Electrical Engineering Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors (DH) is an Advanced Scholarship track of Commonwealth Honors College (CHC). Students may complete DH as part of the full CHC curriculum, which includes Honors General Studies, or they may complete DH alone. All DH students are members of CHC.

Successful completion of the DH course requirements with minimum grades of B (or as specified below) and the submission of a properly formatted Honors Thesis or Portfolio manuscript (minimum grade of B for Seminar manuscripts) will result in the award of "Departmental Honors" on the student's academic transcript. For information about DH, speak with your Honors Program Director and see Admissions Process below. For information about the full CHC Curriculum, click here.

General Admission Criteria

Minimally, to be eligible to apply for DH, students must have:

  • An overall GPA of 3.400 or higher earned after one or more full-time semester/s of UMass Amherst coursework
  • The ability to complete the DH sub-plan requirements
  • The ability to complete the CHC minimum residency requirement, i.e., 45-graded (not pass/fail) credits earned at UMass Amherst (not transferred)

Admissions Process

  • UMass Amherst students who are not already members of CHC must apply to Departmental Honors, an Advanced Scholarship CHC sub-plan. Read more by visiting the Apply page.
  • Students who are already members of CHC should meet with the department’s Honors Program Director (HPD) regarding their interest in joining Departmental Honors (DH), an Advanced Scholarship CHC sub-plan. The HPD will determine a student's eligibility and preparedness for DH. Admission to DH will be at the discretion of the HPD based on the criteria as established by the department and CHC (see General Admission Criteria above). The HPD will notify the CHC office of newly accepted DH students so appropriate steps can be taken to designate the sub-plan on SPIRE.
Departmental Admission Criteria

Students must have an ECE GPA of at least 3.400 and have taken the following courses: E&C-ENG 124, 201, 202, 210, 213, 214, 231, 244 and MATH 233.

Program Requirements
  • E&C-ENG 315 plus the affiliated honors colloquium E&C-ENG H315
  • ENGIN 351H
  • Honors thesis options include:
    • Individually contracted: E&C-ENG 499Y Honors Research and E&C-ENG 499T Honors Thesis or 499P Honors Portfolio (i.e. project). Oral Defense requirement is satisfied by student participation at the ECE Honors Exhibition in April, including poster presentation and questions from the student's committee about the research and results.
    • Thesis Seminar: HONORS 499CM and HONORS 499DM: “Uncertainty, Risk, and Decision Making” subject to (1) appropriateness of thesis topic for DH in ECE, as determined by seminar instructor and ECE Honors Program Director, and (2) student participation at the ECE Honors Exhibition in April.


  • Once completed and assigned a (passing) letter grade, E&C-ENG 499Y counts as an EE elective course. The same is true of E&C-ENG 499T and of E&C-ENG 499P.
  • Once completed and assigned a (passing) letter grade, HONORS 499CM counts as an EE elective course. The same is true of HONORS 499DM.

Requirement Exceptions Note

Note: exceptions to the requirements above require approval by both the Honors Program Director (HPD) and a Commonwealth Honors College advisor; Petition for Exception requests must be submitted through CHC PATHS.

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