University Scholars

Jeffrey Keuss, PhD, Director

University Scholars: SPU honor program

The University Scholars program creates a community of self-motivated scholars engaged in thoughtful cross-disciplinary conversation, writing, and action on issues facing the church and the world. Courses for “UScholars” are rigorously interdisciplinary and offer intensive peer discussion.

  • The University Scholars program replaces — with the exception of the University Foundations courses and the mathematics requirement — the Common Curriculum and the Exploratory Curriculum for selected students.
  • University Scholars are highly motivated students who pursue an intense academic program, studying great works of art, literature, philosophy, social science, and natural science in their historical contexts. 
  • As a University Scholar, you are required to take a special sequence of USCH courses.
  • As a University Scholar, you must meet the same competency requirements in math/quantitative reasoning, "W" coursework, and foreign language required of all undergraduates.
  • You must complete a major and have a minimum 180 credits to graduate, including 60 upper-division credits (courses numbered 3000 or above), 8 credits of which must be “W” credits. 
  • You must complete PHY 1111 “University Scholars Physics,” or an approved science substitution.
  • You must also complete a 5-credit mathematics course selected from the list of quantitative reasoning courses approved for the Exploratory Curriculum. 

Special features of the program

  • Prior to enrolling in USCH 3910 “Faith and Science I,” you must satisfy the lab science requirement with PHY 1111, 1101, or 1121. (Credit received for AP, IB, or CLEP Physics will not fulfill this requirement.)
  • If you took physics in high school, you may satisfy this requirement with any college-level, lab-science course, such as BIO 1101 “Biological Fundamentals” at the Blakely Island Field Station.
  • You must complete a 5-credit mathematics course, to be chosen from the list of courses approved for the Exploratory Curriculum.
  • You will take a special honors section of UFDN 1000 during your sophomore year, and then later enroll in any section of UFDN 2000 and 3100 that best fits your schedule.
  • The Honors Project involves 4 credits of individual scholarly work in a subject related to your major, undertaken with the assistance of a faculty mentor and completed during the senior year. Projects or papers that fulfill this requirement must meet disciplinary standards, discuss the relationship of faith and learning, be approved by the director of University Scholars, and be completed prior to graduation. Honors Projects are given special recognition at Commencement. A maximum of 4 credits is allowed in Honors Project I and/or II.
  • You are required to maintain a minimum 3.2 GPA to remain in the program.
  • Special service to the SPU community should be a high priority for University Scholars. Each year, the graduating senior who best exemplifies the high ideals of the program is honored with the Wesley E. Lingren Award, in honor of the founding director. 

Leaving the program

Students wishing to leave the program must submit a letter of resignation to the director. They will immediately become subject to the Common Curriculum and Exploratory Curriculum requirements.

They will not lose credit previously earned by successful completion of examinations, such as CLEP or Running Start. University Scholars courses taken in the first and second year transfer into either the Common Curriculum or the Exploratory Curriculum at Seattle Pacific.