Many students in the Honors Program take advantage of the study abroad programs that Cal Poly has to offer. There are dozens of available programs offering a wide range of cultural and academic opportunities. Students who study abroad develop an appreciation for diverse cultures while being immersed in a new community. Students also develop a new perspective upon their return to Cal Poly. The Honors Program encourages students to study abroad and offers opportunities to earn Honors credit for the experience.
An important function of a public university is to facilitate the development of engaged citizens. Therefore, one of the hallmarks of the University Honors Program is the manner in which it emphasizes civic engagement, volunteer service, and leadership. Through partnerships with various campus organizations, including Associated Students, Inc. and Student Community Services, the Honors Program promotes active student participation in service projects and community events. Students volunteer their time, share their knowledge and expertise, and develop important leadership skills while engaging in unique service-learning Honors courses, and co-curricular "theory-to-practice" experiences.
Students may earn Honors credit while working on research projects at Cal Poly. Each quarter, faculty members from across campus advise individuals and groups of students working on a variety of sponsored research projects. In the past, Honors students have had the opportunity to participate on interdisciplinary undergraduate research teams while addressing fundamental research problems as well as applied science and engineering projects. In support of these experiences, students develop a research proposal, file regular project updates, and complete a final research report. Shepherding a research project to completion, while serving a government, industry, or community sponsor, provides a fantastic experience for students preparing to enter practice or graduate school.