Robert Donald Clark Honors College

Terry L. Hunt, Dean
541-346-0125 fax
119 Chapman Hall
1293 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-1293

The Robert Donald Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon is a competitively enrolled, small liberal arts college of approximately 800 students. Its classes—limited to 19 students—and four-year curriculum feature close interaction between students and faculty members. The Clark Honors College emphasizes creativity, interdisciplinary scholarship, and independent research.

The college's curriculum—lower-division courses, upper-division colloquia, and thesis courses—integrate the humanities, social sciences, and sciences and feature the study of cultures and issues from around the globe. Honors college courses are taught by its resident faculty as well as by specially selected faculty members from other campus schools and programs. Fulfilling the college's curriculum satisfies the general-education requirements mandated for all university students.

Each honors college student selects a major from the academic departments or professional schools of the university. Twenty-one percent of honors students have more than one major. Every school and department at the university, from architecture and music to biology and business, enrolls Clark Honors College students pursuing majors in those fields.

The student’s undergraduate education culminates in the thesis, a required advanced research project completed in his or her major field, designed to help students achieve future success in graduate school, postgraduation careers, and civic commitments. The thesis embodies the defining characteristics of a Clark Honors College education:

  • intellectual discipline
  • independent judgment
  • capacity to design and execute a complex project
  • ability to focus and pursue a subject in depth
  • skills of analysis, synthesis, and clear writing

The thesis is the culmination of work in a major—a natural outgrowth from and expression of the ideas, problems, and approaches taught in that discipline. It creatively applies the methods of the discipline and tests their power and limits. It reflects dialogue, common work, and apprenticeship with faculty members in their specialized fields of interest.

Honors college students are assessed honors college tuition, established yearly by the University of Oregon Board of Trustees. Complete tuition information is available on the honors college website. The honors college awards need-based tuition-remission scholarships based on the expected family contribution listed on a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Students and Faculty

Clark Honors College has 21 resident faculty members who hold appointments in the college, and numerous affiliated faculty members drawn from the university's departments and schools, including, among others, history, English, geology, journalism and communication, and music and dance, and programs including comparative literature, psychology, and Latin American studies. The honors college faculty has earned local, national, and international recognition for research, publication, and pedagogy, including grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation.

Honors college students participate in a range of campus and community activities: student and university government and committees; the student newspaper, the Oregon Daily Emerald; University Theatre; Ephemera, the Clark Honors College creative arts journal; Clark Honors College Student Association; Oregon Student Public Interest Group (OSPIRG); School of Music and Dance productions; forensics (debate and individual events speaking; mock trial); intramural and varsity athletics; and ROTC. Many honors college alumni continue their education in graduate schools across the country and around the world. They study such diverse fields as law, architecture, medicine, molecular biology, and English language and literature. Other graduates go on to endeavors in such areas as public service, private enterprise, Teach for America, and the Peace Corps.


The honors college is located in historic Chapman Hall on the west side of the University of Oregon campus, close to Knight Library. Chapman Hall will undergo a complete interior renovation fall 2016 through fall 2017. During this time, alternative facilities near the center of campus will be made available to honors college students, replicating the same amenities that have traditionally been served by Chapman Hall: classrooms, student lounge, kitchen, the Robert D. Clark Library, and the David E. Boyes Computing Laboratory. Incoming honors college students have residential facilities in the Global Scholars Hall on the east side of campus.


Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program

Each term, Clark Honors College offers, exclusively for its students, one or two sections of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, bringing together honors students and incarcerated men and women to study as peers in a seminar behind prison walls. The course meets once a week in Salem, Oregon (the state capitol), at a major correctional institution. Each class includes 12 to 15 “outside” (Clark Honors College) students and the same number of “inside” (incarcerated) students.

Oregon Health and Science University Internships

Each year Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), a leading, nationally ranked medical teaching school, hosts an internship program in its Department of Cell, Developmental, and Cancer Biology. Summer 2016 marks the second year of a partnership between the Clark Honors College and OHSU in which two intern spots are reserved exclusively for CHC students. This partnership provides an invaluable firsthand learning experience for undergraduate students considering a medical career.

Speech, Debate, and Mock Trial

In 2016, the Mock Trial team placed 19th in the country among 48 invited teams at the American Mock Trial Association's National Championship Tournament. The speech and debate team regularly competes at the highest collegiate levels nationally, and in 2016 placed first in national competition after 17 consecutive undefeated rounds. These programs provide students with the opportunity to translate what they learn in the classroom into a different context and force students to carefully and deeply consider different points of view on often sensitive social and political topics.

