University Honors is a tight-knit community of scholars, within a large, research-university setting, where students will connect with other students, faculty, and staff. The four-year program encourages well-prepared and motivated students to excel and to take an active role in maximizing their education by engaging with, and taking full advantage of, the array of resources and opportunities University Honors has to offer. 

  • Academic

    Four-Year Learning Community: University Honors students take classes with the other students in their cohort and receive support and resources from University Honors faculty and staff.

    Honors Courses: Honors students have the opportunity to enroll in Honors courses taught by student-centered faculty members, who are involved in cutting-edge research and scholarship. A majority of Honors courses are capped at 15-20 students, giving students a better opportunity to engage and get to know the professor of the course. Students also benefit from the ability to delve more deeply into the material being presented. These interactions advance a students' critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills and also allow them to build intellectual and social connections with others in the Honors community.  Honors courses also provide students with the resources and framework necessary to pursue a capstone project.

    Capstone Development and Completion: University Honors students participate in a series of courses and experiences that prepare them for undergraduate research and the completion of a capstone project. The capstone project can consist of research, creative activity, or experiential activity. Students learn how to interact with faculty and select a faculty member to be their mentor. Students conceive and design a project plan while honing research and writing skills. These projects enable students to take learning outside the classroom and apply critical thought to the topics they are most passionate about. The capstone project experience will differentiate students from other students when applying for graduate school, professional school, and employment.

    Priority Registration: University Honors Students receive priority registration leading to a much better chance of getting into the courses they need and graduating on time.

  • Community

    Honors Student Community: Consisting of just over 800 students on a campus that enrolls more than 23,000 students, University Honors provides the feeling of a small, liberal arts college within a major, research university.

    Living-Learning Community: Students who participate in University Honors have an opportunity to live with other University Honors students, and a faculty-in-residence, in Honors-only communities, in Pentland Hills Residence Hall or the Glen Mor student community, where they receive mentoring, support, programming, and resources.

    Community Engagement: As part of the program Honors students are required to participate in University Honors activities designed to help them network with faculty, staff, and their fellow students and access a variety of opportunities and resources related to our three pillars of excellence.  The activities are carefully designed to help students learn more about themselves and how they can make a difference. They encourage students to branch out beyond academic learning to become well-rounded, active learners who raise creative and relevant questions, identify substantive goals, and consider options and practical strategies for increasing their own introspection. 

    Informal Faculty Interaction: Outside of the classroom, both scholarly programs and Honors faculty engagement hours provide students with additional opportunities to interact with faculty members. Students are exposed to the wealth of knowledge the faculty members possess, including knowledge pertaining to the capstone project, graduate school, and professional school.

    Personalized Counseling: Professional staff members in University Honors play a pivotal role in students reaching their personal, academic, and professional goals. Honors counselors work closely with students, academic advisors, and a network of campus resources to help students explore options about majors, scholarships, and extracurricular activities, as students transition to the independence of university life and academics. University Honors Counselors have smaller caseloads than academic advisors and are able to offer students more frequent and longer counseling appointments to meet their needs.

  • Opportunities and Resources

    Leadership Positions: University Honors offers a variety of competitive leadership positions to our students that provide them with professional development opportunities. Students can participate as Honors Ambassadors, members of the Marketing and Media team, or members of the University Honors Audeamus Editorial Board. All of our leadership positions are compensated with a scholarship. ​​​​​​

    Research and Internship Positions: Honors faculty and staff encourage students to get involved in faculty-mentored research and to pursue internship opportunities. Honors Counselors work one-on-one with students to help identify research and internship opportunities, both on and off campus. Fellowship funding is available to support student research, education abroad, and participation in UC-Washington DC and UC-Sacramento internship programs. Additional opportunities are promoted to students via our counseling appointments, weekly e-mail, and social media.

  • Scholarships

    Awards and Fellowships: Honors faculty and staff prepare students for the application process for prestigious awards by helping them to develop portfolios that strongly position them for competitive local, national, and international academic fellowships and awards.

    University Honors Scholarships: Scholarship applications for the various scholarships listed below are made available to students via their “University Honors Portfolio" course on iLearn.  Scholarships are not automatically awarded, and an application must be on file for a student to be considered for a scholarship award.

    1. Hays Research Scholarship

    Eligibility: Honors students in good standing who are typically in their last year of Honors and have successfully completed HNPG 151, including submission of their signed capstone project proposal form.
    Award Purpose: To assist eligible Honors students with the cost of their education, as they complete their Honors capstone project. This award cannot be used for lab equipment, art supplies, or other items related to their actual project, due to method of disbursement.
    Award Amount & Distinction: Several awards are available, up to $1000. Winners will also be designated "Howard H Hays University Honors Research Scholars."
    Disbursement of Funds: The quarter the student turns in his/her capstone project.
    2. Study Abroad or UCDC Participation Scholarship

    Eligibility: Honors students in good standing who have been accepted to a Study Abroad or UCDC opportunity.
    Award Purpose: To support students in their participation of Study Abroad or UCDC.
    Award Amount: Several $1000 scholarships are available.
    Disbursement of Funds: Funds will be disbursed in the quarter prior to when the student attends the program.
    3. Student Travel Awards for Attendance at Professional Meeting/Conference

    Eligibility: Honors students in good standing who have been accepted to present their work at a professional meeting/conference.
    Award Purpose: To help defray the cost of travel to professional meetings/conferences.
    Award Amount: Scholarships of up to $500 are available.
    4. American Honda Fund for Females and Underrepresented Minorities in STEM Disciplines:

    Eligibility: Honors students in good standing who are female and/or an underrepresented minority in STEM disciplines.
    Award Purpose: To provide support for University Honors women and minority students in pursuing research projects in STEM disciplines. 
    Award Amount: Between $2000 and $3000 for the year.
    5. Ford Foundation Fund for Honors Students Pursuing a Career in Education:
    Eligibility: Honors students in good standing.
    Award Purpose: To provide support for Honors students pursuing careers in teaching.
    Award Amount: Several $1000 scholarships available.
    Contact: Kristine Parada <>

    Excellence and Residential Scholarships

    Excellence Scholarship: ($1,500):  Honors Excellence Scholarships are available to support academic pursuits and college-related expenses (e.g., tuition, fees, etc.). Scholarships are based on merit and awarded on a competitive basis.  Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.40, or higher, at the time of application.
    Residential Scholarship: ($900): Honors students who reside in either the Pentland Hills or Glen Mor University Honors living-learning communities are eligible for this scholarship. Students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 at the end of the fall quarter to be eligible to apply.
    Requirements: 1) Students must meet the scholarship criteria noted above to be eligible for a specific scholarship. 2) Applicants must be in good standing with University Honors at the time of application. Students who have been “discontinued” are not eligible to apply.

    Contact:  Lourdes Maldonado <>