Honors Scholar Program

The Honors Program provides a nationally-competitive program for academically talented and highly motivated students at all University of Connecticut campuses. 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.

Admission

First-year Honors Admissions

Qualified entering first-year students at the Storrs campus are invited to join the Honors Program upon admission to UConn. 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.

Honors Admissions for Sophomore and Junior Entry

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 are admitted based on their credentials and the approval of their major department. The Honors Program will accept applications from students transferring to UConn from other colleges for their sophomore or junior years.

The Honors Experience

Academics

Honors students deeply engage in their majors and broaden their experiences through the completion of Honors credits from a variety of disciplines. Honors credit for course work may be attained through designated Honors courses, including interdisciplinary Honors Core courses; Honors sections of courses; Honors course conversions (independent Honors projects supervised by course instructors); graduate courses; and independent research or scholarship. Early in their undergraduate careers, Honors students typically 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. As students progress in their programs of study, they further emphasize Honors work in the major and related areas, eventually completing an Honors thesis/Honors capstone project that meets the standards of their major department.

Community and Engagement

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 students 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 Center, and the Pre-Law Center. 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.

Benefits

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. All students enrolled in the Honors Program are assigned an Honors advisor in their major.

Continuation in Honors

Honors students are expected to participate fully in Honors Program courses and activities, and participation in the Honors Program is recorded on a student’s transcript each semester. First-year Honors students must enroll in specially-designed Honors First-Year Seminars in the fall. Academic and participation records are reviewed annually for compliance with Honors Program GPA and Honors credit requirements. A student’s continuation as an Honors student for the junior and senior year is subject to the review and approval of the Honors Program and the major department.

Awards

The Honors Program grants two awards at graduation. The Honors Scholar in the Major designation signifies an in-depth experience in the student’s field of study. The University Honors Laureate designation incorporates a broader experience in the Honors Program. Both awards are notated on recipients’ diplomas and transcripts, included in the University Commencement program, and recognized at the Honors Medals Ceremony, where students receive medals to wear during Commencement.

Honors Scholar

To graduate as Honors Scholars in the Major, enrolled Honors Program students must earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.40, and they must complete at least fifteen approved Honors credits in their major or related areas. Twelve of these must be earned at the 2000-level or above, including at least three toward the supervised Honors thesis/Honors capstone project. Students must demonstrate engagement with their field of study and submit a departmentally-approved Honors thesis/Honors capstone project to the Honors Program office. 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 inquire with their department or program about specific departmental Honors requirements.

University Honors Laureate

The University Honors Laureate designation recognizes both depth and breadth in Honors work, as well as engagement and involvement in a variety of communities. To graduate with the University Honors Laureate designation, students must complete the requirements for the Honors Scholar award plus earn a total of at least 30 Honors credits which meet the Honors distribution requirements. Students must also meet published co-curricular requirements.