Academic Catalog

Honors Liberal Arts (BA)

Program Description

The SPU Honors Program is an accelerated alternative to the regular General Education curriculum for intellectually curious and academically motivated students at Seattle Pacific University. It requires fewer overall credits, but in a challenging, inquiry-based, and inclusive program that asks University honors students to go deeper into the key questions at the heart of our lives, our faith, and our world. Honors students will receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Honors Liberal Arts,alongside their regular disciplinary major (and any second major, if applicable), upon successful completion of the program. A minor in Honors Liberal Arts is also available for interested students.

SPU Honors is also a close-knit community of students and faculty members committed to academic excellence in a spirit of dialogue, collaboration, and intellectual hospitality. We are guided by the key liberal arts question “What does it mean to be human?” and the foundational curricular values of interdisciplinarity, critical inquiry, equity, inclusion, and service.

In the Honors Program, You Will

  • Learn from and engage with world-class faculty from across the disciplines
  • Push yourself to use the intellectual, personal, creative, and social abilities God has given you
  • Discover what it means to learn in a rich intellectual community of fellow scholars
  • Forge deep, lifelong friendships with other honors students over your years in the program
  • Graduate prepared to join the ranks of SPU honors alumni who have gone on to success in careers and graduate programs

“What does it mean to be human?”

This question is an over-arching theme of the honors curriculum. And we ask this question in an inter-connected and interdisciplinary set of courses, forming a close-knit learning community of students and faculty members seeking and inquiring together. More detailed honors course specifics can be found on the program page in this catalog.

Note that transfer courses and credit for exams such as AP, IB, and Cambridge International will still count toward your degree, but they cannot be used to replace HON courses.

A limited number of students are accepted into the honors program every year and there is always a waiting list for admission. Students can apply to join SPU honors at any year during their time at SPU.

If you are interested in learning more, please explore the Honors Program website for further information about courses, professors, students, alumni, and application information. And always feel free to contact the Honors Program Director, Joshua Tom.

Additional Competencies and Requirements

  • To remain in the program, every honors student must participate in their choice of a wide range of approved service and leadership opportunities and complete an annual service/leadership self-reflection report.
  • Attendance is required three times a year for all students at the quarterly all-honors Touchstone Banquet.

Leaving the Program

Infrequently students determine that the Honors program is not a good fit for their academic goals.

  • Students wishing to leave the program must meet with the program director for consultation.
  • Those who were pursing the BA in Honors Liberal Arts third major may choose to pursue the Honors Liberal Arts Minor instead of leaving the program.
  • Students leaving the program and those completing the minor are required to meet all requirements in the SPU standard General Education curriculum. They should consult with the Director of the Honors Program or their undergraduate academic counselor about how HON courses may count toward the standard curriculum.
  • Many Honors courses will fulfill requirements in the standard General Education curriculum.