Continuing and Transfer Student Admissions

First-year Honors students begin their evening with a shared meal overlooking beautiful Lake Mendota.

Thank you for your interest in the L&S Honors Program! The Honors community is enriched when continuing UW students and new transfer students join our program.

Below, you will find more information about the application process for your Honors track(s) of interest.

If you have not already done so, please review our Honors Overview page before continuing.

Application Instructions

Honors in the Liberal Arts

To apply to Honors in the Liberal Arts as a current UW student or a student transferring to UW from another institution, complete the following steps:

  1. Review the requirements for the Honors in the Liberal Arts track
  2. Earn a minimum 3.3 GPA after at least one semester at UW (continuing UW students) or at the institution you are transferring from (new transfer students)
  3. Have an advising appointment with one of the L&S Honors Program advisors. This appointment can be scheduled via Starfish (continuing UW students) or by emailing or (transfer students). This appointment with a member of the L&S Honors staff member must take place prior to the submission of your application. 
  4. Complete the appropriate application:

*Note: The transfer student application must be completed using your email address. Transfer students can activate their email address after being admitted to UW-Madison.

Each application contains similar components: student background information, a review of Honors requirements and student academic history, and three essay questions. These essay questions, each limited to a maximum of 250 words, attempt to have students reflect on their goals within the Honors Program, their specific plans for upcoming semesters, and a demonstration of their potential contribution to the Honors Program.  

Please note that students with more than 60 college credits may find it challenging to prioritize and complete Honors in the Liberal Arts. We encourage you to talk about your goals with advisors and to consider Honors in the Major, especially if you are most interested in research and deeper learning related to your major.


Transfer Students 

  • All application steps must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to SOAR date
    • Applications not received by this deadline will not be considered and students are then encouraged to apply as continuing students using the guidelines below.

Continuing Students

  • Students seeking an admission decision by the beginning of the Summer 2024 start of classes (May 28, 2024) must submit application materials by Friday, May 3 at 11:59 pm.
  • Students seeking an admission decision by the beginning of the Fall 2024 start of classes (September 4, 2024) must submit application materials by Friday, August 2 at 11:59 pm.

*Note: If you are in your first semester as an undergraduate student at UW-Madison, your application will not be reviewed until an official university GPA has been posted.

Honors in the Major

To declare Honors in the Major, you must first declare your intended major through the process defined by the relevant department. We encourage you to discuss your interest and confirm major-specific requirements and processes for Honors in the Major with a departmental/major advisor as soon as possible. Major-specific requirements can also be found in the Guide.

After receiving approval from your assigned major advisor, complete the Honors in the Major Declaration Form.


Honors in the Major declarations do not have a deadline, though they should be made prior to beginning a Senior Honors Thesis.

Comprehensive Honors

Complete the steps to be admitted to both the Honors in the Liberal Arts and Honors in the Major degree tracks. If you are interested in pursuing this track, we strongly recommend meeting with both major-specific advisors and Honors advisors regularly to determine feasibility and get support with planning.

Student Experiences

Megan Binkley

Transfer Student

The Honors Program generously provided financial support that allowed me to complete five weeks of anthropological research in Norway in the summer of 2019 for my Honors Thesis. After this, I also had the opportunity to work with the Honors Program as a SOAR Peer Advisor during the summer of 2020. Both of these experiences were fundamental in shaping my direction and long-term goals, and I met a number of amazing people along the way!

Benjamin Sevart

Continuing Student

I was attracted to the L&S Honors Program for the support it provides and for the opportunity to meet other students with similar interests.

Clarence Harley

Continuing Student

This goes for all Honors experiences I’ve had, but one thing that stands out to me during my time as an Honors student is the closely connected network of Professors and Faculty that are happy to work with you at all times.


Many common questions are answered on the following pages:

Honors Overview Admissions FAQ

If you cannot find the answer to your question, Honors staff members are there to support you! You can contact us at