The Honors Program provides an honors education for academically talented and highly motivated students at all University of Connecticut campuses. The program enriches the academic experience of undergraduates in all majors by offering the challenges of in-depth study and opportunities for independent projects and/or research. Participation in the Honors Program further influences the quality and character of a student’s learning through exploration, creativity and talent development, and leadership development in a supportive community of their peers.
First-year Honors Admissions
Qualified entering first-year students are invited to join the Honors Program upon admission to UConn Storrs or UConn Stamford based on a holistic review of the undergraduate first-year application. Candidates are expected to have strong high school academic and co-curricular records, including 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 and co-curricular 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
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 Honors courses, including interdisciplinary Honors Core 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 or creative project that meets the standards of their major department.
Community and Engagement
An active living-learning environment is fostered through the First-year Honors Learning 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 units in 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.
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 Honors advisors in their majors.
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 of an Honors preliminary plan of study and approval of the Honors Program and the major department.
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 Honors experience. 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 in the Major
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 or creative project. Students must demonstrate engagement with their field of study and submit a departmentally-approved Honors thesis or creative project to the Honors Program office. Beyond the minimum University-wide Honors requirements, departments may add specific and/or additional 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 (UHL) designation, students must complete the requirements for the Honors Scholar in the Major award plus earn a total of at least 30 Honors credits which meet the UHL distribution requirements. Students must also meet published co-curricular requirements.