Honors students enter all majors, but as a group they share some common characteristics: they are critical thinkers who enjoy reading, writing and vigorous discussion. They are self-motivated, willing to engage in some outside research, and have the self-confidence to take a stand on intellectual issues.
The Honors cohort is welcomed during O-week; the program culminates with an Honors retreat before graduation. Students who participate in the Honors program take their Liberal Arts and Sciences coursework at an accelerated pace and in an academically challenging environment. Through participation in humanities and social sciences courses, students synthesize theory and practice in order to understand the evolution of art and culture across time and space. As upper division students, they develop their awareness of what it means to be a global citizen.
Honors students are regarded as both academic and community leaders, who influence the campus environment, while developing their leadership skills through participation in various activities, including Student Voice Association (SVA), Team International Student Outreach (TISO), Owl 2 Owl, travel study, and student clubs.
In order to remain in the Honors Program, students must satisfy two criteria:
- Students must pass their Honors courses with a grade of C or better
- Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher
Program Learning Outcomes
- Critical thinking: Make connections across experiences and disciplinary perspectives to create well-reasoned and imaginative approaches to issues, problems, and challenges
- Interdisciplinarity: Synthesize diverse perspectives from the humanities and social sciences with studio practice to develop a well-reasoned Capstone paper
- Community building through service
- Foundation: Introduces students to critical discourses in the Humanities and Social Sciences
- In the fall students are introduced to critical theories and methodologies that have been used to shape and challenge the canon of art in Introduction to Visual Culture; in the spring, students build upon these critical theories to consider epistemology and question how we know what we know in “Ways of Knowing.”
- Students additionally participate in a theme-based Writing in the Digital Age course, as well as an interactive Birth of the Modern art history course, which examines the broader history of art and design at the intersection of industrial production, consumerism, colonialism, and gender.
- Sophomore: Honors students satisfy their AHCS 220 requirement through investigation and analysis of the history, urban spaces, and creative contexts that define the city of Los Angeles.
- Junior: Students satisfy their LIBS 314 upper division elective through exploration and application of creative solutions to real world issues associated with the Liberal Arts and Sciences departmental themes of identity, diversity, creativity, sustainability, and social responsibility.
- Senior: Students produce an Honors Capstone paper that showcases the theories, methodologies, and critical discourses they have synthesized in their Liberal Arts and Studies courses, and the relevance of this education to their studio interests and concerns.
- Honors students will contribute 5 service hours to the department of Liberal Arts and Sciences each semester.
How to Apply for Honors
Applicants indicate their interest in the Honors Program by checking that they wish to be considered for Honors on the Common Application. The Admissions department will determine prospective students’ eligibility based upon a comprehensive review of their high school GPA and portfolio. Eligible students will write a special essay. This essay will also satisfy the Writing Placement Assessment (WPA).
Qualified students may apply into the Honors Program between semesters prior to their junior years.
Successful completion of the Honors Program is noted on the transcript and is especially advantageous for students who are looking ahead to graduate school.