Admission for Incoming First-Year Students

The Honors Program seeks students who desire to be active learners and want to expand their leadership and service capacities beyond the classroom. Honors at the university level is not about "being" an honors student or enhancing your resume. Rather, honors is about going beyond what a "typical" student does by challenging yourself to obtain the best possible education you can during your undergraduate career -- one centered on the goals of a liberal arts education. Explicitly stated, these goals include:

  • Developing knowledge of human behavior, human cultures, and the physical and natural world we live in through the study of sciences and mathematics, social sciences and humanities
  • Building a robust set of intellectual and practical skills in inquiry and analysis, critical and creative thinking, written and oral communication, quantitative literacy, information literacy, and teamwork and problem solving
  • Increasing personal and social responsibility by expanding civic knowledge and engagement, developing greater intercultural knowledge and competence, and expanding capacity for ethical reasoning and action
  • Achieving a high level of integrative learning, a synthesis of knowledge and understanding across areas of both generalized and specialized study that can be applied in new ways to address real-world problems and issues

All students admitted to the university and to the College of Letters and Science will be invited to apply to be considered for admission to the Honors Program to pursue the Honors in the Liberal Arts degree.

Students will receive an invitation message by e-mail, containing the URL to our online application. Students who do not have email and/or internet access will receive an invitation letter by mail with directions to contact our office by phone (608-262-2984) to request a hard copy application. A specific deadline (30 days from the initial login) will be provided when the student first logs into the online application. Only applications received on or before the deadline will be considered. We encourage students to apply early, as the class may fill prior to the May 15 deadline.

Please note that entry into the L&S Honors Program as a first semester, first-year student is not your only opportunity to apply for admission to the Honors Program -- it is just the first opportunity. We offer rolling admissions for continuing students in the college who have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.3. Students can also consider pursuing Honors in the Major at a later date.

Students who decide they are not ready or do not wish to apply as incoming first-year students should remember that they will have the opportunity to pursue an honors degree throughout their undergraduate careers in the college.


Questions regarding first-year student admissions to the L&S Honors Program can be directed to the L&S Honors Program office by phone at (608) 262-2984 or by email at