Honors Program

The Honors Program provides FAU students in the Bachelor of Urban Design (BUD) and Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning (BURP) programs the opportunity to achieve academic excellence beyond the level of standard coursework.

Students interested in pursuing honors designation in Urban and Regional Planning or Urban Design are required to meet the eligibility and admission requirements noted below. Each student’s honors program of study will include at least six credits in honors coursework in upper-level planning/urban design courses.

Three credits will be achieved through an Honors Compact with the mentoring faculty in a regularly taught course where the student will have the opportunity to participate in honors-level enrichment activities, prepare for individual research and demonstrate academic excellence. Students must complete the Honors Compact Proposal and Approval Form and submit it to the department chair (or the director of the honors program to which the course will be applied) no later than the “last day to drop/add courses without consequences” of the term in which the Honors Compact will be completed. The guidelines for completing an Honors Compact and the form can be found here.

In addition, students seeking honors designation are required to successfully complete the requirements for URP 4978 Honors Planning Project in lieu of URP 4979 Planning Project. URP 4979 is already a required course in both the BURP and the BUD programs, and therefore, no additional credits for the honors designation will be required. In case a student fails to complete URP 4978 with a grade of “B” or higher, the credits earned may count toward her/his bachelor’s degree without the honors designation, as long as the student meets the requirements for successful completion of the capstone course in BURP or BUD.

A student who successfully completes the honors designation in Urban and Regional Planning or Urban Design will receive the degree with departmental honors, to be noted on the student’s transcript, along with the title of the Honors Planning Project. The Honors Planning Project will be preserved in a separate collection in the FAU Wimberly Library.

Questions about the Honors Program may be directed to Dr. Diana Mitsova at dmitsova@fau.edu.

Requirements for Eligibility and Admission to the Honors Program in Urban and Regional Planning or Urban Design:

(Program entry is limited to 20 percent of students within the Urban and Regional Planning or Urban Design major.)

  1. Completed at least five upper-level (4000) courses in BURP or BUD;
  2. Cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.3 in core courses;
  3. Cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 overall;
  4. Formal application form must be submitted after completion of 90 credits no later than three weeks prior to the beginning of the semester for which the student seeks to enroll in the Honors Program.

The application package should include: application form to be signed by the mentoring faculty; unofficial transcript; résumé; personal statement; and a letter of support by the mentoring faculty member.

Requirements to Maintain Eligibility in the Honors Program in Urban and Regional Planning or Urban Design:

  1. Maintain good academic and ethical standing;
  2. Maintain cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.3 in core courses;
  3. Maintain cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 overall;
  4. In the beginning semester, complete at least one Honors Compact in upper-level planning/urban design courses with a grade of “B” or higher to prepare for independent research and honors-level enrichment;
  5. Complete URP 4978 Honors Planning Project with a grade of “B” or higher.

If any of the above standards for maintaining eligibility in the program are not met, the student will be advised accordingly on how to undertake remedial actions.

Students will not be allowed to continue in the Honors Program for violation of the Code of Academic Integrity or any grade of less than “C” in core courses and less than “B” in the honors course and/or Honors Compact.

Honors Thesis Research in the Honors Program in Urban and Regional Planning or Urban Design:

Students must complete URP 4978 Honors Planning Project (3 credits) with a grade of “B” or higher.

The honors thesis will be supervised by a thesis committee of at least two faculty with a terminal degree in the discipline and affiliation with the School of Urban and Regional Planning. The committee will review the thesis and if the student’s work is judged to meet the standards for an honors thesis, the student will be allowed to proceed with the oral defense.

If the committee determines that the student’s work on the thesis does not meet the minimal standard required for successful completion of an honors-level course, the following steps will be undertaken: The faculty supervisor will discuss with the student the specific nature of the issues that need to be addressed AND the committee will request that the student make substantive changes to the thesis within a specified period of time (typically prior to the graduation date).

If the requirements are still not met, the student will receive a grade for the course that will count toward her/his degree in Urban and Regional Planning or Urban Design, but will not receive the honors designation, as long as the student meets the requirements for a successful completion of the capstone course in BURP or BUD.

Students will be encouraged to seek topics that can be incorporated in service learning, interdisciplinary research and inquiry, creativity, civic engagement and collaboration with South Florida communities.

Students will be encouraged to seek opportunities for publication/presentation such as participation in the Undergraduate Research Symposium, Distinction through Discovery competitions, FAU Undergraduate Research Journal, and National Collegiate Honors Society conference, among others.