2023-2024 Academic Catalog

University Honors Program

The University Honors Program (UHP) provides curricular offerings, programming and benefits to undergraduates who achieve and maintain superior academic records. Students earn the designation "University Honors student" in one of two ways. Entering first-year students with outstanding academic credentials are accepted into the Honors Program upon admission to the University. Students may also enter the Honors Program after their first year with a minimum 3.7 grade-point average. University Honors students are expected to maintain at least a 3.6 cumulative GPA.

Membership in the University Honors Program requires continued progress towards one of the Honors Program-designated diplomas. Honors students complete the requirements for an Honors diploma in one of two ways: by earning 12 honors credits and completing a six-credit honors thesis project or by earning 18 honors credits without a thesis. To receive the Honors with Distinction diploma, Honors students earn 18 honors credits and complete the six-credit honors thesis project. Complete details on maintaining membership and benefits are provided on the UHP website.

Students are offered a selection of honors courses each term. In most instances, first-year University Honors students will enroll in either an exclusive first-year Honors seminar (ENG 198) or first-year Core courses. A limited number of 300/400-level honors courses that complete either CAP or major course of study requirements are also available each semester. Students who have completed more than 75 hours may also earn honors credits by arranging a maximum of one contract honors course with individual professors, provided that the contract is agreed upon and approved by the department Chairperson prior to the start of class. Complete directions are provided on the UHP website and students should initiate the process with the UHP.  All honors courses will be designated as such on the student's academic transcript. 

Student may also earn honors credits through coursework associated with the Core Program and by completing graduate level courses for undergraduate credit. The honors credits earned are not necessarily one-for-one and these honors credits may not appear in the "Honors" section of the student transcript. Honors students must earn a grade of B or better for any honors courses or other honors credit-eligible coursework to earn honors credits towards the Honors Program diploma requirements.

Numerous benefits are available to members of the University Honors Program. The University Honors Program sponsors speakers, cultural events, the Honors Art Exhibition and the Honors Student Symposium each year. First-year Honors students can participate in the Honors Student Welcome prior to the start of classes and have the option of being housed with their first-year seminar or Core cohort. Beyond the first year, Honors students may request honors housing through the Special-interest housing process. In addition, University Honors students benefit from early registration. They also receive graduate-level library benefits and enjoy the use of a special honors study room in the library and access to the Honors Student Center in Alumni Hall. To receive benefits, students must be UHP members in good standing and they may not be in violation of the University code of conduct.

University Honors students undertaking honors thesis projects may apply for thesis grants, and outstanding projects may be eligible for funding through the Palermo Honors Program Founders Fund. Grants may also be available for Honors students who present their academic research at professional conferences. University Honors students completing at least 60 semester hours are eligible to apply to the Cordell W. Hull International Fellows Fund for University Honors students. Established in 1997-98, this fund awards grants to support international learning, leadership and service projects. Finally, a limited number of awards may be made to Honors students who demonstrate academic excellence and financial need.