Program Requirements

Your P.A.T.H. to Success

The PAthways To Honors (P.A.T.H.) is a new, flexible program that offers students three routes to achieving their CALS Honors credentials:

  • CALS Academics: This path is a focus on rigor and depth in the classroom with an opportunity to help with teaching or curriculum development. CALS Academics requires you to choose a faculty mentor by the beginning of your sophomore year to oversee and guide your progress in CALS Honors and your major program of study; take ALS 398H during the spring semester of your second year; take 24 credit hours of approved honors courses (6 hours must be in CALS, 18 can be in any college) at the 200-level or higher; maintain a cumulative 3.35 GPA; and prepare a poster to present at a CALS Honors symposium that describes your honors experience and the influence that it has had on your career plans. Honors contracts can be developed for courses that you would like to take that do not have an ‘H’ section available (honors contracts are available through the University Honors Program website). You may substitute up to 6 of the 24 required credit hours of coursework by serving as an undergraduate teaching assistant or working directly with a faculty member on teaching or curriculum development.
  • CALS Scholars: This path is a focus on research that allows you to work closely with a faculty member to develop an independent research project. In this path, you first complete ALS 398H during the spring semester of the sophomore year, then choose a faculty mentor to serve as your research supervisor. You will enroll in a two-semester research experience, first completing ALS 498H, which requires completion of a project proposal, and then ALS 499H, which requires completion of the research, analysis of associated data, and completion of a scientific paper and a poster to be presented at the University Undergraduate Research Symposium or a CALS Honors symposium. You can complete this sequence at any point prior to graduation. If you choose this path, you must take 6 credit hours of approved honors courses at the 200 level or higher and must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.35.
  • CALS Abroad: Study abroad and consider cultural differences related to your major and career plans between the US and your international destination. In this path, you can study abroad at a location of your choosing. You must complete a minimum of 3 weeks abroad or one 3 credit, graded course abroad. All study abroad experiences for this path must be preapproved by CALS Academic Programs. By the beginning of your sophomore year, you must choose a faculty mentor to oversee your progress (the faculty mentor does not have to be on the trip). During the spring semester of your sophomore year, you must take ALS 398H. You will complete at least 12 credit hours of approved honors coursework at the 200 level or higher. The study abroad experience can account for 3-12 of the required honors credit hours. In addition, supervised research overseas can count for up to 3 of the required credit hours. You will develop and present a poster at a CALS Honors symposium that describes your study abroad experience and the influence it had on your career plans. Finally, you must maintain a cumulative 3.35 GPA or higher.

Note: Although you are encouraged to participate in aspects of each of these pathways, you must complete one to receive CALS Honors credentials. Courses with the subject code HON or USP can not fulfill the classwork requirement for CALS Honors.

CALS Honors Timeline

Every student in the PAthways to CALS program will be different, but we expect most to follow a typical timeline toward attaining his or her CALS Honors credentials by graduation.

Year One

  • Take ALS 103 or a similar college introductory program during freshman year
  • Choose an Honors pathway (Academics, Scholars or Abroad)
  • Choose a CALS Honors Mentor to help you with the logistics over the next several years. If you are choosing the Academics or Study Abroad pathway, make this choice as soon as possible because you can begin your coursework or study abroad experience right away. If you are choosing the Scholars pathway, first identify who you will be working with during the research phase because that faculty member will serve as your mentor.
  • Participate in the spring CALS Honors Research Symposium (if only as an attendee)
  • Register in the CALS Honors database
  • Maintain a 3.35 overall GPA

Year Two

  • Take ALS 398H during the spring semester of your sophomore year, regardless of your P.A.T.H.
  • Begin or continue progress on your P.A.T.H.
  • Update your CALS Honors database information
  • Maintain a 3.35 overall GPA

Year Three

  • Continue on your P.A.T.H.
  • If you have chosen the Scholars pathway, you should be working on or toward ALS 498H and 499H
  • Update your CALS Honors database information by uploading your poster, poster abstract and other necessary deliverables for your P.A.T.H.
  • Maintain a 3.35 overall GPA

Year Four

  • Complete your P.A.T.H.
  • If you have chosen the Scholars pathway, you should complete both ALS 498H and 499H and all associated requirements
  • Present your poster at the CALS Honors Research Symposium in the spring (or an approved alternative if you are graduating in December)
  • Update your CALS Honors database information by uploading your poster, poster abstract and other necessary deliverables for your P.A.T.H.