Honors & Scholars


Ohio State and the College of Arts and Sciences is dedicated to creating an environment that promotes the intellectual and personal development of high-ability undergraduate students and offers highly motivated students an enriched academic experience through the integration of curricular and co-curricular programs.


Arts and Sciences Honors Program

The Honors Program in Arts and Sciences provides high-ability students opportunities to pursue challenging academic programs. Honors students are encouraged to construct an enhanced curriculum that includes honors courses, upper-division courses to meet general requirements, rigorous sequences, honors seminars, a minor and a strong major, including a significant research experience. 

Students may apply to the Honors Program either before or after enrolling at Ohio State; interested students are encouraged to apply early in their enrollment.

More about the Honors Program

Arts Honors Program

Separate from the Arts and Sciences Honors Program, the purpose of the Arts Honors Program is to provide opportunities for students with exceptional capabilities and motivation to achieve personal satisfaction and intellectual growth through honors courses, advanced course work and special academic enrichment programs. 


(effective Autumn 2012)
Please note, students in the Arts Honors Program often pursue significant creative projects in their program and apply for graduation with distinction. This is a separate process. For more information, please contact Ed Quinn (quinn.142@osu.edu) in Arts and Sciences Academic Enrichment.

GPA requirement to maintain Honors status:

  • University standard: 3.4 at the end of every year (3.3 at end of first year)
  • Arts standard: 3.4 overall GPA (3.3 at end of first year)
  • Requirements to enter Honors program after matriculation or transfer to the university:
  • University standards: 3.4 GPA overall, Minimum 1 semester of OSU credit
  • Arts standards: 3.4 GPA overall, both GE and major, Minimum 2 semesters of OSU credit*

Course/Unit requirements to maintain Honors status:

  • University standard: 6 Honors, upper division (4000+) or graduate-level courses over the first 2 years (max of 2 honors embedded courses)
  • Arts standard: 3 units of Honors experiences over the first 2 years

For some majors in the Arts, this is difficult to achieve, due to limited scheduling opportunities in the GE, few Honors offerings in the major programs, and lock-step curriculum in the majors. The Arts standard allows students to defer 1 unit until the 3rd year if necessary, reflecting the individualistic, focused nature in the arts.

  • 3 units over the second 2 years
  • Completion of 6 units meets the Arts Honors Program requirements

*Exceptions for transfer students meeting the following criteria: 1. eligibility for honors as freshman (i.e., ACT composite score of 29 or better, or SAT combined verbal/math score of 1300 or better; plus top ten percent of high school class) and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better at the other institution; OR 2. verification of enrollment in an honors program at the other institution, completion of honors courses, and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better. Transfer students meeting these criteria may be admitted to the honors program upon matriculation.

Possibilities for 3 Units:

Freshman/Sophomore Year

3 Units of Honors experiences made up of the following options, in the first 2 years (through sophomore standing), with the option to defer up to 1 unit, not including upper division courses, to year 3 (through junior standing).

  • Honors course (1 Unit)
  • Upper division course outside major (4000+) (1 Unit)
  • Upper division elective course in major (1 Unit)
  • Graduate level course (1 Unit)
  • Honors embedded course  (1 Unit)  (maximum of 3 total)
  • Undergraduate Research/Creative Activity (1 Unit) (3-5 credit hours)
  • Special Individual Study*  (1 Unit) (maximum of 3 total)

*(e.g., Summer Study, studies abroad; at least 40-80 contact hours, and a culminating report, activity, or presentation under faculty supervision as in an Internship)

Junior/ Senior Year
  • Honors courses (1 Unit) 
  • Upper division course outside major (4000+) (1 Unit) 
  • Graduate level course (1 Unit) 
  • Honors embedded course or senior project (1 Unit) (maximum of 3 total)
  • Undergraduate Research/Creative Activity (3-5 credit hours) (1 Unit) (maximum of 2 total)
  • Special Individual Study* (1 Unit) (maximum of 3 total)

*(e.g., Summer Study, studies abroad; at least 40 contact hours, and a culminating report, activity, or presentation under faculty supervision as in an Internship)                  

  • A minor (outside the major) (1 Unit)
  • Second Major (outside the major) (2 Units)
  • Arts Entrepreneurship Director*  (1 Unit) (maximum of 1)

*(e.g., student representative serves as the leader of a Music ensemble and participates at bi-weekly meetings with directors of ensembles; serves as spokesperson for a department’s public display, etc.)

