Honors Program

Dear Letters & Science Honors Program Students,

We want to remind you of the priority registration changes that will go into effect later in the Spring 2021 quarter, when you will be registering for Fall 2021 courses. 


Of note is the change that only Pass 1 will have a priority pass time.  There will be no priority pass times on Pass 2 or Pass 3. Please see the bottom of this message that details the rationale for this change.




Q: What has been changed for Honors?

A: Current L&S Honors Program students will have priority registration for Pass 1 only. They will maintain this significant benefit as long as they remain in good standing with the L&S Honors Program. 

Q: Will students admitted to the L&S Honors Program starting academic year 2021-2022 have priority registration? 

A: Future L&S Honors Program students will not have priority registration.


Q: What are the requirements to remain in the L&S Honors Program?

A: All students must complete two Honors Experiences per year and maintain a certain GPA (3.5 if you joined Honors during academic year 2020-2021 or earlier and 3.2 if you joined Honors during in Fall 2021 or later). If you are unable to meet these annual requirements, you should speak with an Honors Program advisor (if you have not yet done so). Click here for more info.


Q: What are the requirements to complete the L&S Honors Program before I graduate?

A:  All students must complete at least six Honors Experiences, complete at least 40 hours of volunteer service, and maintain a certain GPA (3.5 if you joined Honors during academic year 2020-2021 or earlier and 3.2 if you joined Honors during in Fall 2021 or later). Click here for more info. 


Q: How often is my status in the program verified?

A: Student records are reviewed annually after the spring term. 


Q: Is there a minimum number of letter-graded units required to stay in the program each year?

A: No, there are no annual letter-graded unit requirements to maintain status in the L&S Honors Program.


Q.  How will students be admitted to Honors in Fall 2021? 

A.  Students will be invited to apply to join the Honors Program in May after they submit their Statement of Intent to Register (SIR).  Click here for more info.


Q: Where can I find out additional information about the L&S Honors Program?

A: Please review the links in the navigation bar to the left.

Rationale behind the priority registration changes


As UCSB senior leadership noted in its March 2, 2021 email to students, UC Santa Barbara is very proud of its Honors students and their accomplishments. However, the growing numbers of students with priority registration has resulted in an unintended problem in the context of access to classes. 


Specifically, the current priority registration policies have indirectly led to underserved and first-generation students having, on average, much less access to the classes they need. 


As an institution dedicated to supporting diversity and equity, this socioeconomic disparity between the students with priority and those without is out of alignment with our values.  


Please keep in mind that only members of the Letters and Science Honors Program will be able to enroll in Honors Seminars, and most instructors limit enrollment in Honors Sections to Honors students.  Also, only Honors students will be able to participate in Honors Contracts.


These issues were discussed at considerable length by the Academic Senate in its Undergraduate Council and Committee on Diversity and Equity.  A group including the undergraduate deans of Creative Studies, Engineering, and Letters & Science, the Senate committee chairs, the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Director of the Disabled Students Program, met to develop a new priority registration policy, which has since been approved by the Academic Senate.

We believe these changes will help to ensure that all UCSB students have equitable access to classes.


Questions or concerns about the policy change may be sent to honorsmail@ltsc.ucsb.edu, or by visiting with an Honors Program advisor during Honors Advising Hours. 



We’ve been fielding hundreds of questions from our L&S Honors Program Students. Important announcements follow below, given our current circumstances and student needs. PLEASE READ EACH ITEM THOROUGHLY: 
1) If you only have one honors experience this Academic Year (AY), you will not be dismissed from the Honors Program (though you will still have to meet the 3.5 cumulative GPA requirement by the end of this AY);
2) If you have 0 honors experiences this AY and have not yet satisfied your required number of honors experiences, you’ll be expected to draft a “get well” plan by July 1 to L&S Honors, detailing how you intend to put yourself back on track for satisfying honors experiences; the get-well plan should consist of an email (include your PERM) that proposes the honors experiences you’ll be employing next year to get caught up (contracts, seminars, honors sections, EAP, 99s or 199s, automatic honors courses, etc). We’ll attach a copy of that email to your advising records for future reference for Honors Program advisors.
3) Failure to submit your honors experiences get well plan will result in dismissal from the L&S Honors Program when we conduct our annual review in July 2021;
4) GPA and volunteer requirements remain in place;
5) The reduction from six required honors experiences to five applies only to those graduating between now and Summer 2021. Requirements for subsequent graduating classes may be reviewed later, but at present, the expectation will be six honors experiences;

