where academic investigation +
christian faith +
service to others unite

Curriculum Requirements Honors Program

Total units required: 72 - 99 quarter units

The following requirements fulfill general education requirements (as an alternative to the University Studies curriculum) for students admitted into the Honors Program. A student may elect to not complete the Original Scholarship component of the Program and still fulfill general education requirements (but not graduate with University Honors designation).

Honors Core Courses (41 units):

  • UHNR 101 Beginning to Seek
  • UHNR 114/114L The Scientific Process
  • UHNR 115/115L The Arts
  • UHNR 224 Religious Understandings
  • UHNR 231 Global Cultures in Context: Theories and Perspectives
  • UNHR 232 Global Cultures in Context: The Experience
  • UHNR 314 Changing Communities
  • UHNR 324 Science and the Future
  • UHNR 404 Religious, Moral, and Social Aspects of the Academic Discipline
  • UHNR 414 Religion and the Future
  • UHNR 424 Seeking, Knowing, and Serving

Community Involvement (3 units):

  • UHNR 354 Honors Community Involvement

Original Scholarship (7-17 units):

  • UHNR 364 Honors Scholarship Colloquium
  • UHNR 464 Honors Scholarship

Competencies (20-37 units):

  • Modern or Ancient Language through Intermediate I level (e.g., SPAN 201)
  • Mathematics through Calculus I; or College Algebra and Statistics I
  • PEAC 120 Lifetime Fitness (2)
  • English 111, 112 and 113 or 124
  • UHNR 201

Portfolio: All students in the program will complete an Honors Portfolio, used by both the program and the student to evaluate their progress and develop their rhetorical skills.

Project: All students in the program will complete an Honors Scholarship Project, in which they develop an original research or creative project in collaboration with faculty that is presented publicly.

Contact US

Phone: 951.785.2310

Southern California

On our suburban, gated campus in Riverside, California, you can live in one of three residence halls or the Honors dormitory. Men and women live separately. You can live off campus if you're married, in graduate programs, living with family, or above the age of 22.

Course Descriptions Lower Division

Note: Membership in the Honors Program is a prerequisite for all Honors courses.

UHNR 101 Beginning to Seek (1)

An introduction to the Honors Program and La Sierra University, including the history and ethos of the Program and University, the Honors curriculum, and available campus and community resources. Students begin to articulate their worldviews and start their Honors Portfolios. To be taken during the first year in which the student is a member of the Honors Program.

UHNR 114/114L The Scientific Process (4)

Models science as practiced by the profession, with an emphasis on the process of science. Asks the questions, "What is science?" and "How is science done?" while focusing on selected topics in science in their social and historical context. Recommended co-requisite: ENGL 112 or 124.

UHNR 115/115L The Arts(4)

An analysis of the structural elements of various visual and performing arts, and a study of the form, content and context as it relates to aesthetic response.  Selected primary texts or classics of Western and Eastern literature, art, music, or other forms of aesthetic expression are examined.  This course is intended for all students who fall under the 2009-2010 bulletin (or later bulletins).

UHNR 201 Seminar in Rhetoric (2)

Advanced study of prose and narrative forms and techniques, and oral communication of ideas to others. Includes intensive practice in writing and revising prose and oral presentations and the preparation and delivery of public speeches. Student portfolios are used in the practice of revision. Prerequisites: ENGL 113, or ENGL 124 with a "B" or better.

UHNR 224 Religious Understandings (4)

An exploration of religious traditions as sources of insight, personal meaning, social structure, and moral guidance. Such topics as sacred time and place, ritual, and religious understandings of community, human nature, creation, and revelation are examined in a global, historical, social, political, theological, and philosophical context. Attention will be given to the content, adequacy, and implications of Christian faith.

UHNR 231 Global Cultures in Context: Theories and perspectives (4)

An examination of global cultures and worldviews, focusing on both the content of cultures and the processes present within and between cultures. One or more cultures are selected to study in greater depth in preparation for UHNR 232 (International Experience). Prerequisite: Language through level 152 (may be taken concurrently).

UHNR 232 Global Cultures in Context: The Experience (4)

Exploring an international location, focusing on its cultures, communities, and global context. Includes a three-week international experience. Prerequisite: UHNR 231 (may be taken concurrently).

UHNR 299 Directed Study (1-4)

Lower-division independent study in an area to be specified, to be completed in consultation with an advisor.

