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University of Pittsburgh    
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jul 20, 2024
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

University Honors College

The University Honors College (UHC) seeks to create opportunities for dedicated and engaged students to explore their interests in great depth and with great rigor. The UHC offers a variety of carefully designed courses from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, along with supplemental advising opportunities, academic activities, and a distinctive baccalaureate degree in any undergraduate school of the University.

Contact Information

University of Pittsburgh
University Honors College
3600 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Admission Requirements

A distinctive feature of the University Honors College (UHC) is that unlike honors programs and colleges at virtually all other universities, students do not apply for membership, students are not accepted into the UHC, and students are not rejected for membership. Rather, all undergraduate students who seek an enriched education are invited to pursue the rigorous academic opportunities provided by the UHC.


The UHC offers multiple forms for advising that are intended to complement the advising students receive from their primary advisor. These include supplemental academic advising, Health Professions Advising, national scholarships advising, community engagement advising, and Politics and Philosophy major advising.

Please note that all students are welcome to meet with UHC advisors and are encouraged to either make an appointment online or simply email the relevant advisor.

Supplemental Academic Advising

UHC supplemental academic advisors help students explore interests and goals, assist in matching them to relevant opportunities in research, student groups, and academics within the UHC and at Pitt; assist in planning double majors and/or an interdisciplinary approach to their education; provide general academic advice on courses, majors, and research; and aid in the preparation of personal statements for scholarships and graduate study. For more information:

Health Professions Advising

Health professions advising assists students as they explore major choices, course selection, long range planning, and successful application to both the health professions committee and to medical, dental, optometry, podiatry, and veterinary schools. Advisors assess student goals and then recommend academic and experiential opportunities that mesh with student interests. For more information:

National Scholarships

The office of National Scholarships works closely with students to identify scholarships relevant to their academic and personal goals, and explore the steps to become competitive applicants for these awards. National scholarship advising can help students attain a broader perspective and refined understanding of their personal, academic, and professional goals; strengthen their writing skills through the creation and revision of personal statements and grant proposals; and develop the resourcefulness to identify opportunities to conduct meaningful research and/or incorporate service and international experiences into their educational plan. For more information:

Community Engagement

Community Engagement Advising and programming provides students with opportunities to use their academic interests and skills to positively impact their communities. Community Engagement Advising introduces students to pertinent social issues in the city of Pittsburgh as well as key organizations, leaders, and advocates who are involved with those issues; connects students to research, fellowships, experiential learning opportunities, and other scholarly projects that relate to public service and social change; supports students in designing independent experiences and research projects that integrate academic skills and interests with investigating and addressing community issues. For more information:

Politics and Philosophy Major

This interdisciplinary major in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences is advised through the UHC and provides students with training in the conceptual, empirical, and normative foundations of various fields of public policy. It enhances understanding of the moral and political complexities of public life and offers preparation in both theory and practice to students interested in pursuing careers in social and public affairs. For more information:

The Bachelor of Philosophy Degree

The Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil) degree is jointly awarded by the UHC and any undergraduate school/college at Pitt. The BPhil degree signifies the highest level of research/scholarship attainable by an undergraduate student. To receive the BPhil degree, students must fulfill the degree requirements (major, general education, and/or other curricular requirements) of their “home school” (e.g., Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Swanson School of Engineering, College of Business Administration, School of Nursing, etc.) and maintain a 3.50 cumulative GPA. The UHC adds two requirements: a more demanding program of study which should have breadth, depth, and focus and independent research/scholarship under the guidance of a faculty member culminating in a written thesis that is defended before a faculty examination committee that includes a visiting external examiner from another college or university. For more information:

Honors Distinction


The requirements for completion of the Honors Distinction will be:

  1. 9 academic credits of UHC approved courses (can include credits within approved school-based honors programs) - these will be identified by the University Honors Course attribute in PeopleSoft
  2. 3 experiential credits (can include research, independent study, approved study abroad via Panther Programs, approved internship for credit, approved co-op program) - these will be identified by the High Impact Practices attribute in PeopleSoft
  3. Completion of the Pitt Honors OCC (non-credit) - these will be identified by the catalog of opportunities entries in Suitable
  4. Completion of an approved capstone experience (if not completed as an Experiential/High-Impact Practice and/or required experiential credit)


Students interested in completing the Honors Distinction will declare their intention to pursue the Honors Distinction by completing an online application form that will be reviewed and approved by the Assistant Dean of the Honors College. Upon approval, a Plan will be generated in PeopleSoft which will allow students to track their own progress. Students can apply for the honors distinction at any time during their academic experience, however that last deadline to submit their intention to pursue the Honors Distinction will be the end of add/drop period of the semester prior to which in which they will graduate.

Additional Information

Students admitted to the University of Pittsburgh prior to fall 2019 have been able to complete the UHC Scholar Transcript Designation

Special Academic Opportunities

Student Publications

The UHC advises and directs the publishing of four undergraduate publications: Collision (prose and poetry), Pittsburgh Undergraduate Review (analytical and scholarly essays), Three Rivers Review (literary magazine), Pitt Political Review (political writing). All publications are student run and always interested in new members. Consult the UHC publications page for more information:

Research Opportunities

The UHC provides research opportunities in the fall and spring semesters as well as the summer. These include the Brackenridge Research Fellowships, Health Sciences Summer Research Fellowships, and Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Fellowships just to name a few. For more in depth information about these programs and their application deadlines, please visit: and


The UHC offers First-Year Honors Housing, located in Sutherland West, and Upper-Class Honors Housing in Pennsylvania Hall and Forbes Craig Apartments. Honors Housing is unique in that it connects highly motivated students from across schools and majors in communities that are shaped by their shared academic, cultural, and personal interests. To learn more about Honors Housing, visit:

Major and Minor Descriptions

Go to information for this department.



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