Faculty: Creating a Pitt Honors course

How do I submit my course to Pitt Honors?

First, obtain approval from the department housing the course (e.g., ENGLIT, HIST, CHEM, etc.) to offer the course.

If the course has been offered as an Honors course previously, and you are not making any major changes to its content:

  1.  Complete the "Instructor Information" and "Course Information" sections of the Honors Course Proposal Form:
    Honors Course Proposal Form (MS Word | PDF)
  2. Obtain appropriate signatures in the "Approval" section of the Honors Course Proposal Form.

  3. Submit the Course Proposal from to David Hornyak, Pitt Honors College, 3600 CL; or hornyak@pitt.edu.

If this is the first time the course will be offered as an Honors version, or you are making major changes to a previously offered Honors course:

  1. Provide a statement addressing the items requested on the Supplemental Course Information webpage (although not necessary, you are encouraged to submit a preliminary syllabus for this course as part of the supplemental information).
  2. Complete the "Instructor Information" and "Course Information" sections of the Pitt Honors (UHC) Course Proposal Form:
    Honors Course Proposal Form (MS Word | PDF)
  3. Obtain appropriate signatures in the "Approval" section of the Honors Course Proposal Form.

  4. Submit the Honors Course Proposal from to David Hornyak, University Honors College, 3600 CL;  or hornyak@pitt.edu.

About Honors courses

Pitt Honors courses are address the special educational needs of talented, motivated, and curious undergraduates. Honors courses invite undergraduates to take a more difficult route through the University than required. In general, Honors courses should provide:

  • In-depth treatments of disciplinary or interdisciplinary topics rather than treatments which are just specialized, advanced, or accelerated
  • Intellectually demanding but manageable treatments as measured by workload and required effort
  • Stimulating and fulfilling treatments as evidenced by satisfaction for both participating students and faculty

Pitt Honors coursework is also intended to encourage curricular breadth, to emphasize free inquiry as a stimulus to independent thought, and to foster a disciplined intelligence through the critical understanding of ideas and principles. To fulfill these objectives, spirit and style of instruction, as well as class size, may be important considerations. Courses should transcend the passive acquisition of information to emphasize conceptual analysis, synthesis, discussion, and clarity of thought and expression whether written, oral or mathematical.

We seek courses at all undergraduate academic levels and are especially interested in expanding the number of introductory-level classes for Honors-caliber students. In addition, Pitt Honors encourages faculty from the professional schools to propose special Honors offerings. Please note that Honors courses typically have no (or minimal) prerequisites, an average class size of 18 students (although some science lecture classes may be larger), and teaching evaluations, administered by the Office for the Evaluation of Teaching, are mandatory.

If you have any questions about course content, difficulty, suitability, adaptability, target populations, etc., contact Pitt Honors at 412-624-6880.