What is the SUU Honors Program?

The Honors Program at Southern Utah University ensures that engaged learners get the most out of their college experience.

Many students want to learn as much as possible regarding their majors, interests or passions but honors students want to go further than what is offered in their curriculum and take an interdisciplinary approach.

“The SUU Honors Program is taking your typical college experience and pushing it to be even more,” said Director Sarah Bates. “While your course syllabus only goes so far, the honors program is there to fill in the gaps and take your learning experience to the next level— ultimately helping you figure out what you are most excited about.”

One of the several opportunities given in honors is Honors Contracts—when a student coordinates with professors to have additional activities, projects and/or expectations to what is being taught in the classroom. Students can also do independent studies where they learn a skill or discipline outside of SUU’s courses and receive academic credit for it.

Many core classes are even taught in an honors section while still counting towards the general education requirements. These classes tend to be smaller and more interactive as well as connect the class’ topic with the world around them. 

Jaycen Sunderman, an honors student, said, “I hope to accomplish more than learning for the sake of learning, rather, learning to apply and be able to connect different subject areas together without sounding like a conspiracy theorist.”

Various out-of-school activities, such as seminars and service projects, also allow students to be engaged in their community and world affairs and to expand their knowledge of interdisciplinary studies. 

The honors program also provides several perks for its students. One building of on-campus housing is offered exclusively to incoming honors freshmen. The Gerald R. Sherratt Library has an honors headquarters filled with supplies and an honors common area with easy-access computers and free printing.

For many people, the best part of the honors program is the social aspect. Not only do honors students share many of the same classes but they also participate in various fun activities together—much like a college club. Because of this, friendships and a community are created.

“My favorite part is the connection,” said Sunderman. “I feel like I know my peers in the honors program more than my peers in my other classes.”

There are high expectations of those in the honors program but so much is also gained. More information on the SUU Honors Program can be found here.


Article and photos by: Andrea Rodgers