University Scholars Program

Please note: Beginning with Fall 2016, the Residential Honors Program will replace University Scholars as HPU’s honors program for new students.The University Scholars Honors Program will continue for students who are already a part of the program but will not admit new students. Please visit the Residential Honors Program page for information about that program, or contact Dr. Allison Gough, dean of the honors program, at

Each year, a small number of exceptionally well-prepared students have been invited to enter Hawai'i Pacific University as members of the University Scholars Program. This program offers qualified students the opportunity to join a cohort of their peers in special honors sections courses.

The honors sections bring together the best students at the University. These classes, which emphasize discussion and academic rigor, are usually smaller than non-honors sections and allow students to stretch the limits of their knowledge while developing intellectual connections with their classmates.

Certificate of Merit

Students who complete the requirements of the University Scholars Program receive a Certificate of Merit upon Graduation. In addition, honors sections are indicated on the students' transcripts to confirm their achievements for potential employers and/or graduate schools. This is awarded to students who fulfill the following requirements:  1) they must have completed the required number of honors courses; 2) they must have maintained a cumulative honors point average of 3.4; and 3) they must have completed three designated workshops each semester.


During the freshman and sophomore years, University Scholars enroll in honors sections of many courses required in the general education curriculum. Normally, University Scholars are required to complete at least six (6) lower level courses. Although students with Advanced Placement (AP) credits or the International Baccalaureate (IB) for high school work may petition to count some of these credits towards the lower division requirement.

At the upper-division level, University Scholars enroll in three honors-designated sections in their junior and senior years.

A list of designated classes is available on the University Honors Curriculum page.


Members of the University Scholors Progam are expected to participate in at least three designated workshops during the semester. Workshopes include cultural and academic events at the university and in the broader community. A calendar listing approved workships is avaialble on University Scholars Workshops page.

Admission to the University Scholars Program

Applicants for admission to the University who have demonstrated superior academic performance may become members of the program by invitation or petition. While there are no absolute requirements for test scores or high school grades, we look for a combined SAT score above 1800 with a minimum of 550 in individual scores or a composite ACT score above 26; and a high school GPA of 3.4 or above. We will also be looking for outstanding letters of recommendations.

Once admitted to the program, University Scholars continue in the program as long as they maintain the honors standards listed under the Certificate of Merit.


Students who are admitted into the University Scholars Program should meet with the Hawaii Loa Advisors for science majors and Downtown for all other majors.


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