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Curricular Philosophy

Like most Honors programs or colleges in the United States, the University of Kansas Honors Program follows best practices and teaching philosophies supported by the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC).  As such, we are committed to “ensure that the most academically motivated students are challenged to achieve at their highest potential as individuals while preparing for their responsibilities to the community.”

What this means at KU Honors is that we expressly prioritize the development of Honors students’ ability to think, read, and write critically.  On this basis, we encourage students’ curiosity by adopting active-learning pedagogy--taking seriously students’ choices and making students responsible for the orientation of the courses or their projects. We invest in Honors students’ professional development by integrating focused modules in and out of the classroom.

While Departmental Honors can be achieved by students by fulfilling requirements that differ from University Honors requirements, conversations are taking place such that the two may overlap when Departments embrace Honors best practices in their teaching. Contrary to many other institutions, Honors at KU does not require a thesis; when a student opts to complete Departmental Honors and writes a thesis, we do recognize the effort and give them credit for it. 

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