Honors Program

The Honors Program at the University of the Arts is intended to provide academically exceptional and creatively gifted students with a rigorous and enriching intellectual and artistic experience while pursuing their undergraduate degree. The University Honors Program will provide an opportunity for students to be a part of a community of Honors Scholars with a high level of commitment to investigating the role of the performing, visual and writing arts in contemporary life. Coursework leading to the fulfillment of the University Honors Program will challenge Honors Scholars to expand the limits of their intellect, artistry and imagination.

The Honors Program comprises a total of 12 credits. Scholars must complete one honors-enriched course in each of the following: one course in their major field of study or discipline; one course from Critical Studies; and, one course in a major or discipline outside of their own field. Scholars must also complete the Honors Thesis Tutorial and Colloquia in which scholars complete an Honors Thesis related to the capstone work in their major.

While not required, Honors Scholars are strongly encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to study internationally in order to broaden the scope of their understanding of their field of study. Scholars can accomplish this through a study abroad semester or other short-term travel experiences and courses.

Program Objectives

Professional preparation
Honors Scholars at the University of the Arts are preparing first and foremost to become artists, designers, writers, and performers, engaged in a creative professional life. This means providing students with the tools that they will need to be successful as creative professionals including:

  The ability to communicate their vision

  The ability to understand the nuances of the global and economic factors of their profession

  The ability to present themselves well to potential employers, funders, supporters, etc.

Provide field experiences that further Honors Scholars’ professional preparation
Honor Scholars should have the opportunity during the course of their studies to explore their field through practical professional experiences like internships, apprenticeships, and alumni shadowing.

Provide an intellectual breadth and the critical and analytical skills to effectively communicate their own vision as an artist, performer, writer, or designer and their role in society
We expect that Honors Scholars will have a high level of curiosity about their particular fields of study and how their work is situated in historical and global contexts. We also expect that they will possess the skills to think deeply and critically about their fields and their role in their society.

Provide opportunities for Honors Scholars for the development of effective research skills and the ability to synthesize or translate research into a tangible, concrete creative expression
We expect that Honors Scholars will engage in critical inquiry or investigation that makes or creates an original or creative contribution to the discipline. By developing effective research skills, scholars will enhance their learning and creativity.  

Provide an environment that fosters innovative, collaborative, and interdisciplinary work
Honors Scholars at the University of the Arts will be expected to explore the traditional boundaries of their disciplines and to work with peers from other disciplines to develop new and exciting means of creating and designing new work.

Integrative learning
It is critical that Honors Scholars understand that their degree program is not merely a set of requirements taken in a prescribed order and fashion. Rather, they must understand how each of their courses relates to and relies on other course work to help them achieve an education as an artist, performer, writer, or designer that is both broad and deep.

An understanding of how their own work is situated in a global context
Honors Scholars at the University of the Arts must have an understanding that their creative works exist in a global market and that culturally constructed boundaries are permeable.

An understanding of how their own work is situated in an historical context
All of the disciplines at the University of the Arts have rich historical traditions. Honors Scholars will have a deep understanding of how their work both fits into these historical traditions, as well as challenges the historical notions of these fields.

Admission to the Program

Students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 after completion of one semester of coursework at the University of the Arts will be invited to apply for the Honors Program. Transfer students are eligible to apply to be Honors Scholars if their cumulative grade point average from their previous college or university is 3.75 or higher.  There is an online application form for those invited to apply for the program.

Honors Scholars must maintain a 3.65 cumulative grade point average in order to continue in and complete the Honors Program. Students who fall below the 3.65 minimum cumulative average will be placed on Honors Probation and will be dismissed from the Program if their cumulative score remains under 3.65 for two consecutive semesters. Scholars who fall below a cumulative average of 3.5 are automatically dismissed.

Students interested in applying to the Honors Program should email Tia Kemp, Academic Advising, at cdkemp@uarts.edu.

Program Requirements

Required Courses

Contact Honors Program

Tia Kemp
Academic Advising
phone: 215-717-6819