Honors College Curriculum

Completing the Honors College curriculum is a four-year experience in which the courses and co-curricular opportunities enhance and intersect with your curricula of the different schools and your degree program(s).

Honors College Academic Requirements

Completion Requirements

  1. Twenty-one (21) credit hours of Honors courses.
    1. REQUIRED 01:090:125 Forum (3 cr.)
    2. REQUIRED 01:090:103 Cross-Cultural Competency (1 cr.)
    3. OPTIONAL 01:090:101 Byrne Seminar (1 cr.)
    4. REQUIRED 01:090:292—297 Interdisciplinary Honors Seminar (minimum 3 cr./1 course)
    5. OPTIONAL any + Honors Contract Course (3 cr., up to two, except MGSA students)
    6. OPTIONAL any Departmental Honors Course (3 cr., unlimited)
    7. OPTIONAL 01:090:126 or 127 Innovation Lab (iLab) (1-2 cr.)
    8. REQUIRED 01:090:497 and 498 Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis – Capstone Project (3cr., both required) or substitute for additional course options through:
      1. Departmental Honors Program
      2. Experiential Capstone Project
      3. Graduate Study
      4. Graduate Program Completion 
      5. SEBS Cook Scholars or SEBS Tutorials V & VI (Environmental & Biological Sciences)
      6. School Based Projects (Mason Gross School of the Arts or School of Engineering)
      7. Other (Proposed, developed with Approval of Dean of Honors College)
  2. Service Hours
      Thirty (30) service hours are required to be completed and documented by end of third year. Students have wide latitude and many organized opportunities.


  1. Classes a., b., c. are limited to first-year students only
  2. Classes d., e., f., g. are for sophomore through senior year; required class d. must be taken by end of junior year.
  3. Classes h. are limited to second semester junior and all senior year only; exceptions by appeal.
  4. Capstone Projects require 1) a proposal, 2) a mid-year report, and 3) a final paper, project, performance, showing, report, artistic display, poster, or academic presentation, or other documentation of the experience that is deemed to constitute a "defense" of the project.

Curriculum Details

We begin all of our Honors students' learning with the Summer One Read. This is a common reading centered on an issue or topic that will have resonance in our required first year classes, that is related to a contemporary issue or topic of significance.

At the core of the Honors College curriculum is the first-year mission course, the Honors College Forum. Truly interdisciplinary, this course focuses on the key topics defining twenty-first century life: health and wellness, creative expression, citizenship and leadership, cultures and diversity, and sustainability and innovation. Students engage with these themes in a course dedicated to the acquisition of deep knowledge, an interdisciplinary perspective, and understanding the complexities and demands of problem-solving, all in the role of “Innovation Citizens.”

In addition to the Honors College Forum, all Honors College students are required to take the Cross-Cultural Competency Course, based on a "Me, You, We" approach to understanding a multi-faceted world, the dynamics of diversity, and the essential nature and need for equity and inclusion of all peoples.

In addition, first-year students have an opportunity to take a Byrne Seminar in their first year, exploring some of the most unique, fun, and interdisciplinary ideas that are at the intersection of learning and every-day life. Open only to our new students, these are courses that you won't want to miss.

Once you get into your second and third years, you will be required to take at least one Interdisciplinary Honors Seminar (IHS), to be completed by end of your junior year. These courses are the deep dives into topics that are at the core of faculty research and new knowledge. You will be co-enrolled with students in the SAS and RBS Honors Programs.

The Honors College Forum and the Interdisciplinary Honors Seminars (IHS) both fulfill elective requirements in the academic schools, while the latter also fulfills the Writing and Communication (WCd) requirement for graduation.

To complete your hours you will then enroll in a series of options and courses that are designated as Honors by various departments (up to 50 course sections a semester). These are departmental honors courses and honors sections and seminars taught by faculty from across the University. They can be any 200-level course and above and taken in any department that offers them.t. 

You also have the opportunity to make your own honors course. Students can take up to two non-honors courses and turn them into an honors class, designating them as +Honors, by working with a faculty member on an honors learning contract. We have specific expectations and design components that must be fulfilled, but the final design and outcome is yours to determine.  

For students who want to take their interdisciplinary studies to another level, we offer one of the most unique honors courses in the nation, iLab. The iLab helps students take their learning and develop it into a feasible project, building networks of development contacts, partners, and promoting tangible outcomes.

By the end of your junior year, you must complete thirty service hours through a variety of opportunities both within and outside of the Honors College. You will be expected to amass at least ten hours in each of your first two years.

Finally, to cap off your entire honors-enriched academic experience, you will have to enroll in and complete at least 6 hours of a senior-level capstone experience. There are, as stated above, at least eight different options, giving you the maximum opportunities to complete a project that has both elements of a culminating experience as well as a catapulting experience that sets you up for post-graduate success.

Of course your other focus during your time at Rutgers is your major(s) and your minor(s) and everyone should have at least one of each. You can learn more about those requirements by connecting to your various schools:

To get a full picture of the entire scope and sequence of the Honors College curriculum, please visit: