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Paths to Graduate in the Honors College

Students have two choices to graduate in the Honors College:

1. The Traditional Path OR 2. The Minor in Honors Studies.

Benefits Shared By Both

  • Receive a medallion to wear at graduation
  • Awarded special recognition in the graduation commencement booklet  with your name, thesis, and supervising professor appearing in a separate list
  • Earn a special Honors designation on transcript upon graduation

Writing the thesis can also prove a benefit when applying to graduate or professional school, or applying to a job after graduation. Admissions committees in many of the best graduate and professional schools often consider students especially well qualified who have already participated successfully in the original research represented by an honors thesis.

1. The Traditional Path

To graduate in the Honors College through the traditional path, students must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours, typically 5 honors courses.

  • The 15 hours must include HON 4390B (Thesis).
  • You must maintain a 3.25 GPA.

2. The Minor in Honors Studies

To graduate in the Honors College through the minor in Honors Studies, students must complete a minimum of 21 credit hours, typically 7 honors courses. 

  •  The 21 hours must include HON 4390A (Senior Seminar) and HON 4390B (Thesis) along with two advanced honors classes (3000 or 4000 level). Of the advanced courses, a maximum of 2 may be Honors Contract courses. Honors Contract courses may not be counted for both the minor and the major. A maximum of 3 Honors courses may be counted to satisfy both General Education Core Curriculum requirements and the minor.       
  • Evidence of study abroad/international experience or evidence of cross-cultural competency. (For more information see below)
Minor Checklist (PDF, 98 KB)
Expand or Collapse all.
  • BGS majors with an Honors minor should meet jointly with representatives from both the BGS program and Honors if interested in substituting HON 4390B for GNST 4350. 

Guidelines and Options for Study Abroad/International Experience

or Cross-cultural Competency

in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements to Minor in Honors Studies

Note: The Honors College must approve your study abroad/international experience or cross-cultural competency. Choose one of the following options to fulfill this requirement:

For academic advising in the Honors College, please contact

Study Abroad

  • If you complete a Texas State faculty-led study abroad program, let your academic advisor know, and contact so we can update your records to reflect completion of this requirement.


  • If you complete a study abroad program unrelated to Texas State, submit a 2-3 page essay.


Other International Experience

  • If you have had international experience(s) beyond that of tourism, make an appointment through to discuss the experience and learn about how it can count for this requirement.
  • A 2-3 page essay is required.

Cross-Cultural Competency

  • In lieu of traveling outside of the borders of the U.S.A., you may arrange to encounter another culture nearby:
  • Texas State’s National Student Exchange program allows Honors College students to study away at a host institution within the United States, Canada, and U.S. territories that include Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam for in-state tuition rates.  Consider exploring the Inuit tribes of Alaska or Polynesian culture in Hawaii, and more.   Numerous opportunities for cross-cultural competency also include designated historically-black colleges and universities, as well as other Hispanic-serving institutions.  Visit the NSE website for application dates and university profiles: NSE Member Institutions:


  • There are other opportunities as well:
    • The cross-cultural component should reflect both quality of experience and quantity in time spent with another culture.
    • Students have fulfilled this requirement by volunteering and starting programs in areas such as the Hays County Food Bank, El Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos, the Calaboose African American Museum, nursing centers (working with Alzheimer’s patients), etc.
  • Contact to make an appointment to arrange to fulfill this requirement.
  • Some guidelines: A 2-3 page essay is required. The essay should summarize your experience and indicate how you are different having encountered another culture. Submit to After the essay is approved (or faculty-led study abroad course is on your transcript), the Honors College will contact your academic advisor to confirm that you have fulfilled this requirement.