Honors Program

The Honors Program at Cincinnati State welcomes academically talented students who are looking for educational challenges, and who wish to go beyond the classroom to explore fresh ideas and new areas of interest. This program is open to all degree-seeking students who meet the program entrance criteria. We offer scholarships and financial aid earmarked specifically for students in the Honors Program.


Students in the Honors Program participate in challenging coursework, with close student-instructor interactions, and interdisciplinary and intercultural explorations.

The goals of the program are to develop intellectual curiosity and analytical thinking, interdisciplinary understanding of academic content, social and community responsibility, cultural and international awareness, and leadership skills and personal growth.

Other Benefits

  • Enroll in specially-designed Honors courses
  • Study and learn with other highly motivated students
  • Work closely with supportive advisors and staff
  • Use the Honors study room
  • Supplement your studies with cultural and social activities on campus and in the Greater Cincinnati Community
  • Participate in Honors Co-op
  • Receive recognition at Commencement and on your college transcript as an Honors Program participant

Honors Courses and Colloquiums

Honors courses are offered in general studies areas that apply to many degree programs, and in areas that may apply to a specific degree. The number of Honors courses available depends on your degree program or major; however, Honors Program students are expected to take Honors classes, including at least one colloquium.

Honors specially-designed versions of courses that are offered throughout the year include:

  • Orientation to Honors (replaces the First Year Experience required course)
  • English Composition 1 and 2
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Public Speaking
  • American History 1 and 2
  • Literature courses, include Novel, Short Story, and Poetry
  • Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2
  • Introduction to Urban Agriculture

Multi-disciplinary colloquiums are Honors courses designed to enhance critical thinking and critical analysis while examining varied materials in a seminar format. Some past topics of Honors colloquiums include:

  • Wilderness and Wildness
  • The Art of Science and of Science Fiction
  • Storytelling and Technology
  • The Origins of Punk Rock Music
  • The History of American Education
  • Examining Parent and Child Relationships

Activities & Events

Students in the Honors Program participate in a variety of cultural, social, scientific, and community-building activities and events. Students must attend at least four events in an academic year to maintain “active” status in the Honors Program. The cost of events is covered by the Honors Program when possible.

Joining the Honors Program

The Honors Program at Cincinnati State is open to all full-time and part-time degree seeking students in all divisions who meet Honors Program entrance criteria.

  • For a new student entering Cincinnati State, must have one of the following:
    • High school GPA of 3.25 or higher
    • High school rank in top 20 percent
    • ACT score of 26
  • For a current student at Cincinnati State:
    • Must have a College GPA of 3.25 after completing at least 12 academic semester credits
  • For a transfer student entering Cincinnati State after attending another college/university:
    • Must have a college GPA of 3.25 after completing at least 12 academic semester credits

All students applying for the Honors Program must submit two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with their academic potential and performance in a teaching/learning environment.

Honors Application

To apply to the Honors Program, fill out the online application. Applications are reviewed as they are received; there is not a specific deadline.

Honors Program Scholarship

Incoming (new) students and current Honors Program students may apply for the Honors Program scholarship.


Contact the Honors Program Chair:
Dr. Andrea Trapp
(513) 569-1646

Honors Program FAQ’s

What is the Honors Program?

Honors is many things– including classes, activities, and a community of students.

  • It’s a group of eager students and experienced faculty who seek challenging learning experiences, inside and outside traditional classrooms.
  • It’s a way for you to maximize your educational opportunities at Cincinnati State.
  • It’s a set of classes that will open your mind and engage your curiosity about the world.

Is the program for only really smart students?

Are you highly curious? Creative? Love to ask thoughtful questions? Do you want to go deeper and stretch wider to reach your potential? If you said “yes,” then Honors is for you!

Honors is for thinkers and learners who are willing to take on academic challenges. Honors values creativity and intellectual curiosity. You may be smarter than you think!

What classes do honors students take?

Through the Honors Program you can complete the general education courses required for most associate’s degrees offered at Cincinnati State (classes such as English Composition, Psychology, and History). Some Honors classes cover requirements for students in a particular degree program, such as Honors Principles of Management for students earning business-related degrees, or Honors Anatomy & Physiology for students earning allied health-related degrees.

What are Colloquiums?

Colloquiums are classes that focus on an interdisciplinary topic in a seminar format, with emphasis on student inquiry and analysis of materials, and critical thinking. Past topics for Honors Colloquiums have included “The Art and Science of Science Fiction,” “The Origins of Punk Rock Music,” and “Experiencing Spring Grove.”

How can I get into the program?

Any Cincinnati State student who meets the minimum requirements for College placement test scores and/or GPA can apply to be in the Honors Program. You must complete an application form, write a short essay, and submit two recommendations.

Will honors classes show up on my college transcript?

Yes, the Honors classes and colloquiums you take will be designated as “Honors” on your Cincinnati State transcript.

Will employers care if I am in honors?

Employers will notice that you were willing to take on extra challenges and responsibilities. Also, in some degree programs it’s possible to participate in an Honors Co-op experience.

Will honors matter when I transfer?

Participating in the Honors Program can boost your academic resume, and may help in getting scholarships to continue your education after graduating from Cincinnati State. Research shows that students who take Honors classes are better prepared to do junior-level work after transferring to a bachelor’s degree program, and these students experience less “transfer shock” to their grade point average.

Will transfer colleges and universities recognize and accept honors classes?

Definitely, our program is based on the standards of the National Collegiate Honors Council. We have signed articulation agreements (a guarantee that course credits will be accepted) with the University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University, and we’re working on similar agreements with other colleges and universities.

Can I take an honors class if I am not part of the honors program?

Yes, if you have the permission of the course instructor or the Honors Program Chair. However, Honors Program students have priority in registering for Honors classes and colloquiums.

Will taking honors classes hurt my GPA?

Honors classes emphasize different approaches to assessment of learning, but the grading standards are not “harder.” The expectations for your learning are higher.

How will honors classes help me?

You’ll be in a class with other highly motivated students, sharing the same high expectations. You’ll be challenged, and engaged. You’ll learn more, and enjoy it a lot!