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The Honors Program is charged with placing a diverse group of USU’s most ambitious students at the heart of a dynamic intellectual community. Built upon four key pillars of learning – critical thinking, independent research, interdisciplinary learning, and civic engagement – Honors trains its students to think deeply about how to make the world a better place. This University-wide program unites a variety of students and faculty across disciplines, whether in the classroom; through research, service, and creative projects; or at the many co-curricular events students attend on campus. Offering a progressive series of small, interdisciplinary seminars that satisfy USU’s General Education requirements, the Honors Program trains students both to wrestle with big global issues and to find practical, creative solutions to real local problems. The practical application of academic knowledge is central to Honors, and the program thus engages students in professional development activities and gives them credit for internships, study abroad programs, research, grant writing, scholarly or creative presentations, and major service projects. All of this undergraduate work culminates in an Honors capstone or thesis project, which creates both a close professional relationship with a faculty mentor and a final product that showcases the student’s academic and professional skills.
The Honors Program serves USU’s land-grant mission “by fostering the principle that academics come first, by cultivating diversity of thought and culture, and by serving the public through learning, discovery, and engagement.” Actively recruiting a diverse student and faculty body and modeling the kinds of work that all USU students can and should do, the Honors Program is a centerpiece of USU’s educational mission. The university therefore guarantees the program adequate infrastructure resources, including an appropriate budget and faculty, staff, and administrative support as necessary. The university is committed to creating and sustaining a robust Honors Program that exemplifies the best that USU has to offer.