Honors College Requirements


Incoming First-Year Students (minimum 24 units)

Foundations Courses
One of the following is required: 3
Students who have credit for ENGL 102 in any form (AP credit, course taken at TU, course taken elsewhere and transferred to TU) cannot take ENGL 190 for credit. Therefore they must take ENGL 290 to fulfill this requirement
Lower-Level Honors Courses
Select two from the following: 6
Honors versions of 100-200-level courses (e.g. PSYC 102)
200-level Honors Seminars
Other designated Honors courses not meeting other requirements (e.g., HONR 370 courses not counted toward areas III and IV), but not experiential learning (e.g. internships)
Upper-Level Honors Seminar Courses
Select two from the following: 6
300-level Honors Seminars (e.g. HONR 370)
Experiential and Advanced Learning Courses
Select a minimum of 6 units from the following:6
Departmental honors thesis, directed readings, independent study, and approved capstone courses
With prior approval, upper-level service learning courses
300-level Honors seminars
All Experiential Learning Course options (except 300-level Honors Seminars) must be approved by the Honors College before enrollment for the term in which they are taken.
Students will be expected to present the results of Honors Elective work (except 300-level Honors Seminars) at least once at a Celebration of Scholarship and Learning or other event approved by the Honors College.
Total Units24

Incoming Transfer Students

The Honors College requirements for transfer students depend on the total number of transferrable credits completed (not including AP credits).

Students transferring into the Honors College with:

30 or fewer credits:  Requirements are the same as for first-year entering students, including Honors English, the Towson Seminar (*if it has not already been completed or waived), 6 units of lower-level Honors course work, 6 units of upper-level Honors Seminars, and 6 units from Honors Experiential and Advanced Learning courses, all taken at Towson University.

*If the Towson Seminar has been completed or waived at the time of admission, the student must take an additional lower-level or upper-level Honors course to meet the expectation of 24 units in Honors.

With 31-59 credits: Students who have taken ENGL 102 or who have received transfer credit for ENGL 102 will be exempt from the requirement of ENGL 190 or ENGL 290.

Students who have taken TSEM 102 or have a transfer waiver for TSEM will be example from the TSEM 190 requirement but must take an additional lower-level or upper-level Honors seminar.

All other requirements remain the same as for Incoming First-year students. The total program requirement is thus 21 units. 

Courses Fulfilling the Honors College Requirements

Courses taken to fulfill requirements for the Honors College may not be taken on a pass grading option. To graduate as a University Honors Scholar, students must be in the Honors College at the time of graduation.

Sample Four-Year Schedule

Lower Division
First Year6-9
Honors English - required
Honros Seminar - required
One Honors equivalent course or 200-level Honors seminars (HONR label, PHIL 212, POSC 212 or a different topic for ENGL 290) recommended; one course in either category required
Second Year6-9
Two-three Honors College course courses, including one at the 300 level
Note that a maximum of 6 units of Honors Equivalent courses may count toward Honors College requirements - see Definitions below.
Upper Division
Third Year3-6
HONR seminars - 300 level
Fourth Year3-6
Honors Electives

Definitions of Courses

Honors English

Students who enter with less than 30 credits must take an Honors English course. The two options are ENGL 190 and ENGL 290. Most students will take ENGL 190 in their freshman year. Students who have already taken freshman English or who have AP credit for ENGL 102 must take ENGL 290. Topics for ENGL 290 change each term. Students should consult the list of courses available on the Honors College webpage for information about topics. ENGL 290 may be taken a second time with a different topic for Honors seminar credit (see below).

Honors Equivalent Courses

Honors Equivalent courses are more challenging versions of the regular class in that discipline. These courses are designed to be smaller, more discussion-based, more focused on critical thinking and more writing intensive than non-Honors sections of the same course. Students may count a maximum of two Honors Equivalent courses toward completion of the Honors College curriculum. Students may take additional Honors Equivalent courses as wanted for other university curriculum credit, such as University Core requirements. Honors Equivalent courses may count toward credit in the connected major or minor. See the Course catalog for that major or minor for more information.

