Honors Program

Learn, grow, achieve GLOBALLY

The Palo Alto College Honors Program challenges high-achieving students to fully engage with their courses, their college, their community, and beyond. The Honors Program consists of 12 hours of course work in small classes with mentoring by dedicated faculty. Not only do honors courses bring a global perspective to learning, but there are also opportunities for travel to local and national conferences and cultural events. In addition, students can participate in community service activities at home and abroad. By making the world their classroom, honors students experience first-hand what it means to be a citizen of today's vibrant global culture.

 PAC Honors Program Graphic



  • Priority registration
  • Small classes
  • Sense of community
  • Individual advising and mentoring
  • Academic research
  • Community service projects
  • Travel
  • All Honors courses taken will be indicated as such on your college transcripts, whether it’s one or every Honors course offered. Complete 12 units of Honors-designated courses and you will be recognized as an Honors Graduate on your transcripts and at graduation.

Admissions Requirements

  • TSI Placement into college-level English
  • A high school or college GPA of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale
  • A written personal statement
  • Palo Alto College must be the student’s home school
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Spring 2024 Honors Courses

As an Honors student, you can pick one or two Honors courses to add to your schedule each semester. An Honors staff member will contact you to enroll you in the course.

Course Dates Instructor

BIOL 1309
Biology for Non-Science Majors II

T/R 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Dr. Jessica Humann

BIOL 1407
Biology for Science Majors II

T/R  12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Lab:  R 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Dr. Robert Miranda

COMM 1307 Intro to Mass Communication

T/R 9:30 p.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Andrea Fuentes

ENGL 1302 Composition II

T/R 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m

Dr. Rafael Castillo

GEOL 1301 Earth Sciences Lecture I

M/W 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Elizabeth Montgomery

GOVT 2306 Texas Government

T/R 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m

Joseph Fonseca

HIST 1302 U.S. History II

M/W 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Tori Beckman-Wilson




Does participation in an Honors Program matter?

Yes! Every Honors course you take will be annotated on your transcripts. If you complete 12 units of Honors-designated courses from our program and you'll be recognized as an Honors Graduate both on your transcripts and at graduation. Whether you take one Honors course or complete the four-course Honors sequence, participation in the Palo Alto College Honors Program demonstrates your intellectual curiosity and your commitment to academic achievement.

Will college Honors be like honors courses in high school?

No. There is usually a world of difference between high school and college honors courses. In many high schools, honors courses are the normal courses "made harder" with extra readings, extra assignments, and more rigorous grading. At college, honors courses are specially "enriched" courses, not normal courses made "harder." Grading standards are the same as in non-honors college courses.

I’m no genius; will honors courses be too hard for me?

As an honors student, you will gain confidence in your academic abilities through ongoing faculty mentoring, experiencing the personal attention provided by small honors classes, and working with other honors students.

Won’t my college GPA suffer if I join the Honors Program?

No. Honors courses aren't graded harder (or easier) than other college courses. A student who averages a 3.5 in regular courses will probably earn a 3.5 GPA for honors courses, too. In fact, data from schools similar to Palo Alto College indicates that most students maintain or improve their GPA's after participating in the Honors Program.

Contact Us:

James Harris

Honors Program Co-Director

Russell W. Wagner

Honors Program Co-Director


Thomas Murguía
Honors Program Assistant Director

Esther Rendon

Administrative Services Specialist

Medina Hall (MEDINA 101)