The Honors Program at UK has a long and proud history, dating back to 1961, and thousands of students have passed through our program, exploring themselves and the boundaries of thought with outstanding faculty.
An Honors education at UK opens up an exciting world of inquiry, including research, education abroad, and service that will challenge students intellectually, provide access to the most creative minds at UK, and prepare participants for advanced study and to make a difference in the world upon graduation. The Honors curriculum requires Honors coursework in UK Core Inquiry, participation in at least two for-credit Honors Experiences, a Senior Capstone, and a choice of coursework campus-wide to fulfill the educational goals of the Honors student.
HONORS SEMINAR COURSES are taught by Honors professors, have a maximum of 20 students, and class discussions are an important feature. Many Honors courses are created specifically for UK Honors students, and the course topics vary tremendously every fall and spring term.
HONORS DEPARTMENTAL SECTIONS are taught by professors in their own academic departments who have enhanced their courses for Honors students through increased interdisciplinary content, use of primary materials, writing and discussion intensity, incorporation of independent research, or other elements that aim to deeply develop critical and analytical skills. Examples of Honors Department Sections include Honors General Chemistry II, Honors War and Society, Honors Asian Philosophy, Honors Statistics, Honors Algorithm Design and Analysis, Honors Special Topics in Horror Writing, and many more. These courses are typically available to Honors students at any level, unless there is an established prerequisite for the course.
HONORS COURSE CONVERSIONS allow a student to take a non-Honors course for Honors course credit by enhancing the experience with components to provide additional rigor and more depth of study. The Honors Course Conversion process requires, with the approval and oversight from the faculty of record for the course, a student submit a proposal outlining these additional components and articulating how that additional work makes the course Honors-worthy and relevant to the student’s interests and/or course of study. Students seeking permission for a conversion must request approval for an Honors Course Conversion by the end of the 3rd week of the semester by submitting a Course Conversion Proposal Form.
GRADUATE-LEVEL COURSES numbered 600-level or above count as an Honors course - simply notify your Honors advisor to earn Honors course credit (no forms are needed). 500-level courses and 400-level G suffix courses can also count as Honors courses by following our approval process. 500-level courses and 400-level G suffix courses allow the professor to teach the course to both undergraduate and graduate students. Courses taught at the 500-level or 400-level courses with a G suffix can count towards Honors course requirements, provided that the student completes the graduate-level work assigned in the course, as defined by the syllabus. The syllabus must indicate that there are additional requirements for graduate students, and the Honors student must complete the graduate student course requirements with the professor’s prior approval and oversight. Students must request Honors Program approval for a graduate-level course to count for Honors by the end of the 3rd week of the semester.
HONORS EXPERIENCES include undergraduate research, education abroad, experiential learning, and service learning opportunities. Honors Experiences provide unique ways for Honors students to expand their horizons by conducting academic research, learning from professionals in their field, working with community service agencies, or by immersing themselves in other cultures around the world. Six credit hours of Honors Experience credit is required, and many majors have required or optional courses that can count. Please consult our list of pre-approved Honors Experience courses to see if your major has any coursework required that can already satisfy some or part of this requirement. If you plan to go abroad, please complete the Education Abroad submission form so we can award Honors Experience credit for the courses you take while abroad.
Credit-bearing Honors Experience options in Honors (v. departmental courses) are:
HONORS CAPSTONE is a formal thesis or creative project of the student’s choosing, to be directed by a professor in the student’s major department. The Honors Capstone is designed to round out a student's educational experience in Honors. An Honors Capstone requires completion of a significant research paper, a unique project, or an artistic performance. Students must submit a capstone proposal form prior to taking the course. Students may take HON 398 to fulfill this requirement, but many majors at UK require completion of a similar capstone or thesis course. Please consult our list of pre-approved Capstone courses to see if your major has a required or optional course that can be used to satisfy the Honors Capstone requirement (please note that all capstone projects require successful proposals to Honors).