The Smittcamp Family Honors College
Saeed Attar, Director
McLane Building, Room 200
2345 East San Ramon Avenue,
Fresno, CA 93740-8031
The Honors College
Now in its 25th year of operation, the Smittcamp Family Honors College provides academically talented and motivated students with a distinctive course of study at Fresno State. Selected Scholars will participate in the activities related to earning University Honors and have the opportunity to earn additional honors via College/School Honors or Department Honors, as follows:
University Honors. A degree with university honors is based primarily on General Education honors studies with a minimum of 24 lower-division and 12 upper-division units. All honors courses are specially designed and are available only to Scholars in the Smittcamp Family Honors College. Scholars take these courses together as an honors learning community (cohort). To maximize interaction with the Honors faculty and to generate a unique learning experiences, all honors courses are capped at 25 students. In addition to taking the honors courses, Scholars perform service to the university and the community, maintain high levels of academic achievement (as measured by cumulative grade point average), and are involved in scholarly activity under the mentorship of faculty members in their respective fields. Honors students who meet these goals (including a minimum GPA of 3.5 at graduation) receive special distinction at graduation, including University Honors certification on their transcripts. Honors programs are also offered at the college/school and department levels.
College/School Honors. College or school honors are earned at the upper-division level. Students may pursue a special program of advanced study within their chosen discipline. The College of Arts and Humanities, College of Health and Human Services, College of Social Sciences, Craig School of Business, and Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences all offer honors programs at this level.
Department Honors. Some individual departments offer honors programs within their majors. Credit for department honors is earned at the upper-division level. Receiving department honors usually requires advanced study above the norm for the major, with credit earned as independent study in an area of inquiry related to the Scholar’s major. Biology, Chemistry, Criminology, and Psychology currently offer department honors.
All Honors College Scholars participate in five semesters of the Honors Colloquium. Designed around the concept of the “town meeting,” the colloquium presents a weekly opportunity for students to interact with experts and authorities on a wide range of topics. From student issues to presidential politics, the colloquium provides students with global perspectives and local solutions. The colloquium gives honors students the chance to interact with, question, and be inspired by leaders on campus, in the community, and around the world including the current Honors College Scholars as well as its alumni.
Every Smittcamp Family Honors College Scholar receives a President’s Honors Scholarship (the dollar value of which is set annually by the Honors Council, the governing body of the Honors College) for up to 8 semesters of undergraduate studies; this scholarship is set at $6,000 for the 2023-24 academic year. In addition, the Smittcamp Family Honors College will award a Housing Stipend to any scholar who chooses to live on-campus in order to offset the related cost. The dollar value of this Stipend is set by the University Housing Office at $5,596 for the 2023-24 academic year ($2,798 per semester). All President’s Honors Scholarship recipients are expected to keep a full-time status (a minimum of 12 undergraduate units per semester. Additional scholarship funds may be available via the college/school or department honors programs.
The Smittcamp Family Honors College was originally funded with a generous $1 million gift from the late Earl and Muriel Smittcamp and family. Earl Smittcamp, a prominent agribusiness leader, graduated from California State University, Fresno in1939. Earl and Muriel, also a Fresno State graduate, have four children - all alumni of Fresno State - and 14 grandchildren. Earl Smittcamp and his family demonstrate the leadership excellence, innovative thinking, and personal daring honors graduates strive to achieve. The Smittcamps exemplify their belief that education is really dependent upon what an individual makes of it and that “excellence” is never accepting less than the best from yourself. The Honors College owes its existence to their generous and continued support as well as to those of other donors.