Course Descriptions Upper Division

UHNR 314/314L Changing Communities (5)

An examination of the way communities change over time, and the way that individuals and groups may transform communities. Includes social and historical context for community change, political and philosophical understandings of community, and connections with religion.

UHNR 324 Science and the Future (4)

Examination of one or more subjects in the sciences or mathematics, emphasizing the current "state-of-the-art" and future directions in the field. Includes social and historical context; moral, political, and legal implications of scientific developments; and connections with religion and philosophy. Prerequisite: One quarter of calculus or statistics; UHNR 114, 114L.

UHNR 354 Honors Community Involvement (3)

A project that engages the student in a community as he or she seeks to transform and build that community. Culminates in a written summary and analysis of the ways the community involvement has changed the student and the community. May be repeated for additional credit up to 3 units total; 3 units required to fulfill graduation requirement.  It is recommended that this course be taken immediately following UHNR 314.  (Prerequisite: UHNR 314/314L).

UHNR 364 Honors Scholarship Colloquium (1)

The preparation and presentation of a proposal for the Honors Scholarship Project (UHNR 464). Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

UHNR 404 Religious, Moral, and Social Aspects of the Academic Discipline (4)

A senior-level seminar considering epistemological, moral, and social issues raised by the student's discipline. Students explore significant issues both theoretically and as specific problems of contemporary life, bringing their background from the Honors Program (particularly his or her community involvement and thesis) to bear on the interaction of their values with the discipline. Credit may not be given for UHNR 404 and UNST 404. Prerequisite: UHNR 264; completion or concurrent enrollment in UHNR 354.

UHNR 414 Religion and the Future (4)

An examination of contemporary issues facing the Christian community and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in their social and philosophical contexts. Attention will be given to the process of critical, constructive and contextualized philosophical, ethical, and theological thinking. Prerequisite: UHNR 224.

UHNR 424 Seeking, Knowing, and Serving (4)

A senior-level capstone seminar in which students explore themes throughout the Honors Program, evaluate the development of their personal philosophies and worldviews and the future of their worldviews, and understand how these worldviews relate to the perspectives of different groups across space and time. Special emphasis is paid to the religious and global implications of these worldviews. Revision of the student's portfolio is a central component of this process, and a reflective essay on the entire portfolio is produced. Prerequisites: Senior standing; completion or concurrent enrollment in UHNR 354.

UHNR 464 Honors Scholarship (1-12)

A research or creative project of significance that culminates in a written thesis, production, or exhibition, as well as an oral presentation in an off- or on-campus forum. A minimum of 6 and a maximum of 16 units satisfy Honors Program requirements. May be repeated for additional credit. May be included in the credit for a major with the consent of the major department. Prerequisite: Senior standing; UHNR 264.

UHNR 499 Directed Study (1-4)

Upper division independent study in an area to be specified, to be completed in consultation with an advisor.

Community Involvement Project

The Honors Community Involvement Projects are, in a nutshell, a way for Honors students to fulfill the university required Service Learning hours, in a new and exciting way. Rather than stepping into projects set up for them, Honors students are required to design their own community project. This means that the students are the ones required to find a need in the community and must work with the people in the community to fill that need. 

While this process begins during the junior class, Changing Communities, it is continued by the students until their senior year. The projects culminate in a presentation by the various groups.

The following contain summaries of some past Community Involvement Projects:

Community Involvement Project Presentations, 2009 

Community Involvement Project Presentations, 2007 

Honors Probation Policy

In order to graduate with Honors distinction a student must have an overall GPA of 3.5 or better.

A student in the Honors program whose overall GPA drops below 3.25 is placed on probationary status. Students on probationary status must make a plan to raise their GPA's in coordination with the Honors Director or risk being dropped from the program.

The maximum amount of time that a student may be on probationary status (before either being disqualified from the Program or raising his or her overall GPA above 3.25) depends on the student’s class standing at the time of their 1st quarter on probation:

  • First year students may be on probation for up to four consecutive quarters.
  • Sophomores may be on probation for up to three consecutive quarters.
  • Juniors may be on probation for up to two consecutive quarters.
  • Seniors without an approved graduation contract for up to one quarter.
  • Seniors with an approved senior contract may meet their graduation requirements by remaining in Honors courses, thus fulfilling the General Education requirements, even if their GPA falls between a 3.0 – 3.5. Only students with a GPA of 3.5 or above will graduate with Honors distinction.

