Fall Term 2020 - FAQ

Prospective Students

Where can I find information about Pitt Honors?

Sign up for a virtual information session under "Daily Virtual Presentations." They are held at 4 p.m. on Mondays. You can also visit our admissions page.



When will I get priority enrollment?

Priority enrollment begins in the spring semester of an Honors student’s first year.

How many Honors courses are too many for one semester?

It all depends on your abilities and interest in the subject matter, as well as your other classes and commitments. Talk to your academic advisor and Pitt Honors Scholar-Mentor to discuss your options.

How many courses should I take each semester for the Degree/Distinction program?

You should try to take one course each semester. For the Honors Degree, you need to average 2 1/4 credits each semester. The Honors Distinction requires half that amount. And don’t forget the experiential credits required for the Degree and Distinction.

How do I find UHC-designated courses?

To find courses which fulfill the Honors course requirement, go to the Class Search page in PeopleSoft and in the Course Attribute pull-down menu, select "University Honors Course."

How do I know if I am registered for the Joint Degree?

Email David Hornyak.



How are students assigned to Scholar-Mentors?

Scholar-Mentors review the intended majors of incoming students and try to match majors with the Scholar-Mentor's area of expertise, but that’s not always possible.

How will meetings with Scholar-Mentors be scheduled?

Scholar-Mentors will reach out to students to announce group meetings, but you are always welcome to schedule an individual meeting with your Scholar-Mentor.

Can a non-Pitt Honors student meet with a Scholar-Mentor?

Yes. Use the Navigate appointment link on the Pitt Honors website.



What is the purpose of the Honors OCC?

The Honors OCC is a degree requirement for the Honors Joint Degree as well as the Distinction. These are experiences that we are asking you to participate in that are being tied to your academic curriculum but are not granted academic credit. As you’ll see in the OCC, there are 10 competencies. These are the competencies we believe students need to develop in their four years as undergraduates. These competencies can also be considered transferable skills, which all employers seek no matter the field because they can be applied to any career setting. We want to provide you with experiences that will develop these critical 10 competencies and in turn prepare you for the future.

Are for-credit experiential programs transferable for OCC credit? 

No, for-credit experiential programs are not transferable for OCC credit. There is an important distinction to make between the Global and Experiential Learning requirement and the Honors OCC. Honors OCC events are not for academic credit (hence the name “Outside the Classroom”). To complete the Global and Experiential Learning requirement, you must earn academic credit for completing a global or experiential learning experience.

How do students download the Suitable app?

To download the Suitable app, visit your smartphone’s app store, and search “Suitable.” Download the app and log in with your Pitt credentials. Numerous programs at Pitt use this app, so make sure that at the top of your screen that it says “Honors OCC” in the app to ensure that you are getting points and seeing available activities for the Honors OCC. If it doesn’t say “Honors OCC,” simply tap the rectangle, tap “Honors OCC,” and then “Select Curriculum.” You should now be in the Honors OCC.

What is the difference between the Pitt OCC and the Honors OCC?

The Pitt OCC is open to all undergraduate students while the Honors OCC is exclusively for Honors students. The Honors OCC has events and tasks specifically for Honors students, such as “Become an Honors Ambassador” and “Apply to the Frederick Public Service Internship Award.” If you wish, you can complete both OCCs simultaneously, especially since a lot of the tasks and events will count for both programs. 

Is the Honors OCC mandatory for graduation?

Yes. The completion of the Honors OCC is mandatory for the Honors Joint Degree and the Honors Distinction. To complete it, earn 1,200 total points, 100 in each competency and an additional 200 in the competency of your choice. The Honors OCC takes anywhere from 5-8 semesters to complete.


Global and Experiential Learning Requirement

How many experiential credits do students need and how can they get them?

For the Honors Joint Degree, students must earn 6 global or experiential credits. For the Honors Distinction, students must earn 3 global or experiential credits.

How do experiential credits work? What counts for experiential credit? How does this work with the OCC?

  • For both degrees, the Joint Degree and the Distinction, there is the requirement to do global or experiential activities for academic credit.
  • A global experience is study abroad. If you would study abroad on a six-week summer program for six credits, you would meet that requirement. If you would participate in a short-term three-credit study abroad program, you would earn three credits towards this requirement. You can also fulfill this requirement through study away, which is a domestic-based travel program. We have programs in Wyoming, Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, Houston, and more. 
  • Experiential education can also count for the OCC if it’s not for academic credit. If the experience carries academic credit, it will count for the global and experiential credit requirement.


Study Abroad

How will study abroad work during this pandemic period?

A decision has not yet made about if study abroad programming will run for the spring '21 or summer terms. Although we are unsure about the short-term future, it is still a good idea to begin research study abroad programs and determining when you want to fit in a study abroad program into your academic calendar. We have over 350 study abroad programs in over 85 countries. You can study abroad for short-term or long-term, and over any academic term. To get started on your search, visit abroad.pitt.edu or set up an appointment with a representative of the Pitt Honors Global and Experiential Programs department: Bryan Schultz or Steph Sprik via Pathways.



Is there a specific contact for the Honors College that can help us with searching for summer internships?

Yes. Bryan Schultz, the Director of Global and Experiential Programs, and Steph Spirk, the Program Assistant of Global and Experiential Programs, can both direct you to the appropriate resources to find a summer internship, whether that be through Pitt Commons to find a connection with an alumni through the main Pitt Career Center, through Handshake, and more.

How can students find internships?

  • There are so many different avenues to obtain internships at Pitt. There is the main Career Services office and a platform called Handshake that they operate, which is a clearing house of internships that are available to all Pitt students. At your home school, you are going to find a listing of internship experiences that are unique to those degree programs.
  • At the Honors College, we are going to have a similar set of experiences for students. Through the Pitt Commons platform, you have the opportunity not only to network with alumni, but search for internships that Pitt alumni are hosting at their organization.
  • If you’re interested in working internationally, we are a partner for the International Internship Program. This program guarantees customized internships over the summer term. Typically, these internships take place in Dublin, Ireland; Berlin, Germany; Paris, France; Madrid, Spain; Toronto, Canada; Prague, Czech Republic; and San Francisco. Although it is currently not permitted to travel to these places, you still have the opportunity to work for an international organization through this program virtually.