Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I join KU Honors?

Interested students submit a University Honors Program application. To apply, select the Honors checkbox on your KU application or the Common Application, or apply directly through the University Honors Program's website.

Applications undergo a inidvidual and holistic review process that considers curriculum, GPA, essay, and short answer responses.


Can I apply to Honors if I am a current KU student or a transfer student?

Yes, the Honors Program reviews applications from current KU students and transfer students who have completed at least one semester of college.


What are a few resources available in Honors?

Through engaging Honors courses with exceptional faculty, individualized advising, and resources to support activities like study abroad and undergraduate research, Honors students explore important questions that shape the world, both locally and globally, and prepare for meaningful careers. Resources such as faculty mentorship, Honors housing, and priority enrollment ensure support and flexibility for Honors students as they develop their interests and get involved on campus and in the community. 

Honors students complete the KU Honors completion requirements to graduate with University Honors. Other recognitions of academic excellence on campus include departmental honors, distinction and highest distinction, and membership in honors societies.


What are the differences between honors and non-honors courses at KU?

Honors courses at KU are small, seminar-style classes taught by exceptional Honors faculty. For Honors courses, the average class size is 15 students. Honors courses are small, allowing you to cultivate community with faculty and other highly academically motivated peers. They also provide learning from faculty experts who have been distinguished in their teaching and research. Honors courses also often get students out of the traditional classroom, utilizing campus collections, resources, and behind-the-scenes access to the university, materials, and labs. Finally, Honors courses explore deep and important questions, and provide the opportunity to make interdisciplinary connections.


Does Honors provide scholarships for incoming students?

While the Honors Program provides Honors Opportunity Awards for current students, it does not offer scholarships for incoming students. If you are interested in receiving a scholarship as an incoming student, visit Financial Aid & Scholarships1 for more information.


Can any major join Honors?

Yes. The Honors Program has students in all KU Schools and almost every academic department. Honors students are represented in every professional school (e.g. Engineering, Business, Architecture, Allied Health, Journalism, Education, Nursing, Pharmacy, Fine Arts, and Social Welfare). 


Are Honors students required to live in special housing?

Honors students are not required to live in special housing, and students who plan to live on campus may choose from a variety of housing options.

The Honors Program does recommend that students live on campus for at least their first year. Templin Hall is the Honors Living Learning Community (LLC) and provides an enriching academic environment. Choosing the Honors LLC means you'll have access, starting on your first day on campus, to peers, peer mentors, and Honors staff and faculty. You'll also have the chance to connect with other Honors students outside your major, and be able to easily put together study groups or social gatherings. Honors students may also consider the scholarship halls in which 50 men or women live in an academic cooperative-living setting at a reduced cost.

All student housing is coordinated through Student Housing


If I am not admitted to Honors, can I still take honors courses?

You may be able to take honors courses if you are not in the Honors Program, though you will need departmental or instructor permission to do so. If you want to take an honors course, speak with the instructor of the course. If the professor grants you permission, you will need to contact the department's scheduling officer to get a permission number for the course. English and Math honors placement is handled through those departments and depends on a student's ACT/SAT sub score and/or high school preparation.


How long does it take to review my application?

Thank you for applying! For incoming first-year students, please allow up to 8 weeks for your Honors Program decision letter to arrive in the mail.

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