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Two opportunities: Level I (entering freshmen) and Level II (later approval)
The University Honors Program is divided into two phases, called simply Level I and Level II.
Level I admits a select number of incoming freshmen--around 68--for a curriculum of classes that replace university core requirements. Most of the UHP courses are taught in seminar fashion, that is, in classes composed of 13 to 17 students. Seminars involve lively participation and a focus on written expression. First-year students typically take about half of their classes through the University Honors Program. For other courses, they join their classmate in regular-session classes. Please see "Notable features" for more information about classes and other dimensions of the Honors Program.
Level II extends opportunities for advanced, interdisciplinary learning through the sophomore, junior, and senior years. Most Level I students continue to Level II after completing their Level I requirements. Other students are admitted by application made as early as the third term of their freshman year.
Level II students take four or six Honors Program courses (depending on entry level), but many enroll for more. The second level culminates in a thesis project usually completed in the student's major field.
Before applying to Level II, students ordinarily complete 32 quarter units of study at Santa Clara. Exceptions may be made for students who have shown a strong record at an equally selective four-year college or university.
Students enrolled in Level I need not make separate application to Level II. Participants are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.3 and make steady progress toward both Program completion and graduation.