Computer Science and Engineering

Departmental Honors Program

If you can prove you are self-motivated with an excellent academic history this program is for you. You will complete a self-directed advanced study with an honors thesis advisor.

In the department honors program, you may pursue a faculty-mentored independent study. This gives you the opportunity to develop your interests and abilities beyond your current program of study.

On this page:

The Program

Apply to the Departmental Honors Program before the first semester of the independent study.

Your individual program will involve two or more semesters of independent study. During your first semester, you will work with your advisor to develop a program of study and form your committee.

You are required to complete at least six credit hours of a 4000 level independent study with your honors advisor. This is usually spread out over two semesters, three credit hours at a time. You may also include summer semester if you choose.

At the completion of the honors independent study, you will provide a written and oral presentation of your work to your committee for evaluation.

A successful program of study must include the following elements:

  • Research: A systematic inquiry into or in-depth investigation of an open subject or problem in Computer Science/Engineering
  • Project: Design, construction, and/or implementation of some hardware (devices) and/or software (programs).
  • Dissemination: Oral and Written presentation of the results of the study. The written presentation includes a white paper or a conference paper.




To gain admission to the Honors Program in Computer Science/Engineering, you must have:

  • A declared Computer Science or Computer Engineering major.
  • Senior standing during the semester the Independent Study will begin.
  • At least 2 semesters of study remaining before graduation in which to pursue your Independent Study or Thesis.
  • An overall grade point average of 3.25.
  • A grade point average of 3.75 in all CS and CEG courses.
  • A sponsoring faculty member able to serve as their Honors Advisor.

You must have also completed the following courses (or equivalent transfer courses):

  • CS 3100 Data Structures and Algorithms
  • CEG 3310 Computer Organization
  • CEG 4350 OS Internals and Design

The CSE Undergraduate Studies Committee will consider petitions for admission to any computer science or engineering major not meeting these requirements.

Honors Advisor and Committee 

A sponsoring advisor is required for admission into the Departmental Honors Program.

Guidelines when choosing your honors advisor:

  • Must agree to mentor, help plan, oversee, and evaluate your honors study
  • Must be a fully affiliated faculty member of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering

The honors advisor serves as chair of the Honors Committee. This committee must have a minimum of two members qualified to evaluate the final work.

Guidelines for the honors committee members:

  • Be faculty members in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering or another qualified evaluator as approved by the Honors Advisor
  • At least one member of the committee must be a fully affiliated assistant professor or higher faculty member of the department

You will work with your honors advisor to form your committee. This committee must be formed before the evaluation of your honors project.


The 4000 level independent study credits qualify for graduation. Your honors advisor will assign these grades. During your second term of independent study, you must request an evaluation of your honors project.

If you fail to earn a grade of 'A' OR the committee finds your work unsatisfactory you will not receive an Honors Degree. If this is the case, you will no longer be part of the departmental honors program.


You may withdraw from the Honors Program at any time and resume the normal program of study. The credits earned may apply to technical elective credit.

To stay in the program, you need to maintain a GPA that meets the admission criteria and make timely progress on your program of study.

If you do not reach the required goals or become ineligible, you can be withdrawn from the program by:

  • Your honors advisor
  • Your honors committee
  • Or the Director of Undergraduate Studies

If at any time it is in your best interest, the department will withdraw you from the honors program.

Honors Program Forms

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