Curricular Issues

Academic Minors

A minor is a structured group of courses that leads to considerable knowledge and understanding of a subject, although with less depth than a major. Some employers consider minors desirable, and the corresponding major requirements at the University may stipulate a minor. Some students choose to complement their major program with a minor in a related field or even in an entirely different field of interest. Students interested in pursuing an academic minor should contact their college student services office and the department responsible for the minor program for guidance and advising. Please note that undergraduate students can only complete a minor in addition to and as a complement to a major. The University does not award stand-alone minors.

A complete listing of all academic minors at the University of Kentucky may be found at the following link under the “Minor Sheets” tab: . Students and advisors can also use the “What If” function in APEX to view minor requirements.

Credit Hour and Course Types

Student Credit Hour Definition (from the University Senate Meeting (May 7, 2012):

“The University of Kentucky is required by the U.S. Department of Education and our accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, to define for the institution how credit is awarded for its curriculum. The responsibility for curriculum lies with the faculty, and so it is required that the University Senate determine how such credit is to be awarded.

The Senate’s Admissions and Academic Standards Committee has proposed the following definitions of a credit hour for different types of instruction, to be codified in the Senate Rules. They used, in part, the “Carnegie Unit” as a guide to determine how much contact time and other effort should be used to determine the equivalent of one credit hour. Drawing on the traditional lecture or discussion, in a traditional 3 hour course, they determined that the current traditional definition is c. 800 minutes per credit hour (15-16 weeks x 3 x 50 minutes/ 3 = 750-800 minutes). Using c. 800 minutes, as the marker, they then requested information from colleges about how other meeting patterns should be measured, based upon workload, discipline, and in some cases standards of accrediting agencies.

The 800 minute marker, while cumbersome, allows instructors to measure contact hours and other effort for sessions of different lengths of time other than traditional semesters.

The result is divided here into direct contact with the instructor, with notes on how that direct contact expresses itself. “Other effort” is comprised of courses such as internships, studio, clinical hours, and clerkships. The explanation gives more information about the source of the assigned hours.”

Equivalency Grid (page 3): 

Course Numbering

An extensive explanation of course numbers (“Course Numbering System”) can be found in the UK Bulletin directly preceding Course Descriptions. 

Variable Credit

A variable credit course is one in which a range of credit hours is allowable. Often these courses involve independent study, research projects, special topics, and/or experiential learning. Some will require prior authorization from the instructor or department. Prerequisites and limitations on these courses are listed in the Course Catalog and the Bulletin.

While registering for the course, students must choose the number of credit hours to be taken. Initially, students will type in the course information into myUK and will subsequently receive an “error” message to “Verify Results”. This message prompts the student to choose the number of credit hours in a highlighted drop-down box. If the number of credit hours is not altered, the student will be registered for the default number of hours associated with that course.

Distance Learning

Distance Learning courses are those in which students do not meet in a traditional “in person” format. To find Distance Learning courses, look for courses with section numbers beginning with “2” (e.g. 201, 202, etc.), complete a search in the course catalog and click on the “Include only Distance Learning offerings” button, or look at a full list of offerings on the Distance Learning website ( ).

Keep in mind that “Distance Learning” is not synonymous with “online” as there are a variety of course patterns available: Internet, Internet w/ weekly class meetings, ITV (Interactive Television), Internet w/ weekly Adobe Connect meetings, etc. The course catalog indicates the medium by which the course material is delivered.

According to the Distance Learning website, “Online courses utilize a number of internet technologies such as learning management systems, email, discussion boards, streaming video, wikis, interactive video, and web-conferencing. Online courses can be completely asynchronous (no ‘real-time’ interaction) or can have synchronous components (some real-time interaction).” 

The Distance Learning website also provides resources to help students determine if they have the aptitude and technology to succeed in an online course.

Temporary Titles

Courses offered as “pilot” courses are designated with a temporary title. Most departments have a designated course prefix and number with which an experimental course is offered. Arts & Sciences pilot courses are listed under the category “A&S”. Newly approved UK Core courses are offered with “UKC” prefixes. The course catalog will indicate that the title is temporary and if the course is repeatable under that title. Announcements about new courses are often disseminated through the Advising Network listserv.

