The Duquesne University Honors College provides opportunities for students of exceptional academic talent to enrich their education. For over 30 years, honors students have accepted Duquesne's challenge to demand more of themselves intellectually, academically and morally.

We are a unique Honors College, steeped in the Catholic intellectual tradition and celebratory of the contributions our humanities perspectives can make to the professions our students choose. We seek no less than to liberate every human person from injustice, poverty, and ignorance.

At Duquesne, we say Spiritus est qui vivificat. May your search for future academic and intellectual challenges be an inspired one!

Are you up for the challenge? In the Honors College, you can:

  • Develop potential to lead your field - through academic achievement, professional development and lifelong attentiveness to the needs and gifts of others.
  • Have unique, tangible opportunities to merge your professional goals with creative work in liberal arts.
  • Absorb the Catholic intellectual tradition and the humanities perspective, which will influence your path when you graduate.

Our students:

  • Become leaders in their field
  • Participate in a unique, inspiring academic experience
  • Share their specific interests with other like-minded individuals.

A respected degree

Over our 140+ year history, we've developed a national reputation for academic excellence. For 2022, gives Duquesne an A+ in Best College Locations, an A for value and an overall A- among colleges and universities in the entire nation.

Recruitment success

Recent student groups applying for the Honors College class are larger, more academically prepared and more diverse than in previous years.

Learn Together With Like-Minded Students

The Honors College is for you if you're ready to:

  • Skip over the busy work and get right into the heart of what you want to study.
  • Access funding for research projects.
  • Become more sought after in graduate programs around the world.

Students must complete the University Honors College Bridges curriculum which includes:

  • Taking a minimum of 6 classes in honors-designated courses (HONR).
  • Having a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30 in order to secure the "University Honors College" designation at graduation.

Engaging Coursework

Course description packets are emailed out before early Honors College registration. View the registration guide packet for Honors College Students and their Advisors.

Honors Fellows & Special Programs

Most honors students will complete 6 honors courses and graduate from the basic honors program. Others, though, will make their mark with additional honors coursework, research projects, creative works, special internships, or service opportunities. The Honors College offers fellowships in several areas to give monetary support to students efforts.

In addition to completing the basic curriculum, honors students may pursue the designation of "Fellow" by completing 3 additional honors classes.

Honors Fellows Projects are as unique as the individual students who pursue them. The types of work that could be proposed include, but are not limited to, the following:

Co-Curricular Programs & Activities

Assumption Hall - The Heart of the University Honors College

Regardless of where honors students choose to live, Assumption Hall is the "heart" of the University Honors College. Residents and commuters alike enjoy:

  • The largest rooms on campus available to underclass students.
  • Frequent visits from faculty and campus leaders.
  • Programming: The Office of Residence Life and its staff of Resident Assistants (RAs) strives to encourage holistic development in Duquesne's resident population, promoting mental, physical, social, emotional and spiritual growth through planning numerous programs and events. These programs not only act as a way to keep students engaged with various communities (i.e. their hall, the campus, and the city of Pittsburgh), but they also help students continue to learn about themselves and the world they live in outside of a classroom setting. The Honors College offers additional programs reserved for members beyond the characteristic resident experience; these programs are aimed to be more enriching. Programs usually connect with various departments around campus.

Some examples of Honors College programs offered are:

  • Extra Perk: This weekly event offers Honors College students a free breakfast with various faculty and staff around Duquesne, providing an intimate setting to get to know other departments outside of the classroom.
  • Major Advice: Fall semester program, geared towards freshmen, occurs about a week before early registration begins. This program entails inviting successful upperclassman in every program to attend and share their knowledge of courses, registration, professors etc. to first-year students and new members of the Honors College.
  • Midnight Bus Trip: A bus trip is scheduled (typically in the fall) to the midnight release of various films such as The Hunger Games series and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Global Perspectives/Cultural Dinners: During the dinner, international students and staff from a particular part of the world will speak informally about their culture and experience while attendees enjoy authentic food from the speakers' home country.
  • All-You-Can-Read-Buffet: Students are challenged to take a daylong break from phones and social media to focus on solely reading books in this all-day competition. Meals are provided to students as they try to outlast each other and take part in discussions about their reading selections.

