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CU Honors College

Honors Courses and Seminars

Learn From Leading Clemson Faculty

Students in a Clemson Honors seminar class

Did You Know?

Honors students receive priority registration for classes each academic term!

Clemson Honors students have access to a range of Honors courses — from specialized seminars in which small groups of students explore a topic in-depth with a top Clemson professor, to Honors sections of departmental offerings that offer a high level of academic rigor.

Honors students are required to take and complete at least one Honors course each fall and spring semester. 

Honors seminars are special topic courses, most of which are designed to meet general education requirements.

Honors sections of courses are taught by their respective department and are Honors versions of their non-Honors counterpart course (i.e., ENGL 1030 (HON)). Honors sections can be found for general education, major, and research courses.

Contact your Honors Advisor if you need assistance with your schedule, classes, or have other questions.

  • General Honors Courses

    Honors sections of departmental courses (e.g., Chemistry 1010 (HON)) are Honors versions of courses offered at Clemson University.

    Although Honors sections typically cover the same material as their non-Honors section counterpart, the smaller class sizes in Honors sections allow Honors students to analyze course content at a deeper level and from different perspectives.

    You will find a variety of Honors sections available to you throughout your degree program, including general education and upper-level coursework.

    Clemson Honors students have the opportunity to take Honors sections of a wide range of department-based courses, including many elective and required courses in mathematics, the physical sciences, engineering, the life sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences.

    Course examples include:

    • BIOL 1100 (HON) — Principles of Biology I
    • CH 1010 (HON) — General Chemistry
    • ECON 2110 (HON) — Principles of Microeconomics
    • ENGL 1030 (HON) — Accelerated Composition
    • MATH 1060 (HON) — Calculus of One Variable I
    • MUSC 2100 (HON) — Music Appreciation
    • PHYS 2210 (HON) — Physics with Calculus II
    • PHIL 1030 (HON) — Introduction to Ethics
    • PSYC 2010 (HON) — Introduction to Psychology

    Find your Clemson Honors Student Handbook for details, including requirements for completing the General Honors curriculum track.

  • Departmental Honors Courses

    Students pursuing the Departmental Honors curriculum track enroll in a series of courses in their academic major that prepare them to conduct and present their research.

    Departmental Honors students are enrolled in advanced courses in their disciplines, leading, in general, to the completion of a senior research project or thesis. Examples of recently submitted Honors projects include:

    • Effect of Mutations on the Expression of CG13222 Regulatory Element
    • Understanding Acetate Kinase Metabolism: The Search for Answers
    • DR/SD: Disaster Relief/Shelter Development
    • Happy Daggers and Other Stories
    • Merger Analysis: The Walt Disney Company Acquisition of Marvel Entertainment
    • United States' Public Opinion of China
    • 3-D Image Reconstruction of Aortic Aneurysms for Real-Time Biomechanical Analyses
    • Robotic Bead Deposition System for Bio-fabrication
    • System Identification of Vehicle Parameters
    • Assessing the Effectiveness of a High Risk Appraisal and Counseling Intervention in Managing Obesity and Obesity-Related Diseases among a Latino Population

    Departmental Honors Requirements

    Find your Clemson Honors Student Handbook for details, including specific requirements for completing the Departmental Honors curriculum track in your area of interest.

    You can also explore Departmental Honors Research Grant Funding.

    Departmental Honors Contacts

    Find your Departmental Honors faculty contact to learn more about Departmental Honors in your chosen major.

  • Interdisciplinary Honors Courses

    The Interdisciplinary Honors curriculum track is equivalent to the Departmental Honors distinction and is specifically for students who wish to combine at least two academic disciplines into one cohesive project.

    Visit the Interdisciplinary Honors web page for details. 

  • Where to Find Honors Courses

    Honors courses are indicated by having (HON or Honors) in the title of the course.

    You can find the most current list of Honors courses in iROAR

    You can also find Honors courses in the online Undergraduate Catalog. Honors courses will have “Includes Honors sections” as part of the course description located within the Courses of Instruction section. A course may not be taken for Honors credit unless it has been approved as an Honors course by the appropriate curriculum committees and by the Clemson University Honors College Committee.

    You can also download the list of Honors course options available for Fall 2024. 

    Students receive Honors credit by earning a grade of A or B in Honors courses (except in limited circumstances in which courses are offered as pass/fail).

  • Course Exemption

    Honors students must register for an Honors class or have an approved exemption in their Honors student file by the last day to add a class in the Fall or Spring semester.

    Students who do not meet this requirement may be removed from the Clemson University Honors College and lose all Honors rights and privileges.

    Students are encouraged to register for their Honors class or classes during priority registration.

    If you require a one-semester exemption to add an Honors course, please complete this form:

  • Honors Seminars

    Honors seminars are special topic courses designed to meet your major's general education requirements. Recent topics include "Imaginary Friends in Fiction," "Religions, Cults, and Secret Societies," and "Puzzles and Paradoxes." Capped at 19 students, these seminars allow for engaging discussion and developing strong mentoring relationships with many of Clemson's top professors.

    Every semester, the Clemson University Honors College offers more than 25 Honors seminars on topics drawn from the arts, the humanities, and the social, physical, and biological sciences.

    First-Year Seminars

    In the fall semester, first-year Honors students are eligible to sign up for intensive, discussion-based seminars on a wide range of classic and contemporary topics.

    First-year seminar students can receive general education credit in a range of general education areas. Past seminars have included:

    • The Enlightenment: Rights, Power, and Liberty
    • The History of Evil
    • The Epic and Authority
    • The Fictions of War
    • The 1960s: Decade of Change

    Explore Seminar Options

    Explore seminar options, including dates, times, and course descriptions:

  • Honors Contracts

    Honors contracts allow Honors students to work individually with faculty members to create specialized Honors courses.

    Students simply enroll in a non-Honors course, then work out an agreement with the instructor to make additions or modifications to the course syllabus and requirements. All contracts must be approved by the Honors College.

    Students may earn Honors credit for a 3000- or 4000-level course by means of an Honors contract, and can contract up to two courses throughout their membership in the Honors College.

    Purpose of Honors Contracts

    Students may earn Honors credit for a 3000- or 4000-level course by means of an Honors Contract (in exceptional cases contracts for 1000 and 2000-level classes may be approved). The purpose of such contracts is to enable students to experience the educational enrichment that typifies Honors courses, and to explore topics in greater depth than is normally possible in a regular undergraduate course.

    It is required that you meet with your professor prior to submitting this form. Please refer to Honors Student Contract Course Policies (PDF) for additional details about Honors Contracts.

    Form Submission Deadline

    The Honors Contract Form is due on Tuesday, August 27, 2024 for Fall 2024 classes but we strongly encourage students to submit their contract before the end of the Spring 2024 semester. Late contracts will not be accepted. The contract form will open with Fall/Summer Registration on Monday, April 8, 2024.


    Once students submit the Honors Student Contract Proposal form, the professor listed on the Contract will be asked to review and submit the final proposal to the Honors College.

    Students should email the professor to notify them when the contract proposal form has been submitted so they can be on the lookout for an email to review and submit the final proposal. Students should also let the professor know that that email may go to the "junk" or "clutter" folder of their email.

    The Honors Contract Faculty Review for Spring 2024 is due by Wednesday, August 28 at 11:59 p.m. Students will receive a decision email with instructions about how to register for HON 4000 after Honors College approval. 


    At the end of the contract period (semester or summer term), the instructor shall submit the grade of P (pass) or NP (no-pass) in the iROAR system for the HON 4000 section assigned to the contract.


    Please email Johnsie Stancil.