Honors Program

The University of San Diego Honors Program emphasizes teaching excellence, small seminar-style classes and a curriculum of innovative courses. Beyond the classroom, Honors students benefit from meaningful interactions with faculty, extracurricular programming, research opportunities, and focused academic advising.

Begin quote The Honors Program is designed for students who are curious, reflective and self-motivated. – Susannah Stern, Honors Program Director

The Honors Program gathers and nourishes true individuals who:

  • Live vividly
  • Seek knowledge for both pleasure and purpose
  • Serve as agents of rich conversation and debate
  • Treasure relationships as the foundation for a meaningful life
  • Face challenges with humility, fortitude and dedication 
  • Yearn for depth -- of feeling, thinking and experience
Honors students served pancakes to the homeless population in downtown San Diego.
Seniors in the Honors Program presented their Honors thesis projects at the 2019 Honors Colloquium.
Honors Program Director Dr. Susannah Stern invited Honors students to her home for a game night and dinner.

Being in the Honors Program at USD isn’t an achievement – it’s an opportunity. We welcome students of all types and from all backgrounds.

Honors students are involved.

  • 95% participate in campus clubs or organizations

  • 80% study abroad

  • 76% complete an internship

Honors students thrive.

  • 83% graduate with Departmental Honors 

  • 50% of USD Valedictorians in the past decade were Honors students 

  • 20% of the Honors senior class of 2019 received special awards

Student Testimonials

It was very meaningful to me to participate in the Honors Program. I learned more and worked harder in my Honors classes, and I got the opportunity to meet like-minded, driven individuals who became my best friends.”


“My favorite part of being an Honors student has been participating in research. I formed a life-long friendship with my thesis advisor, and I became closer with other faculty and peers in my department.”


“The Honors Program pushed me academically and socially. I made connections with people who were intellectually curious and who tried to push themselves to be better people.”

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