College of Arts and Sciences
University Honors Program

History and Philosophy of Honors Program

  • The University Honors Program has been a part of the Seattle University educational experience for over 50 years. Originally conceived by Rev. Thomas O'Brien, S.J. in 1956, it debuted in 1959 as a University Core alternative.

    The ethos of the University Honors Program draws from Jesuit educational goals: while emphasizing a rigorous academic education, it understands this education as a holistic one, encouraging the intellectual, spiritual, and emotional growth of the student.  The Program is structured around the belief that a truly academic education leads students both to an understanding of the world in its diversity and to an understanding of themselves in the world.  A truly academic education, at the same time, instills in students a critical concern with such understanding, a desire to act ethically and responsibly on the basis of it, and an empowering impulse to ask further questions and explore new answers.