For more than 50 years, the Seattle University Honors Program has provided learners like you with the opportunity to join a community of engaged student citizens and professors, dedicated to the study of great works, ideas and histories that have shaped the development of our world.
To seek and lead toward a just future for all requires a wide-ranging and interdisciplinary understanding of the world we share. While Honors programs at other institutions simply provide special sections of regular classes, our dynamic Honors Program was crafted to offer a sequence of rigorous seminars designed to pique your interest and augment your academic majors and pursuits. Dive into your intellectual passions. And discover new ones with other students as curious as you.
As an intellectually motivated learner with great ambitions, you will find yourself embraced within Seattle University’s proud Honors tradition.
"I think incoming students should apply to the program because college is about growth, and growth requires challenge. The Honors program can definitely be challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding. The program offers a unique way of learning that is intended to help you develop skills that really do translate into the world outside of the classroom. The professors who teach in the program are exemplary, the cohort-model provides support as well as promoting active learning, and the four-year scholarship and priority registration are, of course, additional benefits."
Our alumni are also represented on our faculty. Dr. Veith joined the Seattle U faculty in 2012. He graduated from the University Honors program with his degree in Philosophy and Psychology in 2005. He earned his Master’s degree in existential-phenomenological psychotherapy from Seattle U and his PhD in philosophy from Boston College. He teaches required philosophy courses in the core curriculum as well as humanities seminars on political identity, the politics of remembrance, and the concept of dignity.
Audra Lawlor, an Honors alumna, followed 10 successful years on Wall Street with launching her own business on Orcas Island. Her business, Girl Meets Dirt, creates handmade, small-batch artisanal preserves using locally-sourced fruit. Her products are available around the Northwest and as far away as New York.
Our Honors Program operates on a cohort model that provides you with an invested community of fellow students who will go through the curriculum with you, as you all grow together in your knowledge and leadership skills. Through our distinctive seminar-style classroom philosophy, paper conferences, and oral exams, you will develop poise and confidence in public speaking, conducting research and exchanging knowledge and ideas. We consider our program the perfect pairing of knowledge and skills necessary for you to succeed as a leader in our world today.
This two-year track creates an intensive focus on the humanities disciplines of philosophy, history and literature, the social sciences, and the history and philosophy of science to firmly ground you in the major intellectual traditions that have informed the development of the modern world during the past 2,500 years. It provides a strong foundation for a variety of majors.
This two-year track is similar to Intellectual Traditions in the first year and places a strong emphasis on political economy and the social sciences in your second year. If you are interested in public policy-oriented careers that complement the social justice focus of the university mission, this could be a great fit for you.
This three-year track focuses on the idea of innovation as it has informed various areas of human endeavor from ancient times to the present. Though this track lasts longer than the other two, you take fewer Honors seminars at a time. It is a great option if your intended major includes a large number of required classes offered at specific times.
No. University Honor is an alternative to the Core. No matter which track you choose within Honors, completing the track will complete all your Core requirements.
Yes. Every student in the program receives a scholarship for the full four years of their undergraduate education. These scholarships are awarded in addition to other elements of a student’s financial aid package.
Yes! The majority of Honors students double-major in a variety of subject areas. Some recent combinations include Political Science/Philosophy, International Studies/History, English Lit/Econ, Biology/History, Physics/Creative Writing, etc.
At Seattle University, a student needs a minimum of 180 credits to graduate. If your desired major is 110 credits or more, it can be a worthwhile challenge to double-major in four years.
However, even in such cases, picking up minors in various subjects is still possible. Several disciplines (Creative Writing, Economics, English, History, and Philosophy) count relevant Honors seminars as fulfilling specific requirements in the major, thereby reducing the overall number of major courses a student needs to take. Honors students typically find these “discounts” especially useful for double-majoring.
Each track has distinctive characteristics. For most students, the choice is all yours.
That said, if you are interested in double-majoring in a humanities discipline, Intellectual Traditions or Society, Policy & Citizenship may be an ideal choice because each of these tracks would enable you to major in English, Creative Writing, History, or Philosophy for fewer credits after completing the Honors curriculum.
If you wish to pursue a credit-intensive major with many required courses during the first two years (say, two every quarter), the Innovations track might make scheduling easier. Otherwise, choose the track that seems most appealing to you. You can find descriptions of the seminar subjects here,
Nursing: this major is compatible only with Innovations.
Engineering: At this time, Engineering students cannot be admitted to the University Honors Program because of the large number of engineering requirements.
Matteo Ricci: students are ineligible for the University Honors Program because their program of study already satisfies all university non-major course requirements.
Admission to the Honors Program is for incoming freshman and has an additional application process.
Want to know more about the Seattle University Honors Program Experience? Just ask. We’re here to answer all your questions.
Director, University Honors Program
Associate Professor, English
Office: Casey 232
Associate Director, University Honors Program
Senior Instructor, Philosophy
Office: Casey 203
Interim Associate Director, University Honors Program
Associate Professor, Economics
Office: Pigott 524
Program Coordinator, University Honors Program
Office: Casey 2E