University Honors Program

Director: Leilani M. Miller

The University Honors Program (UHP) provides Santa Clara's most able students with intellectual opportunities based in small, seminar-style classes. With no more than 17 students each, seminars emphasize analytical rigor, effective expression, and interaction among professors and students. In the classroom and elsewhere on campus, students enjoy a level of collaboration exceptional even at Santa Clara.

Students who enter the UHP at Level I (first-years) must complete a total of nine Honors-level courses plus a senior thesis. Students who enter the UHP at Level II (second-years) must complete a total of five Honors-level courses plus a thesis. Additional participation requirements and a cumulative 3.3 GPA are also required to maintain UHP status.

The UHP course of study combines broadly based, liberal learning with depth of specialization in a major field. Honors program classes are designed to fit within the curricula of the humanities, natural and social sciences, business, and engineering. Possible majors include every undergraduate field in the University.

Requirements for Students who enter at Level I:

  • ENGL 1H. Critical Thinking and Writing I

  • ENGL 2H. Critical Thinking and Writing II

  • Cultures and Ideas I

  • Cultures and Ideas II

  • HNRS 20, 20S, or 120 (Difficult Dialogues seminar course)

  • Either a Core RTC I Honors or a Core Ethics Honors course

  • Three UHP electives or experiences (see below)

  • Senior Honors Thesis (one full academic year)

Requirements for Students who enter at Level II:

  • HNRS 20, 20S, or 120 (Difficult Dialogues seminar course)

  • Four UHP electives or experiences (see below)

  • Senior Honors Thesis (one full academic year)

UHP Electives:

  • Designated Honors courses (e.g., MATH 11H, 12H; CHEM 11H, 12H; PSYC 1H, 2H; ENGL 115H; AMTH 106H, ANTH 108H, some lower-division philosophy courses, all upper-division philosophy courses)

  • Study abroad (counts as one elective)

  • Extra language course (counts as one elective)

  • Contract Honors course (counts as one elective)

  • Immersion trip through SCU Ignatian Center (counts as 1/2 elective, can be repeated once)

  • Designated Honors seminar (e.g., ASCI 101. Fellowship and Grad School Preparation; ASCI 20. Introduction to Leadership and Teamwork; ASCI 102. Interdisciplinary Practices) (each one counts as 1/2 elective)

Lower-Division Courses

ENGL 1H. and 2H. Critical Thinking & Writing I and II

A two-course, themed sequence for Honors students, featuring study and practice of academic discourse, with emphasis on critical reading and writing, composing processes, and rhetorical situation. The second course will feature more advanced study and practice of academic discourse, with additional emphasis on information literacy and skills related to developing and organizing longer and more complex documents. Themes may address cultural comparisons, science and society, and other topics. (4 units each quarter)

11H and 12H. Cultures & Ideas I and II

A two-course sequence focusing on a major theme in human experience and culture over a significant period of time (e.g., ANTH 11H and 12H, ARTH 11H and 12H, ENGL 11H and 12H, HIST 11H and 12H, PHIL 11H and 12H, THTR 11H and 12H, etc.). Four Honors sequences will be offered each year. Courses emphasize either broad global interconnections or the construction of Western culture in its global context. Successful completion of C&I I is a prerequisite for C&I II. (4 units each quarter)

HNRS 20. Difficult Dialogues

This seminar-style course is devoted to the analysis from different perspectives of some issue, text, or problem in the area of a professor's expertise. This course, taken during the first or second year, will provide critical thinking skills and an opportunity for students to discuss and debate the toughest questions faced by society today. This course is required of all Honors students and is open only to Honors students. (4 units)

Upper-Division Courses

ASCI 101. Fellowship and Grad School Preparation

Seminar for students interested in preparing for a major fellowship competition (e.g., Fulbright, Rhodes, Knight-Hennessey, Schwarzman, Marshall, Mitchell, Truman, Goldwater, Udall, Gaither, NSF), internal SCU grants and programs, and preparation for application to graduate or medical school. Open to all students. (2 units, taught in winter quarter only)

ASCI 102. Interdisciplinary Practices

Seminar that helps students develop an interdisciplinary mindset for a senior honors project. Students will learn to differentiate between disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to learning and research, follow and critique interdisciplinary arguments, synthesize and integrate material from a range of disciplines while deploying diverse methodologies and knowledge in a problem-solving context, and work effectively in interdisciplinary teams. Open to all students. (2 units, taught in spring quarter only)

HNRS 120. Advanced Difficult Dialogues

This course is an upper-division version of HNRS 20 (Difficult Dialogues) and is primarily targeted to seniors. This course allows students to have deeper explorations and discussions of contemporary controversies based on the area of a professor's expertise. This optional Honors course is limited to Honors students only. (5 units)

195. Honors Program Thesis

Course credit for thesis or culminating project of the University Honors Program. Enrollment limited to students in the University Honors Program. This course is Pass/No Pass. There are no lectures for this course---thesis milestones turned in through Camino. Interim grades of "N" will be given until thesis is successfully submitted. (1 unit)

Contract Courses

With the agreement of the instructor, an Honors student may get Honor's credit for a non-Honor's course by adding an enrichment activity or project. The student and the faculty member agree on this added requirement, which should be conducted over the entire quarter. The goal of the added contract is the student's acquisition of a deeper and richer command of some aspect of the course material. The student should be afforded an opportunity to present the results of the research to the class. Honors Contract courses are especially valuable in the student's junior year as a precursor to the senior thesis and as an opportunity for students pursuing nationally competitive fellowships to develop a working relationship with a faculty member. Students wishing to establish a contract for Honors credit must turn in the appropriate application to the Director by the end of the first week of the quarter in which the course is taken. For Contract Course Guidelines and Application Form, go to the UHP website ([]{.underline}).

Note: The program also offers special courses and sections, at both the lower- and upper-division levels, through specific departments such as biology, chemistry, English, mathematics, philosophy, political science, psychology, religious studies, and business.

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