Admission to the FSU Commonwealth Honors Program

Incoming First-Year Student Admission

First-year students are selected for the Honors Program based on their high school curriculum, recalculated grade point average, and demonstrated potential for superior academic work at the university level. 

Incoming Transfer Student Admission

Transfer students in academic good standing in the Commonwealth Honors Program at another Massachusetts public institution automatically meet the Honors Program selection standards. 

Continuing Student Admission

Matriculated students not initially selected to participate in the Honors Program may request selection after completing at least one semester of coursework (minimum of 3 course credits) at Framingham State with a minimum GPA of 3.20. Matriculated students are not eligible for Honors Program selection after completing five (5) or more general education course credits. A brief statement of intent and an unofficial transcript must be presented to the Faculty Director of the Honors Program by January 10 (to join Honors program in spring) or June 10 (to join Honors program in fall).


Course Selection and Design

Students in the Commonwealth Honors Program have the opportunity to choose courses, designed to be intensive and intellectually challenging, from a wide range of disciplines. Honors students have priority registration, which means they are almost never closed out of a course! General Education honors courses draw upon and develop students' creativity and analytical thinking skills. Because these classes are generally smaller in enrollment, students have more interaction with the faculty and in-depth class discussion, which helps foster a close student-instructor relationship.


Incoming first-year students who qualify for the Honors Program (see Program Requirements) receive an annual scholarship, which is determined by the Admissions Office. Other special scholarships are also available through the program, which celebrate students’ academic achievements.

Honors Housing

There is a designated floor in one of the residential dorms for Honors Program students. The floor will include a Resident Advisor, who is usually an upper-class Honors student. (Note: It is not mandatory for Honors Program students to select this floor.)

Honors Program House

Students have exclusive access to the Honors Program house at 22 Adams Road. This is a wonderful place for students to gather to study, talk or just relax among friends. The house has WiFi access, a television, a printer, a small refrigerator, and a microwave.

Extracurricular Activities/Special Events

The Honors Program hosts/sponsors several events during the year for its students. Each Fall, there is a retreat for first-year Honors Program students.  Other events have included theatre trips to Boston, apple picking, a movie night and more!

There are also opportunities for Honors students to participate in a Study Aboard program and work as a supplemental course instructor on campus. In addition, every Spring, the Program hosts a dinner for students, faculty and thesis advisors where academic achievements are recognized. Juniors and Seniors are lauded by their thesis advisors and presented with their Honors Program sash and pin for graduation.

Special Designations

Honors students who complete the program will be recognized at graduation and on their undergraduate transcripts as Commonwealth Honors Scholars. Framingham State University is a member of the statewide Commonwealth Honors Program, the National Collegiate Honors Council, and the Northeast Regional Collegiate Honors Council. Graduate and professional schools recognize the academic accomplishment of students completing the Program.

Meet the Faculty

Gregory Halfond

Professor, History Department and Faculty Director of the Commonwealth Honors Program
303 May Hall and Honors Program House 202

Rebecca Carr

Administrative Assistant - Honors Program
Honors Program House 203

Requirements for the Commonwealth Honors Program

Participants in the Framingham State University Honors Program must complete a minimum of six (6) course credits bearing the honors designation, including a RAMS First-Year Seminar with an Honors designation (HNRS) and the honors capstone course HNRS 480 Honors Program Thesis/Project. All students must complete a minimum of three (3) courses with the honors designation at Framingham State University, including HNRS 480 Honors Program Thesis/Project. 

As a condition of continued enrollment in the Honors Program, a freshman or sophomore must maintain a GPA of no less than 3.00 overall; a junior or senior must maintain a GPA of 3.20 or greater. In addition, a student must earn a minimum grade of B (3.00) in each honors course (including the thesis) in order to count toward the program requirements. Students may not go more than one semester without taking an Honors course prior to the completion of first-year and program elective requirements, but may wait to take HNRS 480 Honors Program Thesis/Project without penalty.

Contract Course Information

Most honors courses are specially designed sections of regular 100 and 200 level general education courses that also may be applied toward general education requirements. However, Students may choose to substitute one (1) upper-division course in their major program of study (300- or 400-level) for one of the elective Honors courses by submitting an honors contract in which the student and instructor devise or enhance a project within the course emphasizing advanced, independent research on a particular subject.

The form below can be used for this substitution.

Link to Contract Course Request Form


Honors Thesis

The capstone experience of the Honors Program is the directed study Senior Honors Thesis conducted under the direction of a faculty supervisor.

All Honors Program seniors are required to publicly present the results of their thesis projects.  Options for the presentations include, the Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference in Amherst, held annually for students enrolled in the Commonwealth's public colleges and universities, FSU CELTSS "Student Conference for Research and Creative Practice", and departmental research days.

Copies of the Senior Honors Thesis will be archived in Framingham State University's Whittemore Library and in the Honors Program Center.

Please click the link - Honors Program Forms - to access further information regarding Senior Honors Thesis.