About the Honors Program | University of Portland

About the Honors Program

The Honors Program allows students to dive deeply into their academic interests, connect their work with other disciplines, and actively apply their intellectual discoveries to bettering UP, Portland, and the greater world.  

The curricular requirements for the Honors Program include one three-credit hour Honors Course each year and six credits that meet only Honors Program requirements. To remain active in the Honors Program, students must maintain a GPA of 3.3, complete all Honors assignments/courses, and be regular participants in Honors events.   

UP Honors is value-added, not work-added. Many of our students graduate early or participate in activities such as athletics, ROTC, and performing and fine arts. The curriculum includes: 

First Year Honors Colloquium 

The week before school commences, students accepted into the Honors Program will gather for an Honors Colloquium. This is a great opportunity for students to get to know their peers and to create a strong sense of community. During this week, students will be challenged by some of the best professors at the University and participate in field experiences and cultural events. 

Honors Core Courses: The Core Experience 

The bonds created during the Colloquium will be strengthened in the first and second years, as students take designated Honors classes. These classes satisfy University Core requirements and provide students with unique approaches to specific disciplines. The first-year core course is composed solely of Honors students, while the second-year core course includes other high-achieving students in addition to the Honors students. 

Major Specific Honors Courses 

The last two years of the Honors Program are focused around a student's major program(s). In the third year, Honors students take a course required of them by their major discipline, though they sign up for it as an Honors course. Thus, students will have a slightly different syllabus, determined by the faculty of the major program, which will allow them to dig deeper into a topic and report back to the group. 

Senior Honors Project 

In their final year, Honors students complete a project that allows them to demonstrate mastery in their declared major. Each program determines the format for the project, but all projects will have a public component aimed at a general audience. In most cases, this project corresponds to a capstone experience in the respective major, though in disciplines where the capstone project is a joint project, Honors students also write a paper that explains the project to non specialists. In this way Honors students will be prepared to continue the work of the public intellectual. 

Honors Reading Courses: Interdisciplinary Reading and Discussion 

During the final two years in the Honors Program, honors students take a total of two one-credit classes where faculty from across the campus lead students in focused investigations of a specific topic. The Honors Reading Courses are narrowly focused courses that are designed to be an intensive investigation of a topic in a discussion-based environment. These courses allow students to interact with faculty outside their major and continue the interdisciplinary approach of the first two years. 

Honors 201 and 301 

Taken in the second and third year, these courses provide students with the time and tools to clearly develop an academic and career trajectory, while also giving back to their communities and developing crucial career readiness skills. 


See below for a sample of the timeline in which students usually complete these requirements.

Year Required Curriculum Course Additional Honors Course / Activity
Year 1

Honors Core Course (3 credits)

HON 101 - Colloquium (2 credits)
Year 2

Honors Core Course (3 credits)

HON 201 (1 credit)
Year 3 Junior Honors Course (3 credits) HON 301 (1 credit), Honors Reading Course (1 credit) 
Year 4 Senior Honors Project (3 credits) Honors Reading Course (1 credit) 


503.943.8264 | honors@up.edu

The Office of Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

We are located in Buckley Center 114.