The Honors Curriculum

Graphic of UHP Curriculum

The Honors Curriculum fits within and enhances UC Davis’s University requirements and the requirements of every major on campus.  

In small classes taught by superb faculty, honors students delve deeply into academics, explore a variety of subjects in innovative ways, and begin academic and scientific research with dedicated faculty mentors.

Lower Division Honors: Freshman and Sophomore Years

  • Understanding the Research University Seminar in Fall Quarter of Freshman Year
  • 6 Honors Courses in first 6 quarters

(UHP students must earn a minimum of a B in any Honors course to receive Honors credit)

Freshman and Sophomore Years:  the Honors Course of Study

The honors course of study is designed to enhance the experience of highly motivated students in all majors. For their first two years at UC Davis, UHP students take small, interactive classes with superb faculty that fulfill University and Major requirements. UHP students are required to take six Honors courses in the first six quarters.  These courses allow students to build connections with professors and and study in a group setting with like-minded students while completing university requirements for graduation. UHP students take a maximum of two honors courses per quarter (in addition to their major required classes not offered within the UHP). 

Honors offerings change every quarter, encouraging UHP students to experiment with a variety of subjects in intimate and collaborative courses while fulfilling graduation requirements. Some offerings will not change, however, and UHP first-years will have the option of taking part in small sections of Math, Chemistry, and English each year, as those courses are required as preparatory work for many majors.

By completing the first two years of the UHP, or Lower Division Honors, students can fulfill their University General Education requirements and many of their major’s preparatory course requirements.

Second-Year Entry students complete three honors courses in their sophomore year, and then proceed into Upper Division Honors.

Upper Division Honors: Junior and Senior Years

Junior Year: Research and Service

  • By the end of the third year, students must complete the research/service requirement. 
  • Students choose three options to complete from the following list, at least one from the “Research Concentration,” one from the “Service Concentration,” and one from either concentration. (Students may repeat one third year option only with the special permission of the Honors advisors.)


Research Concentration

Choose at least one

Service Concentration

Choose at least one

  • Honors Research Contract


  • Project Management Course


  • Research Preparation Course


  • Service Learning Course


  • Individually Designed Project


  • Honors Internship/Tutoring


In the third year, UHP students develop essential skills for research and public or community service.  The program fosters research opportunities through the Research Preparation Course, the Honors Research Contract, and the Individually Designed Project Option. 

The UHP is also dedicated to building an ethos of community service.  The Project Management Course casts UHP students as consultants on impactful concerns in the Davis and Sacramento Community.  The Service Learning Course allows students to become actively involved in service itself.  The Honors Internship/Tutoring option gives UHP students the opportunity to help fellow UC Davis students succeed as they navigate the University.

Senior Year: Capstone

  • In the fourth year of the program, all Honors students complete one of six capstone experiences:
    • Honors Team Project
    • Community Service Project
    • Laboratory Research and Presentation
    • Senior Departmental Design Project
    • Honors Thesis (through UHP or home department)
    • Design your own Project (approval required)

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