The Department of Mathematics offers a Mathematics Honors Program for those students who have demonstrated excellence in the major. Successful completion of the Mathematics Honors Program entitles the student to graduate with departmental honors (see Department Honors in the Academic Regulations section of the UCSD General Catalog). Application to the Mathematics Honors Program should be made at least two quarters prior to graduation.

Requirements for admission to the Mathematics Honors Program are:

  1. Junior Standing.
  2. An overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  3. A GPA in the major of 3.5 or higher.
  4. Agreement from a Mathematics Department faculty professor to be your Mathematics Honors Program Advisor.
  5. Completion of MATH 109 (Mathematical Reasoning) OR MATH 31CH (Honors Vector Calculus), AND at least one of MATH 100A, 103A, 140A, or 142A. (Completion of additional major courses is strongly recommended.)

Completion of the Mathematics Honors Program requires the following:

  1. At least one quarter of the student colloquium, Math 196 (NOTE: Math 196 is only offered in the Fall and Winter quarters.)
  2. The minimum 3.5 GPA in the major must be maintained.
  3. An Honors Thesis. The research and writing of the thesis will be conducted over at least two quarters of the junior/senior years under the supervision of your Mathematics Honors Program Advisor. This research will be credited as eight to twelve units of MATH 199H. The completed thesis must be approved by the department’s Honors Committee, and presented orally at the Undergraduate Research Conference or another appropriate occasion.
  4. Joint Math-Econ majors should consult the General Catalog for further requirements to the Honors Program.

Past honors thesis papers can be found here and provide a sample of the different themes that undergraduate mathematics students have researched and the varying quality of work produced.

Before applying to the program, you should look up the research areas of the department faculty members. If you find one or more areas that draw your attention, read up on the research that particular faculty members have published in that area. If you are interested in a particular area of research, you should arrange to meet with a faculty member and discuss it and see if they are willing to be your mentor for the program.

The department’s Honors Committee will determine the level of honors to be awarded (Honors with Distinction, Honors with High Distinction, or Honors with Highest Distinction), based on the student’s GPA in the major and the quality of the honors work.

If you meet the above requirements and would like to be considered for the Mathematics Honors Program, complete an application and submit it to