University of Utah Honors College

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University of Utah Honors College
University of utah honors college logo.png
DeanSylvia Torti Ph.D
AffiliationsUniversity of Utah

The University of Utah Honors College is a public honors college at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Founded in 1962, the Honors College provides liberal arts and science education to top University of Utah students based on a holistic admissions process.[1] Utah Honors graduates have included 31 Goldwater Scholars, 22 Rhodes Scholars, 3 Churchill Scholars, and 23 Truman Scholars, and the program ranks fifth among all public universities in the United States for winning Truman Scholarships.[2] Students admitted to the Honors College complete 24 credit hours of Honors course work, plus an Honors thesis project in their major. Successful students receive an Honors bachelor's degree in their respective fields, the highest undergraduate degree conferred by the University of Utah.[1] The Honors College is located in Fort Douglas and in the Donna Garff Marriott Honors Residential Scholars Community (MHC). The Honors College enrolls approximately 2,300 students from every discipline on campus.[1]


The Honors College is located on either side of Legacy Bridge, a memorial to the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, which links the upper and main campuses of the University of Utah. On the main campus side sits the Donna Garff Marriott Honors Residential Scholars Community (MHC), a 309-bed residence hall with academic and common spaces which accommodates a majority of the Honors programming and classes.[3] On the upper campus side, Honors advisors and staff offices are housed in the Fort Douglas National Historic Landmark District, building 619.[4]


The Honors College’s curriculum is designed to support broad liberal arts education and engaged learning experiences.[5] 


Admission to the Honors College is highly competitive, based on a holistic process considering students’ application essays, high school GPA, and SAT/ACT scores. As of 2016, incoming Honors students had an average unweighted GPA of 3.9 and average ACT scores of 30. Most Honors students receive scholarship support, either directly from the University of Utah or the Honors College.[6]

Eccles Scholarship[edit]

The Eccles Scholarship integrates students into a unique academic community supported by faculty and alumni. Students accepted into this program—30 per year—participate in a selective cohort experience during their time as undergraduate Honors students. Eccles Scholars begin by taking a yearlong class that introduces first-year students to the potential of gaining a truly rich undergraduate education at The University of Utah and starts them on a path towards developing themselves as ethical leaders. During the first year students live together in the Donna Garff Marriott Honors Residential Community as part of a living learning community. Additionally, students take a series of cohort classes together during their time at the University, including a Reacting to the Past Intellectual Traditions course taught by award-winning professor, Dr. Ann Engar.


Honors students must complete eight honors courses to complete their Honors bachelor's degree. This includes two Intellectual Traditions courses, one Honors Writing, one Honors Science, three Honors Electives, and a thesis course. Electives can be major specific or fulfill other university general requirements.[1][5] Honors electives cover a range of topics but concentrate in three thematic areas of Health & Society, Energy & Environment, and Policy & Social Justice.[7] A majority of Honors courses, both elective and core, fulfill other University of Utah general education and bachelor requirements.[8]

Ecology and Legacy Integrated Minor[edit]

The Honors College also offers a unique minor exclusively for Honors students, the Ecology and Legacy Integrated Minor. Over three semesters, students take 18-credit hours of intensive work in which they use science, arts and the humanities to critically think about interactions between humans and their world. A majority of the course work takes place in field sites. Past locations have included the Great Salt Lake; Centennial Valley, Montana; and the Peninsula Valdes in Patagonia.[9][10]

Thesis Project[edit]

All Honors Degree recipients at the University of Utah complete an Honors Thesis Project. Led by an Honors Faculty Mentor in their chosen discipline, theses consist of new primary research conducted by the student. Thesis Projects vary between disciplines and range from research papers to creative projects.[11][12][13][14][15][16]

 Student life[edit]


Honors students have the option to live in Honors specific housing in the Donna Garff Marriott Honors Residential Scholars Community (MHC), Fort Douglas Officer’s Circle houses or Sage Point residence halls, but can also apply to live in any other on-campus housing provided by the University of Utah.[4][17][18] The MHC provides options for private single rooms and double rooms. All rooms are apartment-style, where students share a common living room, kitchen, and two bathrooms. Located directly in front of a UTA TRAX light rail stop, the MHC provides students access to downtown Salt Lake City, Salt Lake City International Airport, and the Salt Lake City Public Library, among other nearby destinations.[19]

All students are eligible to live on-campus.[20]

Living Learning Communities And Learning Communities[edit]

All students living in Honors Housing engage in Living Learning Communities centered on specific themes.[17] For students living off campus or in non-Honors housing Learning Communities provide courses that span an entire academic year.[17]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Willingham, John (2014). A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs. Public University Press. pp. 281–86. ISBN 0692314865.
  2. ^ Becker, Ralph (20 December 2015). "The University of Utah's Bargain Honors Program". Gazettes. Grunion Gazette. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  3. ^ Maffly, Brian (20 August 2012). "Utah Honors College moves into new home". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b Ubatuba, Fernanda (November 30, 2010). "New Honors Community". The Daily Utah Chronicle. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "University of Utah Honors College Degree Requirements".
  6. ^ "University of Utah Honors College Admissions Page".
  7. ^ "University of Utah Honors College Experience Page".
  8. ^ "Honors College General Catalogue 2016-17".
  9. ^ "Ecology and Legacy Minor Webpage".
  10. ^ "Ecology and Legacy Minor General Catalog 2016-17".
  11. ^ "University of Utah Honors College Thesis Page".
  12. ^ Trepanier, Emilie (November 10, 2014). "Honors Thesis sets Students' Resumes Apart". THe Daily Utah Chronicle. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  13. ^ Tantibanchachai, CHanapa (July 5, 2016). "Coding With Callie". @theU. University of Utah. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  14. ^ Tantibanchachai, Chanapa (February 23, 2015). "Honors Student Aiding Movement Against Sexual Violence". @theU. University of Utah. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  15. ^ Tantibanchachai, Chanapa (March 23, 2015). "Meet the Graduates". @theU. University of Utah. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  16. ^ Trepanier, Emilie (April 1, 2014). "Honors undergrads present their research at symposium". The Daily Utah Chronicle. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  17. ^ a b c "University of Utah Honors College Housing Page".
  18. ^ "university of Utah Housing and Residential Education Officer's Circle".
  19. ^ Clark, Majorie (August 22, 2012). "New Honors College building gives students place to focus". The Daily Utah Chronicle. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  20. ^ Brown, Brandon (November 10, 2010). "Honors housing will focus on community". The Daily Utah Chronicle. Retrieved September 14, 2016.

Coordinates: 40°45′49″N 111°5′13″W / 40.76361°N 111.08694°W / 40.76361; -111.08694