Travel with the University Honors Program

Study Abroad with the Summer Honors Program

Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education provides Honors Program students from the 14 state universities with a chance to study abroad through the Summer Honors Program.

Since 1985, the State System has awarded scholarships to support these experiences. Each student's scholarship covers the cost of six (6) academic credits, travel, and room and board at the host university and abroad.

The 14 State System universities host the Summer Honors Program in rotation. Cal U has hosted the program three times since its inception.

The 2019 summer program, hosted by Bloomsburg University, studied art, architecure, and history in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Previous summer programs have taken Honors Program students to Spain, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ghana, Norway and many other locations around the world.

Program Participation

The application process for the Summer Honors Program is competitive. To be considered, students must complete a written application and be in good standing within the Honors Program at their State System university.

Students are selected for the Summer Honors Program based on:

  • Academic achievement.
  • Service to their Honors Program and their university.
  • Interest in the program of study.

Honors Program Excursions and Conferences

Honors Program students sit in an outdoor pavilion to eat.


In the fall and spring semesters, the Honors Program organizes course-related excursions. The three- to five-day trips allow Honors Program students to conduct hands-on research; visit libraries, archives and museums related to their research and coursework; and visit important cultural and historical sites. Many students use an excursion to begin their Honors Program thesis.

Travel and room-and-board expenses for selected students are paid by the University Honors Program. Participation is limited by available program funds, but every effort is made to include all Honors Program students who apply.

Honors Students stand together outside for a portrait.


The University Honors Program students participate regularly in three annual conferences and other, often specialized, gatherings. The annual conferences are:

  • Strike a Spark Undergraduate Research Conference, organized by Cal U's Office of Undergraduate Research. It is an excellent opportunity to prepare for larger conferences.
  • National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) conference, hosted in various U.S. cities by the professional organization for honors programs and colleges. The conference often includes "City as Text," a guided exploration of a cultural or historical aspect of the host city.
  • National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) annual conference. Typically hosted by a university, it is an ideal opportunity for senior Honors Program students to present their thesis research.

If a student's proposal is accepted at one of these conferences, the Honors Program will pay for all travel and registration expenses.