UMD Department of Computer Science Honors Program


The Honors Program of the UMD Department of Computer Science is directed toward outstanding students majoring in computer science (CS) or computer information systems (CIS). It is designed to provide these students with an opportunity to develop fully their abilities to study independently and to support their interest in research. These goals are accomplished through participation in independent research under supervision of a faculty member, maintenance of a high grade-point-average, and public presentation of research results.

A student must earn the honors designation by showing conscientious and successful effort, interest, and ability in the classroom and in other scholarly activities while a student at UMD. The computer science honors award signifies that the recipient is one of the most outstanding students who has majored in CS at UMD.

Admission Requirements

To apply for admission to the honors program the student must:
  1. have completed 60 credits;
  2. have completed CS 1511 (Computer Science I) or CS 1581 (Honors Computer Science), CS 1521 (Computer Science II), and CS 2511 (Software Analysis and Design);
  3. carry a 3.0 cumulative grade point average overall and a 3.3 cumulative grade point average in the major; and
  4. identify and obtain the approval of a faculty honors project advisor.
With regard to 1-3, transfer students must demonstrate similar scholastic achievement at their previous institution(s).

The Honors Project

Once accepted, the honors candidate will undertake an honors project. Each honors candidate must have a faculty honors project advisor, under whose direction the honors project is carried out. The project may be in the area of the faculty advisor's research, or it may be in an area entirely of the candidate's choosing. In any case, before applying, it is the candidate's responsibility to find a faculty member willing to serve as an honors project advisor.

Once the candidate finds a willing honors project advisor, together they will delineate the problem statement, scope, approach, and milestones (with deadlines) of the project. The project advisor may require that these items be gathered together in a written project document.

CS 4994: Honors Project

The honors project need not be wholly completed within any given semester. However, during the semester in which most (or all) of the work is completed, the candidate should register for two or three credits of CS 4994: Honors Project. This course is typically taken in the spring of the junior year or the fall of the senior year.

Honors and UROP Projects

A student who performs a UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program) project with a faculty sponsor, who satisfies the honors program admission requirements above, and who applies for and receives admission to the honors program, may have his or her UROP project count as the honors project.

Written Report and Oral Presentation of Research

After completion of the honors research project, the candidate will submit two copies of a project report. The form and content of the report will be determined in consultation with the project advisor, but it must include, at a minimum, an abstract, a problem statement, a section on methods and results, directions of future work, and references. One copy goes to the project advisor and one to the Honors Committee. The candidate must give a public colloquium describing their work. Any project demonstrations that enhance the oral presentation are encouraged.

The oral presentation may be given in any semester. However, if the presentation is given in the semester of the candidate's graduation, the candidate must arrange to have the presentation scheduled at least three weeks before finals.

Maintenance of High Scholastic Standing

The candidate must maintain a 3.0 overall and a 3.3 major grade-point average throughout his or her undergraduate career.


Successful honors candidates will receive a departmental honors certificate. Successful completion of the Honors Program requirements will be noted on the student's transcripts upon graduation. A note will also be included on the Commencement Program.

Admission Procedure

To apply, print and fill out this APPLICATION FORM. Turn it in to the CS Department office in Heller 320.