SBCC honors students at graduation.


About Our Program

The Honors Program at SBCC now accepts student applications year round.  You can find our updated application above in the menu +.  

We also encourage you to take a look at our website, SBCC Honors Program, which is the third link from the top in the menu +. That website updates during the summer, and  gives you a good sense of our Program.

Our tag line for Honors is Expect More. Be More.  And we try to live up to that. We offer a robust program of courses, which we continually update, group activities to help us bond and to provide community (beach days, whale watching and museum going), as well as intellectual events, such as hosting the All-SBCC Student Conference Honors each April, along with various debates in the fall.

Because we think of Honors students as change agents on campus, and from there, we hope, the world, we encourage first year students to be part of our mentorship program, PODS, lead by second year students.  When students are accepted into the Program, we send more information about PODS.  Students completing PODS for a semester are eligible for book grants.  

Honors seeks to meet students where they are. Our goal is inclusion, and the more students from the more places with the more varied backgrounds, the better. We reject any premise that Honors students are "born."  Honors students make themselves when they decide they want more from their education.  Honors classes are exciting:  they challenge students individually and collectively to get more from their education.

To be accepted into Honors we require a 3.2 GPA with 12 units of college credit if you are applying as a transfer, continuing or returning student, or 3.2 unweighted GPA at high school graduation, with no grade lower than a C.  We require a writing sample, which should be any paper you have written over the year that you think reflects you as a thinker.  It can come from any course and should be over two pages. We want to see you arguing a thesis, so please no personal narratives or application essays. 

Honors offers students a chance to pursue a certain theme throughout the year. The theme is chosen by students in English 292H each spring, 2022-2023 Theme: Community, Citizenship, and Stewardship. This topic weaves through all the Honors classes students will take across the year, with each course proposing its own take on the topic.  In this way, Honors courses contribute breadth to students' majors in both humanities and sciences; they show connections and interrelationships between disciplines, and they satisfy SBCC General Education for the Associate in Arts or Science Degree.

Combined with the excellence of SBCC's academic majors, the Honors  Program curriculum provides the strongest preparation for transfer to public and private universities and colleges, and all 3-4 unit Honors Program courses are designed to meet General Education, IGETC and college requirements.

Honors Program graduates have gone on to be District Attorneys in Los Angeles, have won cancer research prizes at UCSF, and have received a variety of impressive scholarships, including renewable scholarships at UCLA, and most recently an NSF grant that funds the student's entire Ph.D. research program.  

The Honors Guild

Honors students created the Honors Guild as a group through which they can meet other Honors students and can influence their environment, be it SBCC, Santa Barbara, or the web. The Guild is instrumental in running the annual SBCC Student Conference, hosted by Honors, as well as maintaining our campus community. Additionally, the Guild provides students a chance to make their concerns widely known: over the years, Honors students have worked with local schools, have started reading groups, have bowled together and planted trees together. They selected the word “guild” to suggest their affiliation as curious, interesting learners.

Faculty & Offices

The Honors Program faculty develops, coordinates and teaches the Honors curriculum. Students interested in the Honors Program may contact:

Director: Danielle Swiontek, History (WCC, ext 3736)
Please email:

Marc Bobro, Philosophy (IDC-357, ext. 4710)

David Elliott, History (WCC, ext. 2480)

Jamie Griggs, Counseling (SS-120)

Wendy Peters, Counseling (SS-120, ext. 2377)

Melanie Eckford-Prossor, English (IDC-311)

Elizabeth Imhof, Dean

For information about the Honors Program, contact the Director, Danielle Swiontek.


Eligibility for Honors Program

Students may apply for entrance to the Honors Program based on high school transcripts after senior year. For consideration, a student's high school grade point average must be at least 3.2, with no grade below a "C" in an academic subject.

Continuing, returning and transfer students who have completed 12 units of academic course work may apply for entrance into the Honors Program based on college units completed. A minimum overall college grade point average of 3.2 is required, with no grade below a "C" in an academic subject.

Some potential Honors students entering from high school will have satisfied the SBCC ENG 110 requirement by earning a 3 or above on the Advanced Placement English Language or Literature exam or by completing SBCC ENG 110 in high school. If this is you - enroll ENG111H your first semester at SBCC.

How to Apply

Applications for the Honors Program must be filed with the Honors Program Director. All new and returning students requesting entrance into the Honors Program are required to file two applications: an application for admission to SBCC and a separate application including a writing sample for admission into the Honors Program. Official high school transcripts including senior year, must be submitted with the applications of students using high school records to qualify. Continuing students are required to file only the application for admission to the Honors Program.

The online application and further information may be obtained on this website. There is no application deadline for Honors, but if students want to be Honors students for fall, we ask that you apply at least a week before school begins.  

Please note that Honors asks for transcripts from all except continuing SBCC students, because we do not have access to outside HS or college transcripts sent to admissions.  

Honors Scholarships

The Foundation for Santa Barbara City College provides a generous array of scholarships donated by individuals and businesses. These scholarships are broadly available to qualified incoming freshmen applying to the Honors Program and to all continuing students participating in the Honors Program. Recipients of Honors scholarships are required to remain in the Honors Program, in good standing, for the duration of their course of study at SBCC. For further information about scholarships available to Honors students and requirements, contact the Honors Program Director and/or the Financial Aid Office.

Outstanding Honors Program Student

The Honors Program Committee selects one student each year from within the Honors Program to receive the "Outstanding Honors Student" award. Selection is based primarily on the student's academic excellence and may also consider service to the Honors Guild, to the college, or to the larger community. No application is required. The recipient will be honored at the Awards Banquet held by the college in the spring of each year.  Currently, there is a $2000 scholarship that accompanies this award.  


Honors Society: Phi Theta Kappa

Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society for two-year colleges. Santa Barbara City College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa is Beta Gamma Upsilon. Although not tied to the Honors Program, membership in Phi Theta Kappa and in the Honors Program complement each other perfectly. Students are required to have completed 12 units at SBCC and have a GPA of 3.5 to be considered for membership.

The benefits of membership include nationwide recognition of scholarly excellence, scholarships, access to prestigious universities, special graduation certificates and transcript notations, leadership opportunities as chapter officers, and fellowship and service opportunities at SBCC and in the community.

For more details on how to apply, contact the campus advisor, Manou Eskandari-Qajar, IDC-357, ext. 2435.