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University Honors Graduation Requirements

These requirements apply to students who began Honors in Fall 2016 or later. Students who entered the program before Fall 2016 will find their completion requirements here.

University Honors Graduation Requirements

  • Honors seminar course 
    • HNRS 177, HNRS 190, or HNRS 195 
  • Minimum of additional 6 Honors courses totaling at least 18 credit hours.  Options include:
    • Honors courses (HNRS)
    • Course designated by an academic department as an Honors course
    • Contract on any undergraduate course for Honors credit with instructor approval (300-level or higher, maximum 2)
    • Graduate level courses (700-level or higher)
    • Less commonly taught language (maximum 2 semesters)
  •  4 Enhanced Learning Experiences (ELE) selected from 8 options

Maintain a G.P.A. of 3.25 or above and demonstrate progress toward Honors graduation requirements 

Enhanced Learning Experiences (ELEs)

To graduate with honors, students complete 4 distinct experiences from 8 possible Enhanced Learning Experience (ELE) areas. ELEs may involve extracurricular learning or coursework. No one activity can fulfill two separate experiences. However, a course taken toward the 18 hours of Honors credit can count toward an ELE when applicable. To complete the ELE, students will post a reflection question in their KU portal.

  1. Public Service Enhancement
  2. Cultural Literacy & Social Justice 
  3. Global Citizenship
  4. Aesthetic Engagement
  5. Professional Development & Social Entrepreneurship
  6. Leadership
  7. Research Skills & In-Depth Learning
  8. Interdisciplinarity & Breadth of Learning

Student-initiated Experience:  Some valuable learning experiences may not fit neatly into the categories listed above. Students are welcome to propose alternative experiences for review/approval by University Honors Program staff.

Student-initiated Experience Reflection Question: This reflection consists of three parts: For the first paragraph, please summarize concisely what you did and the activity(ies) time commitment(s). Next, what connections and personal growth did this experience foster that weren’t otherwise represented in the ELEs? How did this activity address either a personal or a community need – or both? Finally, tie your experience back to your education: how has this experience shaped your learning? 

These ELE descriptions are not all-inclusive. 

Submitting your Enhanced Learning Experiences

Log into your KU portal. On the front page, locate and click the "Customize" button in the upper left portion. You will then have the option to search for additional panes to add to your KU portal. Search for "undergraduate certificates," and add this to your page. Locate the button for the "Honors Program" to submit an experience. You will be prompted to complete a description and a reflection on the learning you achieved.

Pro tips for your submissions:

  • Be specific. For everything that you learned, share a specific experience that illustrates that learning.
  • Answer each part of the prompt. We know, that seems obvious--but each question has three parts, and it's surprisingly easy to skip one.
  • Don't overthink it. Advisors are on the back-end looking at your responses. If you miss something, you'll get an email asking you to make additions to your reflection and you'll have the chance to resubmit.
  • There's no minimum/maximum length. We ask that your submission be meaningful (so definitely more three sentences), but if you submit a 10-page reflection, you've probably spent longer than you needed to on it.
  • Working on an ELE that requires a certain number of hours? Use the ELE Hours Tracking Form as a supporting document.

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