Special Topics/Subtitled Courses

Some courses are offered topically or with various subtitles in order to address specialized or timely subjects. The course catalog for a given semester will indicate the specific subtitle of the course and whether or not the course is repeatable under a different subtitle. For example, ENG 401: Special Topics in Writing may be repeated under different subtitles (e.g. “The Essay”, “Literary Journalism”, “Spiritual Writing”) to a maximum of six credits.

Curricular Proposals

Curricular proposals include the following:

  • New degree programs
  • New courses
  • Changes to current degree programs
  • Major changes to current courses
  • Minor changes to current courses

Process for New Programs, New Courses and Major Changes to Current Courses:

The new proposal, program changes or major course changes are reviewed and approved at the department level.

The new proposal or major course changes forms are completed in eCats for review and approval at the college level.

If approved at the college level, the proposal(s) are forwarded electronically to the Senate Council Office for review and approval by the Undergraduate Council or Graduate Council. 500 level courses are reviewed by both councils since they are considered undergraduate and graduate level courses.

After approval by the appropriate council(s), the information is sent to the University Senate electronically for review and approval.

Once approved by the University Senate, an email is sent to the department, college, a listserv and the Registrar’s Office notifying them that the new proposal, major program changes or major course changes have been approved. Updates are made online to major sheets, course descriptions, Schedule of Classes and anything else related to curriculum. 

Minor Course Changes include the following:

  • Change in number within the same hundred series, exception of 600-799 is the same “hundred series”;
  • Editorial change in course title or description which does not imply change in content or emphasis;
  • A change in prerequisite(s) which does not imply a change in course content or emphasis, or which is made necessary by the elimination or significant alteration of the prerequisite(s);
  • A cross listing of a course as described above.

Process for Minor Course Changes:

The minor course change is approved at the department level.

The minor course change form is completed in eCats for review and approval at the college level.

If approved, the form is submitted electronically to the Senate Council Office for approval by the Chair of the Senate Council.

Once approved, the college, department and Registrar’s Office are notified of the change. Updates are made online to major sheets, course descriptions, Schedule of Classes and anything else related to curriculum. 


The University of Kentucky offers a degree audit reporting system for students and advisors known as myUK GPS. MyUK GPS is an integrated system that helps students do both short and long term planning, register courses for the current term, and view their progress to make saure they are staying on track to get their degree on time. The Application is available for all students and advisors at the undergraduate level. Students who entered the University of Kentucky in 2016-17 or 2017-18 academic years will have access to Degree Audit and Major Templates with other catalog years rolling out as they become available. The course planning and application guide can be found at For students who have a catalog year prior to 2016, students and advisors can access Degree Planner (APEX) and view tutorials on how it operates and its functions through myUK.

More detailed information on how to manually add exceptions, processing exceptions through the Degree Audit Team, and many other helpful tips can be found at


Degree Requirements

A list of all majors alphabetically or by college may be found at

120 credit hours is the minimum hours required for any undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky. There are numerous degrees that require more than 120 hours. To find the number of hours required for a specific degree refer to the major sheet found at

Information about college requirements including GPA requirements may be found in the bulletin under The Colleges and Their Programs. Please select the appropriate bulletin/catalog year at .

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning at University of Kentucky is most often referred to as an “internship” or a “co-op” (cooperative education). The difference is that an internship can be a part-time or full-time work experience for a student, while a co-op is most exclusively a full-time work experience. The distinction between an internship and co-op is most important when considering a student’s plans for enrollment. An internship that is part-time would allow a student the chance to continue making progress toward degree via coursework in addition to the intern experience. Some colleges at UK do not allow students to enroll concurrently in a co-op or internship that is full-time and additional academic coursework without approval via an exception. This exception is at the discretion of the college, please see the college’s student services office for more information.

Due to federal labor regulations*, an employee must be compensated in some way. In the case of an internship or co-op, a student can be compensated with money paid or by way of earning academic credit. If academic credit is necessary or desired, a student has many options depending on the college in which s/he is enrolled.


