About the Honors Program

The Honors Program offers a unique pathway through the university’s required core curriculum that engages and interrogates the intellectual traditions of the liberal arts as a tool for understanding our contemporary world and its historical origins. The program is not itself a major, but is taken in conjunction with any major. Honors students benefit from the rich conversations that build over their four years of shared academic, residential, and co-curricular experiences. Prospective students apply separately to the program (https://admission.pugetsound.edu/register/honors), and admission is based upon prior academic achievement and demonstrated understanding of the program’s curricular and residential features. First- year Honors students live in Regester Hall (along with many students who are not in the program) and have the option to continue living in Honors-themed residences thereafter. The program also provides an array of cultural events, including a film series, student-organized dinners, guest lectures, and trips to Seattle/ Tacoma museums, theater, symphony, and opera.

Honors courses interrogate influential authors and works in the Western intellectual tradition both within their initial contexts and through comparison with other traditions. The course sequence culminates with an interdisciplinary study of “America” as an idea and an ideal. Honors seniors also research, write, and publicly present a thesis (normally in the student’s major). After successfully completing the prescribed coursework and senior thesis requirements, Honors seniors graduate as Coolidge Otis Chapman Honors Scholars.

In short, the Honors Program:

  • Offers an intellectually energizing living-learning environment and a curriculum that complements any major.
  • Provides a supportive residential community (first year; optional thereafter) focused on camaraderie, mentoring, and achievement.
  • Explores culturally influential and personally transformative ideas that are central to a liberal arts education.
  • Attracts intellectually curious and motivated students who value meaningful discussions and learning from one another.
  • Cultivates creative and independent thinkers who gain admission to top professional programs and find rewarding careers.
  • Distinguished graduation as a Coolidge Otis Chapman Honors Scholar upon successful completion of the Honors curriculum, the senior thesis, and the senior thesis presentation.