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The Big Picture at Today's Pitt

Serving ‘Our Most Able, Inquisitive Students’


“The Honors College provided me with the feel of a small, liberal arts school with all the opportunities of a major research university,” says student Nana Marfo.

Headquartered in a beautiful, richly paneled suite on the Cathedral of Learning’s 35th and 36th floors, Pitt’s University Honors College (UHC) provides intellectually rigorous courses, advising, a welcoming academic community, and the option to pursue a unique baccalaureate degree—the BPhil.

UHC mentoring has helped Pitt students win numerous elite scholarships and fellowships, including seven Rhodes Scholarships (four just since 2006).

The college celebrated its 25th anniversary on Feb. 25, 2012, with a daylong program that included talks by faculty members, UHC students and alumni, and administrators as well as performances by ensembles of Pitt musicians, most of them Honors College students. View videos of the celebration on UHC’s Web site (requires Microsoft Silverlight).

UHC Dean Edward Stricker says the college’s mission is “to assist the University of Pittsburgh in meeting the special academic and co-curricular needs of our most able, motivated, and inquisitive students.

“As a college,” Stricker points out, “UHC brings undergraduate students together with both human and material resources that often are found only at the graduate and faculty levels of a large university.”

Yet Honors College courses are open to all Pitt undergraduates. Those with grade-point averages above 3.25 qualify automatically; others can apply for individual classes. About 15 to 20 percent of Pitt undergrads take UHC courses in any given year.