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Joining the Public Affairs Honors Program

Membership in the Glenn College Honors Program involves a basic commitment to excellence. Students may join the Honors Program in one of the following ways.

Incoming first-year students interested in joining the University Honors Program may apply through a supplemental application when applying to The Ohio State University.

Students pursuing a Public Affairs major who are accepted to the University Honors Program will be directly enrolled into the Glenn Honors Program and should work with an academic advisor to create an Honors Contract during their first year.

For more details about the application process, visit

Honors students transferring to the Glenn College from another college or program within the university (such as University Exploration, the College of Arts and Sciences, etc.) are required to apply to the Glenn Honors Program to retain honors status. Please see an advisor for details.

If you are a current student who has not yet enrolled in an honors program at the university and are interested in applying to the Glenn College Honors Program, please contact a Glenn College advisor for more information.

To be eligible to apply, you must have

  • completed at least two semesters (30 credit hours) at Ohio State
  • earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.4
  • completed one 3-credit honors / 4000-level* course

*4000-level course must be taken outside of the major

Honors Program Requirements

To graduate with honors or with honors research distinction in Public Affairs, students enrolled in an undergraduate degree program in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs must meet the following conditions:

  • Maintenance of at least a 3.4 cumulative grade point average.
  • Completion of at least six honors (or 4000-level non-major or non-specialization) courses.
  • Completion of one or both honors tracks:
    • Honors Thesis Track; allowing for graduation “with honors research distinction in Public Affairs
    • Honors Curriculum Track; allowing for graduation “with honors in Public Affairs

Honors Tracks

Honors students may graduate with Honors Research Distinction in Public Affairs by completing the following requirements:

  • Enrollment in two semesters of research thesis credit: students must enroll in PUBAFRS 4999.01 (3 credits) + PUBAFRS 4999.02 (3 credits) under the instruction of a Glenn College Faculty member. This faculty member will serve as the ‘thesis advisor’ and must be considered an assistant, associate, or full professor; they will provide guidance throughout the writing and researching process.
  • Write an independent research paper: The thesis advisor will determine acceptable deadlines and acceptable standards for the written paper. Students should submit all drafts and work by the pre-determined deadlines and will be graded A-E for the 4999 courses.
  • Successfully defend: At the end of the second semester, a satisfactory oral defense of the thesis or project is required. The oral defense will last one hour and will be evaluated by a committee of at least two faculty members, including the student’s thesis advisor.
  • Submit to the Knowledge Bank: The approved thesis should be submitted to the Knowledge Bank no later than the last day of finals week.

For full details about the research thesis requirements, visit [link to Research Thesis page]

Students may satisfy the requirements for graduation with Honors in Public Affairs through the completion of the Honors Curriculum Track. Requirements are as follows:

  • Complete two additional honors or upper division (5000-level and above) courses. This would entail a minimum of eight total honors or upper division courses.


  • Complete one of the following enrichment options:
    • Washington Academic Internship Program
    • Semester-length global education program*
    • Dual degree or double major
    • Two graduate-level courses (6000-level and above) for a total of at least 6 credits*
    • Six credit hours of research (e.g., PUBAFRS 4998)
    • Completion of the Ohio Government Internship Program + one graduate course* (6000-level or above, at least 3-credits)

*Requires pre-approval by the Glenn College

For more information on this program, contact an academic advisor.