New Developments in the Honors College

Alecsander Zapata

Contributing Writer


Gerrymandering, mathematics and social choices are three subjects that would not often be found together in one academic setting. However, on March 19 and 20, Moon Duchin, an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Tufts University, will be speaking on just those topics at just one of several pre-launch events scheduled before the official launch of USF’s new Honors College. There are two other pre-launch events this spring, open to all undergraduate students.


The new development comes after USF announced in August that a $15 million donation from Gordon Getty would be used to establish a Honors College. You can read the Foghorn story about the announcement here. The College will launch this fall semester and will be, according to their webpage, “the hub for all honors programs at USF.” This will involve college events, specific faculty for honors classes, as well as opportunities for scholarships, internships and studying abroad.


The Honors College will have its own, rigorous core curriculum to set it apart from the major-specific honors tracks. Students will be required to complete 18 units of core classes in the Honors College curriculum to graduate with the distinction. The honors core classes will all be seminar style and capped at 20 students per class.


Current “university scholars”, St. Ignatius Institute Scholars, and students in an honors program will not have to apply to the college, and neither will students who are chosen to be Black Scholars. However, “university scholars” and those in the St. Ignatius Institute will still have to apply to enroll in the honors core curriculum. The Black Scholar Program will accept black students with a high school GPA above a 3.5, who are seeking a career in social justice and development.


Non-first years, including current students, will also be eligible to apply for the college when it launches, even if they are not currently a part of any honors programs. The application for current students will be posted online on the Honors College page of the USF website, and is expected to be up within the next couple of weeks.


“I think what the Honors College is trying to do is really enhance those elements [of USF]… The small classroom, the one on one mentoring, the support to do research and internships outside of the classroom and to travel abroad,” Eileen Fung, the Head of the College, said.


The college was first announced last semester, but Fung noted that the Honors College has been in the works for a couple of years. “We have been actively trying to build and enhance the honors curriculum. We have been trying to build a better community between the University Scholars and the current honors program,” Fung said.


There are two other pre-launch events this spring, and all undergraduate students are welcome to attend. On March 28, author Craig Santos Perez, a USF alumnus, will be giving a reading from his 2017 poetry collection, “from unincorporated territory [lukau].” The reading will be held in the Maraschi Room in Fromm Hall from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Lastly, Dr. Gordon Greene, the Head Priest of Spring Green Dojo, will be exploring the concept of human suffering through the lenses of philosophy, medicine, and Zen Buddhism on April 14. This event will go from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will also be held in the Maraschi Room.


Students can find out more about the College on Feb. 6 at McLaren 250. The information session goes from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and free lunch will be provided.


For more information, or if you have any questions, you can visit the Honors College page on the USF website. For any additional questions, email

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