Third Year: Theory & Practice

Portland State University student in Downtown Portland, Oregon

Personalize Your Path

After one required seminar, students may choose to complete their remaining credits through additional seminars, internships, research opportunities, or study abroad.

During the third year in Honors, students are expected to take classes and explore opportunities that develop their skills in conducting research and crafting essays, expand their contacts and experience in their field, and deepen their knowledge of their area of academic study. As students move through their junior year in Honors, they should be thinking ahead to the Honors Senior Thesis and developing the faculty mentors, research techniques, industry contacts, and academic background necessary to complete the project. 

Students must earn a total of 12 Honors Junior-level requirements, including at least one 4-credit HON 407 Seminar.  The other 8 credits may be taken as additional HON 407 Seminars, HON 401 Research, HON 404 Internships, or a combination of the three.  HON 407 Honors Abroad Seminars may also be used to fill the requirement.

HON 401: Research

Joining a research lab or working as a research assistant is a terrific opportunity for students to understand how cutting-edge research works, gain critical experience and technical skills, build their resumes, connect with professors, and test their enthusiasm for a research career.

HON 404: Internships

Honors students have the opportunity to earn up to 8 credits for approved internships related to their major or intended career field.

HON 407: Seminars

Honors seminars are interdisciplinary courses taught by faculty from across the university. Seminars are small, discussion-based, reading- and writing-intensive courses that require students to actively engage with the source material and write an extended research paper. The Honors College offers several seminars every quarter, on a variety of topics.


HON 399 Honors Writing is the required entry point for transfer students coming in at the junior level.

Students who join Honors with junior standing (90+ credits) are required to take HON 399: Honors Writing during their first quarter in Honors at PSU. This course is writing intensive and serves multiple purposes: it introduces students to ways of thinking about the urban experience; introduces and develops the basic writing and research tools necessary for upper-division seminar work in Honors and for the senior thesis; and provides working examples of disciplinary scholarship in the humanities.  

This 4 credit course counts towards the 12 credits of Honors Junior-level requirements.