3 + 3 Program

The 3 + 3 Program enables highly talented and motivated honors college students interested in a legal career to complete both a bachelor’s degree and a doctor of jurisprudence at the University of Oregon in six years rather than the usual seven. All honors college students who meet the minimum requirements are guaranteed admission to the UO School of Law. Advantages of the program include the following:

  • Saving a year’s tuition and living expenses associated with undergraduate education
  • Getting an early start on establishing a professional career
  • Avoiding the time, effort, and expense of applying to multiple law schools

Entering the Clark Honors College

Clark Honors College seeks high-achieving students who will bring their own unique and diverse contributions to the student body. The admissions committee looks for evidence of academic scholarship, motivation, and creative critical thinking.

Application Procedure

General university application procedures, prerequisites, and requirements apply. Applicants to Clark Honors College must complete a single online application to apply to both the honors college and the University of Oregon at one time.

Students with an excellent academic record who have attended another higher-education institution, or who are enrolled in the university but not in the honors college, may apply for admission by submitting a Clark Honors College supplemental PDF application by January 15 for fall term admission. Students interested in winter term admission should contact the Clark Honors College Office of Admissions directly. Winter term admission is on a space-available basis. Spring term admission is not available.

International students who wish to apply must complete an International Undergraduate Application for Admission and a Clark Honors College supplemental PDF application by January 15 for fall term admission.

A complete Clark Honors College online or supplemental PDF application must include a short note of introduction, an essay, and a description of accomplishments. Supporting documents also required are two teacher evaluations, official high school transcripts, official college transcripts (if applicable), and official test scores. Transcripts and test scores will be shared between UO and honors college admissions offices.

The Clark Honors College online application, available August through January 15 for the following academic year, is part of the University of Oregon online application. The Clark Honors College supplemental PDF application and Clark Honors College Teacher Evaluation form are available from the websites for the honors college and the UO Office of Admissions.

Application Deadlines

Early notification deadline: November 1
Supporting documents due by November 7
Regular notification deadline: January 15
Supporting documents due by February 1

Deadlines to apply are the same for all applicants including domestic and international freshmen and transfer students.


Monique Balbuena, associate professor (diaspora and multilingualism, Jewish, Latin American, and Maghrebi literatures). BA, 1988, MA, 1994, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; PhD, 2003, California, Berkeley. (2004) 

Louise M. Bishop, associate professor (Old English, medieval and Renaissance literature). BA, 1978, Fairleigh Dickinson; MA, 1980, PhD, 1984, Fordham. (1987)

Mark Carey, associate professor (Latin American and environmental history). BA, 1991, State University of New York, Potsdam; MA, 1998, Montana; PhD, 2005, California, Davis. (2010)

Mai-Lin Cheng, assistant professor (19th-century British literature). BA, 1993, Brown; PhD, 2006, California, Berkeley. (2008)

David A. Frank, professor (rhetoric and communication). BA, 1978, MA, 1979, Western Washington; PhD, 1982, Oregon. (1979)

Sander M. Goldberg, professor of practice (literature, classics). BA, Rochester; MA, PhD, Indiana, Boomington. (2013)

Samantha Hopkins, associate professor (evolution and paleoecology of aplodontoid rodents). BS, 1999, Tennessee, Knoxville; PhD, 2005, California, Berkeley. (2007)

Ocean Howell, associate professor (urban and architectural history). BA, 1997, MS, 2005, PhD, 2009, California, Berkeley. (2010)

Terry L. Hunt, professor (archaeology); dean. BA, 1976, Hawaii, Hilo; MA, 1980, Auckland; PhD, 1989, Washington (Seattle). (2013)

Trond Jacobsen, instructor (information science); director, forensics and university forum. BA, 2002, Oregon; PhD, 2014, Michigan, Ann Arbor. (2013)

Vera Keller, associate professor (history of science). BA, 2002, Harvard; PhD, 2008, Princeton. (2010)

Susanna Soojung Lim, associate professor (19th- and 20th-century Russian literature with focus on representations of East Asia). BA, 1996, MA, 1998, Korea; MA, 1999, PhD, 2006, California, Los Angeles. (2007)

Barbara Mossberg, professor of practice (literature). BA, 1970, California, Los Angeles; MA, 1972, PhD, 1977, Indiana, Bloomington. (2013)

Roxann Prazniak, associate professor (Chinese history, European intellectual history). BA, 1970, California, Berkeley; MA, 1973, San Francisco State; PhD, 1981, California, Davis. (2002)

