Engineering Honors Program

The College of Engineering participates in the University of Arkansas Honors Program, which challenges superior students with a more in-depth academic program and research experience. The Honors program provides a structure for working more closely with faculty members and other students in a team environment. Participation in the Engineering Honors Program is highly recommended for individuals planning academic or research-related careers that require considerable critical and original independent thinking, but it is also quite useful for students wishing to explore career potential in a number of areas.

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College Requirements

Admission requirements

  • Current students must have at least a 3.50 cumulative GPA at the University of Arkansas to be eligible.
  • Entering first-year students who are eligible are admitted during the orientation process.
    • Must have a 3.75 high school GPA.
    • Extra weight is given for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Dual Enrollment courses in calculating GPA, provided these courses are clearly indicated as such on the official high school transcript.
    • 28 ACT or 1310 SAT.
    • Honors admission is based on your highest composite ACT or SAT score, not on superscores.
  • Entering transfer students must have a 3.50 GPA on their transfer work
  • New students not initially qualifying for the Engineering Honors Program are eligible after one term if they earn at least a 3.50 cumulative GPA

Honors Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 12 hours of Honors courses
  • A minimum of 6 of these 12 hours must be in engineering. The available engineering honors courses are found in the departmental requirements section below.
  • For the honors courses outside of engineering, there are many options that will count toward your engineering degree requirements. Many courses on the approved humanities/social science elective list also have honors sections. Calculus and physics honors courses are also available.
  • Participate in an undergraduate research or design experience, and prepare an undergraduate thesis
  • Fulfill any additional departmental requirements.

To retain status in the Engineering Honors Program, a student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50. If a student’s cumulative GPA falls below 3.50, the student will receive a warning from the Dean’s office. If the student’s cumulative GPA falls below 3.50 for two consecutive semesters (not including the summer), the student will be dropped from the Honors College. The student may reapply once his/her cumulative GPA is 3.50 or above.

Honors Advisors

Department Representative Email address
Biological Engineering Brian Haggard haggard@uark.edu
Biomedical Engineering Kyle Quinn kpquinn@uark.edu
Chemical Engineering Jamie Hestekin jhesteki@uark.edu
Civil Engineering Rick Coffman rick@uark.edu
Computer Engineering Pat Parkerson jparkers@uark.edu
Computer Science Matt Patitz patitz@uark.edu
Electrical Engineering Morgan E. Ware meware@uark.edu
Industrial Engineering Kelly Sullivan ksulliv@uark.edu
Mechanical Engineering Larry Roe lar@uark.edu
First-Year Engineering Richard Cassady cassady@uark.edu
College Director Brian Haggard haggard@uark.edu

Departmental Requirements

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Biological and Agricultural Engineering offers an Honors Program for students affiliated with the Honors College. Graduation with Honors requires successful completion of the departmental Honors Program, which consists of:

  1. Completion of BENG 451VH, Honors Thesis of at least 3 semester credit hours. This course offers the student an opportunity to engage in high-level undergraduate research/design under the direction of a BENG faculty advisor or an Adjunct BENG faculty advisor. A written thesis is required, and a defense of this thesis will be made to a faculty committee who will determine its acceptability. BENG 451H will qualify as a BENG engineering/technical elective.
  2. Completion of BENG 3113H and BENG 3113LH, Measurement and Control for Biological Systems. This 3 credit hours course offers the student an opportunity to engage in high-level practice of applying biological engineering instrumentation to complex, real-world problems through an honors project that is an additional requirement to the standard version of the course. Honors students will be required to apply the knowledge gained from this course to an open-ended project. This additional requirement will add social, political, safety, economic and communication factors to the design.
  3. Fulfillment of other Honors graduation requirements as established by the College of Engineering and the Honors College.

The following Biological Engineering courses are offered for honors credit:

  • BENG 3113H – Honors Measurement and Control for Biological Systems
  • BENG 451VH – Honors Thesis

Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering offers an honors program for students affiliated with the Honors College. To graduate with honors, students must:

  • Complete at least 6 of the required 12 credit hours of Honors through Biomedical Engineering courses. Available courses include:
    • BMEG 3653H Biomedical Modeling and Numerical Methods
    • BMEG 3824H Biomolecular Engineering
    • BMEG 4623H BiomedicalTransport Phenomenon
    • BMEG 450VH Honor Thesis Research (up to 3 credits allowed)
  • Complete an honors thesis research project. The honors thesis project should be designed to enrich students’research experience and offer in-depth training in a special field. It canbe either hypothesis or technology-driven. The student must complete the Honors Thesis ProposalForm and the honorsthesis research projectmust be approved by the DepartmentHonors Coordinator. Upon the completion of the honors thesis research, the students are required to present, defend, and submit their honors thesis. An honors thesis is a document presenting students’ research andfindings. Students are required to present their honors research at the BMEG Undergraduate Research Symposium held in the second half of every spring semester.

Additional information and guidelines for completing the BMEG Honors program can be found in our Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Honors Program Guide: https://biomedical-engineering.uark.edu/academics/student-resources.php

Chemical Engineering

At least 6 of the 12 hours must be taken from the list of Chemical Engineering courses shown below.

