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Math Community Guide: Departmental Honors Program

BSU Mathematics Department Events, BSU Math Club, and more

Honors Courses and Theses

Math Elem Teachers I
MATH 112 - H01
Fall 2020
MW 12:20 pm - 1:35 pm
Dr. Polina Sabinin

Single Variable Calculus I
MATH 161E - H01
Fall 2020
TR 11:00 am - 12:15 pm and
W 11:15 am - 12:05 pm
Dr. Irina Seceleanu

Contacts, 2019-2020

Dr. Shannon Lockard
Departmental Honors Program Chair
DMF 455

Math Honors Programs

Commonwealth Honors

  • Students typically apply to Commonwealth Honors before or during the first semester of their freshmen year.  Ideally they should have a high-school GPA of 3.3 or higher on a 4.0 scale OR a combined SAT score of 1170 or higher OR an ACT score of at least 24, as well as a well-written 500-600 word essay based on a provided essay prompt.
  • Transfer students who participated in Honors at their previous institution should declare themselves to the Honors Program so they can participate at BSU.
  • Commonwealth Honors students must complete Departmental Honors to graduate with Commonwealth Honors.
  • Students must complete 21 credits of Honors work. The first twelve credits are completed at the 100-200 level and come from: three- or four-credit Honors-designated courses, one-credit Honors-designated colloquia, or waiving up to three credits by participating in Fall Book Club, study abroad, and/or presenting at a regional or national conference. Nine credits come from Departmental Honors.
  • Every student who graduates with Honors must complete an Honors thesis.

Mathematics Departmental Honors

  • Students apply to Departmental Honors prior to taking or as they begin to take 300- and 400-level courses. Ideally they should have an overall GPA and a GPA in the major of 3.3 or higher.  The timing and criteria are somewhat flexible, so don’t hesitate to apply if you are interested.  
  • Students do not need to complete Commonwealth Honors to join Departmental Honors. They can graduate with Departmental Honors only.
  • For submission of Departmental Honors applications during Spring 2020: (1) Complete the Departmental Honors application (if applicable, complete the Interdisciplinary Departmental Honors Program Application instead), and sign it electronically by typing your name on the signature line. (2) Send a professional email to your Departmental Honors Chair (find yours here:, briefly explaining your interest in Honors, and attach your completed application for their review and signature. Some Departmental Honors Chairs may request an online meeting as part of the review process. (3) Your Departmental Honors Chair will submit the signed application to the Honors Program.
  • Students must complete nine hours of Honors work: one or two Honors contracts (an Honors component in a 300- or 400- level course) and a one- or two-semester thesis. The combination of thesis and contract credit must add up to nine hours. Students can submit an application to waive three departmental honors credits if they participated in the ATP Summer Research Program or another intensive research experience (REU, NASA, NSF, etc.).
  • The student submits the Honors-contract proposal electronically within the first two weeks of the semester that the contract will be completed.  
  • To apply/register for a thesis, complete an honors thesis proposal at the end of the semester prior to beginning your thesis work (e.g.; for Fall work, your thesis proposal should be submitted at the end of the Spring semester). The proposal asks for a four- or five-sentence description of your thesis project and a few other details (where applicable) about human subjects or animal research and IRB and IACUC approval. After the form is approved, a unique thesis course section of MATH 485 is created for the student by the Registrar’s Office, and the student registers on InfoBear after receiving an email from the Honors Program. 
  • Students can undertake Interdisciplinary Honors by completing the nine Departmental Honors credits across two departments.

Faculty Compensation

  • Faculty receive 0.5 load credits for each Honors contract completed under their direction.
  • Faculty receive 1 load credit for each thesis they advise each semester.

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