Departmental Honors Program

The Departmental Honors Program allows highly motivated students to work closely with a faculty member to conduct hands-on research and write an Honors Thesis. Please note that this program is distinct from the Honors College and the standard Baccalaureate Honors that are described in the UNM Catalog.

The culmination of the Departmental Honors Program is expected to be a manuscript or senior thesis based on a project developed between the student and a faculty supervisor. The program consists of a minimum of 3 credit hours distributed over the last two semesters of a student’s undergraduate program as Honors Problems courses (ECE 493 and 494).

At the completion of the degree, students in the Departmental Honors Program are assigned a level of honors based primarily on the degree grade point average upon completion of the degree. These designations include:

  • 3.20 – 3.49 Cum Laude
  • 3.50 – 3.79 Magna Cum Laude
  • 3.80 – 4.00 Summa Cum Laude

The quality of the thesis also influences the level of honors. Records will be notified of successful completion of the honors program so that the honors may appear on the student’s transcript.

Admission Criteria

Students seeking admission to the Departmental Honors program should ideally apply during their junior year, and no later than prior to beginning their senior year (in other words, students should have at least full two semesters remaining). Applicants to the Departmental Honors program must have a degree of GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Students are responsible for selecting a willing supervising faculty member to help them develop their proposed topic and to supervise their thesis.

Deadline and Application Submission

It is recommended that interested students start their application process during their junior year to provide time for finding and speaking to a willing supervising faculty and then researching and developing a potential topic. At the very latest, interested students should submit their application prior to the beginning of their senior year. In other words, interested students must apply before the start of their second to last semester so that they can register for ECE 493 by the start of that penultimate semester. Completed applications are to be submitted to

ECE Department Honors Program Application [Click to download]

Students accepted into the program will register for ECE 493 in their second to last semester and 494 the semester after, which should be the final semester. Students will register for the sections taught by their supervising faculty. These are variable credit courses and students must discuss with their faculty supervisor how to distribute the credit hours to add up to at least 3 credit hours (for example, 493 could be one credit hour and 494 could be two, or vice versa). These 3 credit hours can fulfill an ECE upper division elective requirement.


Revised February 2023