Continuing and Transfer Student Admissions

Enrich your UW-Madison Experience with Honors!

The Honors Program is home to students from a variety of experiences and backgrounds. While many enter the Honors Program as incoming freshmen, the road to Honors often incorporates a more nuanced path, one in which a student may find a love of learning later in their academic career as a continuing or transfer student.

The L&S Honors Program invites all 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

Continuing and Transfer Student applications may be submitted to the L&S Honors Program at any time. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and admission decisions are usually made within two weeks of submission of the completed application.

Honors Degree Tracks

While continuing or transfer students with 60 or more credits at the time of their application to the L&S Honors Program are eligible to participate in the Honors in the Liberal Arts (HLA) degree track, we encourage such students to consider Honors in the Major (HM) as an option for the honors degree. Students may find it difficult to complete the HLA degree requirements if they begin the program in their Junior or Senior years.

Students must maintain at least a 3.3 cumulative GPA at UW-Madison to remain in good standing in the L&S Honors Program. A minimum 3.3 cumulative GPA is required for graduation with an honors degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Continuing and Transfer Student Applications

Continuing students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and students transferring to Madison from another institution will be considered for admission to the Honors in the Liberal Arts (HLA) degree track based on their cumulative GPA (generally a 3.3 minimum) and their submission of:

Hard copy application forms are also available in the L&S Honors Program office in Washburn Observatory (1401 Observatory Drive). If you would like to have an application form mailed to you, please call the Honors Office at (608) 262-2984 or e-mail to request an application. Completed applications can be submitted to the L&S Honors Program office in person or via e-mail.

Information for Transfer Students


Questions regarding continuing and transfer student admissions can be directed to the L&S Honors Program Office by phone at (608) 262-2984 or by email at