Honors Program

Concordia University-Portland's Honors Program

As an extension of the mission of the university, the Honors Program, together with highly motivated students, seeks to create an on-going community of learners to further their love of learning, devotion to excellence, and commitment to service. The Honors Program:

  • Provides an academic challenge for gifted and/or highly motivated students
  • Raises the academic profile of the student body and models the notion of Concordia University as a vibrant learning community
  • Serves as a pilot venue for innovative pedagogical methods and new technologies that will benefit all students.
  • Encourages students to take advantage of leadership opportunities on campus.
  • Introduces students to sophisticated texts, ideas and issues
  • Provides extra-curricular activities that are intellectually and socially enriching. These activities are open to members of the Concordia community from all colleges and majors.

The Honors Program consists of a series of courses offered throughout the undergraduate years. Each of the Honors courses is limited to 25 students to ensure close contact with the professor. All students in the Honors Program are selected based on a variety of criteria including prior academic achievement, evidence of critical thinking skills, and perceived ability to contribute to meaningful classroom discussions.

Students in the Honors Program will:

  • Promote complex critical thinking skills, including the ability to appreciate paradox and irony.
  • Develop highly-crafted communication skills in a variety of modes of communication that embody the notion that learning is a dialogical activity.
  • Model the idea of servant leadership incorporating the highest ethical ideals of the university.
  • Exemplify the notion of life as a learning experience by getting involved in the community as an organic part of their classes and extra-curricular activities.
  • Enhance awareness of citizenship in the Global Village and promote involvement in social justice activities.
  • Promote disciplined learning as well as synthesis of information from a variety of academic fields.
  • Envision learning as a natural human endeavor and promote curricular and extra-curricular learning opportunities across all colleges and majors.

Honors Program Admission

Honors Program Admission for Incoming Freshmen

Admission to the Honors Program is highly competitive and the number of positions available is limited to 25 incoming freshmen each year. The applications receiving highest consideration by the Admissions Committee will be complete and submitted early. Students should submit their application for the Honors Program no later than May 1 for consideration for fall semester admission.

Incoming freshmen students will be invited to participate in the Honors Program if they meet minimum test score and GPA standards: 1240 combined SAT (1725 in the old scoring system) or 26 ACT and 3.65 high school GPA (weighted) on a 4.0 scale. In addition, applicants must complete the online application form, provide official transcript of the student’s academic work, a personal essay, and at least two letters of recommendation, one of which should specifically address admission into the Honors Program and be written by a teacher who has had the student in class. Admission decisions will be based on academic record, test scores, personal essay and letters of recommendation. The Honors Faculty Committee, which reviews all Honors applications, seeks to select students who show promise of fulfilling Concordia University’s Mission Statement.

Admission to the Honors Program also provides an academic scholarship equal to half tuition per academic year for qualifying new freshmen studying for a BA or BS degree. Eligibility for renewal of the Honors Scholarship depends on maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.25, full-time status as a student at CU, and making normal progress towards graduating with a total of 24 honors credits.

Honors Program Admission for Current Concordia Students and Transfer Students

Current Concordia students who are not members of the Honors Program may enroll in individual Honors courses upon the approval of the course instructor(s) and the Honors Program Director. Current Concordia students and transfer students may apply to the Honors Program if they have a 3.5 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale for all college courses. Current Concordia students and transfer students who have achieved sophomore or junior status may apply to the Honors Program by submitting an Honors Program application form (available from the Honors Program Director), a personal essay, and one letter of recommendation from a full-time faculty member. Concordia faculty members are encouraged to nominate eligible students who may then apply to the Honors Program. Nominations should be sent directly to the Honors Program Director. Current students and transfer students are eligible for specific Honors Scholarships and will receive “Honors Program Graduate” on their transcript (see Honors Program Handbook for specific details).

Honors Program Curriculum

Honors courses have an “H” appended to their course number. To be designated as an Honors Program graduate (as noted on the student’s transcript), a student actively participates in the program and earns at least 24 credits* of honors courses including successful completion of the Honors Senior Capstone seminar. Honors courses may not be taken with a Pass/No Pass option.

*For students joining the Honors Program after their freshman year, see Honors Program Handbook for details.

Some of these courses are interdisciplinary and may be team-taught. Honors courses seek ways to challenge students with creative pedagogical methods and assignments appropriate to the workload for the credit hours earned. Students may choose from a number of courses to fulfill general education requirements. The Honors Program includes a strong service component and opportunities to experience the “City as Text.” The Honors courses include:

ART 121HART APPRECIATION - HONORS3
HUM 152HHOW THE WEST CAME TO BE-HONORS3
HUM 288HDEPARTMENTAL SEMINAR - HONORS (Topics vary by term. Can be repeated when topics differ.)1
or HUM 488H DEPARTMENTAL SEMINAR - HONORS
HUM 351HCHALLENGES OF GLOBAL DIVERSITY- HONORS3
MTH 231HRESEARCH AND STATS - HONORS3
MUS 121HMUSIC APPRECIATION - HONORS2
PSY 201HPRINCIPLES OF PSYCHOLOGY-HONOR3
REL 211HHISTORY AND LITERATURE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT-HONORS3
or REL 221H HISTORY AND LITERATURE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT-HONORS
REL 371HWORLD RELIGIONS - HONORS2
REL 401HFAITH FOR LIFE - HONORS3
SCI 112HENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE - HONORS3
WR 121HENGLISH COMPOSTION HONORS3
Choose one of the following:3
CREATIVE NON-FICTION: ART OF THE ESSAY HONORS
RHETORICAL APPROACH TO LITERATURE AND CULTURE HONORS
JOURNALISM HONORS
SCIENCE WRITING - HONORS
HON 488HHONORS CAPSTONE SEMINAR1

Students are urged to take Honors courses at the following points in their academic preparation:

Freshman
Semester 1CreditsSemester 2Credits
MUS 121H2ART 121H3
REL 211H or 221H (offered alternating years)3HUM 152H3
WR 121H3PSY 201H3
 8 9
Sophomore
Semester 1CreditsSemester 2Credits
HUM 288H1MTH 231H or PSY 231H (offered odd years)3
SCI 112H (offered even years)3 
 4 3
Junior And/Or Senior
Semester 1CreditsSemester 2Credits
HUM 351H3The following advanced writing courses are offered on a rotating basis each spring:3
HUM 488H1WR 303H3
REL 371H2WR 304H3
 WR 305H3
 WR 307H3
 6 3
Senior
Semester 1CreditsSemester 2Credits
HON 488H1REL 401H3
 1 3
Total Credits: 37

Honors Program Co-Curricular Activities

Members of the Honors Program in conjunction with the Student Honors Council are invited and encouraged to help plan, organize, and attend a variety of events such as plays, concerts, lectures, lyceums, and visits to museums. These events seek to take advantage of the learning opportunities available in the Portland area and will be offered regularly. In addition, a variety of faculty-sponsored social events will be offered. These might include evenings at faculty members’ homes, student pizza parties, or recreational outings. Events organized by the Honors Program will be open to all students at Concordia. Honors students are encouraged to develop an ethos of servant leadership, both on campus and in the larger community.