Honors joint degree program

Enhance your degree with an Honors designation

Earn an advanced degree designation in your major by challenging yourself both in and outside the classroom. The program is rigorous but flexible, so you can push the boundaries of your own scholarship throughout your Pitt experience.  

Honors degree program benefits

If you apply and are admitted to the degree program, you will receive:

  • Designation on your transcript as soon as you're admitted
  • An Honors designation on your degree (for example, a BA-H), jointly awarded from the Honors college and your home academic school upon completion of the requirements 
  • Priority course registration to help you complete the curriculum requirements. 
  • Priority access to Honors housing communities and activities
  • An assigned Honors Scholar-Mentor, who will help you tailor the most advantageous experience for your interests

Honors-enhanced degree requirements

  • Curricular requirements: 18 academic credits of UHC approved courses, including credits from approved school-based honors programs.
  • Co-Curricular requirements: 6 experiential credits (including research, independent study, approved study abroad via Pitt Panther programs; approved internship for credit; approved Co-op Program).
  • Outside of the classroom curriculum: Completion of the Pitt Honors OCC (non-credit). Honors OCC will launch in 2020
  • Overall GPA: 3.25

To stay in good academic standing, you must maintain GPA above 3.0, participate in the Honors OCC (coming in 2020), and complete 1 honors course or project per year. If your GPA is below 3.0 for 1 semester, you will be put on probation. If your GPA dips below 3.0 for 2 consecutive terms, you will be suspended from the program. You can appeal or request readmission after a suspension. 


While all Pitt students can participate in Honors courses and programs, you apply to this enhanced degree track. Admission is based not only on your academic performance, but also your interest in working for the community and your intellectual curiosity. 

Freshmen apply within their regular application to Pitt. If you indicate you are interested in the Honors joint degree program, you will be asked additional essay questions. 

Upperclassmen (from all Pitt campuses) must have a minimum GPA of 3.50, and a minimum of 2 semesters (24 credits). The application includes essay questions about your ilintellectual curiosity and interest in working for the public good, and must include an academic letter of recommendation from an instructor or academic advisor. Applications open in the spring for the following academic year. 

Transfer students must have a minimum of 2 college semesters (24 credits) that meet the University of Pittsburgh criteria for transfer to credits. The application will consider your academic performance, as well as your answers to additional essay questions. Applications open in the spring for the following academic year. 


The Honors joint degree is not the only way to engage with Pitt Honors. You can also pursue the prestigious, research-focused Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil) degree. You do NOT have to be pursuing an Honors degree or BPhil to take Honors courses, apply for UHC fellowships, or join Honors programs.