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Pell Honors Program

Open to students from all academic disciplines, the Pell Honors Program aims to realize Sen. Claiborne Pell’s vision of a liberal arts education as the route to informed citizenship.

Students join a lively community of highly motivated peers and faculty mentors drawn from many departments and disciplines, united by a passion for and dedication to academic excellence, artistic creativity and intellectual curiosity.

Through the Pell Honors Program, students enter into respectful but critical debates about God, politics, human nature and ethics, and examine the conflicting conceptions of the “good life” that have unfolded over centuries. Students read challenging authors with critical discernment and learn to purposefully argue and justify their own positions cogently and with a sense of style.

Students must maintain a minimum 3.30 cumulative GPA to remain in the Pell Honors Program. To promote a learning and living community, students in the program are housed together during their first year at the University, with the option to live in Pell Honors housing for their second year.


To be eligible for the Pell Honors Program, students must:

  • Gain admission to Salve Regina
  • Place into the top tier of applicants, or be nominated by a Salve Regina faculty member or the Office of Admissions
  • If invited, complete the Pell Honors application demonstrating fit with the program


The Pell Honors Program extends through the traditional four years of baccalaureate study and consists of four main components: Specially designed honors sections of core courses, co-curricular activities, a junior-level internship or study abroad experience and the Pell Honors Capstone Experience.

First year: Participants are required to complete Pell sections of UNV101: University Seminar I and UNV102: University Seminar II. They are also required to take Pell sections in two of the following disciplines: political science, history, economics and sociology/anthropology. Pell sections carry the letter P in the course code (ex: HIS114-P1).

Second year: Pell Scholars will be asked to complete a Pell special topics course in each semester. The offerings will vary each semester with topics that are both contemporary and diverse. Pell Scholars are highly encouraged to take Pell sections of the core courses PHL225: Quest for the Good Life and RTS225: Quest for the Ultimate.

Third year: Pell Scholars majoring in education, nursing and social work complete fieldwork that fulfills their internship requirement, and biology and chemistry majors may complete laboratory research to fulfill the requirement. All other majors are encouraged to complete an internship for course credit.

Fourth year: The group will be brought together through activities that may include workshops, lectures, reading groups and discussions during their senior year.