Honors - Barrett, the Honors College policies

Students who have demonstrated high levels of academic achievement in high school or college may apply for admission to Barrett, the Honors College. Each candidate must file an application to the college separate from the ASU application, in accordance with the appropriate Barrett deadlines.

Applicants are evaluated on the basis of their academic records, high school class ranking within their graduating class, and their performances on the SAT or ACT. The college also values students who have special talents and aptitudes, exhibit exceptional leadership qualities, have unusual life experiences and display significant community involvement. High school GPAs used in the evaluation process are calculated in accordance with the Arizona Board of Regents competency requirements, pursuant to ABOR Policy 2-121.

The Barrett admission application and additional information about the college and its activities are available at https://barretthonors.asu.edu.

Notice of nondiscrimination

ASU prohibits all forms of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. To view ASU’s policy, students should review https://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals/acd/acd401.html.

Title IX protects individuals from discrimination based on sex in any educational program or activity operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. As required by Title IX, ASU does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education programs or activities that we operate, including in admission and employment. Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be referred to the ASU Title IX coordinator or to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights or to both. For more information, students should email titleixcoordinator@asu.edu, call 480-965-0696, or visit the office located at 1120 S. Cady Mall, INTDSB 284. For information on making a report, students should reference https://www.asu.edu/reportit/.

Undergraduate policies


Barrett students have advisors in their major, an assigned Barrett honors advisor, and faculty honors advisors in departments throughout the university. Students are encouraged to stay in regular contact with all these resources and are required to complete mandatory advising sessions with their Barrett honors advisor during the first, second and third year of study. To schedule an appointment with a Barrett honors advisor, students should call 480-965-9155 (Tempe campus), 602-496-1757 (Downtown Phoenix campus), 480-727-5539 (Polytechnic campus) or 602-543-3410 (West campus).

Students can review honors opportunities in majors at https://barretthonors.asu.edu. There are also special prelaw and prehealth advising opportunities for Barrett students. Students should contact the Barrett advising office for more information.

Degree requirements

Barrett academic course requirements

Honors students must maintain high standards of academic performance and show progress toward completion of graduation requirements in their disciplinary majors and in Barrett.

In order to graduate from Barrett, students must complete the following, which includes 36 credit hours of honors coursework:

  1. HON 171 The Human Event and HON 272 The Human Event must be completed in sequence during a student's first two semesters in the college.
  2. Thirty additional credit hours of honors coursework must be earned with a letter grade of "C" (2.00) or higher. This may include HON prefix classes, honors sections of classes, honors enrichment contracts, internship and research credit, honors study abroad programs, and graduate level coursework.
  3. Included in the 36 credit hours of honors coursework are at least 18 hours of upper-division or graduate-level honors credits for an earned letter grade of “C” (2.00) or higher, including six credit hours of honors coursework outside the academic major. Students should investigate specialized honors, upper-division tracks within their majors.
  4. Those admitted as upper-division transfer students (students who, after high school, completed 48 university credits by the time of planned enrollment in Barrett) must complete HON 370 History of Ideas and 18 credit hours of upper-division honors coursework, six credits of which must be outside the academic major. Upper-division transfer students are required to complete 21 credit hours of upper-division honors coursework.
  5. Students are required to complete an honors thesis or creative project that will earn them a maximum of six credit hours. These credit hours will be included in the 18 required hours of upper-division honors coursework. The honors thesis or creative project is launched with a prospectus that is due one academic semester before the defense. Prior to enrolling for credit for a thesis or for creative project work, students must complete a required preparatory workshop or course. The final copy of the honors thesis or creative project must be filed by the posted deadline during the student’s graduation semester.
  6. ASU graduation requirements in an academic major must be met.
  7. Students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher by graduation.

Barrett course requirements may be met in a variety of ways. Only courses in which a student receives a grade of “C” (2.00) or higher may be used to meet Barrett requirements.

Those entering the college as lower-division students may take as many as 18 lower-division honors credits, which include HON 171 The Human Event and HON 272 The Human Event, and at least 18 upper-division credits (total honors credits must be 36). HON 171 and HON 272 are transdisciplinary seminars that acquaint students with ideas that form the foundation of a university education and emphasize critical thinking, discussion and writing.

Those who enter as upper-division students must take 21 upper-division honors credits, including HON 370 History of Ideas taught by an Honors Faculty Fellow. This seminar course introduces students to critical thinking, discussion and writing in a topical area chosen by the instructor. All students are expected to complete this course during the first semester upon entering Barrett.

Departmental honors-only courses are limited to honors students. Enrollment in these courses is limited. Compared to their nonhonors equivalents, these courses are designed to offer a richer, more complex intellectual experience appropriate to the discipline and the level of the course for all students enrolled. Other disciplinary honors courses group honors students in small cohorts to work on research projects of common interest.

Honors enrichment contracts are available in many departmental courses, allowing honors students to contract with the instructors of designated non-honors courses to earn honors credit by pursuing enrichment activities, which include supplemental sessions with the instructor. Honors enrichment contracts must be filed during the first four weeks of class and be completed during the semester in which the course is offered. The enrichment contract form offers guidelines to aid students and faculty in developing appropriate contracts.

Courses reserved for students in Barrett and that always count for honors credit are those listed in the online ASU Class Search and Course Catalog as course numbers 492 Honors Directed Study, 493 Honors Thesis, and 497 Honors Colloquium; all classes with the HON prefix; and those with a departmental prefix that carry the honors designation.

Departmental courses numbered 492 and 493 are reserved for honors students completing their honors thesis or creative project. A student may enroll for these courses only with approval from the sponsoring academic department and the faculty member who serves as the student’s thesis or creative project director. Course numbers listed in the ASU schedule of classes as 493 fulfill the student’s upper-division literacy and critical inquiry (L) General Studies requirement.

Specific courses carry automatic honors credit. These include ACT 310 Mathematics of Finance, ACT 430 Mathematics of Financial Derivatives, CHE 211 Introduction to Chemical Processing, CEE/CNE 212 Engineering Mechanics II: Dynamics, CEE 486 Integrated Civil Engineering Design, CPI 310 Web-Based Information Management Systems, CSE 230 Computer Organization and Assembly Language Programming, EEE 230 Computer Organization and Assembly Language Programming, ENG 105 Advanced First-Year Composition, FSE 104 EPICS Gold Feasibility and Planning, FSE 150 Perspectives in Grand Challenges for Engineering, GRK 101 Elementary Ancient Greek, LAT 421 Roman Literature, PHY 201 Mathematical Methods in Physics I, and PHY 333 Electronic Circuits and Measurements. Graduate courses, 500 level and above, taught in an in-person format automatically earn honors credit.

For a full list of honors courses, including those that carry automatic honors credit, students should visit the Barrett Signature Courses webpage and review the Honors Courses document.