Honors Program

Christine Chaney, PhD, Director

The SPU University Scholars

The SPU honors program is an interdisciplinary, liberal arts, and seminar-based curriculum designed as an accelerated alternative to the regular General Education program. It requires fewer credits and courses than the regular track but in a challenging, inquiry-based, and inter-connected set of courses that ask our highest-achieving students to go deeper into key questions at the heart of our lives, our faith, and our world. It is also a close-knit community of students and faculty members who gather together weekly for discussions, fellowship, service, and study. 

If you are honors-eligible, you will be invited to apply to the program after you have been admitted to Seattle Pacific University. There are currently only 40 spots available every year — and there is usually a waiting list — so if you are interested you should apply to the program as soon as possible. 

  • The honors program is the accelerated alternative General Education program at SPU.
  • As a University Scholar, you are required to take a special sequence of USCH courses.
  • As with the regular General Education track, you must complete the foreign language competency, “W,” and “CUE” requirements expected of all undergraduates, along with all three required Foundations courses (UFDN 1000, 2000, and 3100). You must also complete the "Ways of Knowing/Fundamental Science" and "Ways of Knowing/ Quantitative Reasoning" requirements but not any other requirement in the regular General Education curriculum.
  • You must complete a major and have a minimum 180 credits to graduate, including 60 upper-division credits (courses numbered 3000 or above).

Special features of the program

  • Every honors student must complete an honors thesis in order to graduate. During the senior year, you will enroll in 4 credits of individual scholarly work in a subject related to your major, undertaken with the assistance of a faculty mentor and completed during the senior year (USCH 4960/65). Projects or papers that fulfill this requirement must meet disciplinary standards, discuss the relationship of faith and learning, be approved by the director of University Scholars, and be completed prior to graduation. Honors Projects are given special recognition at Commencement. A maximum of 4 credits is allowed.
  • You are required to maintain a minimum 3.2 GPA to remain in the program.
  • Servant-leadership within the SPU community along with academic excellence are the goals for a University Scholar. Each year, the graduating senior who best exemplifies these values of the program is honored with the Wesley E. Lingren Award, as outstanding University Scholar in honor of the program's founding director. In addition, the rising senior who most exemplifies the ideals of character, conviction, and service is awarded the Erin Kimminau Scholar-Servant Award

Student in classroom

Graduation requirements 

Keep track of your UScholars graduation requirements on this checklist.