Honors Program

Students sitting in the grass on the quad at orientation

First-year and transfer students may enter the Honors Program. A minor is also available.

Challenge yourself to go farther

This is the time to hone skills that will benefit you in whatever career you pursue.

Take challenging interdisciplinary courses that emphasize proficiency in writing and research, analytical skills, teamwork, and the delivery of presentations.

You'll also attend seminars that offer direct experience in service learning and in the arts. Take courses with other honors students as part of an "honors freshman foundation year," which includes courses that focus on developing skills in critical thinking.

As sophomores and juniors, you'll take an average of one honors course per semester, and then complete your honors work with a two semester honors thesis in an area of your choosing.

Honors projects can take many forms, including films and art installations as well as more traditional research theses. Recent projects have focused on a wide range of topics including the productions of short films, screenplays, television programs, fiction and game art portfolios, as well as the study of artificial intelligence technologies for people with disabilities, sustainable building design, renaissance literature, allied bombings in World War II, and teaching methods and policies.

Outside of class, you might take part in other extracurricular activities to experience a rich cultural environment and develop community awareness.

To remain in the Honors Program, you must maintain a yearly GPA of at least 3.3.

Benefits of the Honors Program

  • Unique, innovative curriculum and courses with other honors students
  • Small class sizes and close interaction with professors
  • Opportunities to attend cultural events and activities
  • Early class registration privileges
  • Recognition at graduation as a Massachusetts Commonwealth Scholar
  • Full honors program students receive a $2000 per year merit scholarship (minors do not receive a scholarship)
  • Access to the Honors Common, an exclusive study lounge that includes its own printer
  • Option to live in Honors Housing

Honors curriculum

The honors curriculum creates a solid foundation of knowledge and skills in the first year and builds on the base in each of the succeeding years. 

First Year Curriculum

HON 1005 Introduction to Personal and Social Contexts for Human Behavior
HON 1020 Current Events and Service Learning
HON 1050 Honors English I
HON 1070 Mozart to Modernism
HON 1151 Wellness in Today's World
HON 1200 Honors English II
HON 1600 Biological Issues and Inquiry
HON 1700 Applied Statistics

Sophomore and Junior Honors Seminars (may be taken in any order)*

HON 2100 Honors Seminar in Literature
HON 2150 Honors Seminar in Humanities: Contemporary Issues
HON 2225 Honors Seminar in History
HON 2250 Honors Seminar in Environmental Science
Honors Thesis  
HON 4990 Honors Thesis Research
HON 4991 Honors Thesis Writing

How do I join?

When applying to Fitchburg State, check the "honors program" box to apply to the program. In order to be accepted, you must qualify with:

  • A 3.5 GPA
  • Combined SAT scores of 1200 or higher 
  • Showcase involvement in extracurricular activities

Additional Requirements

All students in the honors program will demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language at the intermediate level. Languages include Spanish, French, Italian, Latin, ASL, and other languages may be considered on a provisional basis.

This requirement can be met through examination or coursework.

Students will also complete HON 1700: Honors Applied Statistics or a Math course at or above the level of Calculus.

Contact Info

Dr. Catherine Buell, Honors Coordinator