Honors Program

John C. Orr, Ph.D., assistant provost

Honors Program Mission

The Mission of the University of Portland Honors Program is to enhance the intellectual life of the University community by mentoring high achieving and intrinsically motivated students to serve as public intellectuals at the University and beyond. The Honors Program will foster in these passionate and gifted students a love for the life of the mind and the desire to enrich their communities.

Curriculum of the Honors Program

The Honors Program curriculum is composed of eighteen credit hours, twelve of which also fulfill requirements in the individual student’s academic degree program.

Each year, Honors students take one three credit hour course that fulfills a course requirement for their academic degree program. In the first and second year, the Honors course fulfills a Core Curriculum requirement. In the third and fourth year, the Honors course fulfills an academic major course requirement.

The additional six credit hours are spread over the student’s four-year career. In the first year, students enroll in HON 101, a two credit hour course that meets prior to the start of their first semester at UP. In the second year, students take HON 201, a one credit hour course, and in the third year, students take HON 301, a one credit hour course. In addition, students take two Readings Courses of their choice, normally in their third and fourth year. Readings Courses are one credit hour courses designed to offer Honors students learning experiences outside of their disciplinary academic home.

First year: HON 101 (2 credits) and Core Requirement (3 credits)

Second year: HON 201 (1 credit) and Core Requirement (3 credits)

Third year: HON 301 (1 credit), Readings Course (1 credit), and Major Requirement (3 credits)

Fourth year: Readings Course (1 credit) and Senior Honors Project (3 credits)

Mentored Reflection

During the first two years in the Honors Program, students focus on reflectively integrating their classes and experiences through the Core questions. Each student is assigned a faculty mentor to aid in this process. Mentors will meet with their students over lunch or coffee or on a walk around campus. During these encounters, discussions ensue about how ideas from classes fit together, where the student’s passions are leading him or her, and what intellectual avenues he/she might want to pursue. In their sophomore and junior years, Honors students take a one-credit course each year designed to aid them in defining a possible future and charting the means to reach it. In HON 201, students develop a personal statement that can be modified for graduate school and major fellowship applications. The course culminates in a reflective retreat where students present their personal statements and receive feedback from their peers.

In HON 301, students investigate the nature of their chosen fields of study with an eye on the future. In addition to understanding what is unique about many different fields of study, students anticipate how their fields are transforming and what their entry into them will comprise in years to come. The course culminates in a paper that explains these matters to students from other disciplines.

For details contact the Director of Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement, Buckley Center 114, University of Portland, 5000 North Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR 97203. Telephone: (503) 943-7857. Toll free: (800) 227-4568. E-mail: honors@up.edu.