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Civic Engagement
Collaborative Capacity
Command of Language
Global Awareness

The Honors Curriculum and Requirements are organized by the attributes we expect students to have demonstrated by completion of the Program. Those attributes are: breadth, collaborative capacity, global awareness, civic engagement, command of language, and depth. This section is designed to give you complete information about Honors Program requirements, including your options for fulfilling them. For requirements met through coursework, you must receive a “B” or higher in the course.

For a more in-depth look at all the different aspects of the Honors program, including what it looks like to fit the program in over four years, see our 'Charting Your Course Through Honors' section under our advising center pages.

Overview of Requirements


Required Honors Courses (13 credits minimum)

  • Orientation: HNR 100 (1 credit)
  • Two courses with the HNR prefix (6 credits)
  • Two additional honors courses, either departmental honors or those with the HNR prefix (6 credits)
  • At least two academic divisions (social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences/mathematics) must be represented among the four honors courses used to complete this requirement
  • One interdisciplinary course (honors or non-honors)

Collaborative Capacity

• One collaborative course or experience

Global Awareness

• Two global awareness options from the approved list, at least one of which must be non-Eurocentric in focus

Civic Engagement

• A minimum of 50 hours of documented civic engagement experiences, over at least three semesters (summers can count as semesters)

Command of Language

  • One course including public presentation, or an approved public presentation experience
  • One quantitative or creative expression course
  • A written summary of your Honors Capstone Project
  • Presentation of your project on Capstone Presentation Day in late spring of your senior year


• An Honors Capstone Project in your major or majors


Breadth IconBroad general knowledge facilitates your ability to make and create connections in your studies at Syracuse, the broader world, and in your professional life beyond college. Situating the material you are learning in your classes and research within a wide historical, social and economic context enhances your knowledge.

The requirement for Disciplinary Breadth has two aspects:

(A) disciplinary diversity and (B) interdisciplinarity

(A) Disciplinary diversity: All Honors students will demonstrate disciplinary breadth by successfully completing a minimum of 13 credits of honors courses as follows:

  • The orientation requirement: The introductory honors seminar, HNR 100. Students who join the Program after their first year may substitute a 1 credit 200-level HNR seminar for the Orientation requirement.
  • Two courses with the HNR prefix (6 credits).  Students may complete three one-credit 200-level HNR seminars for a grade in lieu of one HNR course.
  • Two additional Honors courses (6 credits). These may be courses with the HNR prefix, Honors sections of regular departmental courses, or Honors discussion sections of regular departmentally-based courses.
  • A summer or semester of study abroad or off campus may count as the equivalent of one HNR or other Honors course, with prior permission of the Honors Program. This option will require submission of critical essays prior to departure, while off campus, and upon return, reflecting upon the entire experience. This option may be exercised only once.

(B) Interdisciplinarity: Each discipline and profession has its own way of identifying problems, collecting and analyzing evidence and then making conclusions. Interdisciplinary courses bring these variant methodologies together. You will examine the world through multiple lenses, expanding your ability to relate with scholars and professionals in a range of fields. Diversity of knowledge will increase your capacity to address the problems of the world today. Interdisciplinarity can be met in the following ways:

  • Completion of an approved, three-credit course with substantial interdisciplinary content.
  • An independent project experience, with prior approval from the Honors Program.
  • Completion of a clearly interdisciplinary Capstone Project, with prior approval from the Honors Program and from your department.

Syracuse University courses that count toward the interdisciplinary portion of the breadth requirement:

Civic Engagement

Civic EngagementSee our civic engagement website for more information about this requirements. We have a useful Civic Engagement blog, want ads to help you know exactly, and online tools for submitting your hours.

Collaborative Capacity

Collaborative CapacityAlthough you will fulfill your collaborative requirement by working on a substantial class project with a small group of peers, you will produce far more than a homework assignment. Collaborative learning capitalizes on each individual’s resources, making for a more rounded, deeper and wider base on which to build. Dynamic interactivity prepares you to be a team player in the professional and social situations which you will encounter in the future.

