IMPORTANT NOTICE: The University Honors College Scholar transcript designation is available only to those students admitted to the University of Pittsburgh prior to the 2019 Fall Term. Students admitted to Pitt in the 2019 Fall Term or later can apply for membership in the Honors College through the process outlined here.
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, awarded upon graduation, 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 receive an official transcript annotation with the University Honors College Scholar designation, 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. Please note that a "course" is defined as consisting of at least 2 credit hours during a semester. As such, 1-credit labs, recitations, and honors seminars associated with Honors College fellowships will not fulfill the course requirement component of the designation, but may be used to fulfill an Honors-Caliber Activity (see following section).
- 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 (e.g., activities beyond taking courses while abroad, such as completing an internship or research project abroad); graduate courses; internships; directed readings; directed research; independent studies; or honors labs, recitations, and fellowships, such as Honors College-sponsored research fellowships. Please note that because this is a transcript designation, all activities counting toward HCAs must appear on your transcript.
- Intellectual Curiosity: As noted with "Courses" above, students' overall academic experience should represent broad interests across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, as 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.
- Contributing to the Public Good: 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.