Honors Curriculum

First year: Foundations

The Global City

Hon 101, Hon 102, Hon 103 (15 credits)

This year-long sequence introduces ways to think critically about the urban environment and the interdependence between the city and the global world. It begins the study of representations and perceptions of the city, the city in historical context, and the processes that shape the city’s geopolitical manifestations. Class size limited to 30.

Second year: Methods

Urban Discourses

Hon 201, Hon 202, Hon 203 (12 credits)

Three connected courses on research methods: Urban Social Structure / Urban Culture/ Urban Ecology. These courses emphasize undergraduate research, with the city of Portland serving as archive, stage, and laboratory.

Hon 201

Students explore the concepts and systems by which cities operate through the application of primarily qualitative social science methodologies, such as ethnography and spatial/geographic analysis.

Hon 202

This course examines the urban surround, this time through the lens of the humanities, by careful examination of artifacts, texts, and cultural institutions.

Hon 203

Students explore the concepts and ecological systems by which cities operate through the application of primarily quantitative science methodologies.

Third year: Knowledge and Praxis "Let Knowledge Serve the City"

Seminars. (4-12 credits)

Students may choose from a wide variety of interdisciplinary seminars broadly focused around key methodological and interdisciplinary questions today. Honors seminars in the student’s individual majors, if offered, are required and will substitute for University Honors seminars. Class size limited to 20.

Honors colloquia (0-4 credits)

Faculty from across campus can propose Honors colloquia open to all Honors students. These 1 to 4 credit experiences should provide creative and engaging projects for students in a small alternative class. Examples of honors colloquia might include:

  • attending the Portland arts and lecture series with a faculty, then participating in a discussion and then writing a critical response;
  • Oregon urban/rural boundary tour: a five day ecological tour of wild spaces just at the end of Portland's urban boundary.

Internships (0-8 credits)

Internship opportunities are available Portland, Or, focused around organizations that serve multiple aspects of the urban experience, for example, OHSU, the National Institute for Health, the Smithsonian, the Portland Art Museum, the Multnomah County Library, Mercy Corps.

Fourth year: Community Engagement and Scholarship

Research and Thesis (6-10 credits)

Students will have the opportunity to take a short thesis prospectus course through the Honors College as well as research credits in their majors as students work closely with faculty advisors in their home departments. Additionally, students will work together throughout the year of their thesis research to better understand the public dimensions of their work. Part of their end-of-year defense will be to invite community partners and other public participants to discuss the implications of their work.