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BS | Honors Program

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Students interested in applying to the honors program must have a 3.6 GPA in courses counted towards the CS major. Additionally, they must have senior standing (135 units) by the end of the academic year in which they apply. Coterm Master's students are eligible as long as they have not already received their undergraduate degree. Also, students must find a CS faculty member who agrees to supervise their research and thesis work. According to Stanford's guidelines, research supervisors for theses must be members of the Academic Council. In general, this requirement means that a research supervisor will be listed as some level of "Professor" in the Stanford Bulletin.

For guidance on finding an appropriate project and supervisor, see below for the CS Bachelor's Research page.

CS Bachelor's Research

Honors Thesis

One option to fulfill the Senior Project requirement is to write a senior honors thesis. Writing an honors thesis involves undertaking a research project under the direction of a faculty member. This project must lead to a thesis, so pure implementation projects such as those that are typically approved for CS191 are not appropriate for honors work. Implementation will often represent a significant component of the work and students must be prepared to analyze their results. Admission to the honors program is intended for Computer Science undergraduates who've done well in their undergraduate coursework and have demonstrated strong research potential.


Applications must include an application letter (typically 3-5 pages) describing the research project and the applicant's background, a short letter of endorsement from the faculty sponsor, and an unofficial transcript. 

These qualifications are necessary but do not guarantee admission to the honors program. Honors students will be selected from the qualified applicants by a review committee. Applications for the honors program are due by May 1 of each year and can be submitted through the application form below. Any inquiries regarding the honors application or program can be sent to Danielle Gaspar ( Successful applicants will be notified by late May. 

For students participating in CURIS or have missed the first Honors program application deadline (May 1st), there is a second end-of-summer application deadline of August 31 of each year -- successful applicants will be notified by late September. At the start of August, the application form (via SmartSheet) will reopen for second-round submission students.  If admitted to the honors program, Summer quarter CURIS projects may be extended through the following year and used as honors projects if the faculty sponsor agrees to the extension. You can apply through the link below or the embedded SmartSheet form at the end of this page.

CS Honors Program Application


Once accepted into the honors program, students must complete the following requirements.

  • Complete at least 9 units of CS191 or CS191W.
  • Attend a weekly honors seminar during Winter and Spring quarters.
  • Complete an honors thesis deemed acceptable by your thesis advisor and another faculty member.
  • Present the thesis at a public colloquium sponsored by the Department.
  • Maintain the 3.6 GPA required for admission to the honors program.

Although such a project may sound like a great deal of work, the honors program is the capstone experience for many students' undergraduate careers and provides excellent preparation for those interested in pursuing advanced research at the PhD level.

CS Honors Program Application

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