At the university level, there are two types of enrollment related to internships and co-ops: EXP 396 and 397. Both EXP enrollments are managed through the Stuckert Career Center (located at the corner of Rose St. and Euclid Ave.) EXP 396 is enrolled at the tuition rate 1-3 credit hours depending on the minimum number of work hours the student will accumulate. EXP 397 is enrolled at the tuition rate of one credit hour and a student is considered full-time status; EXP 397 is only an option if a student will be working as an FTE (full-time equivalent) employee for an employer. Student status (i.e., part-time versus full-time) is important for many reasons, including but not limited to: eligibility for student athletic tickets, financial aid eligibility, eligibility for campus housing, and student insurance rates.

In the case of either EXP 396 or 397, a student is required to complete a learning contract in consultation with the employer and a faculty sponsor selected by the student.

The complete details, policies, and procedures related to EXP 396 and 397 can be reviewed at:

Note:Each college at University of Kentucky also has respective means for students enrolling in internship and co-op experiences (e.g., ACC 399 for students working full-time with an employer directly related to the professional field of accounting). Those departmental specific internship/co-op enrollments are managed by the department and college. For more information related to enrollment for department or college specific internship/co-op courses, contact that department or the Stuckert Career Center.

General Education Exceptions

In some cases students may have completed courses at the University of Kentucky or another university that are not designated as UK Core classes, but may fulfill a content area. The student’s advisor should help the student determine if the material covered in the class in question fulfilled a UK Core content area. If the advisor and student believe that there is substantial evidence that a content area was fulfilled the advisor can assist the student in filing a General Education Exception to have the course reviewed. The General Education Exception can be found here. If a student is seeking a graduation writing requirement exception, please refer to that section of the manual.

Transfer students from a quarter system may have courses that fulfills a UK Core content area that are less than 3 credit hours. An exception can be filed as long as the course in question was worth at least 2 credit hours. 

If the course in question is a transfer course, the course must first be evaluated by the transfer equivalency office prior to filing the petition.

Information needed

  • Course prefix and number
  • College or university where course was taken
  • UK Core area being petitioned
  • Link to General Education requirements at institution where course was taken.
  • Student’s major at time course was taken.
  • Electronic copy of syllabus. If a student does not have access to the syllabus, he/she should contact the university or department where the course was taken. In most cases a syllabus can be provided.
  • Justification of request


  1. Once submitted, the request is reviewed by the General Education Exception Committee
  2. The committee’s decision is sent to the student and student’s advisor
  3. In the case of request denial, appeals are handled by the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
  4. APEX is updated to include the substitution

Graduation Writing Requirement and Graduation Composition Communication Requirement

The Graduation Writing Requirement (or GWR; also called the Second Tier Writing Requirement) was established in order to create two tiers of writing proficiency for undergraduate students. Under this model, all students must successfully complete a first-year writing requirement and a second-tier writing requirement/GWR course.

Beginning fall 2014, every incoming student completing an undergraduate degree at UK will be required to fulfill the Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement. Every undergraduate degree-granting program and major will be required to fulfill the stipulations of the GCCR by assuring a clear path to its completion for their majors.

In order to fulfill the Graduation Writing Requirement, students (who were admitted prior to fall 2014) must:

  • Complete the first tier writing requirement (i.e. Composition and Communication I and II; ENG 101, 102, & acceptable COM course; ENG 102 & acceptable COM course; or GETA certification in the Communications Category)
  • Have 30 earned hours at the time in which the GWR course is taken
  • Successfully complete a specified course in their major/area of emphasis or an approved 200-level literature or film course through the English department

In order to fulfill the Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement, students (who were admitted for fall 2014 and after) should consult with their advisor regarding which Graduation Composition and Communication course(s) would be appropriate for their major.

For more information on the GWR/GCCR, please consult

Schedule of Classes

The Schedule of Classes provides a complete listing of available courses each academic term. The Schedule of Classes also provides important course related information, such as course descriptions, course restrictions, class meeting times, class location, maximum course capacity, and instructor’s name.

Individuals with access to myUK should refer to the following instructions for accessing the Schedule of Classes.

Students: If you are a currently enrolled or admitted student and you have a Linkblue Account, search for classes using the myUK portal. Log in to myUK and click on Student Services at the top left. Then, click on Degree Planning and Registration. Finally, choose Course Catalog in the drop-down menu.

Faculty and Staff: Log in to myUK and click on Student Administration. Then, click on Academics. Finally, choose Course Catalog directly below Registration.

