Program Requirements

Admission Criteria

This program is designed for highly engaged and intellectually curious students who want to achieve their best and get more out of their college education. The Honors Program brings together a vibrant community of students from diverse academic backgrounds and with many different approaches to learning. This program promotes community engagement, interdisciplinary study, and independent research and creative scholarship.

The Honors Program is open to any student who wishes to apply. Admission is based primarily on the essay submissions. The essays are the focus of our admissions process because they help us to determine if the program is a good fit for the applicant. Honors is a good fit for students who are excited about learning and thinking critically about topics and ideas beyond their major; participating in a dynamic community of learners; completing an independent research or creative project as part of their degree process.

Essays will be evaluated on both form and content. The essays should demonstrate good control of language and clear organization of ideas. They should also include content that gives a clear sense of who you are, your interests, goals, and personal perspectives.

If a student is denied admission, based on their essays, they are encouraged to rewrite and resubmit their essays for reconsideration. The Writing Center offers support to students for the re-application process.

Program Requirements

Honors Program Track: The full Honors Program curriculum requires 21 units of approved courses and activities. Each student is able to design their own path through the Honors curriculum by completing the Honors core courses and combining a selection of academic and co-curricular options. The Honors Program culminates with the Honors Thesis project.

Please note that typically, students need at least 2 academic years remaining (or 60 credits) to be able to complete the Honors Program along with their degree requirements. For students who only have 1 academic year left (30 credits), the Honors Program offers a Thesis-only track. (Please see below)

Thesis Only Track: The Thesis Only Track is an option for students who are unable to or do not elect to complete the entire Honors Program curriculum. The Thesis Only Track includes two courses: HON 4948 Honors Thesis Seminar (1 cr. hr.) and HON 4950 Senior Honors Thesis (3 cr. hrs.).

To become a member of the Honors Program community, complete the form below. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Good Standing

Good standing means being active in the program by taking at least one honors course per academic year and passing honors courses with B- or better. Participation in co-curricular events also contributes to active participation in the Program and earns units that count towards the honors distinction.

Graduating with Honors

Honors Program Track: To graduate with the MSU Denver Honors Program distinction, each student completes Honors coursework, co-curriculars, and an Honors Thesis, and achieves a 3.3 undergraduate GPA by the time of graduation. Students who complete the entire Honors Program earn the Honors distinction on their transcript, are noted in the Commencement program, and wear honors cords at graduation. They also receive a Thesis pin when they present their Thesis project.

Thesis Only Track: Students who complete the Thesis Only Track will see the Thesis courses on their transcript. They receive a Thesis pin when they present their Thesis project.

**Most of the Honors Program courses are offered face-to-face only. If you are an online-only student, please reach out to us before applying.**

Students wishing to apply to the MSU Denver Honors Program should complete the Honors Application and submit it to the Honors Program. Applications will be evaluated on an ongoing basis for the following semester.

The application form requires the following information:

  1. Writing samples including short answer questions and two essays of 400-500 words each. Preview the application writing prompts here.
  1. Optional submissions: Applicants are invited to include any of the following additional items if they wish to do so.  However, these are not required to apply: current GPA, standardized test scores, a paper or a creative piece that shows your abilities, and/or a reference letter.

Please be advised that the Honors Program House has stairs at the entrance and is not wheelchair accessible. Please contact Jennifer O’Dell to schedule an appointment in another location if needed.

If you have questions, please contact the Honors Program, or call 303-615-1154.

Apply Here!

Connect with the Honors Program!