Honors Scholar Program

The Honors Scholar Program provides a nationally-competitive program for academically talented and highly motivated students. It enriches the academic experience of undergraduates in all majors by offering the challenges of in-depth study and considerable opportunity for independent projects or research. Participation in the Honors Program further influences the quality and character of a student’s education by offering opportunities for involvement in a community designed for individual, social, and cultural development.

During the first two years, Honors Scholars choose from a variety of special Honors sections of courses offered to satisfy UConn’s General Education requirements and/or to build strong foundations in their academic disciplines. Students also enroll in specially-designed Honors First-Year Seminars and interdisciplinary Honors Core Curriculum courses. Sophomore Honors is awarded after the second year and upon the fulfillment of Honors credit, activity, and grade point average requirements. During the junior and senior years, students emphasize work in the major, with Honors credit for course work generally attained by independent Honors projects associated with courses at the 2000-level or above, Honors seminars in the major, graduate-level course work, and/or independent research. Enrolled Honors students graduate with the designation of Honors Scholar in their major based on the completion of Honors credit and course requirements, a departmentally approved Honors thesis/project, and grade point average requirements.

An active living-learning environment is fostered through the First-year Honors Residential Community, Honors residence options for upper-division students, and multiple Honors student organizations. Honors Scholars are encouraged to participate in social and community service activities, seminars with visiting scholars, artists, and persons in public life, and many activities offered through the other undergraduate enrichment programs: the Individualized and Interdisciplinary Studies Program, the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships, the Office of Undergraduate Research, the Pre-Med/Pre-Dental Advising Office, and the Pre-Law Advising Office. The Honors Program sponsors several study abroad and study away experiences, including programs in Washington, D.C.; Cape Town, South Africa; Salamanca, Spain; and Singapore.

All students enrolled in the Honors Program are assigned an Honors advisor who assists students with course selection. Beginning in the first year or at a time designated by the major department, students are assigned a faculty Honors advisor who provides support with long-range academic planning. Students enrolled in the Honors Program receive priority registration, special library privileges, and permission to exceed semester credit limits after their first semester and after earning 18 credits. Participation in the Honors Program is recorded on a student’s transcript each semester. Students who graduate as Honors Scholars receive an Honors notation on the diploma and transcript. They are recognized in the Commencement program and at the Honors Medals Ceremony, where they receive an Honors medal to wear during Commencement.

Qualified entering first-year students at the Storrs campus are admitted to the Honors Program by invitation only. Candidates are expected to have a strong academic record as demonstrated by a rigorous high school curriculum, excellent scores on the SAT or the ACT, and evidence of leadership and engagement beyond the classroom. First-year students are notified of their admission to the Honors Program in their letter of admission to the University.

Current first and second-year students at any University of Connecticut campus with excellent academic records may apply for the Honors Program according to the guidelines and timetable listed on the Honors Program web site. Students are admitted for their sophomore year based on their credentials and the availability of space in the Honors Program. Students entering their junior years (fifth year for Pharm.D. students) with excellent academic records may also apply with an approved Honors plan of study from their major department. The Honors Program will accept applications from students transferring to UConn from other colleges during their sophomore or juniors years.

Honors students are expected to participate fully in Honors Program courses and activities. Academic and participation records are reviewed annually for compliance with Honors Program policies. A student’s continuation as an Honors student for the junior and senior year is subject to the review and approval of the major department. To graduate as Honors Scholars, students must fulfill certain requirements. Enrolled Honors Program students must earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.40. They must complete at least fifteen approved Honors credits. Twelve of these must be in their major or related areas at the 2000-level or above and may not have been used toward Sophomore Honors, and at least three of the twelve must be toward the Honors thesis. They must submit a departmentally-approved Honors thesis to the Honors Program office. In addition to the twelve Honors credits listed above, they must complete three Honors credits (at any level) which may have been used toward Sophomore Honors. At least three of the fifteen Honors credits must be from an “Honors graded” course, but not be from Honors conversions, independent study, or work toward the Honors thesis/project. There must be at least two departments in which Honors credits have been earned, with a minimum of three credits in each of two departments.

Beyond the minimum University-wide Honors requirements, departments may add further or specific major requirements that must be met in order for students to graduate with the designation of Honors Scholar. These requirements often involve certain prescribed Honors courses and seminars taken in preparation for writing the Honors thesis. Honors Scholars should make inquiries to their department or program about specific departmental Honors requirements.

Honors Scholar Program at the Regional Campuses

Opportunities for participation in the Honors Program are available at the University of Connecticut regional campuses. Students at the Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, or Waterbury campuses apply to the Honors Program as current first- or second-year UConn students in order to enter as sophomores or juniors, respectively. Depending on a student’s campus and major, sophomores and juniors may participate in Honors while remaining at a regional campus or after they transition to the Storrs campus. For additional information or questions, regional campus students may speak with their campus’ general Honors advisor, the Honors advisor in their major at their campus or at Storrs, or directly with the Honors Program office.

For more information, contact:

Honors Program
University of Connecticut
John W. Rowe CUE Building, Room 419
Unit 4147
Storrs, CT 06269-4147
Phone: 860-486-4223

University Scholar Program

Each year up to thirty juniors are selected for the University Scholar Program through an application process sponsored by the Honors Program. All undergraduate Honors and non-Honors students from all campuses may apply. This prestigious program allows motivated students to pursue individualized and intellectually challenging programs of study that include an intensive research or creative project and a more robust program of coursework to complement the project. Students are usually members of the Program for the last three semesters of undergraduate study. Graduation as a University Scholar is the highest academic honor bestowed upon undergraduates by the University of Connecticut.

Students interested in applying to the Program are encouraged to begin planning no later than the second semester of their sophomore year. Program applicants must submit a “letter of intent,” an application, and appropriate documentation by the published deadlines. Applicants must completely and clearly describe the subject matter, topic, or issue of interest; the proposed University Scholar project, including the methods and resources to be used to complete the project; and the set of courses that would enable them to explore their interests in depth. In late fall, an University Scholar Program committee selects recipients for this award according to the creativity, clarity, detail, and thoughtfulness of the applicants’ proposed research projects and programs of study.

A committee composed of a major advisor and two additional advisors (at least one member of the committee must be a tenured or tenure track faculty) enlisted by the student guides the student through his or her study or project. The scholarly work culminates with a tangible product, such as a completed research paper or work of art. Upon completion of the approved University Scholar project and plan of study and the submission of appropriate forms to the Honors Program Office, students earn the title of University Scholar. Students in the University Scholar Program receive awards in the amount charged for the General University Fee every remaining semester (up to three semesters) the student enrolls in his or her undergraduate program. University Scholars are granted priority registration, priority housing, and special library privileges. University Scholars are also relieved from the maximum credit load during any given semester. Participation in the University Scholar Program is noted on students’ academic transcripts at entry and for each semester enrolled. Graduation as a University Scholar is recognized at commencement and on the academic transcript and diploma.

For more information, contact:

University Scholar Program
University of Connecticut
John W. Rowe CUE-Building, Room 403
Unit 4151
Storrs, CT 06269
Phone: 860-486-3631.