Individuals without access to myUK can access the Schedule of Classes using the following link:

The University Senate

The University Senate shall be composed of both elected and ex officio members.

The ninety-four (94) elected faculty shall be full-time faculty elected from and by the respective college faculties. The elected faculty representatives in the University Senate have the authority assigned to “the faculty of the University” under KRS 164.240 to recommend to the Board of Trustees the conferral of earned degrees from the University and the conditions for and award of honorary degrees. The University Senate membership, composed of both elected and ex officio members, is authorized to perform all other functions delegated by the Board of Trustees to the University Senate.

The University Senate is not assigned any management or administrative functions. The University Senate functions include the following:

  • Determine the broad academic policies of the University, including the similar academic policies that may be made necessary by governmental or accreditation agencies, and make rules to implement these policies.
  • Upon the recommendation of the University Senate, the Board of Trustees shall make the final University decision on the establishment or closure of degree-granting academic programs. Other decisions on the academic status and content of academic programs shall be made by the University Senate, pursuant to procedures contained in the University Senate Rules.
  • Make final decisions for the University on curricula, courses, certificates and diplomas offered at the University.
  • Adopt policies for the University academic calendar and establish the annual calendar upon recommendation by the University Registrar.
  • Recommend to the President and Provost on the establishment, alteration, abolition, and reporting relationships of educational units in the University.
  • Advise the President or the President’s designated officer on the planning for physical facilities, personnel and other resources when these may affect the attainment of educational objectives of the University.
  • Advise the President or the President’s designated officer, through appropriate committees, on criteria, policies and procedures for performance review, appointments, reappointments, promotions, granting of tenure, and benefits to faculty in the University.
  • Determine the conditions for admission and for degrees, other than honorary degrees, in the University, pursuant to KRS 164.240.
  • Recommend to the Board of Trustees all candidates that have been approved for degrees in the University, pursuant to K164.240.
  • Address the President or, through the President, the Board of Trustees, regarding any University matter.

Transfer Equivalencies

When a student is admitted to the University of Kentucky, prior college level course work excluding non-transferable courses is evaluated and is recorded as part of the student’s permanent UK academic record. The evaluation of transfer courses involves a determination of how the courses may be equivalent to University of Kentucky courses. This process is referred to as equivalency determination. Faculty in the corresponding UK academic department will review the course information and recommend the equivalency. When a transfer course is found to be equivalent, this is noted in the student’s academic record and on the official academic transcript. At this point, the transfer courses may satisfy pre-requisite requirements and degree requirements as an exact substitute for the University course (provided that other academic residency rules do not apply). This policy defines terms and processes used in the evaluation of transfer work and the determination of its applicability to a University of Kentucky degree. The same process is followed if a current UK student takes a course at another institution and transfers that course back to UK.

Transferable and Equivalent Courses and the Process for Evaluation

  1. The following types of courses are not transferable to the University of Kentucky:
  • Courses from non-accredited universities*;
  • Development courses or other courses which are remedial in nature and are deemed to be below the post-secondary level.
  1. UK academic departments determine equivalencies for courses that the department teaches. A department may determine that a course from another institution:
  • is equivalent to a specific UK course (and may be used to satisfy pre-requisites and degree requirements);
  • is assigned general credit within that academic department’s area at a given level (e.g., ENG 2---, indicating that the course is transferable, that it is not equivalent to a specific UK English course, but that the transfer course is recognized as college level credit within the English department at UK). Also see #6 and #7 for another use of the departmental general prefix.
  1. In cases where the external course is appropriate for the post-secondary level credit, but UK does not offer a similar course or course area (e.g. Criminal Justice courses), UK will accept these as General Elective credits and they will be noted as GEED1---, GEED2---, etc. on the UK transcript and in the student’s degree audit. The level of the GEED courses is determined based upon what level it is taught at from the receiving college.

* Accredited refers to a regionally (e.g., SACS) accredited institution in the US higher education system or international institutions that are chartered by their national government or otherwise recognized to be similar in quality to accredited US institutions. Courses from a regionally accredited institution that does not also have a professionally accredited program in a given discipline are transferable. However, a UK department that has a professionally accredited program may consider transfer courses from such a non-professionally accredited institution as not being equivalent to UK courses (i.e., the courses would transfer in a non-equivalent manner).

