University Honors Program

Disciplines In Dialogue

The University Honors Program (UHP) challenges high-achieving, motivated students to think critically and reflectively about important ideas, questions, and problems. Courses invite dialogue across traditional disciplinary divides, encouraging students to develop as independent scholars who are aware of the larger context of their ideas and sensitive to disparate views. The program seeks to equip thoughtful, engaged individuals who can communicate and collaborate creatively with others and effect positive changes in their communities and the world.


FacultyUHP is offered on an invitation-only basis to incoming students with superior academic credentials. The curriculum consists of five courses (a total of 20 credits), most of which also fulfill Core 21 distribution requirements. Upon acceptance into the UHP, students are enrolled in a year-long, team-taught foundational track, either the Humanities Tutorial (focused in the fall on the origins of Western thought in Greek literature and philosophy, and special topics in the spring) or the Sciences Seminar (focused on special topics in the social and/or natural sciences each semester). After this, students must complete three upper-division Honors seminars. Recent honors seminars have included:

  • HNRS 306 Masterpieces of German Literature in Translation
  • HNRS 328 Cold War America
  • HNRS 402 Post-Modernism: Politics and Philosophy of Art
  • HNRS 413 Music and the Civil Rights Movement
  • HNRS 477 Cityscapes
  • HNRS 482 Music Masterpieces in Their Historical Contexts
  • HNRS 482 Religious Conflict and Cooperation in SE Asia

ClassThese interdisciplinary seminars seek to develop strong critical thinkers and independent scholars by raising big questions, grappling with important texts and ideas, inviting careful reflection and analysis, and demanding a high level of effort and engagement. Classes are designed to stimulate the exceptional student beyond the level of mere comprehension, and are characterized by lively discussions with talented peers and professors, collaborative work, challenging assignments, and experiential learning activities. Students emerge with many critical skills widely applicable to many disciplines and a level of competence and confidence that will benefit them while at CLU and well beyond graduation.

After successful completion of the UHP, students will be awarded University Honors at graduation, and this significant honor will appear on their permanent Cal Lutheran transcript.

How to Join

Incoming Freshmen

First-year students who submit their Application for Admission and all supporting information by November 1st, and are invited to the UHP, are also invited to join us for Honors Day. This program is an opportunity for students to come to campus to learn about Cal Lutheran, the UHP, and also interview for the Presidential Scholarships, which range up to full tuition for four years.

Special Entry

If you are an incoming freshman student and you would like to be a part of the University Honors Program, but were not invited, please submit a letter outlining why you feel you should be accepted into the UHP, supporting documentation detailing your cumulative high school GPA, SAT or ACT scores, and a writing sample demonstrating your best academic work. Applications for Special Entry are due by August 1, and are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Application materials should be emailed to Wes Sullivan or mailed to:

Director, University Honors Program
60 West Olsen Road #1350
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Transfer Students

If you are a transfer student and are interested in being a part of the University Honors Program please submit a letter along with supporting documentation outlining your cumulative GPA, any honors courses taken at other institutions, and why you feel you should be accepted into the UHP. Petitions by transfer students are considered on a case-by-case basis.


If you have any questions about the UHP, please email Wes Sullivan.