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Honors Program

Mission Statement and Learning Outcomes

Mission Statement

The University of San Diego is committed to academic excellence, and the Honors Program is designed to provide smart, passionate and eager students with challenges and opportunities that will allow them to achieve their intellectual goals. The Program emphasizes teaching excellence, small seminar-style classes, and a core curriculum of innovative courses. Honors students have numerous opportunities for interaction with faculty, specialized course work, undergraduate research and focused academic advising.

Student Learning Outcomes

SINGLE-Instructor Courses and Preceptorials:

The single-instructor courses vary from year to year and are offered, in support of the Honors Program, by various departments. The learning goals for each course can be found within the assessment documents from those departments. All first-year students in the Honors Program begin with an Honors Preceptorial course. The instructor of the course serves as the Preceptor, or academic advisor.

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Team-taught courses

The team-taught courses are a unique feature of USD’s Honors Program. Team-taught courses bring together two faculty members from different disciplines to create innovative, interdisciplinary courses. Three to four team-taught courses are offered each semester, giving students a great selection of subjects. These classes provide a more balanced perspective on life, as problems in the real world are seldom answered by a single subject. Honors students are required to take two team-taught courses. Due to the creative and experiential nature of these courses, many students list team-taught courses as one of the best features of the program.

The student learning goals for each course will be listed on the syllabus and vary from class to class. However, the Honors Program has one learning outcome across all team-taught courses: Students will exhibit mastery, through team-taught classes, in integrating multiple disciplines to address various topics.

team taught

Above: Dr. Lance Nelson (THRS) and Dr. Christopher Adler (Music) with students in their team-taught course, Sound and Spirit in South and Southeast Asia.

Honors Thesis Seminar

This course is the capstone class for all students graduating in the Honors Program. The students in this course have two major assignments for completion of the Honors Program.

  1. Present a public seminar on their independent, scholarly research.
  2. Submit a written thesis that describes their research in detail.