6) Honors experiences are meant to foster enriching intellectual and academic relationships with talented, innovative faculty. They’re not meant to be a haze for students. We also require them to ensure students aren’t applying to the Honors Program merely for the benefit of priority registration;


7) INT 89 and 94 seminars still have seats—and they satisfy honors experiences. See detailed course descriptions here: https://www.duels.ucsb.edu/honors/experiences#seminars-freshman

8) We get a LOT of emails asking “What’s an Honors Contract?” “How can I satisfy volunteer hours?” etc. There is a great deal of information on our Honors web page. We strongly encourage students to review it thoroughly.
9) When you send a question or your get well plan to Honors Mail, please include your PERM in the subject line and/or the first sentence of your email. Doing so expedites our replies to you. If we have to go searching for your records, your responses will get delayed. There are currently three staff members and one advising peer trying to meet the advising needs of over 1400 Honors Program students. Help us help you.
If you need to speak with an academic advisor during our operating hours, I would encourage you to click on the “queues" link  and follow the prompts. I also hold Honors Program advising hours Tuesday afternoons from 1-3:30 and Thursday mornings from 9-11:30. Carolina Ramirez Moreno, our Honors Advising Peer, holds Honors Program advising Wednesday mornings from 9:30-11:30.
As I say to every student with whom I speak: I fully understand that these are stressful times. Along with my Letters and Science Academic Advising colleagues, I admire the grit, determination, and optimism that each of you has shown in the face of adversity, and I challenge you to continue demonstrating those admirable qualities that truly set you apart. 
I hope the above alleviates some of the anxieties you may have been feeling about meeting the obligations of the Honors Program. If you have additional concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

David Lawrence
Academic Advisor
UCSB Letters & Science Honors Program

To speak with an academic advisor:


1.  Use the Letters and Science Academic Advising  QLess Queue to have us call you.  Let the advising associate know that you have an Honors Program-related question, and an Honors Program advisor will call you back at their earliest opportunity. Please note that your wait times may be longer if you're trying to address an Honors Program issue outside of dedicated Honors Advising hours.

2.  Schedule a phone or Zoom appointment.  You can use the advising appointment system to schedule an appointment.  Please know that we ask students to schedule appointments for relatively complicated issues, and appointments cannot be scheduled for the same day or the next day.  Also, appointments fill quickly. So if you have questions that can’t wait, please use QLess, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. If you have already scheduled an in person appointment with an advisor or dean, please expect an email with directions for making it a phone appointment.

3.  Emailing us at honorsmail@ltsc.ucsb.edu

Please include your PERM and a good callback number in your email to us.


Also, if you need a petition form for another academic advising matter, most are available online, and once you fill them out, scan them or take a picture and send it to academic_advising@ltsc.ucsb.edu.


The Honors Program is designed to give students in the College of Letters and Science the opportunity to pursue their interests as part of a community of scholars. The program connects you to the resources of a large university while providing an intimate collegiate atmosphere where you work closely with peers and professors in small classes, research laboratories, and special programs and activities.


Email:  honorsmail@ltsc.ucsb.edu (Please include your PERM in the subject line of your message)


The conversation has already begun, and it's as easy as 1-2-3:

1) Create an account using your UCSB.edu email in the Nectir box above by clicking "Register New Account." 
2) Begin chatting
3) Ask and answer each others' questions, share events, and get support from peer and staff honors advisors

Get your L&S Honors questions answered on Nectir!

Designed by recent UCSB grads, Nectir is a communication tool UCSB adopted this year in order to create online communities on campus. Through either your desktop or your phone, you can now join a community of every UCSB Honors student in our #letters-and-science-honors Nectir channel. This will be a space to ask and answer each others’ questions, share tips and tricks, and find support from your peers. 

