Honors Programs

Honors programs challenge students to work at an advanced pace, surpass traditional academic boundaries, engage in original research, and in some cases, compete for monetary awards that can be applied toward graduate study.

Listed below are the university-wide programs available to students in any major.

Each year, approximately 200 first-year students choose to participate in this honors track of USC’s General Education program. The interdisciplinary approach of “T.O.” encourages students to engage with the world’s greatest literary and philosophical canons, challenge accepted beliefs and attitudes, and contribute to a stimulating environment for intellectual exploration.
“Our ideal is to help students develop the kind of intellectual flexibility needed for life in the 21st century that the best thinkers of the European Renaissance displayed.”
-Steven B. Sample, USC president emeritus

With those words, Steven Sample established the Renaissance Honors program to both challenge and award current undergraduate students who excel in their pursuits of disparate fields of study.
“Our aim is to bolster academic achievement among our talented students, while nurturing the intellectual breadth and flexibility our students will need in this rapidly changing century.”
-USC president C. L. Max Nikias

Discovery Scholars endeavor to blaze new trails of inquiry, and the Discovery Scholars program honors current undergraduate students who excel academically while conducting original research or creating new works of art.
“The Global Scholars program is designed to encourage our students to become outstanding world citizens, while preparing them to navigate our increasingly interdependent global community.”
-USC president C. L. Max Nikias

The Global Scholars program recognizes undergraduates who excel in their studies both at home and abroad, through any combination of academic programs, work experience or service learning.
Designed for outstanding high school students ready to challenge themselves in a university setting, Resident Honors invites them to trade their senior year of high school for their first year of college.