  • CHEG 2133H – Honors Fluid Mechanics
  • CHEG 2313H – Honors Thermodynamics of Single-Component Systems 
  • CHEG 3143H – Honors Heat and Mass Transport
  • CHEG 3323H – Honors Thermodynamics of Multi-Component Systems
  • CHEG 3333H – Honors Chemical Engineering Reactor Design
  • CHEG 4163H – Honors Separation Processes
  • CHEG 4413H – Honors Chemical Engineering Design I
  • CHEG 4423H – Honors Automatic Process Control 
  • CHEG 4443H – Honors Chemical Engineering Design II
  • CHEG 4813H – Honors Chemical Process Safety

The Honors project and thesis is the distinguishing feature of the Honors program, and represents the culmination of the Honors experience. The Honors project requirement may be satisfied in one of the following ways:

  • Completion of the AIChE Design Problem as an individual, according to contest rules, as part of the requirements for CHEG 4443, Design II
  • Completion of a design contest problem as part of a team, such as the WERC or
  • EPA-P3 competition
  • Completion of a research project through CHEG 488V, Special Problems, or as an Honors research project, under the direction of a faculty mentor
  • Regardless of the type of Honors project, an Honors thesis and an oral presentation will be prepared by the student. The Honors thesis must be approved by the faculty mentor and the Department Honors Committee. The student is not given Honors credit for the Honors thesis.

Computer Science and Computer Engineering

The Honors Program in Computer Science and Computer Engineering is designed for the superior student and is intended to help the student develop a more comprehensive view of Computer Science and Computer Engineering. The program provides a vehicle for the recognition of achievements beyond the usual course of study. Higher degree distinctions are recommended only in truly exceptional cases and are based upon the candidate’s whole program of honors studies. A minimum of 12 hours of honors coursework is required.

The following requirements are necessary for graduation with honors in either the Computer Engineering or Computer Science Bachelor of Science program:

  1. The candidate must satisfy the requirements set forth by the College of Engineering.
  2. The student must obtain at least a 3.50 grade-point average in required Computer Engineering and/or Computer Science courses.
  3. The student must complete 6 hours of Honors credit in the major, which includes 3 hours of Honors Thesis taken as successive semesters of CSCE 491VH and 3 hours of CSCE coursework.

The following Computer Science and Computer Engineering courses are offered for honors credit:

  • CSCE 3193H Honors Programming Paradigms
  • CSCE 3613H Honors Operating Systems
  • CSCE 4023H Honors Special Topics
  • CSCE 491VH Honors Thesis

Civil Engineering

Students enrolled in the Honors College who are to receive the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering must complete a minimum of 12 hours of honors credit. At least 6 hours must be completed within the Civil Engineering program including at least 3 hours resulting in an Honors Thesis. The CVEG honors courses are acceptable as technical electives. The following Civil Engineering courses are offered for honors credit:

  • CVEG 491V H Honors Studies in Geotechnical Engineering (1-6)--The study of advanced topics in the geotechnical engineering field. May include participation in geotechnical engineering courses normally available only to graduate students. Course may be repeated for up to 6 hours total credit with approval of the CVEG honors advisor. Prerequisites CVEG 3133 and enrolled in the Honors College.
  • CVEG 492V H Honors Studies in Environmental Engineering (1-6)--The study of advanced topics in the environmental engineering field. May include participation in environmental engineering courses normally available only to graduate students. Course may be repeated for up to 6 hours total credit with approval of the CVEG honors advisor. Prerequisites CVEG 3243 and enrolled in the Honors College.
  • CVEG 493V H Honors Studies in Structural Engineering (1-6)--The study of advanced topics in the structural engineering field. May include participation in structural engineering courses normally available only to graduate students. Course may be repeated for up to 6 hours total credit with approval of the CVEG honors advisor. Prerequisites CVEG 3304 and enrolled in the Honors College.
  • CVEG 494V H Honors Studies in Transportation Engineering (1-6)--The study of advanced topics in the transportation engineering field. May include participation in transportation engineering courses normally available only to graduate students. Course may be repeated for up to 6 hours total credit with approval of the CVEG honors advisor. Prerequisites CVEG 3413 and enrolled in the Honors College.
  • CVEG 4983 H Undergraduate Honors Thesis--Prerequisites: enrolled in the Honors College.

Electrical Engineering

To graduate with Honors in Electrical Engineering, a student must be a member of the Honors College, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50, and complete a minimum of 12 hours of honors credit of which at least 6 hours must be Electrical Engineering Honors courses as specified below.  In addition to the above, ELEG Honors students need to submit an Honors Thesis, designated as one credit hour of ELEG 400VH to be registered on UAConnect under the Honors’ Advisor.  Special problems credit hours (ELEG 488V) will not be counted in the requirement for graduation with Honors in Electrical Engineering.