Whether you have insights about honors experiences, suggestions for satisfying community service hours, or have questions about Honors Seminar offerings, your Letters & Sciences honors advisors--and fellow Honors Program students--would love to hear from you!

Honors Student Testimonials                                                            


"I absolutely loved my job as an Honors Program Peer. Getting to meet so many extremely intelligent and driven individuals really inspires me. I'm also excited to share my experiences with the incoming Honors students through the Honors Mentor program because I know they will be amazed by how many opportunities they will receive through this program! Not to mention how much fun they will have if they join our Isla Vista Elementary Tutoring Program!" 

Haley Ferrera, Alumna and former Honors Program Peer                                                                             

"Being a part of the Honors Program has helped me cultivate deeper connections with my professors and has opened me up to new and exciting opportunities that I didn't imagine I would have during my college years at such a large university. As an Honors Program Peer, I was excited to organize more events to help create a sense of community and togetherness within the Honors Program."  [We recommend following the Honors Program's Facebook page for updates on upcoming events.]

Mallory Shiroyama, Alumna and former Honors Program Peer

"I’m so thankful to be a part of the Honors Program here at UCSB. Not only has it opened me up to opportunities I never thought I’d have the chance to do during college, it has also provided me with greater connections with my professors — a privilege at such a large university. For my Environmental Studies Honors Section with Professor Alagona, I had the chance to go on a 3-day field trip to the Sierra Nevada, where we were able to meet lots of prestigious people in a variety of job fields, as well as see how environmental issues are very important today."

Rachel DeAngelis, Fourth year Theater Major

"My favorite experience in the Honors Program was Dr. John Park's Honors Seminar on Law and Disobedience. This course opened my mind to the vast number of sources from which knowledge can come; I have since broadened my education by attending events such as TEDxUCSB, a Ted Talk event at which Dr. Park spoke about how power and knowledge contribute to modern race relations. He is so charismatic and made class sessions feel both casual and professional, encouraging the connection of issues across disciplines, as well as giving useful advice on life after college. Plus he always offered tea and chocolate."

Megan O'Beirne, Fourth year double majoring in Environmental Studies and Global Studies

"Participating in the Honors Program allowed me to work one-on-one with my professors to get even more out of my already great Sociology courses. My honors standing as well as my leadership experience from being the Isla Vista Tutoring Coordinator made my resume stand out and helped me to already receive an offer for a great, full-time career after graduation."

Kate Chase, Alumna and former Isla Vista Tutoring Coordinator

"Although I joined the Honors Program for the early registration times, after joining I realized the tremendous opportunities to network with other students and work closely with faculty."

Chris Condron, Alumnus

"I really enjoy having the opportunity to take Honors Seminars and Honors Contracts in unique subject areas. Many professors teach seminars or establish contracts around a specific area of interest to them, thus allowing students to learn about a topic that may not be offered in other UCSB courses."

Kristen Wieser, Alumna

"I love that the Honors Program creates a small community within a large university, making my experience as a student more manageable and rewarding."

Audrey Abeyta, Alumna

"A few of the relationships I’ve built have been maintained, which made the process of getting letters of recommendation much easier."

Jeannette Figg, Alumna, Yale law student

"The Honors Program has given me the opportunity to develop better relationships with my professors while also creating a more in-depth academic experience."

Kelsey Foltz, Alumna

"Through Honors Sections and Contracts, I enjoy having thought-provoking discussions and participating in challenging projects that go beyond what’s required of you as a regular student in class. You get to form relationships with faculty who are prestigious in their areas of expertise and actively engage with their wealth of knowledge."

Kaitlyn Hollister, Alumna

"I have had the opportunity of going deeper in the course material through projects, research and building closer relationships with professors, which has allowed me to truly make the most of my academic career at UCSB."

Danielle Mayorga, Alumna

"The Honors Program has allowed me to develop close ties to UCSB faculty members through Honors Contracts and Sections. It has also opened up volunteer opportunities such as the Isla Vista Elementary School tutoring program."

Michael Moses, Alumnus