Honors Program in Computer Science

The Computer Science Honors Program offers a distinctive opportunity tailored for ambitious students who aspire to accrue additional experience and graduate with honors distinction. If the prospect of engaging in research endeavors and cultivating in-depth knowledge on a topic in Computer Science resonates with you, you are highly encouraged to consider participating in this esteemed program.

Requirements for Admission to the Honors Program in Computer Science:

  1. 19 or more units of completed work.
  2. A cumulative gpa of at least 3.3.
  3. 3.5 or more units of computer science courses at the level of 221 or higher. (Some may be in-progress, but all should be completed by the end of the semester in which application to the program is made. Acceptance is contingent upon successful completion of the courses and meeting the gpa requirements in 2, 4.)
  4. An average of at least 3.3 in the computer science courses at the level of 221 or higher.
  5.  A letter of recommendation from a member of the tenured or tenure-track computer science faculty.
A student who does not meet one of the qualifications 1-4 may be admitted to the program with the special recommendation of the Computer Science Program.

In order to be admitted to the Honors program in Computer Science, a student must submit the appropriate Honors Application form, an advising copy of their transcript, a letter from the applicant explaining why they seek admission to the Honors program, and a letter from their supervising faculty member to the Computer Science Honors Coordinator, Dr. Jon Park at jpark@richmond.edu.

Achievement of honors in computer science requires significant work beyond that necessary for a major in computer science. The program is intended for strong, self-motivated students seeking additional challenges. Faculty are pleased to discuss the program with interested students.

Requirements for Honors in Computer Science

  1. Two 300-level courses taken with honors credit and with work appropriate for the honors designation. At least one of the courses must have a 300-level prerequisite.
  2. A year (2 semesters) of directed independent study (2 units). The student will work with one or more faculty members on a special project. This project will be evaluated by the faculty advisor and the Computer Science Honors Coordinator after the first semester. If the supervisor is the Computer Science Honors Coordinator, another member of the Computer Science faculty will be designated for this evaluation. This independent study will result in an Honors Paper presentation to the Computer Science Program and open to the public. Even when the work results in a significant software component, a formal paper and presentation is required. The final requirement for honors in computer science is that this paper be accepted by the supervisor and a designated second reader. If the paper is not accepted then credit may still be given for the independent study even though the student has not earned the Honors designation.


The instructor of an Honors Status course shall be notified in writing by the Honors Coordinator during the pre-registration period as to which students are participating under this option. The honors component of the course shall be at the discretion of the instructor, but might include, for example, additional programming or problem assignments that go beyond the normal scope of the course, a term paper, an oral presentation, etc.

The honors project can be semi-expository in nature or purely research-oriented. For projects that involve software implementation, the project should be "proof-of-concept." Such projects exam-ine ideas that have not been tried out (except perhaps at sophisticated research labs or in a restricted manner) and shows via a pilot implementation that the ideas work and/or are efficiently implementable. Of course, the honors project need not have a software implementation component. The honors project should not be simply a rehash of textbook material nor simply the writing of a large program.

Part of the application includes a personalized program of study. Such a program should coordi-nate the honors work component of the two 300-level courses with the independent study component. However, in some cases, it would seem reasonable that the student be allowed to apply before deciding on a specific topic for the independent study component, with the understanding that this decision be forthcoming in a reasonable amount of time (prior to enrollment in the independent study). Applicants not prepared to specify a project upon seeking entrance to the program will, in consultation with their faculty advisor, submit an abstract to the Computer Science Honors Coordinator before the semester in which the independent study is begun.


Contact the Computer Science Honors Coordinator, Dr. Jon Park at jpark@richmond.edu