Honors Program Benefits and Requirements


We are here to support you throughout your undergraduate career, and to help you grow and fulfill your potential while making lifelong friends.



Honors Students at a table in Soda Center


Through the Honors Program, students will have a wide variety opportunities to pursue their academic and professional interests more extensively:

  • Individualized curriculum and research developed by our most dynamic professors
  • Network with students and alumni from all majors and programs
  • Present research at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference and the annual Spring Research Symposium
  • Priority class registration
  • Study and work for social justice in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Get honors credit on your transcript and recognition at commencement
  • Participate in internship, graduate school, and career development workshops
  • Be part of a close-knit community of like-minded students and develop friendships through social, academic, and service-based activities
  • Field trips in the Bay Area such as Oakland A’s games, the Monterey Aquarium, museums, theater and more!


Membership in the program is free and entirely voluntary. You can drop out at any time without penalty.

Our program is not affiliated with national Honor societies where members are required to pay yearly dues.



Campus Hallway

Academic Requirements

Honors students must maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher to graduate with Honors. If their GPA drops slightly below we will work with them to bring it back up.

There are also a number of new 1st-year courses that Honors students must complete that will allow students enrolled in Honors to better familiarize themselves with the program and with the other Gaels in their cohort:

  • Complete Honors FYAC (Class of 2026 and onward)
  • Complete Honors Seminar (Class of 2026 and onward)
  • Complete Honors WRIT (Class of 2027 and onward)

Program Requirements

In addition to maintaining academic excellence, there are a number of requirements, both within the classroom and without, that Honors students must fulfill over the course of their enrollment in the program:

A student and a professor shaking hands in a ceremony
Students on the Honors Terrace

Honors Colloquia

Colloquia are a non-course credit, informal seminar for students in the Honors Program, led and attended by Honors students. By the end of their 2nd year, Honors students should have attended 20 total Colloquia, and by the time they graduate, should have led a total of 10 Colloquia.

Honors Contracts

Student presenting at a conference

The Cornerstone of the Honors Program

Honors Contracts are an essential part of an Honors education at Saint Mary’s College of California. Each Honors student will complete 3 Honors Contracts by the end of their 4th year, using each as an opportunity to explore more deeply a course or capstone project that contributes to their major or career interests.

Learn more