The University of Texas at El Paso offers three opportunities for students to achieve special recognition for academic performance based on their cumulative GPA at the time of graduation. Graduation with any of these honors adds a special distinction to academic records and diplomas and may enhance the prospects for graduating seniors to enter graduate and professional schools or the job market. To be eligible for these programs, candidates must be among the most able and intellectually curious of students and must meet minimum GPA requirements. Each form of honors is described more fully below.
ACADEMIC HONORS AT GRADUATION
Honors will be awarded upon graduation in the following categories for each baccalaureate degree:
Requirements for honors for a second degree include the above requirements with the additional stipulation that the student complete sixty (60) hours beyond the original baccalaureate requirements.
- Summa Cum Laude (Highest Honors) will be awarded to students who attain a minimum UTEP grade point average of 3.90. A transfer student must have completed at least 85% of the academic work applied to the degree at The University of Texas at El Paso to be eligible for Highest Honors.
- Magna Cum Laude (High Honors) will be awarded to students who attain a minimum UTEP grade point average of 3.80, but who do not qualify for Highest Honors. A transfer student must have completed 75% of the academic work applied to the degree at The University of Texas at El Paso to be eligible for High Honors.
- Cum Laude (Honors) will be awarded to students who attain a minimum UTEP grade point average of 3.50, but who do not qualify for High or Highest Honors. A transfer student must have completed 50% of the academic work applied to the degree at The University of Texas at El Paso to be eligible for Honors.
In computing the minimum grade point average for academic honors at graduation, only grades earned at UTEP will be included.
Recognition at commencement will be by the wearing of an Honors cord: Highest Honors - gold, High Honors - white, and Honors - color of college.
UNIVERSITY HONORS PROGRAM
Students participating in the University Honors Program enroll in special Honors courses, which may be experimental, team-taught, or interdisciplinary, that are limited in size to permit more discussion and interaction between the instructor and students. Honors courses emphasize development of communicative skills and critical thinking. Program members may also earn Honors credit by contracting in non-Honors courses. Other options include earning the University Honors Degree or Certificate and completing an Honors Senior Project, bearing 6 hours of credit, in which students carry out directed research and present their findings, usually in the form of a thesis.
The program offers a number of special features and benefits to its students: priority registration, the Honors Lounge, Honors Council, and Honors Journal, as well as opportunities to serve as tutors, to study in Honors semesters at other campuses, and to interact with students from Honors programs at universities around the country.
Students accepted into the Honors Program generally must rank in the upper 15% of their high school graduating class or achieve a superior score on either the SAT or ACT. A 3.3 GPA is the criterion for admitting students already enrolled at the University and for students transferring to UTEP from another college or university. See the University Honors Program section of this Catalog for specific details on program options.
Students wishing more information are invited to contact the Honors Director, Honors House, located behind the Academic Services Building, (915) 747-5858.
DEPARTMENTAL HONORS PROGRAM
Students wishing to earn departmental Honors will complete a senior thesis, senior project, or other special requirement, depending on the department. A departmental faculty member will direct the project or thesis. The director, along with a departmental honors committee, will judge the student's work, and outside referees may be consulted if deemed appropriate. Students may include departmental honors credits with university honors credits, upon consultation with the University Honors Program Director, in order to earn Honors at both levels. The following offer Departmental Honors: Political Science, Psychology, History, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Geological Sciences, and Physics. Completion of a senior thesis/project is recognized at commencement by the wearing of a dark green cord.
STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS
National Student Exchange Program
(Texas Education Code, 51.930)
UTEP is a member of the National Student Exchange (NSE) Program that is a consortium of more than 150 state-supported colleges and universities. The program offers students the opportunity to broaden their academic and cultural awareness in different geographic settings across the United States and its territories. Students are able to enroll at a host university for up to one academic year and pay in-state tuition rates.
To qualify a student must be full-time at the time of the application and the semester prior to the exchange, have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5, and be a sophomore or junior at the time of the exchange. For more information, contact the NSE Coordinator at the Honors House at (915) 747-5858.
Study Abroad Opportunities
As a member of the Texas Consortium for Study Abroad, UTEP is able to offer qualified students the possibility of an academic year, a semester or a summer session at universities in Australia, Austria, Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, and Spain. Internships are also available in Britain. Deadlines and fees vary. For further information, contact Dr. Sandra Beyer at 747-5767.
The UTEP Semester in Russia and Ukraine
The Semester is an extension of the UTEP Russian Program. In both countries, language classes are conducted from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. five days a week. Afternoon cultural studies are followed by excursions and field trips to major points of interest. Credit is awarded upon successful completion of the course and a post-course test. For additional information, please contact Dr. Z.A. Kruszewski at (915) 747-7984.