Honors Seminars

Most Honors seminars start with the HONR code. Exceptions include ENGL 290, POSC 212, PHIL 212 and KNES 354. Seminars at the 200 level often also count for Core credit.  See the Core Curriculum list for updated information. Seminars at the 300 level are intended for juniors and seniors, though advanced second-term sophomores may also enroll.  Seminars at the 300 level may also be used to fulfill Honors Elective credit (see below).

200 level
Lower-level Honors College seminars allow for in-depth study of fundamental issues, ideas, topics or problems. These interdisciplinary seminars are on a wide range of original topics that are based on the instructors’ areas of interest. Emphasis for these seminars is on developing and strengthening skills important to success in honors and undergraduate education, including oral and written communication skills, reading skills, critical and creative thinking, etc. These seminars may be repeated for credit if topics change. Courses include 200-level seminars with the HONR code, PHIL 212, POSC 212 and ENGL 290 (which can only be taken twice with different topics, whether for seminar credit, Honors English credit, or some combination thereof). These seminars may be repeated for a maximum of 6 units of credit toward Honors College requirements if topics change.

300/400 level
Upper-level Honors courses are designed to deepen knowledge about a particular intellectual issue and demonstrate the interconnectedness of academic disciplines. The approach is interdisciplinary, but some specific discipline content is used to further greater understanding of a broader issue. Many of these seminars incorporate problem-solving components and independent writing or research projects as part of a culminating activity. Like the lower-level seminars, these courses have original topics that are based on the instructor’s area of interest. These seminars may satisfy major or minor requirements.  Consult your major or minor adviser for more information. These seminars may satisfy major or minor requirements, such as major, minor or Core requirements. Courses include 300-level seminars with the HONR code (may be repeated several times with a different topic), KNES 354 and ENGL 332

Honors Elective Credit

Students must complete 6 units of Honors Electives.  Eligible course options, whether taken under department codes or the HONR code include: 

  • Independent Study
  • Study Abroad 
  • Internships
  • Service-learning
  • Directed Readings
  • Thesis
  • 300-level HONR seminars

For all of these options except 300-level seminars, students must follow Honors College guidelines, submit required paperwork before starting these courses, and get the approval of the Honors College Faculty Director by the end of the first week of classes for the term in which the course is taken. A maximum of 3 units toward Honors College requirements may be given for each learning experience in a single term. A maximum of 6 units total of Electives may be used toward Honors College requirements. More information and syllabus templates for Honors Independent Study, Internships, Service-learning, Directed Readings, and Thesis are available on the Honors College website. The Honors College strongly encourages these experiential learning options, and students should contact the Faculty Director the term before beginning these experiential learning courses to discuss options and ensure they are eligible for Honors College credit. 

Students interested in Study Abroad must submit the forms for Study Abroad available on the Honors College website and contact the Faculty Director prior to their departure. Participants in short-term Study Abroad courses may receive 3 units toward their Honors Electives if they complete an approved study abroad project and a public presentation. Honors College students participating in full-term (Fall or Spring) study abroad course work may receive 6 units toward their Honors Electives if they complete an approved study abroad project and public presentation. 

Credit for Honors Electives, with the exception of 300-level seminars, is not automatic. Experiential learning courses which are taken under a department code and are approved by the Honors College Faculty Director may also count for credit in the student's major or minor with the approval of that department. See the Course Descriptions listing of specific courses for more information. All experiential learning courses require a significant writing component and a public presentation which must be completed before Honors College credit can be granted. Contact the Faculty Director for scheduled Honors College presentation dates, which vary each term. 

Students interested in Honors Electives, which do not include 300-level seminars, should consult the Honors College website for more detailed, updated information on and deadlines for setting up this type of course work for Honors College credit.