Electrical Engineering Honors Courses:

  • ELEG 3XX3H:  Required ELEG junior courses with Honors section (all junior required courses include honors sections).
  • ELEG 4063H: Electrical Engineering Design I (offered every semester).
  • ELEG 4071H: Electrical Engineering Design II (offered every semester with prerequisite ELEG 4061H).
  • ELEG 4XX3H: ELEG technical elective course that has Honors section ( Please check the offering of these Honors Sections for a particular semester).
  • ELEG 487VH: Any new formal course that has not made it to the UA Catalog of Studies (Please check the offering of the Honors Sections for a particular semester).
  • ELEG 5XXX:  Any graduate level course.

Electrical Engineering Honors Thesis:
- The format of the thesis is subject to the approval by the  Department Honors Coordinator (please see the guidelines of the Graduate School)   - The  quality and size of the Honors thesis must be acceptable and it is subject to approval by the Honors Thisis Advisor (please see samples of approved Honors thesis in the ELEG main office)  

Industrial Engineering

To graduate from Industrial Engineering with honors, an undergraduate student must, upon completion of his or her degree (B.S.I.E.) requirements,

  • be a member of the Honors College
  • have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 on all courses attempted at the University of Arkansas
  • have completed at least 12 hours of honors coursework with at least 6 of those hours being at the 3000-level or above in the College of Engineering
  • have completed an honors thesis

The following options are available for completing honors coursework at the 3000-level or above:

  1. The student may complete up to four hours from the following list of courses, which must be instructed by a full-time member of the Industrial Engineering faculty
  • INEG 400VH: Honors Thesis
  • INEG 3812H: Honors Industrial Engineering Research Experience II
  • INEG 4812H: Honors Industrial Engineering Research Experience III

A maximum total of four hours across these three courses may also be counted towards the Industrial Engineering technical elective requirement.

  1. The student may complete up to three hours of INEG 411VH Honors Individual Study. The instructor must be a full-time member of the Industrial Engineering faculty. Up to three hours of INEG 411VH can also be counted towards the Industrial Engineering technical elective requirement.
  2. The student may take INEG 5000-level courses for honors hours. The student must fill out an out-of-career registration form from the Graduate School, and receive instructor and their advisor’s approval to enroll in the course. These 5000-level courses may count as Industrial Engineering technical electives.
  3. The student may take any upper-level engineering honors course for honors hours. Such courses may count as technical electives provided they meet the technical elective requirements. These courses will be designated with an “H” in the Catalog of Studies. A number of honors course sections have been created for both required and elective Industrial Engineering courses.

The honors thesis is a written document that summarizes the student’s individual research effort conducted under the supervision of a full-time member of the Industrial Engineering faculty. This research may or may not be funded by the faculty mentor. It is expected that the student will begin their honors thesis no later than his or her junior year. This includes identifying a faculty member to supervise his or her research based on common faculty and student interests. The written document and a corresponding oral presentation (defense) must be approved by the faculty mentor and a second, full-time member of the Industrial Engineering faculty.

Mechanical Engineering

  1. Completion of MEEG 4903H, Honors Research. This course offers the student an opportunity to engage in high-level undergraduate research under the direction of a faculty advisor. A written thesis is required, and a defense of this thesis will be made to a faculty committee who will determine its acceptability.
  2. Completion of at least one MEEG honors course in addition to MEEG 4903H. Honors sections are offered for selected 4000-level courses and are listed in the current University catalog. All MEEG 5000-level and higher courses may be taken for honors credit.
  3. Fulfillment of other Honors graduation requirements as established by the College of Engineering and the Honors College.

Requirements to Graduate with Honors

Students who have demonstrated exceptional academic performance in baccalaureate degree programs will be recognized at graduation by the honors designation of cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude. To earn this distinction, the student must meet the following criteria:

  1. Must have at least a 3.50 GPA on University of Arkansas coursework, computed at graduation
  2. Must successfully complete the Engineering Honors Program, which includes a minimum of 12 hours of Honors courses (at least 6 of these hours in engineering), an undergraduate research/design experience and thesis, and any additional departmental requirements
  3. Research and thesis material shall be evaluated by each department
  4. For the student to earn the designation cum laude, the student must achieve a GPA of 3.50 or higher
  5. For the student to earn the designation magna cum laude, the student must achieve a GPA of 3.75 or higher
  6. For the student to earn the designation summa cum laude, the student must achieve a GPA of 3.90 or higher.

The criteria may be evaluated and changed periodically by the College of Engineering.

Requirements to Graduate with Distinction

Students who have not completed the Engineering Honors Program but have demonstrated excellent academic performance in baccalaureate degree programs will be recognized at graduation by the designation of “with distinction,” “with high distinction,” or “with highest distinction.” To earn these designations, the student must meet the following criteria on his or her University of Arkansas course work

  1. For the student to earn the designation “with distinction,” the student must achieve a GPA of 3.60 or higher
  2. For the student to earn the designation “with high distinction,” the student must achieve a GPA of 3.75 or higher
  3. For the student to earn the designation “with highest distinction,” the student must achieve a GPA of 3.90 or higher.

The criteria may be evaluated and changed periodically by the College of Engineering.