Honors Institute

What are the Program Requirements?

In order to graduate from the Honors Program, each student must complete the following curriculum and co-curriculum requirements, in addition to all the specific requirements of their degree program:

Curricular (20 credits)

  • 12 credits of General Education Honors Coursework to include an Honors Orientation Seminar
  • Yearly Symposia focusing on the areas of Ethics, Service, Leadership and Research
  • 8 credits of Honors Coursework in a student's major

Co-Curricular

  • Four mandatory non-credit bearing symposia experiences are required annually throughout the program with one occurring each year during the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior spring semesters  
  • Must maintain a 3.5 GPA at GCU for continued enrollment in the Honors Institute

Incoming Freshman

While in the Honors Institute, students will need to complete the three areas of coursework requirements depicted in the table below.

General Education Courses in the College Major Honors Symposia
Three courses (12 credits) in the General Education portion of the degree program:
  • UNV-106HN
  • CWV-106HN
  • ENG-206HN
8-9 credits in the major (2-3 courses, depending on credit model). Click here to view which courses in the college major need to be taken for honors credit.

Four annual symposia (one symposium per year - freshman, sophomore, junior, senior). See diagram below for an overview of how each symposium is structured. These are all 0-credit courses. The example provided refers to the Freshman Symposium on Ethics. Each annual symposium will follow this structure, although the thematic focus will change, based on the five core domains of the honors program:
  • Freshman (Ethics)
  • Sophomore (Service)
  • Junior (Leadership)
  • Senior (Research)
  • Cultural Awareness (Integrated throughout program)

Students analyze the five core honors domains in depth throughout the curriculum by reading texts from the "Great Books" collection as they formulate their own answers to the "Great Questions" of human thought.

Transfer Students

While in the Honors Institute, transfer students will need to complete the three areas of coursework requirements depicted in the table below. The total requirement for transfer students in the honors program is 16-17 honors credits.

Honors Foundation Courses in the College Major Honors Symposia
Two courses (8 credits) in the Honors Foundation portion of the degree program:
  • UNV-306HN
  • CWV-306HN
8-9 credits in the major (2-3 courses, depending on credit model). Click here to view which courses in the college major need to be taken for honors credit. Annual symposia (one symposium per year - freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) are required to complete the honors program. See diagram below for an overview of how each symposium is structured. These are all 0-credit courses. The focus of each annual symposium will change based on the five core domains of the honors program:
  • Freshman (Ethics)
  • Sophomore (Service)
  • Junior (Leadership)
  • Senior (Research)
^ Transfer honors students will complete the number of symposia that remain upon admittance into the Honors Institute, depending on which year level the student enters the program.


Students analyze the five core honors domains in depth throughout the curriculum by reading texts from the "Great Books" collection as they formulate their own answers to the "Great Questions" of human thought.

Typical Honors Coursework Sequence

The below table displays the recommended sequence for most students, although some courses might shuffle in sequence based on the number of credits a student is transferring into the university. The shuffle will usually impact the sequence related to the Honors courses in the major. Click here to view which courses in the college major need to be taken for Honors credit.

To complete the requirements of the Honors Institute, the student must earn 20-21 credits of honors designated coursework as defined by the program.

Semester Course Symposium
#1 (Fall) UNV-106HN: A Ripple in the Pond: From Idea to Impact
#2 (Spring) CWV-106HN: Christianity: Story, Theology and Mission HON-106: Freshman Symposium on Ethics: Culture, Perception and Action
#3 (Fall) ENG-206HN: The Power of Media: Social and Critical Approaches
#4 (Spring) Honors course in College Major* HON-206: Sophomore Symposium on Service: Human Connections
#5 (Fall) Honors course in College Major*
#6 (Spring) HON-306: Junior Symposium on Leadership: The Last Shall be First
#7 (Fall) Honors course in College Major* (if needed to obtain 8-9 credits)
#8 (Spring) HON-406: Senior Symposium on Research: Ways of Thinking and Knowing


*Honors courses in the college major are predetermined for each college program. The above suggested sequence may change depending on student's program or number of credits the student is transferring into GCU. Refer to the Honors Courses section for a complete list of designated honors courses in each college program.