  1. Courses accepted as transferable, whether as equivalent or general elective credit will be included in the overall grade point average calculation of transfer work for admission of an individual student. For a transfer applicant, all transferable courses presented will contribute to the transfer grade point average, which must be a cumulative 2.0 grade point average or above. That is, a transfer applicant may not exclude courses considered to be general elective credit from the calculated transfer grade point average. Transfer grade point averages are used only for admission purposes to the University and they do not factor into the UK grade point average.
  2. Developmental courses and other non-transferable courses that are included on a transfer student’s transcript are not recorded on the UK transcript. These courses are also not included in the calculation of the transfer grade point average for admission purposes.
  3. If a transfer course carries more credit hours than an otherwise equivalent UK course, the equivalency will be assigned the UK hours associated with the class, with the remaining hours being transferred in as general credit within that program of study (e.g., a four hour external English course might transfer in as being equivalent to three hours of a specific UK English- ENG 230 course plus one hour of ENG 2 --- elective credit). If the external course has fewer hours than a similar UK course, the general procedure will be to assign this external course an equivalency based upon faculty recommendation from the corresponding department. Students will earn the credit based upon the transfer course hours.
  4. If a pair of courses is split (e.g., a lecture and lab component) at UK but not at the external institution, both component courses must be present for an exact equivalency. If only one of the component courses is present on the external transcript, it will be transferred in as general credit for that specific discipline.
  5. The Admissions Office is responsible for recording the grades for transfer courses. When necessary, the Admissions Office will convert hours of quarter-based credit to semester-based credit.
  6. The Transfer Equivalency Office and the academic schools/colleges work together to maintain an accurate and time-stamped database of transferable and equivalent courses from external institutions. The DUS (Director of Undergraduate Studies) in the colleges are sent requests to evaluate external courses on a weekly basis. These requests which are sent by the Transfer Equivalency Staff include a courses description at minimum and may also include a syllabus in order to assist in the determination of the UK equivalency. These documents assist the faculty member in determination of the course content at the transfer institution. All transfer equivalency determinations for external courses are time-stamped in the database and are applied to individual students as the relevant equivalency at the time the student transfers course(s) to UK.
  7. A minimum grade of D- (minus) is required on all courses transferred to UK. Some colleges and departments may require a higher grade for specific courses to satisfy degree requirements. To determine programs which require higher grades in courses please review the Major Sheets at
  1. The transferability of course credit earned at two-year institutions is limited to a total of 67 semester hours, regardless of the total number of hours earned. All work from any four year regionally accredited institution is posted to the UK transcript.
  2. Except as already described, the mode including location of delivery or age of a course is not considered when assigning transferability and equivalency.
  3. The University makes available on its web site the database of equivalent external courses. This information is refreshed on a nightly basis. Current UK students and advisors can view the same information in myUK under the Admissions tab. This information should be used to assist current UK students who wish to take a summer school class at home over the summer. If a course is not found in the data base students should be directed to the Transfer Equivalency Office to assist in getting the summer course in question evaluated for UK credit.

Applicability of Transferred Courses

The above definitions and guidelines apply to the determination of a database of transferable and equivalent courses from external institutions. If a transfer course is equivalent to a UK course, it is fully equivalent with regard to serving as a pre-requisite and satisfying a degree requirement.

If a course is given general academic area transfer credit (e.g., ENG 3---), the course should count at the indicated level as an elective course in that area and contributes to any requirement dealing with total hours in that area (e.g., to contribute to a requirement of 12 hours of upper division English). If a course is assigned general elective UK credit (e.g., GEED3---), it applies to the total credit hour count and to the total hour count at the upper (or lower) division level. However, such a course will satisfy a degree requirement only if the program stipulates that general GEED satisfies elective credit requirements for that program. An individual student may petition for a General Education Exception or a degree program Exception in cases where a course may have been deemed “not equivalent“ in the initial equivalency analysis.

As a part of the Kentucky Statewide GETA (General Education Transfer Agreement), certain courses from the other eight participating schools have been identified as applicable to requirements in the UK Core program. These transfer courses will have one of the three equivalencies (ENG 230, ENG 2---, or GEED2--- as an example) attached to the course as well as an indicator to inform students and advisors where the course fits into the UK Core (AH HUM). As an example, a transfer equivalency may be displayed as ENG 230, AH HUM.

