Academic Catalog

Honors College Programs

University-wide Honors Curricula

Honors curricula are designed to meet the needs of highly motivated students who want to be challenged to reach their full potential. Honors courses are of four kinds: regular courses with Honors designated sections; Honors courses offered under various departmental subject areas (for a list of these see below); Honors College courses offered under the HON subject area code; and, regular courses taken as Honors-level course work by individual students (see below under Honors-Option Course Work).

Many Honors courses fulfill University General Education requirements. There are no maximum credit restrictions on the number of Honors credits applicable towards graduation. Completion of any Honors course leads to Honors-designated transcript notation for the course.

Students whose cumulative grade point average (g.p.a.) is at least 3.3, but who are not formally admitted to the Honors College, are eligible to elect Honors courses to enrich their educational experiences. Such requests should be directed via e-mail to

Students who are invited into the Honors College as incoming first-year students are expected to pursue University Honors, with the option of Departmental Honors in their major as well. Students who are accepted to the Honors College as current Wayne State University students or as transfer students are invited to pursue Departmental Honors and/or University Honors.


There are three pathways into the Honors College:

  • Incoming first-year students are considered for the Honors College during the regular Wayne State admission process based on their high school GPA and SAT/ACT score; there is no separate application. The selected students are invited to pursue University Honors; they may also later pursue Departmental Honors.
  • Transfer students are invited to join Honors based on cumulative GPA and transferable credits from their previous institution. The selected students may pursue Departmental and/or University Honors.
  • Current Wayne State students with a 3.3 GPA and at least 12 Wayne State credits may apply to the Honors College by filling out the Honors College application online. Applications are processed after Feb. 15, June 15 and Oct. 15. The selected students may pursue Departmental and/or University Honors.

College Requirements

To remain in the Honors College, a student normally will be expected to:

  1. pursue University and/or Departmental Honors;
  2. maintain a cumulative g.p.a. of 3.3 or higher; however, colleges/departments may establish a higher g.p.a. for retention in a college/department program; and
  3. satisfy the University General Education requirements.

A student whose cumulative g.p.a. falls below 3.3 and is, for that reason, dropped from the Honors College, may reapply when his/her cumulative g.p.a. is 3.3 or higher.

For first-year Honors students, HON 1000 and the Honors Foundational Seminar are required to be taken in Fall and Winter semesters, respectively.

Departmental Honors Requirements

Students seeking a degree with Departmental Honors must contact their major department or the Honors College for specific requirements (see the appropriate departmental section of this bulletin). However, all Departmental Honors programs require at least twelve credits in Honors-designated coursework, including:

  1. a senior essay or thesis or project done in the student's major department, and
  2. at least one 42xx-level seminar offered through the Honors College (HON 4200-4280), and
  3. a minimum cumulative g.p.a. of 3.3 (higher in some departments) is required for graduation

Honors Degrees

Most departments offer Departmental Honors. Please visit the Honors website or the Honors college for a current list of available programs. Graduation with University Honors is reserved for students who complete twenty-eight Honors credits as outlined under University Honors Requirements.

A student who satisfactorily completes a Departmental Honors curriculum or a University Honors curriculum will receive the appropriate Honors designation on both the diploma and the academic transcript. Approval of the Honors College is necessary for graduation with University Honors. Students who complete the requirements of both the university-wide Honors College and a college/department/school Honors Program shall have both designations on the transcript and the diploma. Only a single senior essay, thesis, or project shall be required unless a student is pursuing Departmental Honors in multiple majors.

University Honors Requirements

Students who have been invited to the Honors College as freshmen are expected to complete:

  1. at least twenty-eight credits in Honors-designated course work, including HON 1000, and the Honors Foundational Seminar;
  2. a field learning through HON 3000
  3. a 42XX-level seminar offered by the Honors College (HON 4200-HON 4280);
  4. a minimum three-credit Honors Thesis or creative project (HON 4998 or Departmental Honors thesis).

Honors-Option Course Work

The Honors Option allows a student in any course which is 2000 level or above and taught by a regular faculty member to elect Honors caliber coursework, provided the instructor agrees to furnish commensurate extra instruction. If a grade of 'B' (3.00) or above is earned in the course and in the additional work, the student will receive Honors credit for the course on his/her transcript. Application forms for the Honors Option are available in the Honors College office and online. The application form must be signed by the instructor and should be returned to the Honors College Office by the assigned due date on the form. At the end of the semester the instructor will be asked to submit a final grade for the Honors Option project and the final grade for the class via e-mail to The number of Honors credits assigned shall be equivalent to the number of credits allotted to the general section.

