Additional Honors Opportunities at UCI

Upper Division School/Major Honors Programs

Honors programs for qualified junior- and senior-level students also are available to Drama, Music, and Art majors in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, and to all qualified junior- and senior-level majors in the following Schools: School of Biological Sciences, Humanities, Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Ecology, and Social Sciences; and to qualified junior- and senior-level majors in the Program in Public Health. The focal point of each of these programs is the development of analytical and research skills through the pursuit of research under faculty supervision. An honors-level thesis or creative project is required by most of the programs.

Some of these programs have applications and deadlines, some are by invitation only, and some just require that specific course work, research and a thesis be completed prior to graduation. Individual program descriptions and requirements are included in the UCI General Catalogue, online, and in each school’s undergraduate counseling office.

Honors students are encouraged to participate in these programs as well as the Campuswide Honors Collegium. The honors thesis or creative project that is developed through these programs also satisfies the Honors research and thesis requirement. Students who are certified as completing both the Campuswide Honors and their school/major-specific honors program will receive the University Honors notation on their final UCI transcript.


Quarterly Undergraduate Honors

Any undergraduate student is eligible for Dean’s Honor List if they achieve a quarterly grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or better in a minimum of 12 graded units. (Source:

Honor Societies

Membership in honorary scholastic societies is available at UCI for high-achieving students of specific majors/interests. For a complete list of honor societies with chapter names at UCI, visit Honor Societies.

Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most respected undergraduate honors organization in the United States. Founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa has evolved to become the nation’s leading advocate for academic excellence and scholarly achievement in the liberal arts and sciences at the undergraduate level, and promotes the principles of freedom of inquiry and liberty of thought and expression.

UC Irvine’s Phi Beta Kappa Chapter (Mu of California) was founded in 1974 and is UCI’s most selective honor society, with only five percent of graduating seniors and one percent of third year juniors invited to become members each year. An annual initiation ceremony for new members is held in June. Phi Beta Kappa members are also recognized in the commencement program.

Golden Key International Honour Society is an international academic honors organization dedicated to excellence. The Society is interdisciplinary and unites the talents of the brightest undergraduate students in America and seven other countries. Outstanding faculty and university administrators are active in Golden Key at both the chapter and international levels.

Latin Honors

Students who graduate during the academic year with academic honors, and those who receive special school awards, are honored in school-based ceremonies. Some honor societies may also hold special ceremonies for selected students. Of the graduating seniors beginning with the class of 2018, no more than 16 percent will receive academic honors: approximately 2 percent summa cum laude, 4 percent magna cum laude, and 10 percent cum laude.

The criteria used in selecting candidates for these honors are available at the counseling office of each school. One general criterion is that students must have completed at least 72 quarter units in residence at a University of California campus. The student’s cumulative record at the end of the final quarter is the basis for consideration for awarding Latin Honors. Students who have on file recorded acts of academic dishonesty, as defined in University of California Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students, may be excluded by the Associate Deans from consideration for academic honors at graduation. For further information contact the academic counseling office of each school.


Excellence in Research Programs

The School of Biological Sciences and the School of Social Ecology offer students the opportunity to pursue research through their Excellence in Research Programs. Students work on their research projects under faculty supervision and have the opportunity to present their results to peers and faculty and, in certain instances, to have their research papers published.