Honors College Society for Engagement Excellence (HCSEE)

The HCSEE provides a vibrant social outlet and helps students hone leadership skills. The HCSEE organizes service projects and academic interest programs, including Race to the Campus and the Duquesne University Academic Challenge (DUAC). Through HCSEE, students build friendships, explore new ideas, and expand their networks.

Members may hold various elected positions and offices within the society.

Pathways to the Honors College

If you are a prospective Duquesne student who meets the academic requirements of the Honors College, you will be recommended by the Office of Admissions and will automatically receive an invitation to join.

The "criteria" for an invitation to the Honors College is fluid, based on SAT or ACT scores, high school GPA, and other admissions data. Students must also demonstrate a commitment to our humanities curriculum when accepting the invitation to join the University Honors College.

We begin sending out invitations in early December and continue on a rolling basis throughout the spring.

We require a response to our invitation by May 1 of the year you plan to enter Duquesne University. After May 1 we cannot guarantee a place for a student who does not respond by the deadline.

If you do not receive an invitation to join but would still be interested in joining, fill out an application form. For fall incoming freshman only.

If you are not initially invited or accepted into the Honors College, you may reapply following the completion of your first semester at Duquesne. Deadline for current Duquesne students is the add/drop week of the spring semester. For current students, please submit the Honors College Admissions Application.

  • The application should be mailed to the office of the Honors College. Required supporting documentation includes:
    • An "endorsement" via email (from an academic advisor or a faculty member)
    • A statement of intent, in the form of an essay

We will review your complete application and contact you with a decision within a reasonable period of time.

Honors College students gain unique, tangible opportunities to merger their professional goals with creative work in the humanities and liberal arts. Regardless of your major, you will delve deeper into literature, history, philosophy, theology, music, arts and other humanities fields.

Students are happiest and most successful in the Duquesne University Honors College when they understand and are inspired by profound questions.

We've found that the humanities offer us the beginnings of answers to why students choose their professions, and how they will best serve other human beings - whether that be lawyers, pharmacists, speech therapists, educators, or any other career.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you meet SAT or ACT requirements (usually around 1360 or 30 minimum), you will automatically receive a letter inviting you to join. If your scores are lower, you may fill out a separate application.
No. You need six HONR courses for graduation, but they replace six courses that are already part of your normal schedule – the university Bridges curriculum (BRDG)
No. All financial aid is handled through the Office of Financial Aid. The Honors College provides financial support for special projects you may wish to do, though, such as Honors Fellows
No, but they’re different. They are much smaller than regular BRDG classes at Duquesne – typically around 15 students or fewer. Therefore there is a lot of interaction between students and faculty, and the learning is discussion-based. Honors classes carry much less “busy work” than regular BRDG classes, and focus on special topics. See our curriculum page for more information.
Not because of the Honors College. If you’re invited to join the Honors College, and you appreciate liberal arts and humanities, you’ll like these classes and you will do well. However, if you don’t see the connection between your future life and the benefits of in-depth humanities study, you should say no to our invitation.
Past experience says no. We have had many student-athletes in the Honors College: basketball, soccer, lacrosse, swimming, and many more. You handled high school athletics and academics very well, and you’ll do that in college as well. As a general rule, if you’re invited to join the Honors College, you can handle it.
That’s not the best route to take. It would be better to start, and then withdraw if you don’t feel the benefits of membership. If you wait, you’ll have missed at least one honors course you should have taken – and then you’ll be playing catch-up
No, it’s optional – but it’s preferable.

Contact Us

Dr. Kathleen Glenister Roberts