Academic Information

The University Honors Program is an alternative track to the corresponding Liberal Education requirements at St. Cloud State University. Completion of any of Honors Program goal areas one through ten also completes the goal areas in the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC), and vice versa for students joining Honors at SCSU with prior credits. Completion also facilitates transitions in and out of Honors; both within St. Cloud State University and between public colleges and universities in Minnesota. Students do not usually need to meet both Honors and Liberal Education requirements. Some majors and pre-major programs require specific Liberal Education courses; in each such case, either that course substitutes for an Honors requirement or there is an Honors course that counts in place of the specific Liberal Education course.

A. Program Requirements: Graduating with Honors

In order to graduate with Honors designation, students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0, and are required to complete these following requirements before graduation:

  1. Honors First-year seminars:

Honors Seminar I (HONS 100, 2 credits) and Honors Seminar II (106, 1 credit) 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. Students will also be introduced to the portfolio and begin to add the basic elements of its structure.

  1. Portfolio

The Honors portfolio is an electronic tool that allows students to capture, reflect on, and integrate their Honors experiences – both in and out of the classroom.  It provides a way for students to present their accomplishments to prospective employers, graduate schools, scholarship committees, and others.  Most importantly, it helps students to make personal meaning from their experiences here and better understand how these experiences are connected to their values and future. 

In order to successfully complete the Honor’s portfolio and graduate with the Honors designation students are required to submit a portfolio with a minimum of eight course reflections (one per semester) along with eight co-curricular reflections; three of which must be from the “Distinguished” category. See below for examples.

Co-Curricular Examples –Distinguished Group

  • Community service (10-20 hours- not required as a part of major)
  • Internship (not required as a part of major)
  • Senior Thesis (not required as a part of major)
  • Significant service to a University club or organization
  • Leadership position or significant contribution in a campus organization or athletic team
  • Study abroad- Semester long
  • Independent research with a faculty member
  • Presenting at a national or regional conference
  • Other opportunities may be considered with prior approval from the Director/Associate Director of the University Honors Program


  1. Honors Senior-year seminar:

Honors 300

Students take this seminar style course either junior or senior year as part of a culminating honors experience and to put the finishing touches on the portfolio.

  1. Minimum of four Honors courses in Liberal Education Program (goal areas). All Honors courses fulfill the Liberal Education Program (LEP) that all SCSU students are required to take.   

  1. One semester of foreign language (in Liberal Education Program – fulfill goal 6 and/or 8). Click here for Honors approved language courses


B. Liberal Education Program (LEP) Requirements

  1. Completion of goal areas one through ten
  2. Three diversity courses (9 credits) depending on transfer credits.
    • Diversity Requirements:
      • 0-19 transferred credits: three courses required
      • 20-29 transferred credits: two courses required
      • 30-39 transferred credits: one course required
      • 40+ transferred credits: zero diversity course required
    • Students may obtain diversity credits within the LEP, and through HONS, major, minor, or university elective courses.
  1. Minimum of 40 credits completed in the LEP

Students who are transferring from another state college or university in Minnesota can use the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, and how courses are transferred over to St. Cloud State.

Double Counting:

If course number is listed in more than one goal area (for the LEP and Honors), it will double count and fulfill both goal areas. You will only receive credits towards one goal area. Keep in mind that you need a minimum of 40 credits in order to complete the LEP/Honors requirement, even upon the competition of all the goal areas.

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