Honors Program

Scholarship & Service

The Honors Program at Concordia University Irvine provides highly capable, curious, and accomplished students with special opportunities to pursue their scholarly interests.

In the Honors Program, students and professors investigate and navigate together what life is and what it should be. They wrestle with life’s pressing questions, issues, and problems. They discuss prominent conceptions of truth, goodness, and beauty. They seek solutions to serve the world and secure their neighbor’s welfare.

Honors students have the ability and opportunity to explore broadly and to dig deeply into life with professors and peers. They also have the responsibility to use their minds in insightful and loving ways for others.

The words of Saint Paul in his letter to Christians in Philippi guide us in this academic calling.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Philippians 2:4–5

Honors Qualifications

To qualify for the Honors Program, first-time college students must achieve the following:

  • High School GPA of 3.7 (cumulative and weighted)
  • SAT score (Evidence-based Reading and Writing plus Math) of 1280 
    or
  • ACT score of 27

Students who meet these minimum standards are invited to submit an application to join the Honors Program.

Current CUI students who are similarly academically qualified and motivated may petition into the Honors Program.

International students must meet TOEFL of 92 (IBT)/IELTS above 6.5. Additional documentation may be requested.

As an Honors student my professors challenged me to think deeper and to critically examine what I was learning and how to apply it to my life.

Honors Scholarship

First-time college students who meet the Honors Program’s minimum academic qualifications are invited to apply for the Honors Scholarship, which covers up to $26,000 in tuition each year. This is awarded to qualified students after applying to and being accepted into CUI and the Honors Program. 

Deadline for application is December 1st. Applicants must have been accepted to the university by this time.

Apply Now


Presidential Honors Scholarship

First-time college students with a weighed cumulative high school GPA of 3.9 or higher and SAT score (Evidence-based Reading and Writing plus Math) of 1370, or a 30 on the ACT or higher, are invited to apply for the Presidential Honors Scholarship. This is CUI's highest academic merit award and covers up to 100% of tuition each year. This is a highly competitive scholarship with a limited number of awards. It is awarded after applying to and being accepted into CUI and the Honors Program.

Deadline for application is December 1st. Applicants must have been accepted to the university by this time.

Apply Now

Good Standing & Graduation Requirements

To remain in good standing in the Honors Program, Honors Scholars must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher; this is checked at the end of each academic year. Honors Scholars must do an Honors Investigation, or a President's Academic Showcase, by their junior year. Presidential Honors Scholars need to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher; this is checked at the end of each academic year. They must do a President's Academic Showcase by their junior year. Both must also make progress each year toward graduating with distinction as an Honors Associate or an Honors Scholar. Other Honors students without a scholarship in the Honors Program must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher, which is checked at the end of each academic year. They are also encouraged to work toward achieving the distinction of Honors Associate or Honors Scholar.

  • Honors Associate
    Accumulate 12 points, including one Honors Investigation or President’s Academic Showcase
  • Honors Scholar
    Accumulate 18 points, including one Honors Investigation or President’s Academic Showcase

Points may be accrued through a combination of Honors points listed below.

Benefits of the Honors Program

In addition to taking our nationally-recognized Enduring Questions & Ideas (Q&I) curriculum, which one higher education publication has called “an honors program for everybody,” Honors students can:

The quality of professors and course material helped my faith and intellect grow in new ways.

Honors Point Menu

Courses designated as H(onors) sections (and other course options) 2 points each
Honors Investigations with a professor 1-3 points each
President's Academic Showcase with a professor 1-3 points each
Great Commission Showcase with a professor 1-3 points each
Oxford Study Abroad Programme 6 points
Concordia Cambridge Program 6 points
Around-the-World Semester 3 points for its Global Cultural Studies minor
Study Abroad through another program Variable points
Foreign Language: New-to-You (2 semesters) 4 points
Foreign Language: Continuing study of one language at intermediate or advanced college level 2 points per semester
Double Major 8 points
Minor outside of the major 3 points each
Scholarship & Service Capstone Essay 1 point
I am currently doing an Honor Investigation and it is awesome to be able to dive deeper into something I’m passionate about with one of my professors.

Honors Courses

Although the CUI Honors Program is much more than just Honors courses, we do offer several classes targeted specifically towards students who desire higher academic and intellectual achievement. These courses are designed to challenge students and promote a deeper, more disciplined dive into an environment of academic discourse.

So you want to register for an Honors class! Here’s what you need to know:

Although the CUI Honors Program is much more than just Honors courses, we do offer several classes targeted specifically towards students who desire higher academic and intellectual achievement. These courses (denoted with an H section) are designed to challenge students and promote a deeper, more disciplined dive into an environment of academic discourse.

Honors classes are reserved only for students in the CUI Honors program. The director of the program knows who is and who is not in the program. If you think you ought to be considered a CUI Honors student, please make an appointment with the director!

In some exceptional circumstances, students who want to take Honors classes can register for them, but this requires the approval of the CUI Honors program director. Make an appointment with the director for further details.

When Honors classes are offered, they generally substitute for Q&I breadth required courses. They have a limited student to faculty ratio, and different standards than the regular undergraduate offering.

3-credit Honors courses are worth 2 points towards graduating as an Honors Associate or Scholar.

Register for these courses early and often! Anticipate these offerings in your own grad plan! They need students to make the course happen (low enrollment will shut them down). Over the last couple of years, the following Honors courses have been offered: INT 100, THL 201, THL 202, ART 111, COM 211, PHY 231, THR 111, WRT 201, PSY 101, THL 465

Looking into the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 terms, the following courses will be offered:
INT 100-H, Fall 20
WRT 201-H, Fall 20
THR 111-H Fall 20
MUS 331-H Fall 20
THL 201-H Fall 20
PHY 231-H Fall 20
ART 111-H Fall 20
COM 211-H Spring 21
THL 465-H Spring 21
PSY 101-H Spring 21

I want to take a class as an Honors class but it doesn’t offer an Honors section. What do I do?

This is where an “Honors Investigation” may work in your favor. First, talk to the faculty member who is teaching your class. Find out whether that person is willing to offer you a little extra time and effort to dive deeper, to accomplish the necessary work in that course’s curriculum but also to go above and beyond the requirements of the typical classroom. The two of you can agree on a reasonable scope to satisfy honors level work for that course, and submit the plan to the CUI Honors director on an “Honors Investigation” application, found in your Honors folder in Google Drive!

For More Information

Dr. CJ Armstrong, Honors Program Director
Phone: (949) 214-3407
Email: clinton.armstrong@cui.edu

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