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Academic Experience

The core belief of Urban Honors is that we gain better academic understanding through intense, hands-on, cross-discipline learning. In the Honors College, you’ll apply highly challenging academic concepts to issues in cities all over the world, from research projects right here in the city of Portland to building schools in the barrios of Managua or studying the culture of Ho Chi Minh City.

Surrounded and supported by a community of like-minded peers, you’ll navigate high-level academic thinking and learn through extensive research. You’ll also complete an Honors senior thesis under the guidance of two Honors faculty, and be encouraged to create your own internship opportunity at one of the vast number of industry-leading organizations Portland is known for, from design to tech to sustainable urban planning.


Jordan Jordan

"The traditional classroom pedagogy never really appealed to me. I’m not really into one-size-fits-all education. So taking part in the intimate, small-scale discussion format of Honors was really, really great for me."

Jordan Jordan is a graduating senior in Urban Planning from Ridgefield, Washington, whose interest lies in historic preservation and adaptive reuse of historic structures. He’s completing his thesis on gentrification and displacement in the Boise neighborhood in North Portland.  Read Jordan’s story



Theresa Mau

“They don’t want to drag you by the hand. They’ll give you a helping hand when you need, and then they’ll let go when they see fit.”

Theresa Mau is a graduating senior from Portland, Oregon, heading to the biomedical graduate program at University of Michigan. Her senior thesis research has made her the first person in the world to sequence spider tRNA.  Read Theresa’s story