Inside a classroom in Chapman Hall, a dozen students and their professor, an expert in malaria, build traps to snare mosquitoes. Upstairs, students open class with a song they’ve written inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s Walden as part of their studies of eco-epic literature.
Welcome to Clark Honors College, where we've been believers in innovation and mixing things up for over half a century.
We come together, listen, discuss—and sometimes debate—in an environment where everyone is a working member of CHC. In any of our classrooms, you may find a neuroscience major sitting next to business, dance and computer science majors. The variety of perspectives helps to make our discussions more vigorous and our learning outcomes more substantial.
Led by award-winning teachers drawn from the faculty of schools and departments across campus, our small classes bring together top students from every discipline at the University of Oregon. From our faculty to our students and staff, the honors college is a community of insatiably curious, undeniably driven, unique individuals. In this fusion of diverse perspectives, we seek the connections, rather than the separations. And we create new knowledge together.
Community comes first
At CHC, you are a member of a thriving, robust intellectual community whose members learn with and from each other.
In small, discussion-based classrooms, you will contribute, engage, and become a valuable component of the honors college. Expect students, advisors and professors to say “hi” when they see you in the hallways at Chapman Hall, in line at the EMU, and around and about the UO campus. Our newly created student leadership groups have something for everyone, and help us foster and support the CHC community as a whole.
What do you mean, a thesis?
Is there a burning question that you would like answered? The CHC thesis is a part of the curriculum where you take charge, harness your interests, and explore a path you’ve never had the chance to travel on before.
You choose. This is your chance to dive into research, immerse yourself in a subject, or become an expert in one. Challenge yourself, satisfy your curiosity, reveal the answers with your research. The opportunity to study something you love doesn’t come along very often; submerge yourself in learning and be amazed at your discoveries.
The directions in which your thesis will lead you are infinite.
Temerity Bauer, a junior biology major and Clark Honors College student, is a two-time recipient of the highly competitive Udall Undergraduate Scholarship, which recognizes service to Native American nations or stewardship of the environment.
As an undergraduate student, Bauer has immersed herself in the study of health care, science and Native issues. As a member of professor Santiago Jaramillo’s lab through the Institute of Neuroscience, she’s conducted neuroscience research and studied the forced sterilization of Native women. She served as a co-director of the Native American Student Union, where she focused on creating support for Native students in STEM.
Bauer plans to pursue a doctorate of medicine and philosophy to research how pollution and stressful environments can cause alterations in the brain and neurological disorders. Because her Tribal land has been polluted with industrial chemicals, she is determined to use her findings and medical knowledge to help diagnose patients early and provide specialized care for Indigenous people.
Experience has the advantage
What better way to gain professional experience in your chosen field than working with professors in their research, or through internships that provide a solid working foundation that can help launch a career? CHC has programs to help you look for opportunities like these—and to help support your experience once you’ve found the right match.
Examining deep-sea larvae with the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology. Using ultrasound technology to gather data on muscles and tendons in the knee. Identifying and briefing murder cases with potentially wrongful convictions. Cataloging historic photographs into museum archives for preservation. These are just a few of the exciting, first-hand opportunities CHC students have landed with the support of the Mentor Research Program and the Internship Funding Program.
"I am where I am because of the Clark Honors College"
Immediately after graduating from the University of Oregon and Clark Honors College ten years ago, Lorie Acio headed to New York to take a position as an unpaid intern at CBS, working at the prime-time news show "48 Hours."
Today, Acio is the VP of Communications for MSNBC in New York City, managing NBCUniversal News Group’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in addition to overseeing MSNBC’s press strategy.
“I was involved in pretty much everything,” Acio recounted of her time at UO. She worked with both written and on-air journalism on campus, building her skills behind and in front of the camera. As a junior, Acio interned at KATU-ABC 2 in Portland, an experience that opened her eyes to the bustle and excitement of professional news.
CHC Faculty: Committed to Student Success
In the learning environment in CHC’s small classes, faculty members get to know you and your work well. The close mentorship provided by the honors college faculty forms one of the most memorable parts of a CHC education. Our faculty will encourage you to push the boundaries of your knowledge, to explore new ideas, to overcome challenges that may seem insurmountable, and to celebrate your successes, creating bonds that last long after students leave our halls.
Research Focus: ShakeAlert
One of several UO researchers who’ve played integral roles in the ShakeAlert project in Oregon, CHC psychologist Dare Baldwin helps the U.S. Geological Survey determine what people do right and wrong during earthquakes.
Scholarships and Funding
In the Clark Honors College, you get the small, private liberal arts experience at a public university price. Still, figuring out how to pay for college is an important consideration. We make it easy for CHC students to take advantage of all the scholarship and financial aid resources available.
More than 90% of our latest incoming class received financial- and merit-based scholarships which include:
- Stamps Scholarship (Oregon residents and non-residents)
- Summit Scholarship (Oregon residents and non-residents)
- Apex Scholarship (Oregon residents and non-residents)
- Diversity Excellence Scholarship (Oregon residents and non-residents)
- PathwayOregon Scholarship (Oregon residents)
Morning Glory Ritchie had worked at countless part-time jobs that, although providing financial means, did nothing to further her interest in both her majors, art and art history. With the Internship Funding Program, she was able to secure an internship with the Springfield History Museum.
"My future goal is to be a curator myself after my academic career, but one lightbulb moment I had was how much curators and museums can influence the public," Ritchie said.
"Being a student and an intern can be very exhausting with concerns of finances while wanting to gain experience in your field," Ritchie added. "I have been able to block out additional time receiving hands-on experience in my area of interest instead of working part-time jobs that have little to do with my future goals.”