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The Honors Program

The Honors Program in the College of Social Sciences (COSS) provides students with an opportunity to gain research experience, receive recognition as an honors scholar, and receive one-on-one mentoring with faculty who are experts in their respective fields.

The Honors Program includes two semesters of rigorous specialized course work beginning in the Fall semester and culminating with the completion of an Honors Research Paper/Project the following Spring semester. Courses must be taken in this sequence and students will only be admitted for the Fall semester. Not all applicants will be selected into this highly competitive program. Students who are accepted into the COSS Honors Program will receive priority registration while they remain in the program. College of Social Sciences Honors Scholars who successfully complete the program will earn an honors medallion to commemorate their success and will be recognized in the College of Social Sciences Convocation in May.
Participation in the College of Social Sciences Honors Program does not preclude participation in other honors programs at Fresno State.

*Students in the Honors Program will get priority registration* 


In order to qualify for consideration for the College of Social Sciences Honors Program, students must:

1.  Have a cumulative and major GPA of 3.5 or higher

2. Have completed at least 75 units before beginning the program and have at least one year of school left at Fresno State.

3. Be currently enrolled in, have already completed, or will enroll in a research methods course in the Fall 2017 semester at Fresno State, preferably in your major, and earn at least a B grade in this course. (Note: If you take the methods course in the Fall 2017 semester, a B is required to remain in the COSS Honors program in the Spring 2018 semester). Possible research methods courses include, but are not limited to:

  • AFRS 135: The African American Community                     
  • ANTH 100: Concepts and Applications                   
  • ANTH 101: Introductory Fieldwork in Archaeology            
  • ANTH 111: Ethnographic Fieldwork
  • CLAS 142: Research Methods                                              
  • CRIM 170: Research Methods in Criminology
  • CRIM 170H: Honors Research Methods in Criminology 
  • GEOG 141, GIS I: Data Display and Manipulation               
  • HIST 100W: Historical Research and Writing
  • PLSI 90: Methods of Analysis of Quantitative Political Data and one of the following:
    • PLSI 120: International Politics
    • PLSI 140: Approaches to Comparative Politics
    • PLSI 150: Public Policy Making               
  • SOC 175: Quantitative Research Methods               
  • SOC 176: Qualitative Research Methods
  • WS 153: Feminist Research Methods


Applications will only be accepted in the Spring semester. In order to apply for the College of Social Sciences Honors Program, you must meet ALL of the qualifications listed above.

Apply by sending a Word or PDF document attachment that includes ALL of the following: 

  • Major(s)
  • Major and Cumulative GPA
  • The number of units that you will have completed before the beginning of Fall 2017 semester 
  • Expected graduation date
  • The research methods course(s) that you have taken or intend to take in the Fall 2017 semester (see list above) 
  • The W (writing) course you have taken (if any) or if you passed the Undergraduate Writing Exam
  • Student ID number
  • A brief statement (1-2 paragraphs) indicating why you would like to participate in the COSS Honors Program and how it might help advance your personal, educational, and/or career goals. You may wish to also indicate how any research or research methods courses you have taken may help you to succeed in this course.

Deadline: Please send the email application to Dr. Amber Crowell at: by May 17, 2017 by 5pm.

Notification of Acceptance into the College of Social Sciences Honors Program:

Those accepted into the College of Social Sciences Honors Program will be notified via e-mail within one week after the deadline. Students must confirm their acceptance of admission into the program by email and to begin the process for priority registration. Please note that students will be accepted on a provisional basis pending final grades to ensure that the minimum 3.5 major and cumulative GPAs are maintained. Any student whose GPA dips below the minimum of 3.5 will be removed from the program.

Curriculum and Program Details: 

*One-year program requirements for successful completion*

Fall Semester:

Once Admitted into the College of Social Sciences Honors Program, you must register for a 3-unit course, SSCI 150T: "Social Science Honors Research Series." This "Research Series" will feature social science faculty who will share their insights and experiences in research in a broad range of social sciences. You will also begin design of your own research projects, identify a faculty research mentor , discuss your research with your peers, and complete a research proposal.

Spring Semester

Students who earned an A grade in SSCI 150T and have maintained a 3.5 overall and major GPA or better will be able to take the second 3-unit course of the Social Science Honors Program SSCI 150T: "Social Science Honors Symposium," in the spring semester. All students enrolled in this course will be expected to produce an Honors research paper/thesis to deliver at an appropriate academic conference and/or at a Social Science Honors Research Symposium at the culmination of the Spring semester in which you are enrolled in the course.

Contact Information:

If you have further questions, please e-mail Dr. Amber Crowell at