Honors OCC

Build a diverse Honors experience, from scholarly to social 

The Honors Outside the Classroom Curriculum (OCC) is a points-based program to help you broaden your experience at Pitt Honors. 

Because Honors programs let you guide your own path, think of the OCC as a roadmap to help you shape it. You'll get points not only for your achievements, but also when you try new things, engage with the community, and apply yourself. 

It's also incredibly flexible. There are 10 competencies, each with a breadth options to choose from — or you can even suggest your own. 


Completing the Honors OCC is required for both the Honors joint degree and Honors disctinction.

To complete the Honors OCC, you must:

  • Earn 1,200 total points: at least 100 points in each of the 10 competencies, plus an additional 200 in the category of your choice. (Point values vary.)
  • Remain active in the OCC every academic year to stay in good standing for your program. 

To stay on track for graduation, you should hit a progress milestone in the app each academic year. The Honors OCC takes about 5-8 semesters to complete, so you should get started as soon as you're admitted to an Honors program. Once you've met the graduation requirements, you can (and should!) still continue to earn points for the leaderboards. 

You can browse all the eligible activities, verify your points, and track your progress through the Pitt OCC Suitable app (the same app you use for the general Pitt OCC.)   

10 Competencies

"Communication Skills" Competency; image of speech bubbles

Communication Skills

Articulate thoughts and express ideas effectively through a variety of senses and mediums including oral, written, visual, non-verbal communication skills, and listening skills to gain understanding. The individual adapts and delivers information effectively in person, in writing, and through digital technology.

"Career Preparation" Competency; image of briefcase

Career Preparation

Formulate career goals and develop competitive knowledge, experiences, and strengths for future employment or acceptance into graduate or professional school. The individual is able to articulate skills relevant to the position desired and identify areas necessary for professional growth.

"Appreciation of the Arts" Competency; image of artist's palette

Appreciation of the Arts

Build upon one’s personal relationship with art by experiencing various forms of expression including performative, visual and linguistic. The individual develops a broad appreciation of the abstract nature of art that expands beyond creation.

"Global and Cultural Engagement" Competency; image of globe

Global and Cultural Engagement

Seek to understand how social, economic and political actions affect both local and global communities towards better addressing the world’s most pressing and enduring issues. The individual is an informed, open-minded, and responsible citizen who is attentive to diversity across the spectrum of natural, physical, and cultural differences.

"Diversity, Equity & Inclusion" Competency; image of three hands together

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Value, respect, and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. The individual demonstrates openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and the ability to interact respectfully with all people and understand others’ differences.

"Leadership Development" Competency; image of gear icon

Leadership Development

Elicit the strengths of others to achieve common goals and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. The individual leads by example and inspires, persuades and motivates self and others under a shared vision.

"Research, Scholarship & Creative Work" Competency; image of a magnifying glass over a publication

Research, Scholarship and Creative Work

Contribute to a field of study through the exploration of new and existing knowledge. The individual fosters an understanding of foundational concepts of scholarly work, effective communication techniques across disciplines, and transferable skills applicable to any career pathway.

"Civic and Social Engagement" Competency; image of a hand holding a heart within a gear

Civic and Social Engagement

Work to make a difference in the civic life of communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference including promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes. The individual encompasses actions through participation in activities of personal and public concern that are both individually life enriching and socially beneficial to the community.

"Well-being" Competency; image of a leaf


Shape personal values, beliefs and experiences into the development of one’s own unique identity. The individual is committed to civility and draws upon emotional intelligence to achieve healthy mental, physical, financial and emotional states, contributing to overall wellness.

"Honors Pride" Competency; image of the Honors College quatrefoil

Honors Pride

Through engaging in the spirit and purpose of the University of Pittsburgh Honors College community, we work to be strong, powerful forces that help to positively shape our Pitt Honors community and the world as a whole.

You will gain access to the Honors OCC in the Suitable app once you're admitted to either the Honors joint degree or Honors disctinction program.