Honors Orientation FAQs

How do I pick my Honors Seminar?
A list of seminars will be made available to you in your orientation packet (you can also find them right here). Read through that list and find two or three seminars that you think are interesting, remembering that this is your chance to explore something outside of your field of study! Your advisor will help you sign up for the one that fits in your schedule.
Will I have an Honors Advisor available during orientation?
Yes! If you have a major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or are exploring majors, your Honors Advisor will be the person helping you choose your courses. If you are studying in another school such as Engineering, Journalism, or Education, you will have an Advisor through your specific school, but an Honors advisor will be available to help with the process. Our advising staff stands ready to answer any outstanding questions you have about your schedule. Please reach out to our front office with any additional questions, at 785-864-4225, or email us at honors@ku.edu.
Should my parents participate in orientation?
You will attend a virtual advising and enrollment appointment with your academic advisor. Parents and guests will not attend advising with you, since this session is the start of your relationship with your academic advisor. However, we encourage you to discuss your plans for your advising session ahead of time with your parents. Parents can help students prepare for advising by reminding them to complete our pre-advising activities. Parents are also encouraged to attend our Monday Welcome Sessions the week of enrollment, and are also welcome to watch the Academic Information Meeting under our Honors Video Spotlight tab and explore the orientation part of our website.
Am I required to take all Honors courses?
Nope! You are encouraged to take at least one that is not your seminar during your first semester, but enroll in the number you feel most comfortable taking. Your advisor will help you decide what’s appropriate. See more about Honors courses here.
What do I do if I want to get involved in research?
There are many ways to get involved in undergraduate research at KU. You might start with your Seminar instructor, since this person will also serve as your Honors mentor and can help facilitate connections to departments and faculty. You can also read through the research projects in your department or field of interest. You can typically find these on your department’s website under a research tab. Read through the projects and find a few that sound cool (and do not be discouraged if a lot of it is gibberish. If you already knew all of it, you would be the teacher, not a student). Email the professors whose projects you are interested and ask if there are any positions available on their project for undergraduates.
What are the requirements to graduate with University Honors?
You will need to fulfill four Enhanced Learning Experiences (study abroad, research, leadership activities, internships, etc.) and take six Honors classes that add up to 18 credit hours, plus one Honors seminar. These need to be completed prior to graduation.
What is an Enhanced Learning Experience?
An Enhanced Learning Experience (ELE) is a cocurricular experience that allows you to apply material you have learned in the classroom to a real-world experience and/or utilize and learn valuable leadership skills. ELEs are loosely defined because we don’t want to prescribe these experiences for you but have your explore opportunities. More information on what an ELE is can be found here.
What courses count for Honors credit?
In addition to Honors-specific courses, students can acquire Honors credit through an Honors contract, an uncommonly taught language, and graduate courses at the 700-level or above. Honors contracts are contracts made between the student, the professor, and the Honors Program in a 300-level course or higher. These contracts incorporate an additional academically thoughtful project to the student’s course work, and upon completion of the contract and course, the course will count for Honors credit. Uncommonly taught languages include all languages that are not Spanish, German, or French
Can I change courses after orientation?
Yes! After your individual appointment, your schedule will be locked for the duration of orientation (June 1 - July 17). However, it will unlock again shortly before the fall semester starts, on July 27. Contact our front office with any questions at 785-864-4225, or email us at honors@ku.edu.
What if I decide to update my major after orientation?
You can do that — but we recommend talking to your advisor first! Please see the Office of First Year Experience’s answer on their FAQ page for how to do so.
What about living situations — is there an update yet on housing for the fall?
Incoming first-year students who are admitted to KU are guaranteed a spot in KU Student Housing if they apply by June 1 and select a space. Please visit KU Housing’s website for more information. Any updates on fall housing as it relates to the coronavirus will be found here, and also at KU’s COVID-19 webpage, coranavirus.ku.edu.
What is living in Templin like?
Templin is a unique living experience since it is an Honors-only housing option. Students living in Templin are dedicated to their academics and involvement in their community. Many students are taking similar Honors courses, so there is a built-in sense of study groups and peer support. Templin is suite style, with the average room containing four students. It is also right across the street from Mrs. E’s, the dining facility, and Nunemaker, the Honors building. While living in Templin is different because of the Honors dedication, students are still varied, as in any other living situation. Templin includes the Honors Living Learning Community, which provides Honors students with opportunities to connect with one another through social, academic, and service-related programs.
When do I get to enroll in courses early?
Priority enrollment for Honors students begins after their first semester on campus. Honors Academic Advisors will communicate with you about this during the Fall semester. Orientation enrollment for Fall is dependent on your Orientation date.
I plan on taking a math pre-requisite course over the summer. Can I still receive permission for the course I am seeking to enroll in for fall?
Yes, a permission number may still be generated to you. Please note that students who have not sent their transcripts or received a passing grade in the course will be administratively dropped from the class prior to the beginning of the semester. For more details contact your Honors Academic Advisor.
What if I have other questions not answered here?
First, try the First-Year Experience Orientation FAQs. Then, try us! Email honors@ku.edu and we’ll direct your email to the best person to answer your question.

KU Today
Course offerings are “among the most comprehensive in the nation,” according to “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs”
98% of University Honors Program graduates are employed or accepted to graduate school within six months of graduation
40% of students in the University Honors Program conduct research before graduation
9 to 1: Average ratio of KU honors students to faculty advisors
1 of only 7 programs nationwide to receive a top rating from “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs” in 2014
60% of University Honors Program students study abroad
KU honors students select their advisors from top-ranked KU faculty