Undergraduate Honors Programs aims to encourage and enhance the academic experience of students who seek exceptional challenge and growth. We do this through the development and support of communities of learning, such as the First-Year Honors Program, and co-ordination of other academic challenge programs throughout the university. Through the Office of Undergraduate Honors and Awards, we provide recognition of academic achievement through support of academic awards and prestigious scholarships (both local scholarships, such as the Regents and Karl S. Pister, Deans’ and Chancellor awards, and national and international competitive awards, such as Fulbright, Marshall, and Boren), as well as support and coordination of the UCSC chapters of national academic honors societies of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and the Golden Key International Honour Society.
Within this context, the First-Year Honors Program at UCSC provides a challenging first-year academic experience for motivated, high-achieving, well-prepared entering students. The program provides one course per quarter with high-achieving peers (including a challenge section of the fall quarter college core course, an honors seminar in winter quarter, and the faculty research colloquium in spring quarter), as well as faculty mentors and dedicated advising. The program aims to give these first-year students a firm foundation in the academic life of our research university, with exceptional challenges at the lower-division level. Through these means, we aim to recruit exceptional applicants to UCSC, provide them with the challenges that they seek, and retain them through graduation.