  • Director of Publication opportunities*  (1 Unit) (maximum of 1)

*(e.g., Theatre students touring various high schools performing original skits serving as the director, production manager or technical director (TD).)

Program requirements to maintain Honors status/graduate with Honors in the Arts:

University standard: Progress towards completion of an approved Honors program, i.e., honors thesis for graduation with distinction, or program to graduate with honors in the discipline.

Arts standard: Arts Honors Contract (fulfill 6 units of Honors experiences per an Honors contract): Our students graduate: “with Honors in the Arts.”


  1. Faculty advisor signature
  2. Arts Honors Program Manager Signature (Ed Quinn, quinn.142@osu.edu, 100 Denney Hall)
  3. Plan for 6 Units of Arts Honors experiences (3 in the first two years (with the option to defer 1 unit to third year); 3 in the following 2 years)

Process of Monitoring Arts Honors Contracts:

Ed Quinn will review Arts Honors contracts at the conclusion of each academic year. Students will be informed via Ohio State email of their continuance or non-continuance in the program.

Students in their sophomore year will submit an Arts Honors contract by the conclusion of finals week autumn semester. 

Students who find they need to revise their contract may do so with the Contract Revision Form, which can be submitted to Ed Quinn.


University Scholars Program

The Ohio State Scholars Program is comprised of 17 unique living and learning communities designed to provide students the chance to live and learn with others who share similar interests and to complement students' academic experiences. Each of the Scholars programs is centered around a theme or area of study and is open to all students regardless of major.

Students must apply to Scholars when filling out the Common Application for admission to Ohio State.

More about the Scholars program

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Scholars programs with an Arts and Sciences focus


The Arts Scholars program offers students in any major the opportunity to enhance their educational experience through lectures and specialized workshops, group excursions to museums and professional performances, a juried student art exhibition and performance showcase, community involvement, and domestic and international trips. First-year Arts Scholars live in Baker Hall West on South Campus.

Learn more about Graduating with Distinction in the Arts.



The Biological Science Scholars actively explore the world of science through a combination of academic and co-curricular components. Students are exposed to science at Ohio State, career and graduate program opportunities, and innovative research happenings. Although all majors are welcome and many are represented, a large portion of our students are in science fields (biology, chemistry, animal sciences, microbiology, zoology, neuroscience, etc.), or are considering pre-health graduate programs (medical, dental, veterinary medicine, optometry, pharmacy, etc.).



The Humanities Scholars program offers students of any major an enriched study of the liberal arts through beyond-the-classroom programs focusing on literature, language, philosophy, history, culture and other humanities disciplines. Students who enjoy discussing the world and the experiences of humanity will find the Humanities Scholars Program to be an excellent fit.



The International Affairs Scholars program provides rich opportunities for students from all majors who want to gain in-depth understanding of world/global themes, foreign countries and international affairs. IA Scholars explore global issues through political, social and economic lenses while also learning about other cultures. Students in the International Affairs program also have the opportunity each year to study abroad as part of the program.



The Politics, Society and Law Scholars explore current political and legal issues from a practitioner’s perspective via discussions, debates, off-campus outings and other activities. Students explore the role such issues play in society and in related careers including law, journalism, business, education, science, the arts or any other field of interest. Guest speakers, debates and interactive discussions are common, as are behind-the-scenes outings to learn about Ohio’s judicial system, annual election and State of the Union events, and a professional exploration trip to Washington, DC, every spring.



The STEM Exploration and Engagement Scholars program welcomes students with interests or potential majors in any of the STEM fields, including chemistry, physics, biology, computer science, data analytics, engineering, math, actuarial science or exploration. Students engage in STEM tutoring, experiment development, and volunteering within the local community, while exploring the many diverse STEM careers and reflecting on how this diversity is essential in addressing scientific questions. Incoming students who are particularly interested in the outreach and career exploration components are encouraged to apply.