L&S Honors Program

College of Letters & Science
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Admissions FAQs

What is the size of the typical incoming first-year class?

The typical incoming Honors first-year class has about 300-350 students. 

How many students are in the L&S Honors Program?

There are approximately 1200 students in the L&S Honors Program. This number includes students pursuing the Honors in the Liberal Arts, Honors in the Major and Comprehensive Honors degrees.

What percentage of undergraduate students in the College of Letters & Science are in the L&S Honors Program?

About 7.5% of the undergraduate students in the College of Letters & Science are in the L&S Honors Program.

Is there an Honors dorm?

There is no Honors dorm at UW-Madison. The L&S Honors Program does, however, recommend that students interested in participating the Honors Program consider residing in one of the university's residential learning communities. The residential learning communities on campus include Chadbourne Residential College, Bradley Learning Community, the Entrepreneurial Residential Learning Community, GreenHouse, a range of International Learning Communities, the Multicultural Learning Community and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE). To learn more about residential learning community opportunities on campus, please visit the UW's learning community website.

What percent of students who graduate with an honors degree go on to graduate or professional school?

Over 83% of students graduating from the College of Letters & Science with an Honors degree go on to graduate or professional school within one year of graduation.

What percent of students who graduate with an honors degree do so in four years or fewer?

Over 89% of students graduating from the College of Letters & Science with an Honors degree do so in four years or fewer.

Is the L&S Honors Program an "Honors College?"

The L&S Honors Program is a degree-granting program within the College of Letters & Science, not a residential program like Honors Colleges at some other universities.

What role do my standardized test scores (ACT and/or SAT) play in my chances for admission to the L&S Honors Program?

Standardized test scores play a very minor role during the L&S Honors Program admission process. Instead, we consider your responses to essay questions and your high school co-curricular and community involvement as measures of your willingness to engage with the liberal arts experience at the heart of the Honors Program.

If I am not in the College of Letters & Science can I still apply to the L&S Honors Program?

Only students in the College of Letters & Science are eligible to participate in the Honors in the Liberal Arts degree track. Students in the School of Education can also participate in the Honors in the Liberal Arts curriculum. In certain cases, students in a different college who are pursuing a second major in the College of Letters &  Science can work toward Honors in the Major in the L&S discipline; in all other situations, students are encouraged to explore Honors opportunities and programs within their respective colleges

Are continuing and transfer students eligible to pursue an Honors degree?

Yes! The L&S Honors Program offers rolling admission to both of its degree tracks for continuing and transfer students. Continuing and transfer students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 at either UW or their transfer institution are eligible to apply for the Honors in the Liberal Arts track and/or to declare Honors in the Major (departmental prerequisites may also need to be satisfied before one can declare HM). More information about admission to the Honors Program for continuing and transfer students can be found on our Continuing and Transfer Student Admissions page.

What is the normal deadline for application to the L&S Honors Program as an incoming first-year student?

All admitted L&S students are invited to apply. The actual deadline depends on when the student initiates the online application. A student has 30 days from first logging in to the Honors application to complete it. The deadline therefore depends on the applicant. We encourage students to apply as soon as possible to ensure a timely response. The final deadline for all applications is May 15 of the application year.

How can I be assured of receiving an admission decision from the L&S Honors Program before the national May 1st notification deadline?

If you were admitted to the university and submitted your Honors application before late March, you should receive your admission status letter before the May 1 deadline. Admissions to the university and to the Program continue beyond the May 1 deadline, however, so some students will receive notification of their admission status after that date.