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University Scholars

Christine Chaney, PhD, Director

The SPU honors 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. Participation in the program is by invitation, and is competitive.

  • The University Scholars program is an interdisciplinary liberal arts program designed as an alternative to the regular General Education curriculum. Courses use the lenses of history, theology, philosophy, science, social science and the arts to answer the question: "What does it mean to be human?"
  • As a University Scholar, you are required to take a special sequence of USCH courses.
  • You must complete the foreign language competency, “W,” and “CUE” requirements expected of all undergraduates.
  • You will complete the honors version of UFDN 1000 Christian Faith during your sophomore year, and must complete UFDN 2000 Christian Scriptures and UFDN 3100 Christian Theology before graduation.
  • University Scholars complete a 5-credit Ways of Knowing in the Fundamental Sciences (WKFS) course and a 5-credit Ways of Knowing in Quantitative Reasoning (WKQR) course.
  • You must complete a major and have a minimum 180 credits to graduate, including 60 upper-division credits (courses numbered 3000 or above).

Special features of the program

  • Prior to enrolling in USCH 3910 “Faith and Science I,” you must satisfy the Ways of Knowing in the Fundamental Sciences course. (Credit received for AP, IB, Cambridge International Program, or CLEP science will not fulfill this requirement.)
  • 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.  

Student in classroom

Graduation requirements 

Keep track of your UScholars graduation requirements on this checklist.