Special Programs at the Honors College
Click on the links below to see special programs available exclusively to OU Honors students.
The Honors at Oxford study abroad program, founded in 1998, offers students the opportunity to live and work in the oldest university in the English-speaking world. The program is open to all Honors students who will have completed one year of college by the time of the trip.
The Katharine J. Gross Memorial Scholarship was established to provide an annual cash award to one outstanding student in the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma. The scholarship honors Kathy’s life as friend and mentor to students and colleagues and for her contributions to the Honors College. During her twenty-years of university service—and while the full-time financial administrator for the Honors College—Kathy graduated from the College of Liberal Studies, completing her B.A. degree in 2004.
Any Honors-eligible (3.4 GPA or higher) student at the University of Oklahoma may minor in the medical humanities by completing 18 credit hours of coursework focused on a specific area within the medical humanities (history of medicine; bioethics; medical anthropology; literature and medicine; cross-cultural perspectives on health and disease; etc.), on spoken foreign languages, and on non-western cultural traditions. The goal is for students to prepare for the health professions and the multi-cultural clinical context by gaining a broad vision of the social, cultural, historical, economic, political, ethical, and spiritual factors shaping health, disease, and the delivery of healthcare.
The Medical Humanities Scholars Program is a highly selective, sequential BA-MD program that prepares 5-8 incoming high school seniors per year for a career in medicine through an enhanced pre-medical curriculum (MH Minor) that includes extensive coursework in history, literature, fine arts, philosophy, ethics, sociology, anthropology, economics, spirituality, and politics as they relate to health, disease, and the practice of medicine. MH Scholars are expected to develop proficiency in foreign spoken language. Students also engage in service learning and clinical experiences to develop an appreciation for the biopsychosocial dimensions of health and healing. Upon admission into the program, students receive provisional acceptance at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, contingent upon their GPA and MCAT scores.
The Melanie L. Wright Study Abroad Scholarship was established to provide a cash award to one outstanding student in the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma. The scholarship recognizes Dr. Wright’s dedication to the Honors College and her twenty-year service as director of the Honors at Oxford program. As academic advisor, mentor and friend, Dr. Wright’s devotion to the success of her students helped each one to fulfill their academic potential. This commitment to others is evident by the more than 100 nationally competitive scholarship winners whom she guided individually from 1998 until her retirement in 2018.
OU Debate is a cross-examination, or cross-ex, style policy debate team typically comprised of 6-12 members. Cross-ex is a type of debate where teams of two advocate for or against a specified resolution/topic, and then take turns questioning or being questioned by the other side. Each team member presents and cross-examines the opposing team at least once. Because a team could be assigned either the affirmative or negative position, preparation of the merits of both sides is key and done as a squad here at home throughout the year.
OU Debate's cross-ex teams use the critical debate argument style. Critical, in contrast to traditional policy debate, known as the kritik style, is a movement that challenges the mindset or assumptions made by the opposing team. Kritik debates confront the foundations of traditional college debate, which has previously been known to be exclusive and lacking in representation and participation outside the upper-middle class elite.
OU's members come from all backgrounds and areas of the country, and are working to earn degrees in biochemistry, women & gender studies, and communication, to name a few. As a kritik team, members inject hip-hop, rap, personal diction and individualized experiences into their debate presentations, making their delivery more performative and impassioned.
The team's debate presentation and performances are coached by our Assistant Director, George Lee, who leads the team in preparing for and presenting dynamic kritik arguments. Lee is an accomplished debater and a former member of the Shannon Self team.
Although the tournament circuit appearances are the primary part of OU Debate, team members also participate in public debate programs both on and off-campus. Our most recent event is the OU/Texas Red Rival Rivalry.
Recipients of the Award of Excellence, Distinguished Scholar, Regents Award, National Award, and National Merit tuition waiver receive a unique advising experience through the OU Scholars Program during their first year. Scholars advisors understand the concerns of academically talented students and the various issues involved in advising and counseling those students.
The First-Year Trip is a week long backpacking trip from August 5 to August 12. You will be part of a group of 8 to 10 first-year students with 4 OA guides who are trained upperclass Sooners. Enjoy meeting other members of your class before New Sooner Orientation, learning about OU and starting your time at OU with some new friendships. No previous experience is required. Many participants come having never spent a night in the woods. Even if you have no hiking or camping experience, we have a trip you will enjoy and a new group of friends to meet.
A limited number of students (up to 25 per year) will be selected to join the Pre-Law Scholars Program (PLSP) before their enrollment as undergraduates at OU. The Pre-Law Scholars Program will allow these highly motivated Honors College students interested in the practice of law or judicial service to complete both a Bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctor at the University of Oklahoma in six years.
With the Student-to-Professional Mentoring Experience, the Honors College partners with established alumni, corporate professionals, and industry leaders who host junior and senior undergraduates at special events tailored to support specific career paths. Up to twenty participants are exposed to networking opportunities, they learn best practices for securing internships, and they receive advice for job interviews as they prepare for the professional world.
The “HON topic” luncheon speaker series connects students to business and industry leaders, teachers of excellence, accomplished alumni, emeriti and peer scholars through an intellectually stimulating and enriching social engagement opportunity. The Honors College provides three small group luncheons for up to 25 students during Spring and Fall semesters respectively.