A student may only be allowed extensions to the probationary period if a) he or she plans to retake a course in which he or she received lower than a "C" and that course is not offered during the allowed probationary period, or b) the student requests an extension in writing and it is approved by the Honors Council or the Honors Admissions Committee.

Once dropped from the program, the student must make arrangements to transfer to the General Education track and fulfill those requirements for graduation.


Warning Letters

A student whose overall GPA is between 3.26 – 3.49 during any given quarter will receive a warning letter notifying the student of his or her risk of being on probation. While, there is no limit to the number of warning letters a student may receive, the student will not graduate with the Honors distinction on their diploma unless he or she has a 3.5 GPA or above. 

Academic Variances for Honors

There may be occasions when a student needs to request that one of the curricular requirements or course policies be changed; this most often happens due to a course schedule conflict, or an ususual circumstance when a student has transferred into the Program.

Variance forms are available in the Registrar's Office and should be turned in to the designated individuals on the form. Students petitioning for a variance from the Honors Program requirements, should submit their petition directly to the Honors Program.

Requests due to schedule conflicts with required courses for the major should be signed by the academic advisor as well as the student. Variances requesting waivers of requirements are very rarely granted; substitutions are much more common. It's a good idea to speak with the Honors Director or Secretary before you turn in your petition; they can help identify the petitions that have the best chance of being approved.

All petitions have to be approved by the Honors Council, which meets once per quarter. Because some requests are common, the Honors Council has empowered the Honors Director to handle some common petitions; also, if a petition has been approved in the past, the same petition can be approved for a different student (in the same circumstances) by the Honors Director without going to the Honors Council.

Students are generally notified within one or two weeks after submitting a petition that:
a) the petition is approved
b) it is denied, or
c) it needs to go to the Honors Council and when the Council is next meeting. 

Future Students Guide

Transfer Students Guide

Projects and Admission

Honors Scholarship Project

You will have the chance to work in collaboration with faculty members to develop an original research or creative project that is presented publicly. Some students present their projects at professional meetings and/ or publish them in professional journals. For other students, the projects have developed into graduate specialties.

Recent Honors Scholarship projects have included:

  • "Modeling the Spread of Lyme Disease"
  • "Daybreak: Jerusalem" - an exploration of the characters surrounding Christ
  • "Who Benefits from Visual Self-Expression?"
  • "International Students an Culture Shock"
  • "The Star Wars Alternate Prequel Trilogy"
  • "'I Told the Doctor I Got a Good Heart': A Stage Play"

Community Involvement Project

The Honors Program emphasizes service throughout the curriculum. During your junior year, you will engage in direct community service and report on the experience.

Past projects have included:

  • Educating young girls to form healthy habits
  • Improving health care for the homeless in the Inland Empire
  • Helping children to gain proficiency in math, science, and reading
  • Encouraging bus ridership in order to minimize the impact on the environment

Honors Program Graduates

Recent Honors Program graduates have:

  • Been accepted into the Loma Linda University School of Medicine
  • Pursued graduate studies in the history of space
  • Published a children's book
  • Been accepted into a Ph.D. program in biophysics at the University of California, Berkley
  • Taught English in Afghanistan and China
  • Been accepted into the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry
  • Pursued a master's degree and taught math at the University of California, Riverside
  • Worked on chaplaincy credentials

Paying for College

The Student Financial Services office is here to help with financial aid processes. The staff also keeps up to date on scholarships that could benefit La Sierra students.

Choosing Classes

First-year students meet with their academic coach/advisor each week for their first two quarters. Then they are assigned an advisor from their major department who will help them choose the classes they need to complete their program.

Beyond Class

A lot of learning takes place outside of the classroom. The Division of Student Life is headquarters for student government, activities, organizations, spiritual life, and much more to enhance your college experience.

Career Center

We want you to find a good job after you finish your degree at La Sierra. A new Career Center, located in the Zapara School of Business, is expected to open before the end of fall quarter.

Admission to the Honors Program

The Honors Program with consider all highly motivated applicants. Successful Honors students generally have a high school GPA of 3.7 or higher, or a college GPA of 3.5 or above, as well as combined SAT scores of 1700 or higher, or an ACT score composite of 25 or above. Space is limited, so early application is recommended.

Scholarship Funding

In addition to GPA-based financial awards, special scholarships are given to Honors Program Students. These scholarships usually increase with each year in the program.

Learn More about the La Sierra University Honors Program

Feel free to contact us for more information and answers to your questions.

For more information:
Email: honors@lasierra.edu
Phone: 951.785.2310