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The Honors College

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Honors Courses

Honors courses take students on a different intellectual journey. OSU professors volunteer to teach honors courses, which means all of our faculty are passionate about their areas of expertise and excited to work with honors students. Honors professors really want students to understand the course material and love it as much as they do. There's nothing quite like an enthusiastic professor who takes you on a journey that you might have thought you were not capable of.


Honors courses are also typically much smaller than their traditional counterparts at OSU; most have 20-22 students enrolled and some have fewer than 15. This allows professors to engage students in a more active learning environment and introduce topics in unique, and often innovative, ways. These courses focus on developing oral and written communication skills, thinking about problems in unconventional ways, and fostering confidence in the classroom


While all classes are different, it is the honors seminars that are at the core of the honors intellectual experience. It's not unusual for students to choose to enroll in multiple seminar courses as they tend to be fan favorites among our students. Honors seminars are courses that cross disciplines; courses that do not fit nicely into any of the usual academic pidgeon holes; courses that truly give students an enhanced intellectual experience. Many of our seminar offerings also fulfill general education requirements at OSU, so students are able to meet their seminar requirement while also simultaneously fulfilling a degree requirement.


The Honors College offers approximately 20-30 honors seminars each semester. Examples of past and current seminar topics:

  • The Story of Lizzie Borden: Axe Murder in American Culture
  • Plantation to Plate: Sugar, Bananas, and Coffee in the Americas
  • Living in Space
  • Sex in College Culture
  • City as Text: Stillwater, Oklahoma!
  • Class, Inequality, and Democracy
  • Science and the Movies
  • Biology, Race, and Gender
  • Ethical Issues Across Cultural Perspectives
  • Constitutional Dimensions of Diversity

The Honors College offers approximately 120 honors classes per semester in a variety of general education areas. You can view a current list of honors courses, as well as their descriptions, by clicking here


Transcript and Diploma Designations

Honors course credit is denoted on OSU transcripts. OSU also places special entries on the transcripts of students who complete the requirements for the General Honors Award, the College or Departmental Honors Award, and the Honors College Degree. The Honors College Degree is the highest academic distinction that OSU can bestow upon an undergraduate student. 


Students earning the Honors College Degree receive a special diploma with the Honors College Degree designation (in addition to any Latin honors earned), and they are the only undergraduate students to wear a baccalaureate hood at commencement ceremonies. Students may earn an Honors College Degree in any major on campus, and over 2100 Honors Degrees have been awarded to date.


Review our "Finish in Four" plans here to see examples of how and when honors credit hours would be earned over the course of a hypothetical student's four-year degree:


Honors College Finish in Four Plan

Bonnie Reyes Honors Degree

Students may also earn an Honors College Degree with International Study Empasis by completing requirements for either a specified academic minor with three hours earned in a study abroad experience, or completion of an international study program with a minimum of 18 credit hours of related courses.

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