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Honors Program Curriculum


The Honors Curriculum is a four-year program that begins with honors courses being offered in the fall semester of the freshman year.  The curriculum consists of: 12 credits of departmental-based honors courses; 6 credits of honors colloquia; and an honors senior research thesis in the students’ major. Honors level courses do not entail more assignments than a regular course; however, honors courses incorporate classroom discussion and peer assessment, and require students to engage in a deeper level of thinking and analysis. Honors students should exhibit improved

  • analytical/critical thinking and logical reasoning skills;
  • problem solving and decision-making skills;
  • coherent and persuasive oral and written communications skills; and
  • skills necessary to perform research at a professional level.

The Honors Curriculum consists of the following category of courses and activities:

  • Interdisciplinary/multi-disciplinary colloquia/seminars
  • Departmental Honors Courses including sections of general education courses
  • Independent Honors Research/Study Project
  • A senior honors research thesis

Honors classes are kept small to promote and stimulate discussion, skill development and critical thinking.

HONORS PROGRAM GRADUATE Designation Requirements

An Honors Program Student may earn an Honors Program Graduate designation if he or she:

  • Completes a minimum of 18 hours of Honors credit with a minimum of “B” in each course;
  • Maintains an overall cumulative GPA of 3.25 during the period he/she is in the program;
  • Presents a paper or poster project on the Delaware State University Research Day each year after the sophomore year;
  • Completes and defends a senior honors research thesis;
  • Petitions to the Honors Council for Honors Program Graduate designation and completes an Honors Inventory Form by the end of the semester before the semester he/she graduates.


  • A minimum of SIX (6) credit hours of Interdisciplinary Honors Colloquia or Honors Independent Study Research
  • A minimum of TWELVE (l2) credit hours of department-based Honors courses with no more than SIX (6) coming from a single department

Honors students who are approved for Honors Program Graduate designation will receive an honors sash at Commencement and have their Honors status acknowledged in the Commencement book. They will, likewise, have their Honors status designated in the official grade transcript and as part of their permanent academic record.


The Honors Course Option (HCO) has been established in order to offer upper level Honors students greater flexibility in fulfilling the Honors course requirements. The HCO is designed to provide flexibility to students in fulfilling their honors course requirements and to create opportunities to have the honors course experience within their major or discipline. Additionally, HCO will provide the means for transfer students to meet program credit requirements as they may have completed the general education requirement prior to matriculation at Delaware State University.


Students can earn a maximum of 6 Honors credits in upper division, non-Honors courses by contracting with professors to pursue study which can be shown to be qualitatively beyond the normal requirements of the course. Students may contract to do additional work or work which replaces the normal course requirements. In either case, it should be clear that the plan of study enriches the student’s academic experience.

To participate in Honors contracting, an Honors student must submit a completed HCO Contract form provided by the Honors Program. The contract will describe (1) the Honors course requirements to be completed by the student, (2) will specify how these requirements are qualitatively beyond the normal requirements of the course,(3) indicate how successful completion will be determined, and (4) include course syllabus. The contract should be submitted for approval to the Honors Program by the end of the second week of class. The student will be notified within one week of receipt of the contract whether it has been approved or denied. In addition to regular class attendance, students and professors are expected to meet at least twice before the end of the semester on specified dates to discuss the Honors component of the course and to assure that the provisions of the Honors Option Contract are being fulfilled.


  1. Students must be admitted to the Honors Program.
  2. Transfer students may contract a maximum of three upper level courses (9 credit hours) during their undergraduate career. Student regularly admitted into the honors program may take contract up to six upper level courses (6 credit hours) during their undergraduate career at DSU.
  3. Students may contract only one course per semester however, transfer students may request an exception.

Students may obtain the application/contract from the Honors program office.

Honors Senior Thesis Sample

Honors Course Option Guidelines