Academic Information

Due to the nature and uniqueness of the Honors Program, this information is only valid for the fall semester 2013. If you have any questions, please contact the Honors Program.

Program Requirements

40 credits minimum, comprising at least 37 in HONS courses and/or approved substitutions, plus 3-4 credits of a language. If a course counts in more than one Honors Goal, the credits must be made up by other HONS coursework to total 40 credits in all.

Extracurricular Participation in Honors. Each Honors student is expected to participate for four years in Honors Program and Honors Club campus and community activities, including service learning as part of the Seminar 100 course. See the program directors and Honors advising staff for details. This expectation is not a graduation requirement, but it is expected for continuation in Honors.

Taking Honors courses to meet Honors requirements. An Honors adviser may approve specific substitutions of Liberal Education courses for Honors requirements, as needed, due to course availability or to meet major or pre-major requirements. In some Goal Areas, taking a Liberal Education course is the norm. See below for automatic course substitutions. See an Honors Program advisor about specific course substitutions needed in your major.

Honors Seminar I (HONS 100, 2 cr.) and Honors Seminar II (106, 1 cr.) This 3-credit sequence introduces the academically accomplished student to the academic life of the university, adjustment to learning at the university level, use of campus and community resources, service learning, leadership development, and community building in Honors and in the university. It includes a common reading experience as well as a research component culminating in the Honors Research Colloquium in the spring.

The remaining requirements are organized under ten Goal Areas.

Students wishing to transfer to another state college or university in Minnesota will find, below, a comparison with the Goal Areas of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum.

GOAL 1: Communications (7 credits)

Communication Studies; required: HONS 170 (substitutes for CMST 192 in any SCSU requirement).

Written composition, 4 cr.; select one: HONS 160, 161, 163 (substitutes for ENGL 191).

Some transfer or pre-college credits may meet one or both parts of Goal 1. (The same is true throughout the eleven Goal areas, and all students are advised to get their credits transferred and evaluated at St. Cloud State promptly after earning those credits. If you are waiting for test scores or credits transfer, see an advisor so as to avoid taking classes you will later transfer in.)

GOAL 2: Philosophy (3 credits)

Select one: 250, 251, 253.

GOAL 3: Natural Sciences (Minimum of two courses, 3-4 credits each, no more than 4 credits from one department. One course must include a lab or field component; the second may be a natural science course with or without a lab or an environmental science course).

Required: BOTH an Honors Lab or Field Science course – select one: 130, 131, 133;

AND EITHER an additional Honors science from another department – select one: 130, 131, 133, 140, 141, 143;

OR Honors environmental science, also by a different department – select one: 220, 221, 223, 420, 421, 423.

See also automatic substitutions for natural science classes, below. See below for a comparison with Goals 3 and 10 of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum.

GOAL 4: Mathematical/Logical Reasoning (3 credits)

Select one: 110, 111, 113 (Substitutes for MATH 193 in any SCSU requirement) Also see automatic substitutions below.

GOAL 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Minimum 3 credits)

Select one: 260, 261, 263, 460, 461, 463. Future business, nursing, or education majors should also see an Honors advisor about Goal 5.

GOAL 6: Humanities and Fine Arts (Minimum 6 credits, no more than 3 credits from one department.)

One Humanities course: 240, 241, 243, 440, 441, 443. The Humanities portion of Goal 6 can also be met by an Honors philosophy class (250, 251, 253) which may then double count in Goal 2; but then the 3 credits would have to be made up somewhere among any of the eleven Goals. This is true of double counting in any of the eleven Goal Areas: the total must always come to 40 cr.

One Fine Arts course: 230, 231, 233, 430, 431, 433.

GOAL 7: Human Diversity (Minimum 3 credits)

Select one course for the university’s list of Racial Issues courses in the General Education section of this Catalog.

GOAL 8: Global Perspectives (Minimum 3 credits)

Required: Any foreign language. The student will then take a course with global perspective in this Goal Area, by advisor approval.

Although we require only one language course in Honors, we encourage a year or more of one language, and some smaller majors also require the student to take a minor or a year of language. Students who build on previous language background can take a course level 102 or higher, and thereby enjoy increased fluency and expanded global awareness. With higher language course placement, students often have the option to buy back credits which count towards graduation. (See Foreign Languages & Literature: Retro-credit guidelines.) Students who take more than the required number of foreign language courses are at an advantage for overseas study and graduate school admissions.

GOAL 9: Ethical and Civic Responsibility (Minimum 3 credits)

Select one: 210, 211, 213, 410, 411, 413.

GOAL 10: Environmental Issues (3 credits)

Students may take courses numbered 220, 221, 223

Diversity course requirement (9 cr.):

To complete the Honors Program requirements, the combination of all courses taken at St. Cloud State must include three courses (9 cr.) with Diversity related content, including one focusing on gender or women's issues. The required Racial Issues course in Goal 7 counts as 3 of the 9 Diversity credits. Students may obtain the other 6 Diversity credits through HONS, major, minor, or university elective courses. HONS course numbers ending in “1” designate the required Diversity content; numbers ending in “3” designate Diversity content related to gender or women (one required in Honors).

If a designated Diversity course is taken outside of Honors, it will count toward the university’s Diversity requirement, but will not substitute for an Honors course without approval by the program director. The presumption is that they will not substitute for Honors courses but do automatically count as Diversity credits. (Being in Honors includes a commitment to meet Honors requirements by taking HONS courses, with exceptions in mathematics, natural science, and Racial Issues; see “Automatic Substitutions,” below.)

Most students will get the additional 6 credits of Diversity by choosing an HONS course ending in a “3” and another ending in a “1” or a “3” from among the courses that also count in the eleven Goal Areas above. Students who enter the university with a substantial number of applicable General Education credits may have their Diversity requirement reduced, as described in the Liberal Education section of this Catalog.

Racial Issues (RIS)

The University's graduation requirement of a 3 cr. Racial Issues course completes Goal 7 of the Honors Program. See the list of Racial Issues courses in the Liberal Education section of this Catalog.

Bilingual students

The Honors director will waive the language requirement for bilingual international students and Americans fluent at an adult level of daily usage in a language other than English. This is defined as the advanced level of performance according to ACTFL guidelines. Students who choose this option must still meet the 40-credit minimum total by taking additional Honors courses with global perspective content to fulfill Goal 8 of the Honors requirements. See the Honors Program director to approve a global perspectives course.


For a completed list of requirement, please go to the Undergraduate Bulletin.

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