T.H.E. Honors Curriculum

Our curriculum, The Honors Experience (T.H.E.) is an experience-based, highly customized curriculum to fit each student’s individual goals. We encourage and guide students to pursue experiences outside of the classroom throughout their education at UTSA. Our curriculum allows students the flexibility of graduating with honors without adding significant additional credits to the degree. By graduation, students will complete a variety of Honors courses as well as a set of signature experiences that can take place outside of the classroom. The Honors Experience emphasizes the SPICES: Service, Professional development, Intellectual Achievement and Research, Cultural Exploration, Engaged Living, and Skill Development.

Lower Division Coursework

All first-year students, transfer students, and current UTSA students joining the Honors College take HON 1000: Honors 101, an 8-week, 0-credit personal exploration that helps them map out their Honors Experience. With feedback each week from academic counselors and peer coaches, students will set goals and chart out a semester-by-semester experience plan that will prepare them to pursue opportunities outside of the classroom in areas such as internships, service learning, and study abroad.

Students are encouraged to take HON 2301: Civic Ethos in their first semester in the Honors College. In Civic Ethos, a 1-credit course, students discuss theories about the value of civic engagement and the role of service in one’s community. At the end of this course, all students design their own service project.

Students are also encouraged to take CSH 1213: Honors Topics in World Cultures in their first year in the Honors College. In Honors Topics in World Cultures, students learn about pertinent global issues through the overview of a specific culture or region, as revealed through the diversity of its heritage. This course is taught by faculty in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts.

  • Current students who already completed Tutorial I or CSH1213 in a non-Honors section prior to Fall 2021 have satisfied the CSH 1213 requirement.
  • Entering students who already have credit for CSH 1213 will still need to enroll in an Honors CSH 1213 section.
  • Honors CSH 1213 also counts toward the UTSA Core Curriculum requirement in Language, Philosophy, and Culture.

In Honors Composition II, students will take what they learn in their Topics in World Cultures and Civic Ethos classes, and further develop these topics through persuasive communication and critical thinking. WRC 1023: Honors Freshman Composition II provides intensive writing practice in developing argumentative claims, addressing logical fallacies, and understanding bias and assumptions to help students write clear and effective arguments. Students will further develop the ability to communicate with professional and academic audiences through written, oral, and visual methods by means of individual and team projects.

  • Current students and entering students who have already completed Composition II have satisfied this requirement. Students who have not taken Composition II prior to entering the Honors College must register for an Honors section.
  • Honors WRC 1023 also counts toward the UTSA Core Curriculum requirement in Communication.

Honors Experiences

“Experiences” are a core concept of the Honors curriculum, preparing students with real-world experience that will benefit them beyond UTSA. Depending on the number of credits a student has when they enter the Honors College, they will be required to complete three to six Honors Experiences.

Honors Experiences can be completed through a variety ways:

  • Some students will take Honors Upper Division courses. These courses often contain a research project, a service project in the community, or a certification that a student can list on their resume.
  • Student can also enroll in Special Programs offered by the Honors College like Citymester and the Archer Fellowship, which place students in internships.
  • We also offer Honors sections of courses in other colleges, Honors contracts and indepedent studies, where students work closely with faculty.
  • Lastly, activities done by the student independently outside of the classroom and even outside of UTSA can be counted toward our curricular requirements. Experiences include the SOSA Marching Band, doing research in a summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, study abroad, or service projects in the community.
Each Experience represents an achievement in one of six designated categories which we call SPICES. See the Requirements page to learn about all of the different ways to complete an experience. 

Learning Outcomes

Our learning outcomes, or C.A.P.A.C.I.T.I.E.S., reflect our emphasis on knowledge discovery and
application through personal development and civic engagement. Throughout all Honors Coursework and Honors Experiences, students will work across the following guiding ideals and the capacities in order to develop into thoughtful, engaged leaders. 

Honors College Learning Outcomes Definition
Demonstrable Achievement The artifact or experience that defines the student learning.
Guiding Ideals Wonder The embracing of new questions.


The embodied pursuit of knowledge.


The invention that results from engagement.


The guidance provided to facilitate engaged learning.
Capacities Creative Courage The ability to use knowledge, skills and materials at hand to produce a self/team designed product, solution, or presentation to an outside agency.
Adaptability & Resilience The ability to learn from failure, accept constructive criticism, and/or handle setbacks & estranging situations.
Project Management The ability to take a major, long-term project from idea to completion.
Agency through Accomplishment Gaining self confidence by delivering outcomes of high-quality. Quality is demonstrated by the level of the peer review and notability of the accomplishment.
Communicating Effectively The ability to communicate to a diverse group of audiences. Effective communication should be demonstrated in multiple ways. These include speaking, writing, and thinking; however, truly effective communication also entails demonstrating the impactful use of speaking, writing, and thinking using a diverse array of technologies and multi-media platforms.
Intellectual Dexterity The ability to creatively synthesize information, make significant "leaps" across domains of knowledge, and/or apply skills in unique ways.
Team/Independent Learning & Decision Making The ability to work in a team setting toward producing a "co-authored" accomplishment. The ability to effectively self direct toward questions, materials, and solutions. The ability to effectively work with a group or individual to solve a multi-layered problem that has multiple possible approaches and solutions.
Intercultural Confidence The ability to appreciate and flourish in a cross-cultural experience.
Ethical Reasoning The ability to solve problems and reason to conclusions in ways that consider justice and the moral consequences of both the method and outcome.
Self-Reflection & Awareness The ability to clearly demonstrate awareness of the multitude of effects that learning has had upon you and the ways in which your engagement and discoveries have impacted others.