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Learn, Grow, Achieve GLOBALLY

The Palo Alto College Honors Program challenges high-achieving students to fully engage with their courses, their college, their community, and beyond. The Honors Program consists of 12 hours of course work in small classes with mentoring by dedicated faculty. Not only do honors courses bring a global perspective to learning, but there are also opportunities for travel to local and national conferences and cultural events. In addition, students can participate in community service activities at home and abroad. By making the world their classroom, honors students experience first-hand what it means to be a citizen of today’s vibrant global culture.


  • Priority registration
  • Small classes
  • Sense of community
  • Individual advising and mentoring
  • Academic research
  • All Honors courses taken will be indicated as such on your college transcripts, whether it’s one or every Honors course offered. Complete 12 units of Honors-designated courses and you will be recognized as an Honors Graduate on your transcripts and at graduation.
  • Community service projects
  • Travel

Admissions Requirements

  • TSI Placement into college-level English
  • A high school or college GPA of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale
  • A written personal statement
  • A personal reference
Fall 2018 Honors Classes
Pick one Honors course to add to your class schedule. An Honors faculty member will contact you and enroll you in the course.
ENGL 1301 Composition I – Honors
 ENGL 1302 Composition II – Honors
HIST 1301 U.S. History I – Honors
BIOL 1308 Biology for non-Science majors – Honors
BIOL 1406 Biology for Science majors, with lab – Honors
CHEM 1411 General Chemistry I – Honors
EDUC 1300 Educational Frameworks (Honors path, does not count toward 12-unit Honors sequence)

Summer I 2018 Study Abroad Opportunity
Two Honors Classes will be offered in Dublin, Ireland: 

  • BIOL 2306 Environmental Biology.  For more information, contact Professor Brad Chandler at
  • ARTS 1301 Art Appreciation.  For more information, contact Professor Alba De Leon at

Please note that to apply, Palo Alto College must be your home school. Contact your advisor to confirm your home school.



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Honors Program


Does participation in an Honors Program matter?

Yes! Every Honors course you take will be annotated on your transcripts. If you complete 12 units of Honors-designated courses from our program and you’ll be recognized as an Honors Graduate both on your transcripts and at graduation. Whether you take one Honors course or complete the four-course Honors sequence, participation in the Palo Alto College Honors Program demonstrates your intellectual curiosity and your commitment to academic achievement.

Will college Honors be like honors courses in high school?

No. There is usually a world of difference between high school and college honors courses. In many high schools, honors courses are the normal courses “made harder” with extra readings, extra assignments, and more rigorous grading. At college, honors courses are specially “enriched” courses, not normal courses made “harder.” Grading standards are the same as in non-honors college courses.

I’m no genius; will honors courses be too hard for me?

As an honors student, you will gain confidence in your academic abilities through ongoing faculty mentoring, experiencing the personal attention provided by small honors classes, and working with other honors students.

Won’t my college GPA suffer if I join the Honors Program?

No. Honors courses aren’t graded harder (or easier) than other college courses. A student who averages a 3.5 in regular courses will probably earn a 3.5 GPA for honors courses, too. In fact, data from schools similar to Palo Alto College indicates that most students maintain or improve their GPA’s after participating in the Honors Program.


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