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Our Program

Welcome to Urban Academia

PSU's University Honors College is leading a new way of learning. One that takes on the greatest academic challenge of all: how we apply our learning to the world.

From the forests of Portland to the streets of Bangkok, you’ll embed yourself in the social, cultural, and environmental issues of the urban landscape, developing the critical thinking and writing skills needed to conceptualize, verbalize, and apply academic thinking to real world concepts. This research-based learning results in academic achievements that go beyond the walls of the university.

Urban Honors research has been published in national journals like The New England Journal of Medicine and The American Journal of Cardiology. Urban Honors students have been the first ever to sequence spider tRNA, had their work published in national peer-reviewed journals, and traveled the world from Washington, DC to Turkey in the course of their research.

The result is an academically intense curriculum that reflects all the challenges, uncertainties, and deep thinking real world problems require. You’ll become a highly disciplined and nimble thinker, able to apply your learning to the real world as you go on to academic or career pursuits.

Urban Honors students emerge prepared to be leaders, graduating with University Honors in their chosen field. Many Urban Honors students continue to graduate school, many placing in top tier schools like Harvard, Tufts, and Cornell.

Some benefits to this new academic approach:

  • Rigorous research, extensive internship opportunities, and the academic discipline needed to complete a thesis makes UHC students uniquely prepared for grad school
  • A close-knit academic community of like-minded peers and class sizes of around 25 create a small college experience within a larger university
  • Personalized academic support, advising, and all the courses needed to graduate in four years
  • The blending of academic interests and perspectives in classes gives a deeper understanding of complex questions
  • 226 majors to choose from, from Art Practices to Physics, graduating with University Honors
  • Many of our students continue on to grad school at top-tier universities like Oxford and Tufts, becoming immunologists, physical therapists, professional writers, and even, in one case, a German translator for the TV series Grimm.

Are you an urban academic? Explore our website to learn more about University Honors College.