University Honors College Scholar Designation

The University Honors College provides an enriched education to those undergraduate students who seek greater depth and breadth in their studies than would be needed to satisfy the requirements for graduation with a baccalaureate degree. The “University Honors College Scholar” designation recognizes Pitt’s most ambitious students, whose sustained efforts take full advantage of honors opportunities and exemplify the Honors College’s core values of attainment, intellectual curiosity, and social consciousness. Like all such honorific credentials, the goal of the University Honors College Scholar designation is to publicly recognize the striking achievements of high-performing students, and thereby allow the students to appreciate and frame their own achievements while also inspiring others to seek comparable goals.

To achieve an official transcript annotation designating them as a University Honors College Scholar, students must fulfill the following requirements:

Initial Registration and Program Design: Contact David Hornyak ( to express an interest in pursuing the University Honors College Scholar designation. You will then meet with David to design an individualized program in line with your skills, interests, and goals/aspirations in order to meet the requirements to be named a University Honors College Scholar when you graduate.

Your program will include the following:

GPA: Overall GPA of at least 3.500 at time of graduation, including a minimum GPA of 3.500 earned in all honors coursework used to satisfy the requirements for the designation.

Courses: A total of at least three honors courses, ideally taken across multiple academic disciplines, rather than being narrowly focused in one field of study.

Honors-Caliber Activities (HCAs): A total of at least three HCAs, which may include additional honors courses (beyond the three required), in-depth study abroad experiences, graduate courses, or outside the classroom experiences such as Honors College-sponsored research fellowships (i.e., Brackenridge, community-based research).

Intellectual Curiosity: As noted with "Courses" above, the honors courses taken should represent broad interests across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, which is an indication of intellectual curiosity. Other ways to satisfy this requirement include completing multiple majors, certificates, or a double degree program, especially combinations which appear to be unrelated to each other, such as a double major in Theatre Arts and Chemistry.

Social Consciousness: University Honors College Scholars must show concern for others during their undergraduate career by impacting the lives of others and reflecting on what they learned through such experiences. Examples might include a community research project, leadership in a service organization, and service in a clinical setting or organization for social change, all of which must involve in-depth, ongoing commitment to the endeavor.

If you are interested in pursuing the University Honors College Scholar designation, please contact David Hornyak (