University Honors Program

Rendezvous Building, Room 304A
921 S 8th Ave Stop 8010
Pocatello ID 83209-8010
Office: (208) 282-3662


As the only Honors Degree granting institution in Idaho, the University Honors Program (UHP) at Idaho State University is an academic program for students who aspire to a more engaging and enriching collegiate experience. The program synthesizes the idea of a structured learning community within an interdisciplinary curriculum. Each class is fashioned into small cohorts and led by extremely dedicated and passionate professors who devote themselves to the development of their students. 


1. Interdisciplinary Scholarship – the ability to integrate knowledge to express well-constructed insight and originality of thought through multidisciplinary courses and methodologies.

2.  Intellectual and Creative Engagement – using the appropriate methodology and theoretical framework that will include design, synthesis, and interdisciplinary research.

3.  Citizen Scholar – addressing real-world problems and finding ethical solutions, a process that culminates in reflective civic engagement, respect for diversity, and service-oriented action.

The University Honors Program offers opportunities for broader, deeper, and more complex learning experiences for students through interdisciplinary, theme-driven course sequences. Courses are designed for students who are motivated to develop their critical and creative thinking in a more personalized atmosphere than may be expected in typical courses. These courses are offered in smaller class sizes, deal with broad and/or interdisciplinary issues, and confront some aspect of the human condition. 

The University Honors Program is bigger than academics alone. The University Honors Program (UHP) offers students a living/learning community, leadership and civic engagement opportunities, individualized advising, undergraduate research, a group of committed scholars, and a community that values and recognizes the whole person. Please check for additional information.

The University Honors Program curriculum fulfills many of the General Education Requirements. Honors sections of courses are offered on a rotating basis and are dependent on departmental approval.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Interdisciplinary Scholarship Learning Objectives

            a) Written and Oral Communication: Synthesize and analyze information from a variety of sources to logically present ideas in order to effectively communicate with diverse individuals and groups.

            b)  Integrative Scholarship: Integrate knowledge to express insight and originality of thought through disciplinary or multidisciplinary methodologies.

Intellectual and Creative Engagement Learning Objectives

            a) Research: Engage in the creative process of formulating a hypothesis, researching those problems and drawing conclusions that lead to either original classroom assignments or larger faculty-mentored research projects resulting in contributions of scholarly work to each student’s chosen field of study.

            b) Critical Inquiry : Ability to analyze new problems and situations and formulate informed opinions and conclusions.

Citizen Scholar Learning Objectives

            a) Civic Engagement: Engage purposefully in leadership/service, mentoring and/or multi-cultural/intercultural activities within the Honors Program and Idaho State University.

            b) Citizenship: Actively participate and collaborate as informed members of local and global communities.


Admission to the University Honors Program (UHP) is competitive. Please check for admission requirements.

Transfer students from honors programs at other institutions are welcome to apply to the University Honors Program, and honors credits will be evaluated. Students who wish to enter the program in their sophomore or junior years should consult with the Honors Program Director and/or Coordinator.

Student Progress

To maintain access to the benefits of the Honors Program, admitted students are required to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.2, show evidence of continuous progress toward their degrees, attend the required Bi-Annual Honors Meeting for advising each semester, and participate in at least one official UHP event/activity each semester.

Graduation from the University Honors Program

Students have two primary Honors curriculum paths depending upon the course selections and curriculum decisions made by individual students. Students may complete either an Honors Distinction or an Honors Degree. The Honors Distinction requires 19 Honors credits completed during a Bachelor’s or Associate’s coursework. The Distinction is awarded at the completion of the Bachelor’s degree and is noted on the student's transcripts. The Honors Degree requires 32 Honors credits and includes an Honors thesis/project. The Honors Degree is noted on the student's diploma, transcript, and at commencement.

Requirements for Distinction in the University Honors Program

Honors coursework18
(Honors coursework may include any combination of the following: H designated courses e.g., ECON 2202-H, CHEM 1111-H), Honors specific courses (e.g., HONS 1101, HONS 1102), and Honors Contract courses (see description below).
HONS 3391Honors Seminar1
Total Credits19

Requirements for Degree in the University Honors Program

Honors Coursework23
(Honors coursework may include any combination of the following: H designated courses (e.g., MGT 3312-H, CHEM 3301-H), Honors specific courses (e.g., HONS 2220, HONS 3393), and Honors Contract courses (including Independent Problems (e.g., EE 4481) or Senior Thesis (e.g., BIOL 4493), also see description below).
Upper Division Honors Coursework6
HONS 3391Honors Seminar (HONS 3391 must be taken twice.)2
HONS 3393Introduction to Honors Thesis1-3
or HONS 4493 Honors Senior Thesis or Project
Defense of Honors Thesis
Total Credits32-34

Interdisciplinary Seminars

University Honors students take at least one Honors Seminar (HONS 3391), and students seeking an Honors degree must take two Honors Seminars. These seminars seek to introduce a specialty topic in a creative manner. Instructors are challenged to teach a topic in their field of expertise in a way that makes the material understandable from a wide range of majors. In general, approximately four Honors Seminars will be offered each semester.

Honors Contract Courses

Honors Contract courses are departmental courses offered under an “Honors Contract” between the student and instructor. An “Honors Contract” course requires that the student and instructor agree, on a case-by-case basis, to a set of requirements for the course. All Honors Contracts must be approved by the Honors Program Director. Honors contracts cannot be created for PEAC courses, summer courses, or courses taught by graduate students.

Honors Project or Thesis

Each University Honors Degree student is required to complete an honors project or thesis at the senior level in the department of his or her major or minor. The capstone project (1-6 credits) requires the University Honors student to prepare a project proposal for review by a departmental Honors Advisor. The project could be a research-based senior thesis or another appropriate project. The completed project is presented in a public forum and defended before a committee composed of the Honors Thesis/Project Advisor within the major department, another content-relevant faculty member chosen by the student and advisor, and the director of the University Honors Program or their designee. 

Honors Degrees

Honors degrees may be awarded for the following:

  • Honors Bachelor of Arts

  • Honors Bachelor of Science

  • Honors Bachelor of Business Administration

  • Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts

  • Honors Bachelor of Music

  • Honors Bachelor of Music Education

HONS Courses