University Honors Program

University Honors Program

Experiential Learning

The fundamental idea behind experiential learning is the individual student’s engagement in an activity or program that has been designed to initiate the process of inquiry and understanding. Experiential learning projects are an ideal way to fulfill University Honors requirements.

There are two general types of honors experiential learning projects:

  • Projects designed and proposed by the student. These can be designed completely from scratch or can be participation in an existing program that the student would like to turn into an honors experience. A proposal must be submitted.
  • Projects that are pre-approved (this is a very short list; most experiences are designed and proposed by the student). Proposals are not submitted for pre-approved experiences.

Thematic Areas
Honors experiential learning projects must relate to one of the UHP thematic areas and integrate the learning objectives of that particular area. The thematic areas and associated learning objectives are listed below.

Community Engagement

  • Possesses awareness of purpose of service, including need for reciprocity, understanding of social issues, and ability to see those issues from multiple perspectives.
  • Recognizes how public policies and practices, and power and privilege, have an influence on social issues. Explores ways to alter public policy and/or identify solutions.
  • Relates, communicates, and works effectively with others towards sustainable social change.
  • Participates in community and understands own role as citizen of community.

Global Studies

  • Possess global literacy, including knowledge of geography, history, current world issues and similarities and differences among cultures
  • Recognize the interdependence of world economies, political systems and the environment
  • Interact with individuals from different cultures and express a sensitivity, appreciation and respect for the complex range of experiences of diverse peoples
  • Participate in a global society and understand the role of  a global citizen


  • Possesses knowledge of various leadership theories and identifies with the characteristics of leadership
  • Ability to exert influence and motivation and enable self and others to meet desired objectives
  • Ability to relate, communicate and work effectively with peers
  • Develops a vision of the future and acknowledges the impact of decisions (as applicable to the individual and affiliated organizations)


  • Ability to frame and develop the research project question or problem.
  • Possess a well-developed awareness of literature in the field.
  • Formulate a theory, problem, or hypothesis for the proposed research project that is based on the literature review.
  • Ability to identify and apply appropriate methodologies to design research study, and collect and analyze data.
  • Disseminate the research results and knowledge gained.
  • Demonstrate awareness of key weakness/limitations of the research and provide guidance on the most important and fruitful directions for future research on this topic.
  • Ability to think beyond the just completed research and articulate how your world view has been impacted by the experience.

Creative Arts

  • Acquires or further develops competencies within a particular creative domain.
  • Possesses ability to define the creative problem; ability to frame and develop a problem statement and appropriate methodology.
  • Possess a well-developed awareness of theories and methods in the field.
  • Demonstrates/takes appropriate risk in successfully completing project (i.e. going beyond original parameters of assignment, introducing new materials and forms, tackling controversial topics, advocating unpopular ideas or solutions, etc.).
  • Possesses ability to embrace contradictions and integrate alternate, divergent, or contradictory perspectives.
  • Possesses ability to think innovatively.
  • Connects, synthesizes, and transforms ideas.

Contact an honors advisor to learn more or discuss a project idea. The UHP advisors are here to help you navigate your honors experiences!

Learn the process for designing honors experiential learning projects. The world is open to you!

Browse a list of pre-approved honors experiential learning projects to get ideas and see examples of projects that you could pursue.

Are you participating in an unpaid research or internship experience? Did you know that you can submit a proposal for that to count as an honors experiential learning project and apply for an honors grant to support your work at the same time? You can!

University Honors has grant funding available to support honors experiences. UHP students can also receive grants when presenting at academic/professional conferences. Learn more.

Many students choose to do an experience that takes place outside of the United States.  If you are considering doing an international honors experience, regardless of the thematic area, review our International Travel web page.