Honors Scholars Program

Apply to be a part of the University Honors Scholars Program »

If you have applied for your degree, and you will be completing the Honors Scholars Program this semester, please fill out the Honors Scholars Graduation Application »


The University Honors Scholars Program is a program within Honors intended to expand and enhance Honors education. Since its inception in 1999, the number of Honors students who have chosen to enrich their education with the many benefits of University Honors Scholars recognition has steadily grown to over 250 current members of the Honors community. University Honors Scholars are characterized by their high level of academic achievement and their commitment to the value of Honors education.

Honors students graduating with University Honors Scholar designation on transcripts and diplomas complete a minimum of 24 hours of Honors work. Frequently, University Honors Scholars graduate with Honors credits far beyond the required minimum. As much as half of the required coursework may be Honors general education (required of all University of Louisville students), with at least 12 credits in small Honors seminars of no more than 16 students featuring interdisciplinary work and experiences outside the classroom. University Honors Scholars receive multiple benefits (see below) from their Honors participation, including registration consideration in Honors seminars that incorporate subsidized travel and reservation of space in other seminars that encourage interdisciplinary perspectives. The Overseers International Seminar, which has taken students to many countries including China, Rome, Kenya and India, is part of the seminar series as is the national seminar that includes fieldwork in off-campus locales such as New York City and Washington, D.C.


University Honors Scholars Benefits

  • Significant proportion of coursework completed in close interaction with peers in the University Honors Program and with Honors faculty from many departments.
  • Independent research experience providing excellent preparation for graduate and professional training.
  • Enhanced seminars that encourage interdisciplinary perspectives and experience outside the classroom, and typically fulfill WR requirements.
  • Priority consideration for space in seminars that include either international or domestic travel (based on the level of Honors activity).
  • Enhanced programming for seminar participants that may include notable speakers, cultural events and voluntary service opportunities.
  • Opportunities to present seminar discoveries and research at Honors conferences.
  • Recognition at graduation and on transcripts as a University Honors Scholar. Students are designated University Honors Scholars upon graduation if the requisite 24 hours of Honors coursework is completed, and the grade point averages required at admission to the program are maintained.
  • The opportunity to sign up for a scheduled advising appointment each semester before other Honors students.



Admission to the University Honors Scholars Program requires the submission of an application, available in the Honors Office or on the web (see above). Eligibility requires: a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher; active status in Honors; a minimum GPA of 3.0 in completed Honors courses; completion of or enrollment in at least 6 credits of Honors coursework; and intent to finish the 24 hour program. Exceptions require approval of the Honors Program director.


Students apply for University Honors Scholar status any time after the first completed semester of college coursework.  Applications will be processed twice per year at the end of the first week of classes in the Fall and Spring semesters.  Transfer students who wish to participate should schedule an appointment with the director to review transfer credits before submitting an application.


Requirements, Arts & Sciences: University Honors Scholars must complete 24 credit hours of Honors courses, which may include up to 12 credit hours of general education requirements. The remaining hours must be earned in Honors seminars, consisting of interdisciplinary seminars at the 300 level or higher. Scholars must take at least one seminar from a division or unit different from the division of their major. Many University Honors Scholars take coursework well beyond the required 24 hours. Requirements in colleges other than Arts & Sciences may vary.



The following work may be substituted for University Honors Scholars Program requirements as follows:

  • General education credits may be substituted with: Honors seminar, departmental honors course at the 300 level or higher, or departmental honors seminar.
  • One Honors seminar course may be substituted with: An undergraduate research project such as a college honors thesis or a departmental research project that includes a significant written component.


    Sample Coursework Outlines

    University Honors Scholar progress:

    Honors General Education coursesCredit HoursHonors Scholars SeminarsCredit Hours
    English 1053HON 3413
    History 1063HON 3563
    Psychology 2013HON 4363
    HON 2143HON 346 or Senior Honors Thesis or departmental research3

    TOTAL 24 hours


    University Honors Scholars progress, with exceptions made, as indicated above:

    Honors General Education coursesCredit HoursHonors Scholars SeminarsCredit Hours
    English 1053HON 3413
    History 1063HON 3563
    Humanities 216 3Psychology 404***3
    Political Science *3Senior Honors Thesis**3

    TOTAL 24 hours

    * 300 level + departmental honors course

    ** Significant departmental research or Senior Honors Thesis

    *** Departmental course cross-listed with an Honors seminar