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How do I get admitted to the Helen Hawk Honors program as a transfer or upper division student?

Incoming junior students (either transfers from another college or native CSUB students continuing in the university) will be invited to enter the CSUB University Honors program if they have earned a 3.50 or above GPA in their first two years of college.  They will receive a letter from the Director of the University Honors Program inviting them to participate in the program.  Students must confirm their intent to participate by calling (661) 654-3461.

What are the upper-division honors requirements?

All students at the university (regardless of their majors or career goals) are required to complete three upper-division classes, one in each of the following areas: Area B (Natural Science and Technology), Area C (Arts and Humanities), and Area D. (Social and Behavioral Sciences). Helen Hawk Honors students must satisfyat least two of these three upper division requirements by taking specially designated courses through the Honors Program.  The program will offer three upper-division honors classes every year—one in each of the three different areas. This means that all upper-division honors students will have six honors theme classes during their last two years from which to choose their two honors classes (one per year).  These upper-division honors theme courses are not graded more
than non-honors courses, nor do they require additional work.  They are, however, taught by our very best professors at the university, and they are filled with other exceptionally bright, hard-working students. This means that the level of discussion is appropriately high for honors courses. Students must maintain a 3. 2 cumulative GPA to remain in the program.  The University General Education program also requires that every student take a Junior Year Diversity Reflection Seminar.  Philosophy 3528H fulfills this for honors students.

What is the Independent Study Honors Seminar?

In addition to completing two of their three upper-division theme courses through the Helen Hawk Honors Program, CSUB honors students are required to take an Honors Independent Study with one or more of the professors in their major discipline.  This is the last and most exciting of the honors requirements because it offers a one-on-one intimate academic experience that can lead to conference papers, publication in one’s chosen field, graduate study, international programs, and/or success in finding a job after graduation.  These Honors Independent Study courses are offered for 1 - 5 variable units, depending on the extent of the project and the agreement between the student and his/her professor.  The Honors Independent Study requirement should not be confused with the Senior Seminar that each student must take in his or her major discipline. These are two distinct classes that satisfy entirely different university requirements.  In some majors you may be able to work out an Independent Study in conjunction with your Capstone Senior class.

What are some typical examples of Independent Study Projects that have been approved in the past?

Here are some examples of the Independent Study Honors Seminar that might appeal to students:

(1) assisting a professor with a research project

(2) proposing and completing a research project chosen entirely by the student

(3) preparing a paper for presentation at a national, state, or local conference

(4) pursuing international study overseas

(5) Engaging in an internship which would result in a reflection paper on that experience. Students who have additional ideas about potential projects are encouraged to discuss them with a professor in their major department.

When should honors students take their Independent Study Honors Seminars?

These Honors Independent Study units have to be completed by graduation and should be initiated at least by the semester in which you plan to graduate. However, you can complete this project at any time during your CSUB experience. The first step is contacting a professor in your major department who might be willing to supervise your project.  Most professors will be working on their own research projects, and they will be overjoyed to have a bright, energetic honors student join their team as an assistant.  You will never know what the possibilities are till you ask. Once you and your professor have agreed on the parameters of your project, you will need to fill out the proper paperwork. You will be given the paperwork at Orientation and it is also on the website. You may have to complete two forms: An Independent Study Honors Seminar form and a Petition for Course by Individual Study. The latter form is required is you intend to receive credit and units for your [project. This process, including registration for the independent study course, must be completed no later than the beginning of the last semester of the student’s graduation year.  Failure to do so may jeopardize receipt of several of the rewards students earn for finishing the process.

What benefits do students receive for completing the CSUB Honors Program?

Students who complete two years of the CSUB Honors Program (as juniors/seniors) will have this accomplishment listed prominently on their official CSUB transcripts and in the Graduation program.  You will also receive a two-year “honors cord” to be awarded at our end-of-the-year Honors Convocation.

What additional advantages does the program offer?

In addition to providing special sections of general education classes taught by the university’s top professors, the CSUB Helen Hawk Honors Program offers the following extra advantages:  priority at registration (so students will always get the courses they want at the most convenient times); a new Honors Lounge where students can relax between classes; special waivers in the general education program; international study opportunities; excursions to cultural events; parties and other enjoyable social occasions; and increased scholarship potential.  You will also be encouraged to participate in the CSUB Honors Conference and to present a paper or poster at that event and at the university research conference.  A special presentation event will be held for presentation of your Independent Study project.

How do I find out more information about the CSUB University Honors Program?

Interested students are encouraged to visit the CSUB University Honors Program Web Site at, which includes a two-year projection of honors classes, further information about the program, and photographs of past and current events.  You can also contact the Honors Program Director, Dr. Jacquelyn Kegley at 661-654-2249 or at and the student assistant, Henna Singh at or call 661-654-3461.