What are the University Honors Program entrance requirements? Entering freshman students are invited to join the program if they fulfill any one of the following criteria: (1) an 1180 or higher on the critical reading and math portions of the SAT; (2) a 26 composite score or above on the ACT; or (3) a high school GPA of 3.80 plus at least an 1120 total or higher on the critical reading and math portions of the SAT or a 24 composite score on the ACT. These requirements result in attracting the top 3-4% of students in our service area. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA to remain in the program.
What scholarships are available to CSUB honors students? CSUB Honors students have exclusive eligibility to apply for our Hawk Honors Scholarships. In addition, each year the CSUB Scholarship Committee gives out nearly $50,000 in freshman scholarships-almost all of which goes to incoming honors students.
What is the Honors Program? Entering freshman honors students will take six honors seminars--one each quarter during their first two years at the university. A typical full- time course schedule, then, will consist of one honors course and two non-honors courses. Each of these honors courses fulfills one of the general education requirements, so students are not being asked to take any "extra" classes while they participate in the program; they would have to fulfill these gen ed goals anyway, regardless of their major, career goals, or transfer plans. During their junior and senior years, students take any two of the three required upper-division general education theme classes through the Honors Program (one each year), plus an Independent Study Honors Seminar with one or more of the professors in their major disciplines. This independent study must be completed no later than the winter quarter of the students' graduation year. These seminars typically lead to graduate study, conference paper presentations, and/or employment in the job market.
Are CSUB honors classes graded harder than non-honors courses? Do they require more work? Unlike the AP and honors classes most of our honors students take at the high school level, CSUB honors courses are not graded more severely than non-honors classes. This is because CSUB does not offer five points for an "A" in an honors class. The highest GPA award we can give for any of our classes is a 4.0 A. If we made our honors students work harder in their classes and then gave them the same grade other students received in non-honors classes, we would be penalizing our very best students. As a result, we do not require extra work in these classes. Nor are the grades curved in the honors sections, which means students are not in competition for a limited number of high grades. Each honors course does, however, include an "enrichment" activity that distinguishes it as a special class. In the Honors Geology class, for example, students go on a day-long field trip, and in the Honors Shakespeare course, students see live Shakespeare productions, talk with the actors after the shows, and then go out for pizza. Entering freshman students must sign up for English 235: Honors Shakespeare in the fall quarter to be eligible to participate in the program. If they do not take this class, they can not enter the program till their junior year.
What benefits do students receive for completing the CSUB Honors Program? Students who finish all four years of the Honors Program (including all six lower-division honors classes, the two upper-division honors theme courses, and the Independent Study Honors Seminar) will receive the following special benefits: four-year honors designation on their transcripts, honors listing in the graduation program, and a lovely gold and silver four- year honors medal to be awarded at our end-of-the-year Honors Convocation.
What other advantages does the program offer? In addition to providing special sections of general education classes taught by the university's top professors, the CSUB Honors Program offers the following additional advantages: priority at registration (so students will always get the courses they want at the times most convenient for them); an Honors Lounge where students can relax between classes; a four-year degree completion option; special waivers in the general education program; independent study and international study opportunities; "Honors" certification on transcripts and in the graduation program; excursions to cultural events; parties and other enjoyable social occasions, including a fall brunch at the director's home; and increased scholarship potential. Best of all, CSUB honors participants go through one class each quarter with essentially the same group of people, which means they will have instant friends, a built-in support system, access to study groups, and other advantages of belonging to a program composed of exceptionally bright, hard-working, successful students. As a result, the CSUB University Honors Program provides its participants with the selective honors experience of a private university at the cost of a state-college education--which is a real bargain in today's academic marketplace.
Who is the program director? For the past twenty-seven years, the program has been under the direction of Dr. Michael Flachmann, a CSUB Professor of English who has received many teaching awards, including CSUB Outstanding Professor (1992), Outstanding Professor for the entire CSU University System (1993), Carnegie Foundation United States Professor of the Year (1995), the $20,000 CSU Wang Family Excellence Award for Undergraduate Teaching (1999), the CSUB Faculty Research Award (2000), and the CSUB Faculty Leadership and Service Award (2001). He has published sixteen books and over sixty articles in the field of Shakespeare studies and serves during the summers as Company Dramaturg at the Tony-Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah. He is also founding chair of the CSU Honors Consortium, which governs the activities of honors programs throughout the CSU System. Most important, Dr. Flachmann genuinely loves his job. He has always taken a special interest in his CSUB honors students and is available to help with any academic or personal problems they may encounter while at the university.
What about the program faculty? Professors teaching in the University Honors Program are chosen from among the top faculty members at Cal State Bakersfield. All brilliant classroom teachers, they are also widely published scholars on the cutting edge of research in their chosen academic disciplines. In addition, they are firmly committed to the success of their students. All these professors routinely involve their students in research projects, conference presentations, and other academic opportunities that dramatically enhance the CSUB Honors experience.
How do I find out more information about the CSUB University Honors Program? If you have further questions about the program after reading this Fact Sheet, please call Dr. Michael Flachmann, Director of the University Honors Program, at his office (661-654-2121) or his home (661-831-9081). Or you can send him an e-mail at email@example.com or a letter c/o the Department of English, CSU Bakersfield, 9001 Stockdale Highway, Bakersfield, California, 93311-1022. He is always happy to talk with prospective applicants. Interested students are also encouraged to visit the CSUB University Honors Program Web Site at www.csub.edu/honors, which includes a two-year projection of honors classes, further information about the program, and photographs of past and current participants. The Honors Office is located on the second floor of the Faculty Towers Building, Room 201-D, and the Honors Lounge is in Cafeteria 100, which is on the north side of the Cafeteria adjacent to Runner Park and the Library.