Display of Transfer Credit

Transfer credit will be displayed on a UK student’s transcript in summary form. A more detailed listing of external courses and UK equivalencies is provided to academic advisors and students via UK’s degree audit system, Degree Planner APEX. All students have access to Degree Planner APEX upon being admitted to UK.

Entry of Transfer Information

The Admissions Office is responsible for entering transcript information for admitted transfer students. This will be done as timely as possible for presentation of equivalencies to both the students/applicants and advisors. As equivalencies are established by the Transfer Equivalency Office they will be updated on the transcript as well as in the student’s degree audit in APEX Degree Planner.

Role of Academic Departments

Academic departments are integral to the process of making equivalency determinations, for courses from external institutions. The basic premise is that departments that “own” a particular subject area are responsible for making equivalency determinations in that area. It is important for departments to make the equivalency determination in a timely manner, so that students and their advisors can have available appropriate information about the equivalency of their transfer courses in order to register for the appropriate classes. The goal is for faculty to respond with a transfer equivalency decision within two weeks of receiving the request from the Transfer Equivalency Office. The Transfer Equivalency Office staff has follow up procedures established with departments to ensure that equivalencies are completed.

Ongoing Review of Transfer Equivalencies

The Transfer Equivalency Office is responsible for sending a thorough listing of all currently applicable transfer equivalencies to the appropriate faculty members for review on a yearly basis. The expectation is that each department will review and make any revisions as appropriate to these and return any needed changes or deletions to the Transfer Equivalency Office so that equivalencies are updated on an annual basis where applicable.

Ongoing Review of CLEP, AP, and IB equivalencies

The University of Kentucky treats CLEP, AP, and IB courses as transfer courses in our system. The UK Equivalency for each course in these areas is determined by the appropriate faculty member in each department. Therefore, the review of each established equivalency is sent to the appropriate faculty members by the Sr. Associate Registrar on a yearly basis so that it becomes published in the UK Bulletin each academic year.

UK Core

UK Core is the University of Kentucky’s general education program. Implemented in fall 2011, it is comprised of ten course areas and designed to address four learning outcomes

Students must take one course from each of the areas listed in order to complete the UK Core. A course taken to satisfy a requirement in one area of UK Core cannot be used to satisfy a requirement in another area, even if a specific course is present in more than one area (e.g., some courses are designed to meet the learning outcomes in more than one area). 

Students must complete a minimum of 30 hours of approved classes to satisfy the UK core requirements. Depending on the college and/or major, some students may complete more than 30 hours. Some colleges and/or majors have specific course requirements for certain UK Core areas. Refer to the major sheets for more detail on required UK Core classes for certain majors.

Course Areas

Intellectual Inquiry

Inquiry in Arts and Creativity – 3 credit hours

Inquiry in the Humanities – 3 credit hours

Inquiry in the Social Sciences – 3 credit hours

Inquiry in the Natural, Physical, and Mathematical Sciences – 3 credit hours

Composition & Communication

Composition and Communication I – 3 credit hours

Composition and Communication II – 3 credit hours

Quantitative Reasoning

Quantitative Foundations – 3 credit hours

Statistical Inferential Reasoning – 3 credit hours


Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA – 3 credit hours

Global Dynamics – 3 credit hours

To find courses that fulfill the various areas of UK Core, refer to Some courses are only offered once during the academic year; refer to the web site at the start of the semester to determine what courses are being offered. Additionally, courses with the prefix UKC are frequently offered, and those course listings and descriptions can be found at the link above.

Additional information about the UK Core can be found at

UK Honors Program

The Honors Program at University of Kentucky has been a cornerstone for challenging the brightest and most academically gifted students that enroll at the university since 1961. The UK Honors Program is an integral facet of not only challenging the most capable students at the university, but also connecting students with faculty, research and co-curricular opportunities to enhance their overall experience. The UK Honors Program is a selective admission experience and students typically begin the program as they enter the university in their freshman year. However, interested students who are currently enrolled and are not yet part of the program are encouraged to apply for admission as well.

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. There are Honors Course expectations across the academic career of the student, opportunities for residential experiences in Honors Living Learning Communities, particularly during the first two years, academic flexibility, and enhanced advising an co-curricular opportunities.

