Mission, Values, and Vision


The mission of the University Honors College (UHC) is to meet the academic and extracurricular needs of the University of Pittsburgh's most able, ambitious, and inquisitive undergraduate students by providing intellectual challenges, inspiring individual effort, encouraging independent thinking and self-discovery, and fostering a nurturing community.

Like honors programs at many other universities with a similar mission, the UHC offers honors courses and operates honors residence halls. However, it is different in several key ways. First, the special opportunities offered through the UHC are open to all academically talented and committed undergraduate students who choose to pursue them; in other words, the UHC is not a membership organization. Second, students design their individual honors experience and can take honors courses, or not, as they wish. Third, the UHC offers a range of specialized advising, several distinctive research programs, an unusual interdisciplinary major (“Politics and Philosophy”), and a unique baccalaureate degree (Bachelor of Philosophy) signifying the highest level of scholarship attainable by an undergraduate student. The result is a transformative environment that promotes the UHC values of intellectual curiosity, academic attainment, and the development of social consciousness.


The University Honors College (UHC) believes in three core values that shape all of our programs, advising, and resources. 

  1. Academic Attainment, wherein students strive to attain goals that reflect their greatest potential and their unique set of interests and abilities.
  2. Intellectual Curiosity, wherein students are motivated to deeply explore the disciplines and issues that most interest them.
  3. Development of Social Consciousness, wherein students recognize the responsibilities of citizenship and understand how their knowledge and skills can be applied to benefit their communities.

View further readings on Academic Attainment »


The University Honors College (UHC) aspires to be a leader in honors education by providing an open community in which Pitt’s most able, ambitious, and inquisitive undergraduate students support, challenge, and learn from each other while obtaining an enriched educational experience. The UHC also seeks to inspire the academic culture at the University of Pittsburgh by providing opportunities for faculty members to participate in the academic activities of the UHC in addition to pursuing their disciplinary scholarship or artistic interests.