Cal State LA Honors College
The Cal State LA Honors College offers outstanding students an opportunity to participate in a scholarly community dedicated to inquiry and discovery, creative and critical thinking, and the creation of knowledge that will have a positive impact on society. Its interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizes civic engagement and takes advantage of the vast resources of Los Angeles. Exceptional faculty and challenging courses foster the intellectual curiosity of all students and provide rigorous preparation for those interested in pursuing advanced degrees in graduate or professional school. Regardless of their chosen career, graduates of the Honors College are informed citizens prepared to respond to the challenges facing their neighborhoods, cities, nations, and world.
Through an unwavering commitment to excellence and engagement, the Honors College will become an educational institution of choice for motivated and outstanding students in our region and beyond. Grounded in the timeless values of inquiry and reflection, yet responsive to the changing nature of knowledge production and contemporary life, the Honors College will play a vital role within the larger university as an incubator for innovation and engaged teaching, learning, and scholarship.
Learning Goals and Outcomes
Recognizing the need for advanced intellectual and creative skills that emphasize interdisciplinary and independent thinking, students in the Honors College are expected to meet learning outcomes in the following areas:
INQUIRY, ANALYSIS AND RESEARCH: Students develop an understanding of modes of inquiry in different disciplines. They undertake effective inquiry that demonstrates open-mindedness and uses a systematic process that involves rigorous assessment of evidence, data, and social contexts. At advanced levels, students formulate relevant research questions and produce original research, scholarly or creative projects.
CREATIVE THINKING: Students will be able to combine or synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original and imaginative ways characterized by a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking.
PROBLEM SOLVING: Students will learn to develop, implement, and evaluate a solution that addresses an open-ended question or achieves a desired goal.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT: Students will learn how make a difference in the civic life of our communities and promote the quality of life in local and global communities, through both political and non-political processes.
LEADERSHIP: Students will learn to take initiative, work effectively in teams to achieve a common purpose, involve and motivate others, and demonstrate self-leadership and commitment.
Honors College Admissions
The Cal State LA Honors College is committed to admitting well-prepared and motivated students who are interested in actively participating in our intellectual, social, and community engagement programs. Selection will be based on a comprehensive review of application materials, including written essays, letters of recommendation, and SAT/ACT scores. Finalists may be invited to interview with the Honors College Admissions Committee. We recommend that applicants have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher and a combined minimum score of 1100 on the Critical Reading and Math sections of the SAT, or a minimum composite ACT score of 26. Transfer students and continuing Cal State LA students may also be eligible for admission to the Honors College provided they have attained a minimum GPA of 3.5 or higher in their college coursework and in all lower division GE requirements, which must be completed prior to admission to the Honors College. They may also be eligible if they have successfully completed a comparable Honors program in a community college. Meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Please note that prospective students must apply to both Cal State LA and to the Honors College.
Bridge to Honors: Cal State LA students who are interested in joining the Honors College during their freshman or sophomore year may apply to the Honors College and be admitted to “Bridge to Honors.” “Bridge to Honors” gives students an opportunity to experience the Honors College and see if it will be a good fit for them.
Students admitted to “Bridge to Honors” will meet with an honors advisor to map out an individualized program, including a minimum of two honors courses. Bridge to Honors students who earn a Cal State LA GPA of 3.5 or above and a minimum of 3.3 GPA in their honors courses will be admitted to the honors college upon satisfactory completion of the “Bridge to Honors” program.
All eligible applicants to the Honors College will be considered for these and other scholarships. No separate application is required. Scholarships are competitive and will be awarded based on a comprehensive review of application materials.
President’s Scholars. $2,500-$10,000 (up to $40,000 over four years) will be awarded to select incoming freshmen demonstrating high achievement, motivation and a commitment to education. President’s Scholars will generally have a cumulative high school grade point average of at least 3.75 or above and a combined SAT Reasoning Test score of at least 1200 (based only on the Critical Reading and Math sections), or a composite ACT score of at least 27.
Honors College Scholars. $2,000 ($8,000 over four years) will be awarded to incoming Honors College freshmen who have demonstrated great potential, motivation, and a commitment to education.
Requirements, Good Standing, and Probation
Honors College students remain in good standing if they maintain an overall and Cal State LA GPA of 3.3 or higher, complete required honors courses on schedule and participate in Honors College activities each semester. Students are placed on honors probation if their overall or Cal State LA grade point average falls between 3.0 and 3.3 and/or if they do not complete required honors courses or approved substitutions. Students on probation must maintain a term GPA of 3.3 or above and will be restored to good standing once their overall and Cal State LA GPA return to 3.3.
Students may lose their honors college privileges, including priority registration, if their overall or Cal State LA GPA falls below 3.0 for more than one semester or if they fail to take required honors core courses and sequences on schedule; they may also lose their privileges if they fail to demonstrate active participation in Honors College activities.
The Honors College Curriculum and Requirements: 15 Lower Division units + 6 upper Division GE units + Honors Declaration (0 units) + Senior Thesis/Project.
Students who complete the program with a GPA of 3.3 or higher will receive an Honors College designation on their transcripts and on their diploma.
Students who are admitted to the Honors College in their junior year satisfy the 15-unit lower division requirement by completing their lower division General Education requirements with a GPA of 3.5 or higher or by completing a comparable lower-division Honors program. Students who are admitted to the Honors College in their junior year satisfy the 15-unit lower division requirement by completing their lower division General Education requirements with a GPA of 3.5 or higher or by completing a comparable lower-division Honors program.