Elizabeth Raisanen, instructor (literature); director, undergraduate advising. BA, 2003, Northern Michigan; MA, 2005, Colorado, Boulder; PhD, 2013, California, Los Angeles. (2015)

Daniel Rosenberg, professor (European intellectual and cultural history, 18th century). BA, 1988, Wesleyan; MA, 1991, PhD, 1996, California, Berkeley. (2000)

Helen Southworth, associate professor (20th-century French and English literature, women’s literature). BA, 1989, London; MA, 1991, PhD, 1999, Southern California. (2002)

Kelly Sutherland, assistant professor (marine biology). BS, 1999, Tufts; MSc, 2004, South Alabama; PhD, 2009, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2011)


Henry M. Alley, professor emeritus. BA, 1967, Stanford; MFA, 1969, PhD, 1971, Cornell. (1982)

Suzanne Clark, professor emerita. See English.

Joseph G. Fracchia, professor emeritus. BA, 1972, California, Davis; MA, 1975, California, Santa Barbara; PhD, 1985, California, Davis. (1986)

The date in parentheses at the end of each entry is the first year on the University of Oregon faculty.

Academic Requirements

Requirements in the honors college satisfy the general-education requirements that other University of Oregon students meet for graduation. Honors college faculty members advise honors college students concerning these requirements and mentor them concerning their academic choices. Students retain full responsibility for understanding and shaping their study programs.

Depending on test scores, students may use advanced placement or international baccalaureate credits toward honors college mathematics and science requirements, second-language requirements, applicable major requirements, multicultural requirements, or university electives. To earn a BS degree, students must complete one year of college-level mathematics, or the equivalent. Advanced placement and transfer credits may help fulfill either such a math requirement or the language requirement.

University and Major Requirements

Honors college requirements, which replace university general-education requirements, represent roughly one-third of a student’s total four-year schedule. Before graduating, Clark Honors College students must also meet the requirements, listed elsewhere in this catalog, of their major department or professional school. They must maintain a 3.00 or better cumulative grade point average (GPA).

Honors College Degree Requirements

Lower-Division Requirements
Honors College Requirement
HC 199HSpecial Studies: [Topic] (Clark Honors Introductory Program) 11
Social Science and Humanities Requirements
HC 221HHonors College Literature (Ancient World)4
HC 222HHonors College Literature (Modern World)4
HC 223HHonors College Literature (Research)4
or HC 233H Honors College History
HC 231HHonors College History (Ancient World)4
HC 232HHonors College History (Modern World)4
Mathematics and Science Requirements 2
Honors College Science 3
Honors College Science
One course in quantitative reasoning or mathematics 44
Two additional approved mathematics or science courses 48
Second-Language Requirements 5
Demonstrate second-language proficiency equivalent to completion of second college year in second language; satisfy all requirements in university department, program, or school that offers a major leading to a BA or BS
Upper-Division Requirements
Multicultural Requirements
Two courses chosen from two different categories, listed below:
American cultures
Identity, pluralism, and tolerance
International cultures
Colloquia Requirements 6
HC 421HHonors College Arts and Letters Colloquium: [Topic]4
HC 431HHonors College Social Science Colloquium: [Topic]4
HC 441HHonors College Science Colloquium: [Topic]4
Select two of the following:
Honors College Arts and Letters Colloquium: [Topic]
Honors College Identities Colloquium: [Topic]
Honors College Social Science Colloquium: [Topic]
Honors College International Cultures Colloquium: [Topic]
Honors College Science Colloquium: [Topic]
Honors College American Cultures Colloquium: [Topic]
Thesis Requirements
HC 408HWorkshop: [Topic] (Thesis Orientation) 71-12
HC 477HThesis Prospectus 82
Successful completion and defense of a thesis

Clark Honors Introductory Program (CHIP) is the course topic, offered only in the fall and required of incoming freshmen; transfer students may also choose to take the CHIP course. More information on the program may be found at


Web-based courses do not fulfill this requirement.


Honors College Science (HC 207H) for laboratory science, Honors College Science (HC 209H) for nonlaboratory science. Exempt majors and minors are listed on the honors college website.


Approved courses listed on the honors college website.


The second-language requirement is waived if a department, program, or school requires 90 or more credits of course work for a major leading to a BS degree (see Majors, Degrees, and Contexts Waiving Second-Language Requirements list). No case exists in which Clark Honors College language requirements replace departmental language requirements.


Recent topics include Madness in Society; The Literature of War; Cosmology; Latin American History; Language, Sustainable Communities, and Global Warming; the Physics and Politics of Global Energy Generation, and John Muir's Backpack.