The Honors curriculum has changed numerous times in the recent past due to many changes in General Education course offerings and structure. It is best to review the Honors Program website in order to ensure accurate advising. The UK Honors Program has an advising staff located on the bottom floor of Central Dorm, Building 1, able to work with students to navigate and successfully complete the program requirements.

The flexible curriculum is designed to make it easy for a student to complete the program requirements without undue hardship of adding many additional courses outside of the curriculum that is required from completion of the students’ academic program in their respective college.

The complete details of admission requirements, curriculum, policies, and procedures related to the UK Honors Program can be reviewed at:

Note:Each college at University of Kentucky also has respective means for students enrolling in honors type experiences (e.g., SEAM-Scholars in Engineering and Management, a collaborative honors experience for students in both College of Engineering and Gatton College of Business & Economics). Those departmental specific experiences are managed by the departments and colleges. For more information related to enrollment for department or college specific honors experiences, contact that related department or college.

Undergraduate Certificates

The University of Kentucky’s undergraduate certificate programs offer our students a convenient and flexible way to earn credentials for career advancement. All are cross-disciplinary clusters of courses integrated in a way that identifies a set of skills or knowledge that carry college credit and is applied to a student’s undergraduate degree program. Students may declare their intent to complete a certificate program at any time. To do so they should contact the Student Services or Advising Office where their primary major is housed, but they are not required to meet with an advisor before adding the certificate. This is the same process a student would follow to add a minor or second program of study to their record.

Certificates at UK are only awarded to students who successfully complete (or have completed) a baccalaureate degree. Ideally, a certificate can show a potential employer or graduate program’s faculty a specific expertise that a UK graduate brings with them to their new career.

A certificate program at UK must be at least 12 hours but rarely exceeds 24 credit hours. It is typically constructed to be flexible and respond quickly to emerging and cutting edge fields. Unlike the usual minor attached to a baccalaureate program, certificate programs must include at least two different academic disciplines and students are expected to have experiences that do not fit “traditional” academic models.

All UK certificate programs must require students to:

  • be in good academic standing upon admission to the certificate program;
  • take at least 12 credit hours taken for a letter grade; at least 12 credits at 200-level or above and a minimum of 6 credit hours at 300-level or above;
  • take no more than 9 credits in the certificate program that are used to satisfy requirements for the student’s bachelor’s degree, minor, or another certificate (exclusive of free or unrestricted electives);
  • earn a C or better in each required certificate course;
  • take courses in at least two disciplines, with a minimum of three credits to be completed in a second discipline;
  • work with the designated Faculty Director to assure that the individual certificate curriculum is appropriate.

All certificate programs are assessed upon the fifth year of their duration. If a certificate is suspended or terminated, students currently enrolled shall have a reasonable period of time, not to exceed three years, to complete the requirements for the certificate.”

There are several approved undergraduate certificate programs: Global Scholars (College of Business & Economics), Power & Energy (College of Engineering), Musical Theatre for Voice Majors (College of Fine Arts), Musical Theatre for Theatre Majors (College of Fine Arts), Peace Studies (College of Arts & Sciences), and Global Studies (Undergraduate Studies). Information on the certificate programs is available at:

Once a student has expressed the desire to add this certificate program, an academic advisor or support staff should add certificate to the student's record in SAP. The program should be listed as an additional/2nd program of study for currently enrolled degree seeking students. In the case of non-degree students, the certificate is the primary/1st program of study. Instructions on adding a 2nd degree program can be found on the IRIS myHelp site for SLCM functions. In addition to the SAP notation, an APEX exception must be entered. The website for the Global Studies certificate includes a description of the process by which an APEX exception for the program is made.

Other considerations:

  • Students pursuing only a certificate program (Undergraduate or Graduate) are not eligible for federal financial aid.
  • Students have previously completed a UK degree and who subsequently enroll as postbaccalaureate/non-degree students must meet the minimum Graduate School admission requirements for that status.
  • The faculty director of the certificate program approves the individual certificate curriculum for each student and informs the Registrar when the certificate is complete and may be awarded.
  • The awarded certificate will be posted on the student’s official transcript but will not appear on the diploma. Programs may award a paper certificate, to be signed by the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education or the appropriate designee (e.g., a College Dean) and the certificate faculty director.