University Honors and Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors programs usually involve working closely with a faculty mentor on an independent research project lasting at least 3 semesters and culminating in an honors thesis. Departmental Honors research is a powerful way for a student to experience the thrill of innovative research and discovery in his/her field of interest. In a few Colleges, such as Business, students may choose a thesis option, but there is also a non-thesis option involving upper level coursework and enriching experiences appropriate to the discipline.

Admission to Departmental Honors
Admission to Departmental Honors programs varies by College/Department, but there is typically a minimum GPA requirement, upper level course requirements, and an in-depth research/scholarly endeavor culminating with a thesis [check specific details of individual programs through the web links and contact information below]. Students may do Departmental Honors in addition to any of the Honors College Living-Learning programs. Some Departmental Honors programs are open to first year students, although most students begin Departmental Honors at the end of their second or beginning of their third year on campus. Again, check individual programs for options; be aware that some (such as Business) have firm application dates.

See the List of Departmental Honors Contacts here.

Benefits of Departmental Honors
Students admitted to a departmental or college honors program on campus are also considered members of the Honors College, whether or not they were Honors students when they entered Maryland. For more information, please visit:

Honors (HONR) Seminars & H-Versions

All Honors College students, including departmental/college honors students, have access to Honors (HONR) seminars offered by the University Honors Program and H-Version courses offered by academic departments across campus. If you are a departmental/college honors student who is blocked from registering for an honors course you wish to take, please contact Assistant Director of the Honors College, Dean Hebert, for assistance.

Honors Research Grants

Departmental/College honors program students may apply for a one-time, need-based Honors Research Grant of $500 to help support research for an individual senior thesis or travel to a professional conference related to the thesis. Selection of recipients is based on academic merit, quality of supporting materials, and financial need. More information about the Honors Research Grants is available at

Honors Option Courses
If a student in a Department or College Honors Program is not able to take a departmental honors course that is required to meet your honors degree requirements, that student may develop an “Honors Option Course” with the permission of his/her Honors program advisor and the Honors College. An Honors Option student enrolls in a non-Honors course and creates an honors-quality addendum to the syllabus. More information about the Honors Option Courses can be found at