Course taken toward the end of their sophomore year or at the beginning of their junior year for an introduction to the thesis project.


Course taken at least two terms before intended graduation to formalize the thesis project.

Majors, Degrees, and Contexts Waiving Second-Language Requirement

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Business administration
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Computer and information science
  • Earth sciences
  • Environmental science
  • Environmental studies
  • Human physiology
  • Marine biology
  • Music, only in cases in which the second language is not a requirement for the student's chosen degree
  • Physics
  • Product design
  • Bachelor of architecture
  • Bachelor of interior architecture
  • Bachelor of landscape architecture
  • Students pursuing a bachelor of fine arts degrees who choose to satisfy the BS mathematics or computer and information sciences proficiency requirement


The honors college is committed to excellence in writing. The core curriculum integrates instruction and practice in fundamental rhetorical skills—writing, reading, speaking, and listening—with the subject matter of the courses. Students who complete the honors college humanities and social science curricula with grades of mid-B or better in all courses satisfy the university writing requirement.


Course usage information

HC 199H. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.


Course usage information

HC 207H. Honors College Science. 4 Credits.

The scientific process as a mode of inquiry to gain insight into fundamental questions in the natural sciences. Includes discussions, lectures, demonstrations, laboratories, field trips.

Course usage information

HC 209H. Honors College Science. 4 Credits.

How science may be applied and misapplied in answering questions about nature and society. Includes discussions, demonstrations. laboratories, field trips. Primarily for nonscience students.

Course usage information

HC 221H. Honors College Literature. 4 Credits.

Literary history and modes of literary analysis and interpretation: premodern literature.

Course usage information

HC 222H. Honors College Literature. 4 Credits.

Literary history and modes of literary analysis and interpretation: modern literature.

Course usage information

HC 223H. Honors College Literature. 4 Credits.

Research in literature.

Course usage information

HC 231H. Honors College History. 4 Credits.

Introduction to methods of historical inquiry and to major historical trends in a global framework; focuses on premodern history.

Course usage information

HC 232H. Honors College History. 4 Credits.

Introduction to methods of historical inquiry and to major historical trends in a global framework; focuses on modern history.

Course usage information

HC 233H. Honors College History. 4 Credits.

Research in history.

Course usage information

HC 399H. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.


Course usage information

HC 401H. Research: [Topic]. 1-21 Credits.


Course usage information

HC 403H. Thesis. 1-21 Credits.


Course usage information

HC 404H. Internship: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.


Course usage information

HC 405H. Reading and Conference: [Topic]. 1-21 Credits.


Course usage information

HC 406H. Special Problems: [Topic]. 1-21 Credits.


Course usage information

HC 407H. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable. The 2-credit thesis seminar supports early work on the honors thesis.

Course usage information

HC 408H. Workshop: [Topic]. 1-12 Credits.

Topics include Thesis Orientation. Repeatable.

Course usage information

HC 409H. Practicum: [Topic]. 1-21 Credits.


Course usage information

HC 410H. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.


Course usage information

HC 421H. Honors College Arts and Letters Colloquium: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Repeatable. Offered in a range of topics with an emphasis on arts and letters. Repeatable thrice when topic changes for a maximum of 16 credits.

Course usage information

HC 424H. Honors College Identities Colloquium: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Topics focus on construction of collective identities (classes, genders, religions, sexual orientations), the emergence of representative voices, and the effects of prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination. Repeatable thrice for a maximum of 16 credits when topic changes.

Course usage information

HC 431H. Honors College Social Science Colloquium: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Offered in a range of topics with an emphasis on social science. Repeatable thrice when topic changes for a maximum of 16 credits.

Course usage information

HC 434H. Honors College International Cultures Colloquium: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Topics focus on race, ethnicity, pluralism-monoculturalism, or prejudice-tolerance of international cultures, or may describe and analyze a worldview substantially different from current U.S. views. Repeatable thrice for a maximum of 16 credits when topic changes.

Course usage information

HC 441H. Honors College Science Colloquium: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Offered in a range of topics with an emphasis on science. Repeatable thrice when topic changes for a maximum of 16 credits.

Course usage information

HC 444H. Honors College American Cultures Colloquium: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Topics focus on multiple American racial and ethnic groups—African American, Chicano or Latino, Native American, Asian American, European American—from historical and comparative perspectives. Repeatable thrice for a maximum of 16 credits when subject changes.

Course usage information

HC 477H. Thesis Prospectus. 2 Credits.

Students create prospectus, exchange critiques and ideas, and present research in mock defenses with thesis advisor present.