Honors College Graduation Requirements

The Honors College accommodates entering freshmen, transfer students, and students who join Honors after their first year at UAF by recognizing multiple levels of Honors accomplishment at graduation. Minimum qualifications for each level of Honors accomplishment and details on individual requirements can be found below.

Honors Scholar (HS)

12 Honors Credits

No Engagement Hours

Capstone Required

3.25 GPA

HS Distinction

18 Honors Credits

40 Engagement Hours

Capstone Required

3.50 GPA

HS Highest Distinction

24 Honors Credits

80 Engagement Hours

Capstone Required

3.50 GPA

In order to most efficiently complete the required courses, it is recommended that all Honors students reference the following schedule when planning their degree paths. To make good progress, students should complete a minimum of 6 Honors credits a year.

Year 1

  • HONR F101, Introduction to Honors & reading seminar (3 credits)
  • Honors seminar or sections of core general classes that meet major requirements (3 credits)

Year 2

  • HONR F201, Methods of Inquiry (3 credits)
  • Honors seminar or sections of core general classes that meet major requirements (3 credits)

Year 3

  • Study Abroad (optional 3-6 credits)
  • HONR F498, Research (optional 1-3 credits)
  • Honors seminar or sections of core general classes that meet major requirements (3 credits)

Year 4

  • HONR F499, Capstone Development (3 credits)
  • Honors seminar or sections of core general classes that meet major requirements (3 credits)
Credit Opportunities

Honors Sections: Many core curriculum courses have honors sections. Students are encouraged to complete as many core courses in honors sections as their schedules permit.

Honors Contracting: Students are also welcome to work with individual professors to contract other upper division courses for honors credit. Contracting a course involves creating alternate or additional assignments in the regular course that extend the student’s learning and provide greater challenge.

Other Opportunities: The Honors College will recognize all graduate level courses as Honors credit. Students can also earn up to half of their Honors credits through study away programming.

Service hours are required for Honors students graduating with Distinction (40) or Highest Distinction (80). Engagement hours include unpaid volunteer opportunities at community nonprofit organizations, participation in campus clubs and student groups, and attendance of campus-wide events.

Example Opportunities

Community Organizations

  • Stone Soup Café
  • Fairbanks Children’s Museum
  • Fairbanks Community Food Bank
  • Fairbanks Rescue Mission
  • Access Alaska
  • Interior Alaska Land Trust
  • Fireweed Collective
  • And more!

Campus Groups

  • Honors Student Advisory Council (HSAC)
  • Associated Students of UAF (ASUAF)
  • Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA)
  • Math Club
  • Students of Color Association (SCA)
  • Tau Beta Pi
  • UAF Gaming Society
  • And more!

Campus-wide Events

  • Guest lectures
  • Candidate forums
  • Student presentations and thesis defense
  • Registration events
  • Research speaker series
  • Residence hall activities 
  • And more!

A capstone project or research-based thesis must be completed by all Honors students by graduation. Capstone projects represent the culmination of a student's time and learning experiences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. We encourage all students to find a format for this project that best fits their interests, degree path, and goals after graduation.

Students required to complete a capstone project through their degree path may tailor their project to meet Honors requirements. Students interested in developing a capstone project or research-based thesis outside of their degree requirements are highly encouraged to enroll in HONR 499: Honors Thesis Development their senior year. This course provides time, credit, and support to thoroughly develop a project that meets Honors standards.

To remain in good standing in the Honors College, and be eligible for all program benefits, students must maintain a GPA above 3.00 and be completing honors courses. Honors students are expected to take at least 6 credits of Honors courses each year. Accumulating more than 6 credits throughout freshman and sophomore years will allow for more flexibility junior and senior years.


Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.00 will receive intervention and strong support from Honors staff. We will work with students individually to help them return to good standing.