Jul 22, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Honors Program

The Honors Program invites students to join a centuries-old conversation about what makes for a meaningful and well-lived life. Through course readings, seminar deliberations, and portfolio reflections, Honors Scholars work to articulate their own richly informed answer to that question.  As they investigate the perennial questions and big ideas that thinkers have tackled across time and across cultures, Honors Scholars also cultivate intellectual agility and independence of mind.

Because Honors seminars can be used to fulfill general education requirements or as elective credit, the Honors Program is compatible with any major offered by the University.

To become an Honors Scholar, students must submit a separate application to the Honors Program Office. Please visit the Honors Program webpage for more information about admission to the Honors Program and to access the application.

To remain eligible for the program and scholarship, students should be making good progress through the Honors curriculum. Specifically, Honors Scholars must:

  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA in the first year, and a 3.25 cumulative GPA thereafter;
  • Be enrolled in an Honors seminar or have an approved Honors Plan on file with the Honors Program office; and
  • Post their threefold reflection to their Honors Portfolio each semester.

Honors Core (12 hours)

Honors Scholars take one Honors Seminar each semester for four semesters. In each seminar, students trace the development of the moral and political commitments, religious practices, scientific achievements, and artistic sensibilities that shape our modern world. The Honors courses are sequenced so that students read and assess past thinkers in their own right, as well as consider how subsequent thinkers use, abuse, enlist and/or reject thinkers who came before them. Honors professors encourage students to think hard about difficult ideas, to ask unsettling questions, to defend what they say with good reasons, and to write well. By engaging great thinkers who have come before us in this way, Honors Scholars come to better understand themselves and the world in which we live.

With the exception of HON 2013 , each Honors seminar can be used to fulfill Block I or Block II general education requirements; HON 2013  can be used to fulfill Block II or Block III general education requirements. In The Henry Kendall College of Arts and Sciences , no more than one Honors seminar can be used to fulfill Block I requirements, no more than two Honors seminars can be used to fulfill Block II requirements, and no more than one Honors seminar can be used to fulfill Block III requirements.

Honors Portfolio

At the end of each semester, Scholars assess the nature of their intellectual inquiries and personal development. The portfolio reflection advances in three parts.

  • With an annotated bibliography, Scholars index the ideas they have engaged over the semester.
  • Then, Scholars select a writing sample or some other artifact that represents their most meaningful work of the semester.
  • Finally, Scholars craft a succinct narrative where they distill the questions that have been animating their curiosity and articulate how they have been shaped by the semester’s studies.

By engaging in this end-of-the-semester reflection, students become more mindful of their own thinking and better able to articulate their most pressing questions and concerns and to assess their progress addressing them.  Honors professors also read these portfolio entries so they may help Scholars identify potential research questions, burgeoning interests, and emerging themes.

Honors Plan

After completing the Honors Core Curriculum, students may choose to design and implement an Honors Plan. The Honors Plan is an opportunity to design independent work that will complement a student’s growing mastery in their major and/or enable the student to continue to explore questions and interests that might otherwise fall by the wayside.

Figuring out just what sort of endeavors will best serve the student’s intellectual and educational aspirations is part of the challenge. Honors Scholars begin by reviewing their Honors Portfolio with two professors (one from the Scholar’s home major and one in a different discipline). Together, they identify strengths and weaknesses and articulate interest areas and questions around which the Honors Plan might be designed.

The Honors Plan may (but need not) include additional coursework, including graded independent studies. HON 4003 Senior Project  is available for such independent research.

Honors Scholars who wish to enrich their studies as an upperclassman with independent work must file their Honors Plan with the Honors Program Office by Oct. 1 of their fifth semester at TU. With the guidance of an Honors Mentor, Scholars then pursue their Honors Plan and continue building their Honors Portfolio.


If you have questions about the Honors Program, please contact Dr. Denise Dutton, Director of the Honors Program, at 918-631-2122 or honors@utulsa.edu.