Commonwealth Honors Program

Students at UMass Amherst 2015 Commonwealth Honors College Commencement Ceremony

Massachusetts is the only state in the country to offer an integrated network of honors programs throughout the public higher education system. There are Commonwealth Honors Programs (CHP) in community colleges and state universities and on the campuses of the University of Massachusetts.

Commonwealth Honors Council Statement on Importance of Honors Education at Commonwealth Honors Program Institutions

Honors education at our public institutions is an equity issue and critical to our collective aim to serve the Commonwealth by providing access to high-quality affordable education to the highest achieving students in our state.

The students across our honors programs and colleges reflect the diversity of our institutions. Students who are first generation and/or from underserved communities are well supported in the Commonwealth Honors programs and colleges. Our doors are open to transfer and non-traditional students. We provide an intellectually engaging education, including opportunities that inspire these students to realize their potential, and foster and celebrate their accomplishments. The Commonwealth Honors Scholars are the Commonwealth’s future leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists, and artists.

Approved Programs

In June 1997, the Board of Higher Education established a free-standing honors college of distinction at the University of Massachusetts Amherst called Commonwealth College. It has since approved Commonwealth Honors Programs at the following colleges in the public higher education system:

  • Berkshire Community College Honors Program
  • Bridgewater State University Honors Program
  • Bristol Community College Honors Program
  • Bunker Hill Community College Honors Program
  • Cape Cod Community College Honors Program
  • Fitchburg State University Honors Program
  • Framingham State University Honors Program
  • Holyoke Community College Honors Program
  • Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Honors Program
  • Massasoit Community College Honors Program
  • MassBay Community College Honors Program
  • Middlesex Community College Honors Program
  • Mount Wachusett Community College Honors Program
  • North Shore Community College Honors Program
  • Northern Essex Community College Honors Program
  • Quinsigamond Community College Honors Program
  • Roxbury Community College Honors Program
  • Salem State University Honors Program
  • Springfield Technical Community College Honors Program
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst Commonwealth Honors College
  • University of Massachusetts Boston Honors College
  • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Honors College
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell Honors College
  • Westfield State University Honors Program
  • Worcester State University Honors Program

  • Information for Students

    Students interested in seeking admissions or transfer into these programs should contact the college for requirements. Just click on the link to any of the colleges above to locate the program coordinator's contact information.

    Information for Schools

    In order to begin a new Commonwealth Honors Program, public higher education institutions must complete and submit the information outlined in the following documents:


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    Oct 22

    Board of Higher Education Meeting

    Dec 3

    Board of Higher Education Meeting

    Jan 14

    Board of Higher Education Meeting

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