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Embrace the Challenge

The mission of the Honors Program is to create an intensive learning community that will foster academic excellence, encourage civic action, and inspire the University's top students to become strong leaders on campus and in our community.

Honors Program Featured in the UDC freevoice:  “Honors Program Helps Students Explore,” by Melvin Bogard. 

Program Details

The Honors Program offers a variety of challenging academic courses, exciting co-curricular opportunities, and strong faculty advising to build a unique program that is rewarding and appealing to students and faculty alike.

- Academics
- Intellectual community
- Civic action
- Experiential learning
- Mentoring and advising


Rigorous and accelerated course offerings: Courses in the Honors Program are more challenging and move at a faster pace than courses offered elsewhere in the University. In all Honors Courses, faculty not only emphasize mastery of the subject matter but also provide research opportunities to help students develop into strong scholars. The rigorous courses focus on three essential intellectual skills that will distinguish Honors students:

- critical and creative thinking
- clear and concise writing
- confident and coherent public speaking

Practitioner-in-Residence Series: Each semester, the Honors Program recruits high-profile scholars and practitioners to teach in Honors Courses on UDC's campus. These "Practictioners-in-Residence" add intellectual rigor and course variety to the Honors Program.

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Intellectual Community

Many of the most important learning experiences on a college campus take place outside of the classroom. The Honors Program fosters a climate of curiosity and intellectual engagement by sponsoring a variety of programs designed to develop a sense of identity, camaraderie, and shared purpose among Honors students and faculty. Programs include:

Potluck Dinners: Each month, the Honors Program sponsors a potluck dinner for students and faculty. These dinners are informal and hosted at a different faculty member's home.

Off-Campus Trips: Once a semester, the Honors Program takes an extended day trip to nearby cities such as Philadelphia and New York. The trips give Honors students a chance to have fun and bond as a cohort.

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Civic Action

A central element in the mission of all land-grant universities is service – students and faculty are expected to use their knowledge and skills to give back to their community and make it a better place to live. Honors students take action to make a positive difference on campus and in the community.

Civic Action: Each semester, we ask that Honors students volunteer some time to serve the University or the local community. This service may take the form of representing Honors at University events, completing volunteer work, serving as peer mentors, or developing larger service projects.

Honors Activities: The Honors Program sponsors various campus activities, including a Speaker Series, designed to stimulate discussion, address public issues, and encourage civic action. Honors students are required to attend events each semester.

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Experiential Learning

Experiential learning gives students the chance to apply their classroom knowledge, develop valuable skills, and represent the University in a variety of settings. Having access to these kinds of opportunities makes the Honors Program more attractive to top students.

Internships/Shadowing/Apprenticeships: The Honors Program encourages students to pursue internships and other on-the-job opportunities that give them work experience, help them make connections in their field, and improve their job prospects following graduation.

Research and Publications: The Honors Program offers Honors students the opportunity to pursue original research and work toward publishing their findings.

International Education: Few experiences are as rewarding and eye-opening as living and studying in a foreign country. Honors students are encouraged to participate in at least one foreign experience during the course of their time at the University.

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Mentoring and Advising

The Honors Program supplements the existing academic advising system with an Honors Mentoring Program whereby each Honors student is assigned an Honors faculty member who will serve as that student's advisor and mentor throughout the duration of the student's time at the University.
This kind of hands-on, consistent support will help inspire Honors students to make the most of their University experience and live up to their full potential.

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Honors Program

For more information about the Honors Program, please contact:

Dr. Alexander Howe
Department of English
Building 41, Rm 400-16
phone 202.274.5658

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