Incoming L&S Student Admissions

Are you looking to start your undergraduate education at UW and want to earn your degree from the College of Letters & Science (L&S)? Wonderful!

As a prospective or incoming L&S student, you can apply to the L&S Honors Program to pursue Honors in the Liberal Arts.

If you are interested in Honors in the Major, you can talk with advisors once on campus about formally declaring that plan either together with or separate from Honors in the Liberal Arts.

Incoming transfer students should see our information for continuing and transfer students.

On this page you will find information about:

  • whether Honors in the Liberal Arts could be a great fit for you
  • the Honors in the Liberal Arts application process and deadlines
  • student experiences with Honors in the Liberal Arts

Is Honors in the Liberal Arts for YOU?

All L&S students, regardless of Honors status, will take courses in a variety of academic areas as they complete their degree. This includes meeting requirements in three “breadth areas” — humanities (e.g. art history, cultural studies, philosophy), social sciences (e.g. sociology, political science, social psychology), and natural science (e.g. astronomy, botany, mathematics).

Honors in the Liberal Arts could be a great fit for you if:

  • you want to go beyond minimum requirements and make the most of your liberal arts education
  • you wish to engage deeply across multiple departments and disciplines, including in courses beyond your primary academic interest(s)
  • you are an active learner and will collaborate directly with professors and peers
  • you hope to extend your leadership and service capacities beyond the classroom

Please note that admission to the Honors Program is not connected to a monetary award.

Large group of students outside in front of Washburn Observatory

Application Process


Incoming students to L&S are eligible to apply to the Honors Program to pursue Honors in the Liberal Arts.

  • If you are admitted to L&S as a new undergraduate student for the summer or fall term, you will receive an email invitation with instructions to apply within a few weeks of admission.
  • If you have applied to L&S and have an active NetID, you can submit your Honors in the Liberal Arts application before receiving an admissions decision from UW.
  • Your application will not be reviewed until you have been admitted to L&S.
  • Honors Program decisions do not require you to commit to attend UW.

Students with a major outside of L&S (including School of Business and College of Engineering majors) are generally not eligible to complete Honors in the Liberal Arts through the L&S. You can find information about Honors in other schools and colleges, if available, at Wisconsin Honors.

Prepare Your Application

The Honors in the Liberal Arts application for Fall 2024 is currently under review and updates will be shared as they become available. The Fall 2023 application included the following elements, for reference:

  • Review the majors and certificates (similar to minors) available at UW. List up to four majors that you are most interested in right now. If you are currently interested in any of UW’s undergraduate certificates, you can also list up to two potential certificates with the label “certificate.”

List of majors and certificates in the College of Letters & Science.

List of all undergraduate majors and certificates at UW.

  • Select the Honors degree track you are currently interested in. Honors Overview
  • Explain why you are interested in the Honors track you selected in the previous question. In your response, address both what you hope to gain from participation in the Honors Program and how you would contribute to learning environments at UW-Madison. [Up to 250 words]
  • Think about topics you are or might be interested in, but have not gotten to study or take a class about yet. Invent two new courses that you would want to take, if they existed. For each course, explain what students would do in the course, why its topic(s) would be meaningful to you, and how your invented course connects to interests or activities you hope to pursue in college. [Up to 500 words]
  • List three examples of your involvement outside of classes that are particularly meaningful to you. Examples could be extracurricular activities, work experience, family responsibilities, community service, etc. [Up to 15 words per example]
  • Read and consider the mission statement of the L&S Honors Program. Then choose one of your examples of involvement from the previous question to write about. In your response, explain why that example of involvement was meaningful to you and discuss how that example relates to one or more aspects of the mission of the L&S Honors Program. [Up to 250 words]

L&S Mission Statement

Please do not send us additional materials or have your high school counselor send additional materials. Such materials will not be reviewed as part of your application for L&S Honors.

Submit Your Application

The incoming student application for Honors in the Liberal Arts can be found in the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH).

  1. Log into MyUW and open the WiSH app. If you use a direct link to WiSH, make sure you are logged into WiSH with your NetID.
  2. Complete the general application, if you have not done so already.
  3. Search for “Letters & Science Honors Program Honors in the Liberal Arts Application.”
  4. Save and submit your application before one of the deadlines below.


The Honors in the Liberal Arts application for Fall 2024 will be open beginning January 1, 2024.

We encourage you to apply as soon as possible, since space in the program is limited. Honors applications will be evaluated after admission to L&S according to the deadlines below.

Students who are admitted to Honors in the Liberal Arts as incoming students will begin their Honors experience with advising from the Honors Program during Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR).


Deadlines for the Fall 2024 admission cycle will be released soon. All deadlines end at 11:59 PM Central Time.

For reference, we have included the Fall 2023 deadlines below:

Monday, February 20, 2023: Initial priority deadline. Receive a decision from the Honors Program in mid-March.

Sunday, March 12, 2023: Receive a decision from the Honors Program in mid-April (and before SOAR registration opens).

Sunday, April 23, 2023: Final deadline for full consideration for Fall 2023. Receive a decision from the Honors Program by May 31.

Applications received between April 24 and May 7 will be considered for fall admission pending space availability. Decisions will be shared by mid-June.

Later Opportunities to Apply

Applying to Honors in the Liberal Arts as an incoming student is not the only way to join the Honors Program — it is just the first opportunity.

If you are interested in Honors in the Liberal Arts but not admitted as an incoming student, plan to meet with an L&S Honors advisor during your first semester and (re)apply through our continuing student application.


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

Honors in the Liberal Arts Student Perspectives

Anusha Naik

Credentials: B.S. with Honors in the Liberal Arts | Majors: Anthropology, Molecular Biology | Certificate: African Studies

The L&S Honors program pushed me to appreciate breadth in my education. As a member of this program, I took courses on obscure topics and gained unique perspectives on the world surrounding me.

Prachi Raina

Credentials: B.S. with Honors in the Liberal Arts | Major: Economics | Certificate: Business

I actually met my college best friend through the Honors Program! She and I were sitting at SOAR together trying to figure out classes for freshman year and I remember we were so nervous and excited about what was to come. Little did I know she would be my best friend all through college! The Honors Program brought me people that are willing to go the extra mile with me while having a blast along the way 🙂 Thanks L&S Honors for all the advising, ice cream socials, and friends!!

Christopher Murphy

Credentials: B.S. with Honors in the Liberal Arts | Majors: Biochemistry, History

My Honors experience has offered me a deeper and more comprehensive education and experience. It has not only allowed me to research topics that I would not have otherwise been able to study and to better get to know professors but also introduce me to other driven undergraduates. The Honors College, in total, has provided me richer and more intimate experience at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.