Lower Division Required Courses (12 units)
HNRS 1010 HNRS 1010 - Introduction to Academic Inquiry in the Honors College (3)
HNRS 1100 HNRS 1100 - Reading Los Angeles: Communication in the City of Angels (3)
HNRS 1200 HNRS 1200 - Reading Los Angeles: Engaging Cultural Expressions in a Global City (3)
HNRS 1300 HNRS 1300 - Reading Los Angeles: Community and Structure in the Metropolis (3)
Lower Division Electives (3 units)
Students select 3 units of lower division Honors Electives with advisor approval.
HNRS 2900 - Honors Declaration (0)
The purpose of the Honors Declaration is for Honors College students to formally transition into their upper division Honors coursework by reflecting on their engagement with core Honors College outcomes up to this point in their undergraduate careers, and by developing a proposal for the remainder of their undergraduate career that is linked to their long-term academic and professional career goals.
All Honors College students complete an Honors Declaration before beginning (generally the second semester of sophomore year if students entered as new freshmen in the Honors College) or just as they begin their Honors upper division theme (generally at the beginning of their first semester if students enter as juniors). These students enroll in the following course:
Upper-Division General Education Courses (6 units)
Honors College students complete two-courses on “Wicked Problems.” Courses in this sequence meet Upper-Division General Education requirements.
HNRS 3200 HNRS 3200 - Humanities Approaches to Race, Ethnicity, and “Wicked” Problems (3)
HNRS 3300 HNRS 3300 - Addressing “Wicked” Problems through the Social Sciences: A Case Study in Diverse Communities (3)
HNRS 3400 HNRS 3400 - Addressing “Wicked” Problems: A Natural Sciences Case Study (3)
With permission of the course instructor and the director of the Honors College, students may create an honors contract to convert a course into honors courses. Honors contracts allow students to explore the subject in greater depth and at a higher level of academic rigor. An honors contract must meet one or more of the honors college learning outcomes.
The Honors College undergraduate experience culminates in the thesis, a required advanced research or creative project completed either in the student’s undergraduate degree program or in the Honors College. An honors-level undergraduate thesis project will promote focus, depth, and independence and will develop creativity, resilience, and patience. By completing the thesis students will be demonstrating the ability to become producers of knowledge in their own right. Students may complete the thesis/project within the honors college by taking the following courses:
HNRS 4950 HNRS 4950 - Honors College Thesis: Research and Prospectus (3)
HNRS 4960 HNRS 4960 - Honors College Thesis and Senior Forum (3)
Or, students who wish to complete the thesis/project requirement in conjunction with offerings in their major department/college (variable units) may create an honors thesis/project contract with permission of the instructor and Honors Director/Associate Director. Students who select this option enroll in the following course:
HNRS 4970 HNRS 4970 - Honors College Senior Forum (1)
Early Entrance Program
Program Overview and Admissions Requirements
The Early Entrance Program provides the opportunity for highly gifted students to begin their college studies early at Cal State LA , and offers them the support, guidance and counseling necessary to prepare them for success at the university level. Most of the EEP students bypass high school. EEP students are recruited through the biannual Search for Exceptional Academic Achievement (SEAA) talent search and through qualifying scores on college entrance exams such as the SAT and ACT. Top scoring students who are younger than 16 years old but who are at least 11 years old at the start of the summer term for which they would be provisionally admitted may be invited to apply for admission to the Early Entrance Program. The main criteria for EEP selection includes need for academic acceleration, maturity, motivation, and readiness for early college admission. Admission is based on a holistic assessment of the student’s overall academic performance administered by the program director, personal interview of the applicants and their parents, and the completion of the Honors Academy summer program.. Those students whose academic and personal performances are judged adequate and appropriate during the Honors Academy and who receive final approval from the Admissions Committee and the Honors College, and the Office of Undergraduate Studies are admitted as matriculated students for the fall semester.
Upon admission, EEP students are assigned to a class cohort that is enrolled in special EEP Honors classes for their first year and are required to attend regular meetings with EEP staff, participate in scheduled EEP activities, and maintain enrollment as full-time, degree-seeking undergraduates. EEP students are responsible for tuition identical to other CSU students and are eligible for financial aid and scholarship assistance. EEP students are provisionally admitted to the Honors College. After completion of their first year with a GPA of 3.3 or above, EEP students will be recommended for formal admission to the Honors College with the approval of the director of the Honors College.
All Honors College policies apply to EEP students admitted to the Honors College. In addition, EEP students may not enroll in more than 15 units per semester if they earned a term GPA lower than 3.0 in the immediately preceding semester. For further information please contact the EEP Office at (323) 343-2287, Fax (323) 343-5575, or visit www.calstatela.edu/academic/eep.
The EEP Curriculum
The EEP curriculum is designed to meet both the traditional requirements of a high school diploma (GED) and the specific requirements for a baccalaureate degree (B.A. or B.S.) from Cal State LA. Accordingly, students are required to complete an enhanced General Education curriculum during their freshman year in addition to completing the requirements for their selected major and all other university graduation requirements. With approval of the Director of the EEP and the Director of the Honors College, students may substitute equivalent courses for these requirements. Prior to the completion of 30 units in the program, students must declare a major and meet with an advisor in their major department to determine the requirements for that major.