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Honors Program FAQs

  • What are the requirements for completing the Honors Program?

    Students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.7, to be enrolled at Emory for both semesters in which they are pursuing honors, to be in residence, and enrolled in at least one hour of honors research during the final semester of their participation in the Honors Program, to complete the mandatory orientation in Canvas and any other required trainings, to write and defend an honors thesis, and to submit all required honors forms and complete the ETD submission process. Additionally, many departments have their own requirements for honors students; be sure to check with your Departmental Honors Coordinator to find out what, if any, additional requirements you must meet.

  • How is GPA calculated for Honors purposes?

    Admission to the Emory College Honors Program requires a cumulative GPA of 3.7 or above, and students must maintain a cumulative 3.7 GPA through graduation to be eligible to graduate with Honors. Only Emory grades (including Emory-sponsored study abroad programs and courses offered at Emory but outside the College, such as those offered by the Goizueta Business School) are calculated as part of a student’s Emory GPA.

  • My GPA is below 3.7. May I participate in the Honors Program?

    In May and August, the Honors Committee considers petitions to be admitted to Honors from students who do not meet the 3.7 cumulative GPA requirement. Students who have a GPA of at least 3.45, and the support of their departmental honors coordinator and potential thesis advisor are eligible to petition. Students who are admitted by petition must earn at least the cumulative GPA with which they entered the Honors Program. Thus, if a student enters the Honors Program through a petition with a 3.5 cumulative GPA, that student must maintain at least a cumulative 3.5 GPA in every subsequent semester to be eligible to continue in the Honors Program.

  • May I do study abroad while I am participating in the Honors Program?

    With special permission in cases of academic relevance, students may study abroad during the first semester of their participation in the Honors Program. All students are required to be in residence during the final semester of participation in the Honors Program.
  • Can I do Honors if I am enrolled in a 4+1 Program?

    Students enrolled in a 4+1 Program, which allows current students to pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years, must complete the Honors Program before the end of the bachelor portion of their program (i.e., their senior year in the College). Students can participate in the Honors Ceremony when they graduate and receive both degrees.

  • Can I do Honors if I am enrolled in the Emory/Georgia Tech Dual Degree Program?

    Students involved in the Emory/GA Tech dual degree program should complete the Honors Program, including the defense of the thesis, by the end of the student’s coursework at Emory before moving to Georgia Tech (typically the end of the third year). The Honors Program will continue to track these students to ensure they receive the appropriate recognition at the end of the program at Georgia Tech when they graduate and receive both degrees. Students can participate in the Honors Ceremony when they graduate and receive both degrees.

  • What course(s) must I be enrolled in to participate in the Honors Program?

    The College requires honors students to be in residence and enrolled in at least one hour of honors credit during the semester in which they are completing the Honors Program. However, many departments have additional requirements for honors coursework, which typically includes two semesters of honors research/writing and sometimes an additional graduate course or seminar; be sure to check with your Departmental Honors Coordinator for more information.

  • Will I get continued writing or continued communication credit for the Honors Program course?

    Students will receive credit for the continued writing/continued communication GER credit in the second semester of the Honors Program only. The Honors 495BW course will satisfy the continued writing/continued communication GER even if the student enrolls for less than three credits. 

  • I want to do Honors in more than one major. Is this possible?

    No. Students may pursue honors in only one of their declared majors (or in an official joint major that they have declared). Students who are double majoring may design an interdisciplinary project that draws on both majors with the approval of the department in which they are seeking honors, but they will only receive honors in one major.  

  • I want to do Honors in my minor. Is this possible?

    No. Honors may only be pursued in the student’s declared major.

  • Who may serve on my thesis committee?

    Committees must consist of at least three core members. Core committee members must be regular Emory University faculty members from any school or unit. One member must be from the student’s honors major and at least one member must be from Emory College. Your advisor counts as one of the three core members. You may have additional core committee members from the faculty of Emory University. You may also have additional non-core committee members from the faculty of other universities, but only core committee members vote on the level of honors. 

    Regular faculty titles typically include professor, associate professor, assistant professor, teaching professor (professor of pedagogy), associate teaching professor (senior lecturer), assistant teaching professor (lecturer), but might also include titles such as Instructor or Research Associate. 

    Adjunct, visiting, emeritus, and post-doctoral fellows must petition to the Honors Committee to be permitted to serve on committees as core committee members. Once a faculty petition has been approved, it is valid for three years.

    Members of the staff are not eligible to serve on committees. 

    If you have questions about someone’s eligibility or about the petition process, contact

  • Who schedules my thesis defense?

    The student is responsible for scheduling their thesis defense. Defenses can be held in-person, online, or in a hybrid setting.
  • I have submitted my thesis, but am not graduating in the spring. May I participate in the Honors Ceremony?

    Students who are completing the Honors Program in the Spring semester and have permission to walk are allowed to participate in the Honors Ceremony. Students who are graduating in the fall may participate in the Honors Ceremony that follows their graduation. Contact the Honors Program Administrator for more information.
  • I am graduating a semester early or a semester late. May I still pursue honors?

    Yes. Students may pursue Honors on an alternative timeline, with permission from their department and in coordination with the College Honors Program Administrator, but must pursue honors for two consecutive semesters (not including summer semester).

  • How do I drop the Honors Program?

    If you have decided to drop the Honors Program, you must notify both the College Honors Program Administrator and your Departmental Honors Coordinator by completing the drop form. If dropping after College withdrawal deadlines, you must work with your advisor and/or honors coordinator to finish the honors course in which you are enrolled.

  • When is the Honors Ceremony held?

    The Honors Ceremony is held on the afternoon of the Sunday before Commencement.
  • Are there any special circumstances that I should let the honors program know about?

    If you are struggling academically, have petitioned a college standing committee for special circumstances, or there is an extraordinary experience that is affecting your academic path, please get in touch with the honors coordinator in your department and the honors program immediately so your best options for honors can be determined.