Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of becoming a Commonwealth Honors Scholar?

Commonwealth Honors Scholars are guaranteed transfer to any of the Commonwealth Honors Programs or Honors Colleges in the Massachusetts University system. Graduating as a Commonwealth Honors Scholar increases opportunities for scholarships and enhances prospects for acceptance to private 4-year colleges and universities. Scholars also participate in an academic research conference and are recognized as Commonwealth Honors Scholars at Commencement. 

How can I become a Commonwealth Honors Scholar? 

In order to graduate as a Commonwealth Honors Scholar, students must complete three Honors courses with a grade of B or better, with at least two 200-level seminar courses, maintain a 3.2 GPA, and participate in the Honors Research Conference. Please see the Honors Research Conference page for more info. 

What are the expectations for Honors courses? 

When taking Honors courses, students are expected to regularly engage in dialogue with their classmates and instructor. Students will be prompted to think critically and follow independent inquiry related to course content. Honors courses expect students to be curious, motivated, and ready to think deeply about issues presented. Honors courses generally require a research and presentation component. Please see course descriptions for information about the content of each course. 

Can anyone take an Honors course?

Yes, any student can enroll in an Honors course, regardless of GPA or past experience with Honors or AP courses. 

What is a seminar-style course? 

Seminars-style courses prioritize student engagement and discussion centered on research and careful reading of a variety of sources. While particular themes and the format of each seminar varies according to individual professors, seminars generally have smaller class sizes and specific expectations regarding the engagement and preparation of students. Students should expect to be fully engaged with the work of the seminar both in connection with class discussion and research. 

What is the difference between the Commonwealth Honors Program, graduating with Honors, the National Society of Leadership & Success, and Phi Theta Kappa?

Commonwealth Honors Program: The Commonwealth Honors Program is an accredited academic program through the CHPC (Commonwealth Honors Program Council) and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Please see the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education site for more information. Massachusetts is the only state in the country to offer an integrated network of honors programs throughout the public higher education system. 

Graduation Honors: Candidates for the associate degree whose cumulative grade point average (less developmental credit) is at least 3.20-3.49 will be graduated with honors; those with a cumulative grade point average (less developmental credit) of 3.50-3.69 will be graduated with high honors; those with a cumulative grade point average (less developmental credit) of 3.70-4.00 will be graduated with highest honors. To be eligible for graduation honors, students must earn a minimum of 35 credit hours at Middlesex.

Phi Theta Kappa
is the International Honor Society of Two Year Colleges. To be eligible for membership, students must have a 3.50 cumulative grade point average after earning at least 12 credits at Middlesex. Eligible members will receive an invitation to join PTK through the mail or via Middlesex email. Please see the PTK webpage for more information. 

National Society of Leadership & Success: The National Society of Leadership & Success is a national organization that "provides a life-changing leadership program that helps students achieve personal growth, career success, and empowers them to have a positive impact in their communities". An online chapter of the National Society of Leadership & Success is offered to all students with a 2.5 GPA or higher. Please access the NSLS website for more information.

How do I know if Honors courses will fit into my degree path or major? 
Many of the Honors courses fulfill program requirements for all degree paths and majors. Please access Honors maps to search for your degree path and identify which Honors courses may fit in your major. If you are unsure of what Honors courses to take, please contact your advisor, or email directly.

What is the expectation for the Honors Research Conference? Where can I find samples of presentations or other resources that might help?

The Honors Research Conference is an annual event that allows Honors students to showcase their work and network with faculty and peers. Research conferences allow scholars to network and make important connections. Participation in this event will prepare students for conferences in their undergraduate and graduate work, as well as help students to develop self-confidence and gain professional skills, such as the ability to present accomplishments and skills during a job interview. Honors students will be added to the Honors Research Conference Blackboard page, which includes specific information about the event as well as sample posters and resources. For more information email

I am interested in graduating as a Commonwealth Honors Scholar. How can I let the Honors Program know? 

If you are interested in graduating as a Commonwealth Honors Scholar, please complete the following form and an advisor from the Honors Program will follow-up with you directly:
Last Modified: 3/26/24