Honors Program


The Honors Program offers an academically challenging program and financial support to highly qualified students seeking an enriched undergraduate education. Each year, 40-50 lower-division applicants and 20-25 juniors are admitted to the program. Students in the program must maintain an overall GPA of 3.5, enroll in special Honors general education courses, and complete augmented academic majors that offer the opportunity to work directly with faculty and to develop research and other intellectual and practical skills. Honors students receive special advising services and are encouraged to pursue intellectual challenges, to perform community service, to travel and to aspire to graduate and professional education. Upon graduation, Honors students receive “University Honors” distinction on their diploma.

Scholarship Opportunities: Renewable scholarships will be offered to lower-division and upper-division-entry Honors Program students.

Who May Apply

First-year students

For lower-division students, the minimum criteria for admission include:

  • 3.5 high school GPA AND
  • 30 ACT composite score OR
  • 1950 SAT total score OR
  • Top 10 percent of high-school class ranking
  • Admission to Cleveland State University
  • Submission of a written essay

Funding for Honors scholarships comes from a variety of sources. To allow us to fund as many students as possible, we encourage students to file a FAFSA.

Students are expected to complete a college preparatory curriculum in high school. High schools vary in the advanced courses they offer. Honors applicants are expected to complete the most rigorous curriculum available at their high school. Applicants who participate in the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Program are expected to have completed the standard high-school college preparatory curriculum in addition to their college work.

Preferred applicants will have four years of high school English; four years of high school mathematics including pre-calculus and in some cases calculus; at least three years of natural science, usually biology, physics and chemistry; at least three years of social science courses; three or more years of a foreign language; and additional classes in the visual or performing arts.

A very small number of international students are admitted to the program each year. Successful applicants are exceptionally well-qualified.

The application for the Honors Program may be downloaded from the Honors website at www.csuohio.edu/honors/.


Students applying to the Honors Program for admission as juniors must satisfy the following minimum criteria:

  • 3.5 GPA or higher on college courses
  • Admission to Cleveland State University
  • Junior-level standing by fall of entry into program (the student should be on track to graduate in two years after entering the Honors Program)
  • Submission of a written essay
  • Submission of three letters of recommendation

College transcripts will reflect a rigorous course of study both in the student's preferred major and in his or her choices for general education and elective courses. Students should have made good progress toward completion of general-education course requirements and lower-division prerequisites for courses in their major.

The application for the Honors Program may be downloaded from the Honors website at www.csuohio.edu/honors/

Application Deadlines

Applicants entering as lower-division students are required to apply by January 15. Applicants with junior-status must apply by February 28.


Universal Honors Experience: Students entering the Honors Program as lower-division students are required to complete a total of EIGHT Universal Honors Experience courses, of which four must be credit-bearing courses. Those entering as upper-division students must complete FOUR such courses, two of which must be credit-bearing courses. A range of Universal Honors Experience courses is offered each semester. These are designed to bring together students in the program and engage them in a variety of academic and recreational activities as a group.

Lower-Division Program: All Honors students who begin as entering first-year students will be required to take at least FOUR general education Honors courses (16 credit hours). Students are strongly advised to complete these in their first two years at CSU. Honors general education courses are restricted to Honors and University Scholars students, are taught in small sections by outstanding members of the faculty, and are designed to give students a more challenging experience than a standard, introductory-level general education course. Some are augmented versions of conventional general education offerings; others are specially designed courses not offered outside the Honors Program at CSU.

Upper-Division Program: The Honors experience for upper-division Honors students is tailored to the requirements of each student’s chosen major(s) and specific goals. Junior and senior Honors students’ courses are selected through consultation with faculty members in their major(s). Students develop an Honors Academic Plan Contract, which must be approved by their Honors Adviser and the Director of the Honors Program. Upper-division Honors students have the opportunity to do additional honors work under faculty supervision in established courses; enroll in graduate courses; participate in a faculty member’s research project or laboratory; complete an independent research project or a service learning project; and/or engage in an internship, co-op experience, or job. In some departments, students will also be encouraged to attend professional meetings.

Consult our website for the most current information: www.csuohio.edu/honors/.

Contact Information:
Dr. Peter Meiksins, Director
Cleveland State University Honors Program, MC 412
1899 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115-9897
Telephone: 216-687-5559

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Departmental Programs

Students with high grade-point averages and a desire for academic challenge should be aware that several departments offer separate, departmental honors programs for their students. These include: Art; Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences; Economics; History; Modern Languages; Physics; Psychology; and Sociology. Details can be found in the program descriptions for these departments.

University Scholars Program


The University Scholars Program exists to provide additional scholastic opportunity to very talented students. Students who may want to participate in the Scholars Program include traditional students who took honors courses in high school, or students with high grade point averages or standardized exam scores. The University Scholars Program recognizes and rewards high-performing students. Upon successful completion of a rigorous Scholars curriculum, academic honors are listed on the student’s transcript and diploma. Scholars must meet several benchmarks to stay in the program. As a Scholar, a student has the opportunity to take more challenging courses, work directly with professors on scholarship-related projects, and enroll in special sections of designated courses. Opportunities for internship experiences will also be available for Scholars with certain majors.

Who May Apply
Students meeting any of the following criteria will be automatically invited to join the University Scholars Program:

  • 3.5 high school GPA
  • Top 15% high school class rank
  • 27 or higher ACT composite score
  • 1800 or higher SAT total score

Students not automatically invited are encouraged to make application to the program. Transfer students may also apply to the program if they have fewer than 90 credit hours and can demonstrate that they can complete the upper-division requirements for their major. A minimum cumulative 3.35 GPA from previous college-level work is required.

Scholarship Opportunities
While acceptance into the Scholars Program does not automatically include financial aid, many students in the program are awarded merit-based financial aid. Interested students should apply early each calendar year through the Office of Financial Aid. University Scholars advisors can also provide information about possible financial aid opportunities.

Lower-Division Program
The lower-division portion of the Scholars Program must be completed before earning 60 credit hours at Cleveland State University. Students are expected to take two Honors-designated general education courses. Incoming lower-division students must enroll in a special Scholars section of ASC 101 – Introduction to University Life. Scholars may also choose to participate in specially designed learning communities for members of the program. University Scholars students are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25.

Upper Division Program
The upper-division portion of the Scholars Program is completed after the student has completed 60 credit hours of university coursework. The upper-division requirements vary by major; students can contact the Scholars adviser or their faculty adviser for details on the specific upper division requirements. Students are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25.

Consult our Web site for the most current information: www.csuohio.edu/scholars

Contact Information:
Lauren A. Davis, M.Ed.
Cleveland State University Honors Program, MC 412
2121 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115-9897
Telephone: 216-687-5559

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