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Undergraduate Programs - Honors

Undergraduate Honors in Education

The honors program in education provides undergraduate students the opportunity to supplement their declared majors with a research project inspired by their interest in education. This program enables qualified undergraduates at Stanford to extend the learning in their major field of study by pursuing education courses and undertaking a supervised research thesis.

Honors students pursue a wide range of thesis projects with intellectual tools from a variety of academic disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. They often engage directly with communities of practice, working alongside educators and reformers on and off campus.

Students typically lay the groundwork for their honors theses through coursework at the GSE in their first three years at Stanford. They apply for the honors program during their junior year and begin preparing for their thesis year the following summer, often through the Bing Honors College.

Each year prior to commencement, the GSE recognizes graduating honors and minor students with an honor cord ceremony.

Honors Requirements


Students admitted to the education honors program must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Completion of Undergraduate Honors Seminar (EDUC 199A-C) and Honors Research (EDUC 140)
  • A minimum of nine units among three education courses (taken for a letter grade with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in those courses)

Coursework completed for the Honors program in Education should address varied topics in the field of education, and must be approved by the honors director and student's faculty advisor.

Honors students may review the GSE’s most recent course offering and scheduling information on Explore Courses. Note: Honors courses may double count towards major and minor requirements. The Major-Minor Course Approval form is not required for interdisciplinary honors programs.

Honors Theses

Upon successful completion of honors program requirements, student theses will be posted in the GSE’s collection in the Stanford Digital Repository, a service supporting long-term management of scholarly information resources at Stanford. Faculty, students, and researchers use the SDR to promote and protect the products of their work. Education honors theses uploaded to the SDR are indexed in SearchWorks, assigned a permanent URL, and accessible based on author preferences.

Each year, GSE honors students may be nominated for Golden, Firestone, and Kennedy Thesis Awards.

Honors Program Timeline

Prospective honors students apply to the program in early spring quarter of their junior year. Admitted students begin the program autumn quarter senior year.

Graphic of a student's expected progress during their junior and senior year.


The Graduate School of Education welcomes applications for projects that are reasonable and creative extensions of prior courses of study in any field. Applicants from all fields are given equal and serious consideration.

Qualified applicants will be in good standing, normally with cumulative grade point averages of 3.5 or higher; will demonstrate exceptional initiative; and will be comfortable working with a high degree of independence.

Students intending to apply should schedule an informational meeting with the honors director during junior year. Inquiries from potential applicants should include a brief description of academic background and the nature of a potential honors project.


A complete application includes:

  1. A one-page resume
  2. A brief (1,000-word maximum) narrative detailing:
    • The nature of the applicant’s interest in the GSE honors program (i.e., why pursue an honors thesis instead of conventional coursework? Why the GSE honors program instead of honors in the major field of study?);
    • The general nature of the proposed inquiry; and
    • How the proposed inquiry extends the prior course of study and/or anticipates the applicant’s future ambitions
  3. Names of potential faculty advisors (view faculty profiles)

Students should should submit their application materials here by the stated deadline. 

Application Deadline for 2022-2023 Cohort

Friday, April 1, 2022, noon

Have questions? Visit our FAQ page or schedule an UP@GSE advising appointment to learn more about education courses, programs, and career paths.


Photo of Ari Kelman
Ari Kelman
Director, Undergraduate Honors Program
Photo of Caroline Stasulat
Caroline Stasulat
Associate Director of Degree Programs
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