discipline
      • Such a course must carry at least 3 credits, and cannot be on the list of excluded courses.
    • Complete an upper-division Honors Course in your program (3 or more credits)
    • Complete an Honors Option in an upper-division course in your program
      • Such a course must carry at least 3 credits and must be at the 300-level or above
      • You must give a public presentation or exhibition of your work, and produce a high-quality written report about it, approved by your faculty mentor as demonstrating the substance and quality expected of undergraduate, honors-level work in the discipline. Written reports that are otherwise unpublished will be posted at RIT Scholar Works.
  • Additional Honors Achievements (9 points) 
    Students can complete the rest of their Honors points in a number of ways. Students can complete any number of these options, provided that they earn a total of 9 Points from some combination of the below options. For more information, please click on the following links which contain information about the options:
    • Honors Courses
    • Honors Options (add-ons to standard courses)
    • Professional Experiences
      • Non-Required Co-ops & Internships
      • International Experiences
    • Research (once your Honors in Discipline has been completed)

Students complete the Honors Program by earning 15 points and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 by the time they graduate, in addition to annual complementary learning requirements. The points must be earned in the following way:

  • 3 POINTS: Completion of the First-Year Honors Seminar
  • 3 POINTS: Completion of Honors Research
  • 6 POINTS: 6 points can be earned in a number of ways depending on how you want to complete the program. For more information, please click on the following links which contain information about the options:
    • Honors Courses
    • Honors Options (Contract Courses)
    • Graduate Courses
    • Professional Experiences
      • International Experiences
      • Honors Leadership Trips with an Academic Component
      • Non-Required Co-ops & Internships
      • Research (only once your requirement has been completed)
  • 3 POINTS: Completion of the Honors Senior Seminar (or approved substitution)
  • Annual completion of 20 Complementary Learning Hours
  • Maintain a cumulative 3.5 GPA by graduation

Please download our full handbooks with more details about all requirements and policies for each entry term:

What is Complementary Learning?


Complementary Learning is about growth that happens through out-of-class experiences in leadership, service, volunteerism, and critical thinking. By participating in activities within the larger community, students integrate knowledge, practice problem-solving, exercise leadership skills, and develop the soft skills that are needed in their future careers.  

New students are asked to complete 15 hours in the first year. Returning students complete at least 20 hours each year.
 

See the requirements >


The deadline for complementary learning submissions for the 2022-2023 Academic Year is on Friday, January 13, 2023!

For December 2022 (2221) graduates, submissions are due on Friday, December 2, 2022.

Complementary Learning Testimonials