Honors Program

The best of both worlds: the benefits of a liberal arts college at a major public research university

As a part of this world-renowned research university, the College of Letters and Science Honors Program has two interrelated objectives that enhance undergraduate education by: (1) providing structured opportunities to work closely with leading faculty in the College, and (2) preparing students for life after college by encouraging the pursuit of advanced degrees and career development. Over the past two decades, graduates have gone on to the best graduate and professional programs in the world.

At the heart of the Program are three enriching opportunities to work closely with amazing faculty, as made exclusively available to Program students: (1) enrollment in honors discussion sections, (2) contracts for unique study with professors, and (3) admission to Honors Seminars.

Honors discussion sections, taught by faculty in both lower and upper division courses, allow for deeper examination of themes and topics in a more intimate classroom setting. The Honors Seminars inspire students' own research interests as they learn about faculty projects within the scholarly community. The combination of these three opportunities helps students consider possibilities for advanced study after college by preparing them for research design and acquisition of research funding.

Additional Program Benefits 

  • Dedicated scholarships and grants
  • Early registration for classes
  • Preferential registration for a series of Honors Seminars (for upper division students)
  • Priority selection of the Scholars Floor in campus residence halls
  • Library privileges
  • Special advising services and programs
  • Peer mentorship

Program Participation and Requirements

About 10 percent of the most outstanding first-year and transfer students are invited to join the Honors Program when they are admitted to the College. Continuing students may apply to the Honors Program after demonstrating academic excellence at UCSB. All students in the Honors Program must maintain a consistently high level of academic achievement." Please contact the Division of Undergraduate Education for further information about these awards.

The Division of Undergraduate Education has further information about academic distinction opportunities available for graduating students, including University Honors, College Honors, and Dean's Honors.