University Honors Program

University Honors Program

Honors Seminar Proposals

Faculty are invited to submit proposals to teach University Honors seminars in 2015-16 (as well as for seminars with study tours in fall 2016). Honors seminars are the backbone of the UHP curriculum and are critical to each student's experience and success.

The University Honors Program (UHP) comprises students in the top 7% of UC undergraduates, from across colleges and disciplines. Admission is very competitive, with entering students having an average ACT score of over 32.

University Honors is committed to helping students maximize their educational opportunities at UC while discovering and pursuing their passions in life and using their gifts and talents to make meaningful contributions to society. Students are challenged through honors seminars and experiential learning projects focused on:

  • Community engagement
  • Global studies
  • Leadership
  • Research and creative arts

Faculty from across UC's colleges are engaged in teaching honors seminars. Faculty from all disciplines are invited to submit proposals!

Pedagogy and Structure

Honors seminars have a unique nature that you can learn more about on our pedagogy and structure page. Criteria for selection of honors seminars is based on how well the course meets the guidelines described under pedagogy and structure, especially related to experiential learning and the thematic areas.

Deadline and Submission

Proposals are due Monday, October 13, 2014.

Please submit the following, online (the proposal form) and via email to (supporting documents):

  1. Proposal: Complete the online proposal form
  2. Syllabus: Submit a tentative (but well-developed) syllabus (submit via email as a pdf). Submit a tentative (but well-developed) semester syllabus including the following information:
    • Student learning outcomes – cognitive, behavioral, attitudinal (these may be used in e-curriculum)
    • Information about pedagogy, including description of experiential learning component(s)
    • Tentative semester course schedule, including readings and assignments
    • Examples of assignments that will foster the achievement of the learning objectives
    • Grading criteria
  3. CV: Curriculum vitae (for each faculty member involved; submit via email as a pdf)
  4. Statement of Support: A statement of support from your department head confirming that, if the course is approved, you will be able to offer it during the 2015-16 academic year (or potentially in fall 2016 in the case of a seminar with a study tour). The statement does not need to evaluate the proposal and can be brief. This statement should be emailed directly to by the department head.
  5. For Proposals with Study Tours: Submit itinerary and budget (submit via email as a pdf)

Guidelines and Proposal

Guidelines -  Download the guidelines (PDF)

Proposal -    Avalaible in 15FS

You must complete the online proposal in addition to submitting the documents listed under the "Deadlines and Submission" section of this page.

In the online proposal form, you will be asked to answer the following questions (we are providing them here so you can prepare and copy/paste responses into the online form when ready):

  • Basic information for each faculty member involved (name, title, college, email, department head, etc.)
  • Proposed honors seminar title
  • Description of proposed honors seminar (if selected, this description may be used by your department in e-curriculum and/or by University Honors to advertise the seminar to students)
  • Briefly describe how the course aligns with one of the thematic areas of the UHP - community engagement, global studies, leadership and research/creative arts. (Courses are not expected to align with multiple thematic areas; rather, a course with an in-depth focus in one area is better received than a course that tries to fit in multiple areas on a surface level.)
  • Describe how experiential learning will be incorporated into the course, including how reflection on the experiential component will be incorporated.
  • Briefly describe your experience (research, teaching, etc.) with the proposed course topic.
  • Which general education (BoK) requirements (up to two) does this course best satisfy (honors seminars must fulfill one or two BoK requirements in order for UHP students to enroll)? (Will be listed in check-box format.)
  • Which course attributes apply to this seminar (in addition to the honors attribute)? (Will be listed in check-box format.)

For proposals with study tours:

  • If your proposal includes a study tour (international or domestic), we expect that you have direct experience in that location. Please describe your previous experience with the destination. What is your knowledge of the location? In what capacity and for how long have you traveled there previously?
  • Seminars with study tours have a different timeline than regular honors seminars. Because of the need to begin planning at least a full year in advance, we are currently only accepting proposals for seminars with study tours for spring semester 2016 and fall semester 2016. We will not able to implement new seminars with study tours for fall semester 2015 through this current process. Please indicate the term in which you would like the seminar/study tour to be offered.
  • You must submit a detailed, tentative itinerary and budget for the study tour component. We recognize that the budget and itinerary will change as the course is developed. Please provide the best information available at the time of submission. Spring break study tours are encouraged for spring semester courses. The itinerary and budget cannot be included in the online application and, therefore, should be emailed to by the deadline. Proposals for seminars with study tours that do not include a travel itinerary and budget will not be considered.

Compensation - $6000 per honors seminar + PBB funds

UHP Funding:

  • For each course accepted and offered, the originating department will receive a $6000 payment from University Honors.
  • In the case of a team-taught course, $8000 will be split amongst participating departments.
  • The funds are transferred to the department(s) at the end of the add/drop period in the semester in which your course is taught, provided that the course has an enrollment of 12 or more University Honors students. If the course has an enrollment of 11 or fewer University Honors students, the amount will be pro-rated.
  • The use of the funds is determined by the college/department. If a faculty member has questions about how the funds will be used, he/she should talk with the department head.

PBB Funds:

  • In addition, performance based budgeting (PBB) plays a role. University Honors students come from all of the undergraduate colleges. Therefore, students from across colleges will enroll. Typically, 2/3 of students in each honors seminar will likely originate from a different college.
  • Under PBB in 2014-15, the college listing the course receives $236.56 per student credit hour for students who are majors in other colleges. With a class of 20 students, if 2/3 (13) are from outside the listing college, then the college could generate $9225.84 additional dollars (13*$236.56 *3credits).

Proposal Review Process

  • Proposals are evaluated by a subcommittee of the University Honors Council, comprised of faculty and students from across colleges.
  • Criteria for selection will focus on how well the course meets the guidelines described under pedagogy and structure, especially related to experiential learning and the thematic areas.
  • The number of courses accepted is based on budget. We anticipate being able to fund 25-30 courses. We typically receive 60-70 proposals.
  • Notification - faculty and department heads will learn of the status of proposals via email prior to the end of fall semester 2014.

Honors Seminars in the News

Learn more about honors seminars and the faculty who teach them through these news stories.


Contact Raj Mehta, PhD (, 556-6252) or Debbie Brawn, MA (, 556-6226).