Field Learning Requirement (HON 3000)

Effective Fall 2019, field learning is required for graduation with University Honors. The purpose of the requirement is to better prepare students for productive lives in a diverse urban and global setting through community-based education and civic engagement. A student will pair HON 3000 (0 credits) with a field learning experience approved by the Honors College. Students can opt to complete HON 3000 via service-learning, undergraduate research, study abroad, or an internship/co-op/practicum.

Objectives of the Honors Field Learning Requirement are: to enhance academic learning opportunities by integrating theory with service to the community; to learn how to work effectively with diverse populations; to develop communication, negotiation, and problem solving abilities; and, to increase research skills.

Examples of field learning opportunities include the Detroit Fellows Tutoring Project, specially-designated sections of General Education and department courses, and some study abroad experiences.

Honors Thesis

To graduate with University and/or Departmental Honors, students must complete an Honors thesis or creative project during junior/ senior year. The thesis or project must be supervised by a full-time member of a department and the paper must be a minimum of twenty pages in length. University Honors students should plan to take at least two semesters to complete the HON 4998 course. Departmental Honors students who complete a thesis course specific to their major department must follow departmental guidelines. Students pursuing both Department and University Honors may use the department thesis to fulfill the University Honors thesis requirement.


BUCCELLATO, JAMES A.: Ph.D., M.A., Wayne State University; B.A., Oakland University; Associate Professor of Teaching

CORVINO, JOHN F.: Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin; B.A., St. John's University; Dean

ELLIS, BRYAN: Ph.D., Howard University; Assistant Professor of Teaching

FOWLER, BETH N.: Ph.D., Wayne State University; M.A., B.A., University of Windsor; Associate Professor of Teaching

MARTIN, AARON: Ph.D., M.A., Wayne State University; B.A., Oakland University; Associate Professor of Teaching

MORAN, TIMOTHY L.: Ph.D., M.A., Wayne State University; B.A., Michigan State University; Assistant Professor of Teaching

PAST, ELENA: Ph.D., M.A., University of Pennsylvania; B.A., University of Texas at Austin; Professor

SAATCHI, SORAYA (LAYLA): Ph.D., M.A., B.A., Wayne State University; Assistant Professor of Teaching

Honors Sections and Departmental Courses

Generally, the following courses either have Honors sections or the potential for an Honors Option project. A compiled list of the Honors Course Offerings for the current semester is available online. Honors sections generally require permission to register, which may be obtained via e-mail to 

ANT 4999Honors Research and Thesis3-6
Art History
AH 1110Survey of Art History: Ancient through Medieval4
AH 1120Survey of Art History: Renaissance through Modern4
AH 5998Honors Thesis3
BIO 1030Biology Today3
BIO 1050An Introduction to Life3
BIO 1500Basic Life Diversity3
BIO 1510Basic Life Mechanisms3
BIO 2600Introduction to Cell Biology4
BIO 3070Genetics5
BIO 6990Honors Directed Study in Biology1-4
BIO 6999Honors Undergraduate Research Thesis2
Basic Engineering
BE 2100Basic Engineering III: Probability and Statistics in Engineering3
BE 5998Engineering Honors Thesis1-4
CHM 1100General Chemistry I4
CHM 1240Organic Chemistry I4
CHM 2220Organic Chemistry II4
CHM 2999Honors Research Problems in Chemistry2-4
CHM 5998Honors Thesis Research in Chemistry (Max. 8)2-4
COM 1010Oral Communication: Basic Speech3
COM 4996Senior Honors Thesis3
Criminal Justice
CRJ 4998Honors Thesis in Criminal Justice3-6
Computer Science
CSC 4999Honors Thesis3-6
ECO 2010Principles of Microeconomics4
ECO 2020Principles of Macroeconomics4
ECO 4997Senior Honors Research4
ENG 4990Directed Study: Honors Program1-3
ENG 4991Honors Seminar3
ENG 4992Honors Project3
HIS 1300Europe and the World: 1500-19454
HIS 1400The World Since 19454
HIS 5995Honors Seminar3
MAT 2010Calculus I4
MAT 2020Calculus II4
Nutrition and Food Science
NFS 3230Human Nutrition4
NFS 5990Honors Directed Study1-4
PHI 2860Honors Introductory Symbolic Logic3
PHI 4890Honors Thesis3
PHY 2130Physics for the Life Sciences I4
PHY 2140Physics for the Life Sciences II4
PHY 5990Directed Study1-3
Political Science
PS 1010American Government4
PS 4995Senior Honors Paper4
PSY 1010Introductory Psychology4
PSY 2400Developmental Psychology4
PSY 2600Psychology of Social Behavior4
PSY 4991Honors Directed Study2-4
PSY 4998Senior Thesis3
PSY 5020Honors Research in Psychology3
SOC 1010Understanding Human Society3
SOC 3200Methods of Social Research3
SOC 3220Introduction to Social Statistics3
SPA 2010Intermediate Spanish4
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