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Honors Program

Honors Program Objectives

The Honors Program was introduced in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of San Diego in September 1979. It was conceived in light of and in order that students may further the following educational objectives:

Challenge themselves and each other as they develop their talents to their fullest potential.

Approach traditional topics from a fresh perspective, which cuts across standard disciplinary boundaries in team-taught, interdisciplinary courses.

Realize that scholarly work is not restrained or limited by the boundaries of disciplines or areas of study.

Dr. Gillman and students

Work closely with professors in small classes that are designed to promote original thought and a desire to learn.

Interact with professors on an informal basis through extracurricular activities that encourage camaraderie.

Expand their realm of experience through excursions outside of the classroom that are designed to further enhance their studies.


Engage in creative and sustained independent work in their majors through original research projects that will be the focus of the senior independent study and senior colloquium.

Present the results of their independent and original inquiries to their peers at the end of their undergraduate experience. Students will come to realize that scholarly work is a matter of shared importance and expertise, rather than an isolated concern.

Exercise the ability to change or modify the Program through their student representative on the Honors Committee.

Work through their undergraduate careers with the assistance of the Honors Program support system, which includes the Director and the Honors Committee.

Be prepared to transition into the graduate level of study. They will emerge from USD with definite strengths in the areas of oral and written expression, interdisciplinary perspectives and original thought.


The Honors program is designed to strengthen the intellectual climate at USD by "maintaining the vision of the liberal arts as central and integrative, and reinforcing among the faculty the principle that teaching is, indeed, the 'first criterion' at USD."