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First-Year Honors

Colorado School of Mines

What is First-Year Honors?

We are a CLASS, a COMMUNITY, and OPPORTUNITIES to expand your education beyond the classroom.

Students in First-Year Honors explore the intersections of technology, science, and society through project-based learning in design, communication, and ethics. Thorson takes a humanities-based approach and Grandey takes leadership-based approach. Read on for more about each program!

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Application Timeline

The application period for our 2024-25 cohort has closed, as both programs are full. Spots sometimes become available during the summer, so if you are interested in applying to our wait list, please reach out by email.

The Thorson and Grandey programs share a single application that earns you consideration for both first-year honors opportunities, with the option to express your preference in your application. Learn more about each program below and on our About page.

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Thorson First-Year Honors

Do you love literature, the arts, or spirited discussions on complex topics? Do you want to help steer the direction of your education, using issues you care about to explore ethics and design? Are you passionate about STEM but yearning to stay connected to the humanities too? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Thorson First-Year Honors may be the right program for you!

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Grandey First-Year Honors

Grow in your capabilities to approach complex problems through leadership, communication, ethics, systems thinking, and design by being a part of the Grandey First-Year Honors Experience! If you are looking for a way to add depth and breadth to your STEM interests, are excited about taking creative approaches to assignments, and want to learn how to better lead yourself and others, Grandey might be right for you.

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We offer webinars throughout our admissions cycle to provide an overview of First-Year Honors and answer questions from attendees. Watch the recording of our most recent webinar using the button below (passcode: #DU7Vj?S).

Is First-Year Honors for me?

Honors at Mines means interdisciplinary explorations that bring a broader and deeper perspective to your STEM education. Honors at Mines does not mean more homework, faster pacing, or advanced levels of a single discipline.

Students who thrive in First-Year Honors are eager to explore the intersections of technology, science, and society. If your vision of college includes…

  • open-ended projects that offer creative freedom
  • spirited debates about complex issues
  • opportunities to extend your learning beyond the classroom

… then First-Year Honors might be right for you!

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Visit us at the Honors House!

1704 Illinois Street
Golden, CO 80401


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20:1 student-professor ratio

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20+ community events each year

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65+ Honors Enrichment Awards funded (and counting!)

Make First-Year Honors Your Home

Did you know that you can live in first-year honors housing?

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As Colorado School of Mines prepares for our 150th anniversary in 2024, dynamic and disruptive change is all around us. MINES@150 is our plan to position Mines for future success.

It calls for change, but also to stay true to our timeless mission, pillars and core values.  MINES@150 leverages our size, location, and history, ensuring that our graduates will continue to be distinctive and highly valued, placing Mines at the frontiers of STEM education, research and innovation, and elevating our status among the world’s top universities.