Applying as a Transfer or Current KU Student

To apply, high-school graduates who have completed at least one semester of college submit our Current/Transfer Student Application within the relevant window: April 1 to June 1 for the fall consideration, or Oct. 15 to Dec. 15 for spring.


Hands on laptop keyboard

Application review

In addition to the admission criteria listed at the bottom of this page, the application review committee takes into account the feasibility of an applicant's completion of the program based on their timeline. Transfer applicants should review the program's requirements, which include enrollment in HNRS 195 in the first semester of the program, to determine if program completion is possible. Current KU students are encouraged to do so with help from their advisor.

Review begins after a given application window closes and the most recent semester's grades have been received.

Application materials

In addition to college transcripts of at least one semester, transfer students and current students provide responses to one of three essay prompts and all four short-answer questions, both of which differ from those for first-year applicants:

Essays should be intellectually curious, thoughtful, well-organized, proofread, and limited to 500 words. We will evaluate the quality of your writing and your ability to provide an expansive yet focused response. Current-student applicants and transfer applicants choose one of the following three prompts:

  • Option 1: Author Kurt Vonnegut said, “a step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.” Tell us about a specific moment when you reversed course. What insights about yourself did you gain? How will you apply them to your time at KU?
  • Option 2: Author Octavia Butler, whose “Parable of the Sower” is this year’s KU Common Book, said that “habit is persistence in practice.” Where in your life have you shown persistence? What meaningful habits resulted, and how will your specific KU plans benefit from them?
  • Option 3: Part of KU’s mission is to “build healthy communities.” Share a community you’ve been part of. Thinking beyond just physical health, what did (or did not) make that community healthy? How will your college plans reflect that experience and contribute to KU’s mission?

In a single Word or PDF document, please upload your responses to all four of the following short-answer questions:

  • Question 1: Which major(s) and minor(s) are you pursuing, and when is your anticipated date of graduation (i.e. Spring 2025)?
  • Question 2: Help us learn about you, your life, and your experiences.  List no more than three items — clubs and organizations, employment, community service, awards and recognition, extra-curricular interests, personal or family obligations — in descending order of significance, with the most significant item first. For each, explain your role, time commitment, length of involvement, and responsibilities. You may include one activity from high school, but the primary focus should be on your life and experiences since starting college.
  • Question 3: The honors program intends to attract students who make the most of the opportunities available to them. What goals and objectives shaped your selection of courses and experiences? Is there anything else you want the admissions committee to know about your academic record or activities?
  • Question 4: Have you already taken any honors-designated courses or completed an Enhanced Learning Experience (ELE) at KU or another university?  If so, list them below. Up to three courses and two ELEs may be retroactively counted toward your completion requirements. Note: Previous honors coursework and experiences are not required for admission.

Admission criteria

Our individual and holistic review process evaluates applications across four main criteria:

  • Academic performance
  • Depth
  • Breadth
  • Leadership potential

We seek applicants who took full advantage of the courses and opportunities available to them during their college careers thus far, in addition to demonstrating academic excellence, an interest in interdisciplinary connections, and a commitment to community. No minimum GPA is required for admission.