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FAQs


Questions about applying...

Who can apply to be in the Honors Program?

Ambitious students who will be entering the University of Portland as a freshman in the fall.

How do I apply to be in the Honors Program?

Online applications for the Honors Program will be available beginning September 1 each year on the For Applicants 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.

How do I schedule an Honors Program informational meeting?

Email honors@up.edu to schedule your Honors Program informational meeting. If you are able to come to campus for your informational meeting, include the specific dates you are able to come to campus and times you are available in your email and someone will email you back with available appointment times on your requested dates. If you plan to have a Skype meeting, include that information in your email.

What should I expect at the informational meeting?

The Honors Program informational meeting is both formative and evaluative. Come to the meeting expecting to hear what participating in the program entails and to speak with a current student. Bring any questions you have about the program and University of Portland; the meeting should help you decide if the Honors Program offers something you are excited about. In addition to providing the applicant with information about the Honors Program, these meetings impact decisions about who is admitted to the Honors Program.

If I apply to the Honors Program, do I need to resubmit my transcripts, letters of recommendation, and SAT scores?

Applicants are not required to submit high school transcripts or standardized test score reports directly to the Honors Program. See the For Applicants page for additional information.

If I met with someone from the admissions office, do I need to also have an informational meeting with someone in the Honors Program?

Yes, the Honors Program admissions process is separate from admission to the University. Applicants need to have an informational meeting with someone from the Honors Program as part of their application to the Honors Program. Meetings can be done in person or via Skype.

I already submitted a letter of recommendation for the University of Portland application. Do I need another letter of recommendation for the UP Honors Program?

Yes, for your UP Honors Program application to receive full consideration, you need to request a letter of recommendation that speaks to your qualifications to be in an honors program. This letter of recommendation may come from the same person who wrote a recommendation for your University of Portland application. See Application Tips for more information about letters of recommendation.

I have AP and/or college transfer credits. Can I still apply?

Yes, so long as you are matriculating (entering a degree-seeking program) for the first time since graduating high school, you are eligible to apply to the UP Honors Program.

As a transfer student am I eligible to apply to the UP Honors Program?

Generally, no; however, if you are transferring to UP as a freshman, you may apply to the UP Honors Program with the understanding that you will participate in the freshman Colloquium and freshman Honors course in the following fall semester.

Can I apply in my sophomore year?

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...

What more does the Honors Program give me than if I just went to UP?

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

Can a person in any major be in the Honors Program?

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.

How large is the Honors Program?

There are approximately 30 students from each class, which gives a total group of just under 120 students.

Are there separate classes for Honors 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, Honors students take Honors-embedded courses in their own majors, which generally means enrollment in a "regular" course with a slightly different syllabus. Honors students also take two Reading Courses total, which are one-credit courses designed to teach students about various subjects from morality to hip-hop. They are discussion-based courses built around each course's respective subject.

Are Honors classes harder? Is there more homework?

Honors classes aren't harder, but students say that the professors have a certain expectation of Honors students. Classes require an investment and willingness to participate on the student's part and students are "pushed" more than in most other classes.