The collaborative requirement can be met through any of three ways:

  1. An approved course or extended project through a course that involves substantial teamwork.
  2. An independent project experience, such as in drama or engineering, that would require faculty approval both before work begins and at the end of the project. The team should work regularly with the faculty member or similar advisor throughout the work. The project must result in a deliverable product such as a report, presentation, or performance.
  3. Completion of an off-campus project (through an internship, field experience, or other activity). This requires a written proposal to be approved by the Honors Program before work begins. The project must result in a final deliverable product such as a report, presentation, or performance.

For non-course based projects, a petition that includes a brief, written description of the collaborative experience, along with documentation of the report, presentation, or performance, must be submitted promptly to the Honors Program at the conclusion of the project.

Command of Language

Command of LanguageLanguage is the mode by which we know the world. Although none of us will ever attain complete mastery, development of linguistic skills connects us to each other, to all that we know, to our past and to our future. Delivering a presentation in a class tangibly fulfills this requirement; developing ability to clearly express your ideas is the intangible goal of this central attribute in the Honors curriculum.

  • One course including public presentation, or an approved public presentation experience. This course should have a substantial public presentation component. Courses in public speaking, broadcasting, and acting will routinely satisfy this condition. Any other course may qualify, by petition, if it requires a public presentation of at least 15 minutes that is subject to critical faculty review.
    • When you look at your progress report, there is a separate box for 'public presentation', which reflects this course or experience.
  • One quantitative or creative expression course
  • The executive summary of your Honors Capstone Project
  • Presentation of your project on Capstone Presentation Day in late spring of your senior year

Alternate paths:

Other avenues will be considered on an individual basis by petition to the Honors Program. For example, the public presentation component could be fulfilled by such activities as participation in Mock Trial or the Debate Team.


depthYou will demonstrate your ability to learn a topic deeply by designing an Honors Capstone. Completing a research or professional project will bring unanticipated richness of experiences and expansion of your skills. Additionally, finishing the Capstone shows your focused passion, inner discipline, and academic capabilities—and we can’t leave out endurance! Whether you continue on to graduate school, professional school, or enter the work force, the Capstone is the centerpiece of your professional portfolio.

For complete information regarding the Honors Capstone project, head over to our Capstone project site or navigate directly to the 'MyCapstone' to learn more about the Capstone process and how to follow it.

Global Awareness

Global AwarenessGlobal connectivity increases daily and with it the need to understand international interdependence as well as the history of power relationships between nations and cultures. You can elect to acquire fluency in a language other than English or study international economics, history, religion or any of the other dynamic courses SU has to offer. In addition to taking classes that emphasize global awareness, you will gain experience outside the classroom that increases your global perspective. Many students choose to travel abroad while others participate in civic engagement with one of the many refugee populations in Syracuse. In both cases, students interact with individuals in ways that enhance their cultural competence and worldly knowledge.

Many options are available to develop cross-cultural awareness, and students must successfully complete two of the following options. In doing so, they must choose two areas of study (exclusive of the United States) that are historically different in cultural, ethnic and linguistic heritages, at least one of which must be non-Eurocentric (i.e., non-USA/European; the study of First-Nations/Native American peoples and cultures qualifies as non-Eurocentric).

  • One course that has a non-US focus (not including language courses).
  • A capstone project that has a non-US focus.
  • Ability in a foreign language at a level of 201 or higher.
  • An internship or other work with a documented global perspective for at least 50 hrs.
  • A semester or summer abroad in a University-approved foreign study program.
  • An Honors-approved, short-term program that includes a foreign travel component (examples are on the SU Abroad Short Term Programs list).
  • At least one semester of residence in a Learning Community with an international focus (such as “International Relations”).
  • One semester in the “Maxwell in Washington Undergraduate Semester” (IR/DC) Program.
  • An approved, sustained, reciprocal mentoring partnership with international students for one semester under the aegis of the Slutzker Center for International Services .
  • An alternative path approved in advance by the Honors Program.If the requirements of a student’s major create a serious impediment to completing this requirement as stated, the student may, with prior approval from the Honors Program, satisfy the requirement by completing two courses: one non-US, one non-Eurocentric.

    Alternate paths:

    Other projects can be considered by petition to the Honors Program ­- for example, significant work with immigrant, refugee, or migrant worker communities in the United States, or sustained involvement through Hendricks Chapel with non-western religions and cultures.

    International students should meet with an Honors advisor to discuss how their experiences may contribute toward fulfilling this requirement.