Overview: A Commonwealth Honors Scholar is the highest distinction for students graduating from public colleges and universities in the state of Massachusetts. In addition to the regular honors requirements, students must complete a Commonwealth Honors Project, present the project at a public forum or conference, and graduate with a 3.2 GPA or above. Commonwealth Honors Scholars are recognized with a special listing in the graduation booklet.
There are undergraduate research funding opportunities available (please allow adequate time for the application process). In addition, Honors or Academic Affairs may be able to help with travel funds to conferences. Please see the Director for details.
Project Guidelines The project should represent integrative/synthetic/capstone work. It is a chance for honors students in good standing to take charge of their intellectual lives and transition to being a knowledge-producer rather than a knowledge-consumer. The project should demonstrate their maturity and professionalism. As such, the project should be completed during their junior or senior year.
Standards and Criteria
The CHP should consist of substantial original research contextualized within a scholarly framework.
- supervised by a faculty advisor
- taken as an independent study or developed within a LASC or major capstone course (but must go beyond the requirements for a graded course project)
- can be academic, creative/performing arts, or service learning
- must be presented (as a presentation, performance or poster) in a public forum, such as campus Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity, statewide undergraduate conference at UMass Amherst, or other forum, with approval
Approval Process and Deadlines: Students should submit applications using the online form on the Honors web site. The projects will be reviewed by the Honors Faculty Advisory Board. There will be one deadline each semester: