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California State University, Long Beach
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Departmental Honors Program

The Department of Philosophy offers an Honors Program, providing qualified undergraduates with a unique opportunity to do advanced one-on-one research with a faculty member. Students who complete the program will receive a special certificate signed by the Department Chairperson, and will have ‘Honors in Philosophy’ appear on their diplomas at commencement ceremonies.


Partici­pating in the Honors program is a unique opportunity. Students gain a memorable experience in completing a substantial research project, on an advanced topic with one-on-one guidance from a faculty mentor. Flexibility in choice of topic also allows students to cap off their undergraduate degree with a specially crafted program of study that goes beyond the standard curricular offerings, and also gives those students interested in interdisciplinary work a chance to pursue it.

The Honors program also provide students time to practice reading new and advanced intellectual texts, practice at composing advanced philosophical arguments, and opportunities to present their research. Students who complete the program have a highly-refined writing sample to show for it. Additionally, because of their advanced work, honors students tend to have an advantage in competing for departmental scholarships each year.

Faculty are also in a much better position to write detailed letters of recommendation for the students they supervise, whether for job or career opportunities, grants and awards, admissions to law or medical school, admissions to doctoral programs, or for internships. Subsequently, students who participate in the program tend to increase their chances of admission to these programs, and are often more competitive in the achieving their short and longer-term goals.

Curricular Structure

The Honors program is a 9 unit sequence over the course of two semesters. It has two curricular components.

First, in both fall and spring semesters, students complete PHIL498H: Undergraduate Honors Thesis (3 units each semester) with their Faculty supervisor. During this year-long period, the student writes an undergraduate thesis under close supervision of a tenured member of the Philosophy Department.

Second, in the spring semester, students also complete the PHIL497H: Undergraduate Honors Seminar (3 units) with the Director of the program. In the seminar, students meet to discuss their works-in-progress and workshop their theses, using the feedback they receive to make improvements and modifications. Students present their final theses in the seminar and in the Honors Showcase each spring.

Students who have been admitted to the Honors Program and have successfully completed these two requirements will graduate with Honors in Philosophy.

Organizational Meeting

The Director of the Honors Program organizes an informational meeting at the end of each spring semester, in order to introduce to describe the benefits and requirements of the program.


Students must apply to the Honors Program. To be eligible, applicants must satisfy the following necessary conditions:

  1. A minimum 3.50 GPA in the Philosophy major, as well as a 3.00 cumulative GPA overall.
  2. Successful completion of all lower-division courses in the major (PHIL203, PHIL204, PHIL270)
  3. Successful completion of at least 9 units of upper-division Philosophy cour­ses; at least 6 of these 9 units must have been completed at Cal State Long Beach.

In special cases, exceptions may be made to these requirements. For more information, please discuss your individual situation with both the faculty supervisor and the Director of the Honors Program.


To apply to the Honors Program, students should contact the Director to request an application form and to discuss the particulars of the student’s project and supervision. Honors thesis supervision involves mutual agreement between student and faculty member.

For more information, please contact

Dr. Cory Wright
Associate Professor & Honors Program Director
Department of Philosophy (MHB-909)
California State University Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
Long Beach CA, 90840-2408 USA
Phone: 562-985-2736