University Honors Program

A challenge beyond your major!

The California Lutheran University Honors Program provides motivated, passionate, and engaged students with opportunities that will support the achievement of their intellectual goals. The program emphasizes teaching excellence, small seminar-style classes, interdisciplinary and innovative courses. Honors Program participants have numerous opportunities for interaction with faculty, specialized coursework, and focused academic advising.

About the Program
Be ready to achieve your goals

The University Honors Program will give you the skills and confidence you need to succeed after college. Whether you begin your career immediately or continue your education in graduate school, you’ll be ready to boldly pursue your passions.

A unique method of instruction

Your honors courses will go beyond simply learning the material. They will demand a lot of effort and a high level of engagement. You’ll dig deep into topics, participate in lively dialogues with your professors and fellow students, and get hands-on experience.

The foundations of success

In your first year, you’ll take a two-semester foundational track. This will be taught by a team of professors, each from a different discipline. By studying the intersections between multiple subjects, you’ll discover the connections that others miss — connections that may spark new interests, shift how you see and think about the world, or even become the focus of your future career.

First-year tracks:
Humanities Tutorial Seminars

Focuses on the origins of Western thought in Greek literature and philosophy and theories of justice (ancient and contemporary). 

  • The Humanities Tutorial 1: Ancient Greece - From Mythos to Logos (HNRS-115)
  • The Humanities Tutorial 2: Intimacy, Justice, and Power (HNRS-116)
Social and Natural Sciences Seminars

Focuses on special topics in the social and natural sciences. 

  • Social Science Seminar: Power and Privilege (HNRS-120)
  • Natural Science Seminar: Scientific Methods, Knowledge, and Applications (HNRS-130)
Arts and Civilization Seminars

Introduces students to thinking critically and imaginatively about human history and the creative arts. 

    • Arts and Civilization I: Ancient and Medieval Worlds (HNRS-105)
    • Arts and Civilization II: Renaissance and Modern Worlds (HNRS-106)
Classes that stimulate the mind

After your first year, you’ll take on three upper-division honors seminars. These special courses focus on unique topics that change every year. Examples of recent and upcoming seminars include:

  • Medieval Manuscript Culture
  • Religion and Hip-Hop
  • Social Media and Politics
  • Latinos and Public Health
  • Global Development
  • Music and the Civil Rights Movement
  • Experimental Modernism: Art, Ideas, Identities
  • Religious Conflict and Cooperation in Southeast Asia
  • Food, Ethics, and the Environment

Click here for the checklist of course requirements for completing the University Honors Program

How to Join
First-Year Students: An exclusive invitation

The University Honors Program is invitation-only based on your application for admission to Cal Lutheran, and all students that qualify for the program will be contacted with registration information after May 1.

If you were not invited, you can still apply for special entry.

Continuing and Transfer Students:

For students who have demonstrated strong academic performance (3.5 GPA or higher), and are able to commit to 20 units of rigorous interdisciplinary studies, you may apply for special entry



If you have any questions about the University Honors Program, you can email:

What Our Students Say

Annika Stenfjord

The Honors Program encouraged me to broaden my typical class experiences. I have done independent research and taken courses ranging from music, to biology, to political science. It has also given me a network of talented friends from many different backgrounds and majors.

Annika Stenfjord '16
Marketing Communication major, Multimedia minor

Christopher Jelloian

The Honors Program really impacted my writing confidence and ability. It allowed me to challenge myself in classes that I would not have normally taken. They were all excellent courses that shaped my understanding of others and the world.

Christopher Jelloian '16
Physics major, Mathematics minor

Christina Geldert

What I really enjoyed about the Honors Program was that I was able to feel a different kind of challenge than the classes in my major. All of the honors courses broadened my scope and reminded me how everything fit back into the larger picture. Ultimately, it rounded out my college experience!

Christina Geldert '16
Biology major, Political Science minor

Brittany Smolarksi

The Honors Program is outstanding! I was able to explore exciting areas of study that were outside of the typical classes I took for my major. I cultivated strong, lasting relationships with professors from several departments.

Brittany Smolarski '16
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major