David C. Frederick Honors College at Pitt-Greensburg

What is the David C. Frederick Honors College at Pitt-Greensburg?

The Frederick Honors College, which is the official name of the honors college on the Pittsburgh campus, is being extended to the Greensburg campus. The Pitt-Greensburg Honors Program is now The David C. Frederick Honors College at Pitt-Greensburg. However, students who enrolled in classes prior to Fall 2023 can still pursue honors recognition through the original Honors Program.

Grandfathering Existing Students

Since many of Greensburg campus students are already working toward an Honors Program recognition developed prior to this proposal, existing students can choose to remain within the original Honors Program and its requirements and benefits. They also have the option of transferring into one of the Honors College programs, if that is a manageable option. If you are a current Honors Program student and wish to transfer to one of the David C. Frederick Honors College at Pitt-Greensburg programs, contact one of the Honors Program mentors to discuss this option.

Any student admitted to Pitt-Greensburg beginning the fall 2023 semester or later, however, is required to participate in one of the Honors College Programs.

General Requirements for New and Sustaining Members

Students will be admitted into David C. Frederick Honors College at Pitt-Greensburg according to the previous requirements for the Honors Program: a 3.5 GPA for existing Pitt-Greensburg students, and typically a 3.8 GPA for incoming high school students (though this is weighed against other considerations).

To remain a member of David C. Frederick Honors College at Pitt-Greensburg, students must maintain a cumulative 3.5 GPA and be making regular progress toward the completion of their chosen honors program. Students whose GPA falls below 3.5 will be on probation for one semester with the expectation that they will restore their cumulative GPA to 3.5. If they are unable to do so, their membership will end.

Honors College Programs

I. Honors Distinction Requirements:

  • Curricular: 9 academic credits of Frederick Honors College approved courses
  • Global or Experiential: 3 academic credits from a global or experiential activity (can include research, independent study, study abroad credits, internships, and co-ops)
  • Capstone: Already a graduation requirement for all students.
  • Outside of the Classroom: Completion of the Pitt-Greensburg Honors OCC (see below)
  • Minimum GPA: 3.5

II. Honors Degree Requirements:

  • Curricular requirements: 18 academic credits of Frederick Honors College approved courses
  • Co-Curricular requirements: 6 experiential credits (including research, independent study, study abroad programs, internships, and co-ops)
  • Outside of the classroom curriculum: Completion of the Pitt-Greensburg Honors Outside the Classroom Curriculum (OCC, see below)
  • Minimum GPA: 3.5

III. Bachelor of Philosophy
General Degree Requirements
Each BPhil degree candidate must:

  • Complete the degree requirements (e.g., major requirements) of their home school (Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Swanson School of Engineering, School of Nursing, College of Business Administration, School of Computing and Information, etc.)
  • Complete a Program of Study approved by the Frederick Honors College
  • Maintain a 3.50 cumulative GPA

An approved Program of Study will demonstrate that the student has exceeded the requirements for a standard undergraduate departmental degree. Existing curricular options may fulfill the Program of Study requirements, such as multiple majors or double-degree programs, or the approved Program of Study may be individualized. In general, it is expected that a student’s curriculum will reflect the breadth and/or depth. Curricula that are built around an intellectual theme (those that reflect focus) are also acceptable, especially for students in highly structured academic programs. It is incumbent upon each candidate to demonstrate the scholarly merits of the proposed curriculum as it relates to their own work.

Special Degree Requirements

The special degree requirement is met through the preparation and defense conducted by an Examining Committee no later than during the candidate’s last term. One member of the Examining Committee must be from outside the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.

Each BPhil degree candidate must:

  • Select a thesis advisor from the faculty in their major department of study
  • Submit a synopsis of the proposed research, the Thesis Prospectus (which has been accepted by the thesis advisor) to the Frederick Honors College
  • Be evaluated by the Examining Committee; this evaluation consists of a public presentation and discussion of the thesis or project, followed by a private oral examination conducted by the Examining Committee, similar to a master's thesis defense

Earning Honors Credentials

Academic Credits:
Honors Designated Courses:

Any course can be taken as an H-designated course. The designation indicates that the student engages in learning activities beyond those normally required for the course. Such activities are determined by the nature of the course, but might consist of special projects, extended reading assignments, research, class presentations, etc. The student and instructor will together determine what the learning activity might be.

The instructor and student must sign an Honors Designated Course Agreement Form outlining the enrichment requirements. This should be submitted to the Greensburg administrator of the Honors College no later than the end of the first week of the semester.

The Registrar’s Office will oversee the formal honors designation toward the end of the semester once the plan for the learning activity has been completed.

Honors Option Courses:

Unlike H-designated courses, you can enroll in Honors Option courses at the same time you enroll in all your other courses. They are designed to include additional content for honors students. Rather than having students determine a unique enrichment activity with the instructor, the instructor will pre-design regular courses to have additional content for any student who wishes to take the class as an honors version.

Simply look for “Honors” in the “Gen Ed and Enrollment Notes” column in the Class Schedule to identify classes that you enroll in for honors credit. You may have to get the permission of instructor or ask your advisor to enroll you as a member of the Honors College. Note also that students not involved in any honors program can also enroll in an Honors Option course, but they will need permission from the instructor.

Honors Only Courses:

Some courses may be designated as an honors course without being attached to a standard version of the course. These courses will tend to be interdisciplinary and team-taught. For example, INDIST 1100 is an interdisciplinary special topics course that has been used for honors only courses. The theme and instructors can be very different each time it is offered.

Outside the Classroom Curriculum (OCC):

All students pursuing an Honors College program will be required to complete the Honors GEM OCC (Greensburg Experience More Outside the Classroom Curriculum) by earning 150 points in each of the following competency areas.

  • Communication and the Arts
  • Career Preparation, Research, Scholarship and Creative Work
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Global Engagement
  • Leadership Development
  • Well-Being
  • Service and Civic Engagement

Some Key Benefits of Joining

Students who complete any of the three honors college programs will be recognized for their achievement at graduation. But there are several other benefits available to the students throughout their career as a Pitt student:

  • Honors Research Programs, including Brackenridge, Creative Arts Fellowships etc.
  • Honors Study Abroad/Study Away Programs (including Abroad Select and Wyoming)
  • Honors Internships
  • Residential Community
  • Dedicated Engagement Space
  • Engagement activities, including Speaker Series, programming, and excursions
  • National Scholarships Advising