Honors College Academic Program Overview

The Thomas F. Freeman Honors College:

  • provides challenging courses and academic enhancement experiences for the scholars to achieve; and
  • promotes critical thinking skills, intellectual engagement and strong research opportunities as it prepares scholars to excel in graduate or professional schools and a career path.

The Honors curriculum is designed to:

  • serve the needs of its scholars by providing a learning environment that fosters a commitment to excellence in education;
  • prepare community and global leaders;
  • represent itself as a flagship of the university; and,
  • instill ethical standards and establish meaningful exchanges with other learning communities locally, nationally and internationally.

The Honors experience strives to:

  • create an environment where academically talented scholars can develop;
  • provide mentoring, nurturing and academic support so scholars can reach their full potential;
  • promote scholars’ interest in international education; and
  • provide opportunities for internship and a service learning environment.


Honors College Requirements

In order to earn the distinction of graduating from the Thomas F. Freeman Honors College, students must be admitted into the Honors College and meet its academic and other requirements, including maintaining both a semester and cumulative GPA of 3.25 and complete and pass a minimum of 15 semester credit hours in fall and spring of each year.

General Education “Honors Core” Courses—at the Lower Division Level

The institutional foundations come from the general education curriculum of the university. The Honors College provides “Honors” sections for general education core classes that are a required part of higher education by the State of Texas. The Honors core courses are specially designed for Honors scholars and emphasize Analysis, Synthesis, Oral Presentation, and Research. Scholars may select from the following courses to complete a minimum of 15 hours of Honors coursework.

Honors Core Courses* Required Honors Credit Hours
First two (2) years of undergraduate education: 15
English 131 and 132 (6)
English 230, 231, or 244 (3)
Math 133, 134, (3)
Biology 143 or 132 (3)
Chemistry 131 (3)
Political Science 235 and 236 (6)
History 231 and 232 (6)
Speech 135 or 136 (3)


Upper Division Courses

Upper Division Courses: Petitioning for Honors Credit with Course Augmentation Proposals (CAPs)

Junior scholars must take six (6) credit hours in the junior year from major courses. These courses will be a contract (Course Augmentation Proposal) between the scholar and the professor. They are required to complete a total of two (2) course augmentation proposals (CAPs) in their junior year (one in fall and one in spring). The scholars are required to present their reports, research papers and projects at the semi-annual Honors Undergraduate Research and Internships Symposium. The symposium is designed to help them in their pursuits of career opportunities and in their applications for admission into graduate or professional programs.

Honors Core Courses
Course Augmentation Proposals (CAPs)* Required Credit Hours
Juniors: 6
Two Upper- (300- or 400-) Level Courses within the Major


Senior Thesis*

Honors College Scholars in the senior year are required to write a thesis during their last two semesters. Seniors will complete the thesis and submit it to the Honors College one month before their graduation. The senior scholars are required to present their thesis before a panel of Honors College faculty two (2) weeks before graduation.

Completion of thesis is based upon approval by the Honors Faculty Fellow assigned to the senior scholar.

  Freeman Research Journal

*Completion of Honors curriculum is required for the Thomas F. Freeman Honors College seal on the final transcript and diploma.

Frederick Douglass Lecture Series

All Honors scholars are required to attend two (2) lectures each semester, sponsored by the Honors College, featuring experts at the university as well as renowned local, regional, national and/or international scholars or creative artists. The lectures have a community or global focus.


Research & Recruitment Trips and International Travel

The Research and Recruitment trips involve students visiting cities outside of Houston, Texas with the goal of conducting and sharing research with another college's Honors program. While on the trip, scholars will recruit at area high schools.

Scholars have the opportunity to study abroad through the University's Office of International Programs in partnership with the Honors College.