Upper Division Honors

Upper Division 1: Complete the Research Prep Course, a Service option, and a Project option

By their third year at UC Davis, most students will be diving into the upper division coursework of their major. The honors program is designed to enhance students’ experiences, provide them with additional opportunities, and give them the flexibility to choose the experience that will fit their needs and interests.

UHP students may complete any of the Upper Division year one requirements earlier in their time at Davis. Many students choose to begin research or undertake a service project in their first and second years, and some travel abroad as early as their first year. So long as UHP students complete the three aspects prior to the end of their third year, they are eligible to continue in the program.

´╗┐´╗┐Research Prep Course:

For their first introduction to research at UC Davis, UHP students take part in an interactive course that is focused on the practice of research in their area of interest. Students learn how to craft research proposals, approach faculty, and the opportunities and limitations that accompany undergraduate research.

As with all of these opportunities, students can undertake the Research Prep Course at any time in their first three years at UC Davis.

Two versions of the course will be offered during FALL QUARTER:  one for arts, humanities, and social sciences students and one for science and engineering students. The course will help you identify an appropriate research question you may wish to pursue for your capstone project, and to find a mentor for that question.

The Service Requirement

In your UD1 year you should complete 20 hours of service. Many UHP students are already doing service work which can count toward the service requirement. If you need suggestions for service work, UHP staff will notify you of opportunities and hold service workshops throughout the year.

You do not need to propose your service to us beforehand. To get UHP credit for the service requirement, you must submit at the end of the quarter a written statement from a supervisor certifying work completion and the number of hours committed to the service or internship and an approximately 1200-word analytical essay evaluating your experience.  This should include an assessment of the experience appraising its value to your academic and/or career goals as an honors student. 

These two components are due to the UHP office by the last day of instruction.

Project Options

Honors Contract:

The Honors Contract allows students to create an independent project to augment an Upper Division Course that he or she is currently taking or has successfully completed. The goal of the Honors Contract is to enrich the class experience by allowing students to initiate a custom course of study under the mentorship of a faculty member.

The Contract is customized to the selected Upper Division Course, and can take the form of a short research project, a literary review, a survey study, a work of art ... any project that builds on the course’s subject area and involves independent initiative. Learn more about Honors Contracts HERE

Individually Designed Project

Students involved in research or who have an idea for an intensive creative project may design their own project. Please submit a proposal for your individually designed project to the UHP office before the 10th day of instruction. At the end of the quarter you will need to supply a written statement from a supervisor certifying work completion and the number of hours committed to the project and an approximately 1200-word analytical essay evaluating your experience.  This should include an assessment of the experience appraising its value to your academic and/or career goals as an honors student. 

Study Abroad or UCDC Program

Many UHP students choose to study abroad, or travel to Washington D.C. to intern in our nation’s capital through the Washington Program. Completing any such program that is one quarter or longer can fulfil the Project Requirement.

You do not need to propose either of these to the UHP beforehand. To get UHP credit for the Project Requirement, you must submit at the end of the quarter (or upon your return, whichever comes first) some evidence of your participation in the program and an approximately 1200-word analytical essay evaluating your experience.  This should include an assessment of the experience appraising its value to your academic and/or career goals as an honors student. 

Project Management Course

(Meets both Service and Project Requirements)

Students in the Project Management Course work in small teams of 4-5 on a chosen topic, much like a consulting group. With each project, students are given a direct “charge” detailing the expectations of the sponsors, who are often representatives of community organizations, local businesses, and UC Davis administration. UHP students tackle the charge through research and community outreach, and present their findings to their sponsors and distinguished campus guests at the Honors Convocation. Each group then submits a formal project proposal to their sponsor and to the UHP office.

Sample past projects include

  • The Public University and the Social Good: Student Perspectives
  • Teach for America- High School Outreach Project
  • UC Davis Undergraduate Classroom (assessment software analysis)
  • Marketing Campaign Project for UC Davis Online Student Services Portal
  • UC Davis Student Leader Alliance
  • Observation Network Project
  • Feasibility Study For Creating an Art-Science Fusion Major at UC Davis
  • Consumer Websites And Mobile Applications: A Study Of Virality
  • UC Davis Smoke Free Campus Initiative
  • City of Davis- Be Seen Bike Campaign