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Honors Program: Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about applying...
Ambitious students who will be entering the University of Portland as a freshman in the Fall.
Online applications for the Honors Program will be available beginning September 1 each year on the Program Admission tab of this website. If you are interested in applying and unable to complete an online application, please contact the Honors Program office at 503.943.7857 to request a paper application.
No, this program must be started at the beginning of your first year at UP. If, however, once you are admitted you feel the program is not for you, you can leave at any time.
General questions about the program...
The Honors Program gives you resources. You will have an older student who can help you to serve as a mentor, you will have an Honors advisor, and you will have Dr. Orr, all of who you can go to see to get help on any problem. As a freshman, this was one of the things that struck me the most, just how many sources of additional help the Honors Program offered me. Also, coming in, as a freshman, you move in early for the Honors Colloquium. This still ranks as one of my top college memories, and was a great experience to get to know people and get to know the campus. With the Honors Program, you always have a community around you.
-Jason Hortsch, Class of 2012
The UP honors program makes sure you remember that you’re not studying for yourself, you’re going through all this to make the world a better place and to share what you learn. It’s a good reminder and a solid ethic to practice in life. This is one of the key things that set the UP Honors program apart from other programs across the country. It also stresses a sense of holistic learning, and understanding to what extent things are connected and nowhere near as compartmentalized as the modern education system would have you believe. So, all in all, the Honors Program gives you mojo.
-Conor Eifler, Class of 2011
Lots! The Program gives you a faculty mentor, who will be there to guide and assist you during your first two years. We get free discounted tickets to many cultural events, such as plays, operas, and dance performances. The program helps you become a public intellectual, and gives you a way to interact with others who enjoy being smart. The Honors program helps you reach your full potential.
-Katie Van Dyke, Class of 2013
You get to come to campus a week early, so you know the terrain and how everything works while other new freshmen are still trying out the ropes. Also, you have the opportunity to get to know more people outside of your major, since in most of your classes outside of the Program, the school tried to keep people of the same major together. Not only that, but you also have the opportunity to be a public intellectual, which you could be outside of the Honors Program but is much more difficult. The Honors Program throws pretty awesome activities, too.
-Christine Braun, Class of 2013
Absolutely! The variety of majors present in the Honors Program is part of what makes it such a unique experience - students learn about other majors and the work each student is doing in his or her field.
There are approximately 30 students from each class, which gives a total group of just under 120 students.
There are separate classes but for the most part it doesn’t affect your school schedule. Freshman Honors students attend a week long colloquium before their first semester - it’s a great way to meet students in your class before hundreds of other freshman pour onto campus. In addition, we take Honors-embedded courses in our own majors, which generally means enrollment in a “regular” course with a slightly different syllabus. We also take two Reading Courses total, which are one-credit courses designed to teach us about various subjects from morality to hip-hop they are discussion-based courses built around each course’s respective subject.
Rather than saying Honor classes are harder, I would just say that the teachers have a certain expectation of you. They do not try to make the classes hard or unbearable by any means, but they certainly push you a little more than most other classes. They are not just classes that you can sit through without putting anything into it, they certainly require an investment and willingness to participate on your part.