Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to the Lewis Honors College? 

The Honors College Application is part of the UK Admissions Application, and also part of the Common Application - you can use either to apply to the Honors College. By completing the additional Honors essay included in the UK Admissions Application or the Common Application, we will receive and review your application for admission to the Lewis Honors College.


When is the Honors application due? 

The application to the Lewis Honors College is due by midnight (EST) on December 1st.


Do I need to achieve a certain score on my ACT/SAT to be admitted to the Lewis Honors College? 

UK and Lewis Honors College are test optional therefore students have the choice whether or not to submit their test scores. Submitting test scores can only help students, it cannot hurt them. Additionally, students will not be penalized in any way for not submitting test scores. 

The average test score for Honors students is a 30 composite ACT. 


How can I be a competitive candidate, and demonstrate my enthusiasm for the Program to the Admissions Committee?

We at the Lewis Honors College review and consider every aspect of a student’s application. This includes grade-point average, class difficulty, extracurricular involvement, and most importantly, the responses to the essay questions. We do not consider students based on geography, ethnicity, or gender. The essays carry a large amount of weight in an admissions decision because it is a strong indicator of both a student’s effort and enthusiasm. Students in the Lewis Honors College increase their depth of thought, cultivate opinions and ideas, and are able to successfully articulate those opinions in an organized and coherent manner. While these are all skills that students will build on throughout their undergraduate careers, the admissions committee looks to see that applicants have already begun honing those skills in high school. Furthermore, writing abilities are becoming increasingly more important when students are considered for graduate school and the job market. This is true for all fields, including the STEM field (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). Therefore, a demonstrated commitment to practicing and developing those skills early on will allow students to reach their highest potential through completion of the Lewis Honors College curriculum and be confident to pursue opportunities following graduation. The application process for admission to the Lewis Honors College is incredibly competitive.  For a typical incoming class, Honors receives over 5,000 applications for roughly 600 spots.


I did not get into Honors as an entering first-year student, but I am still interested in joining. Can I apply as a current student? 

Students entering their second or third year of attendance at the University of Kentucky who plan to remain enrolled for a minimum of 4 semesters are eligible for acceptance into the Lewis Honors College through upper-level admission


How does being an Honors student benefit my experience at the University of Kentucky?

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. You will also receive the benefits of priority registration for classes, the Center for Personal Development (CPD), and many other services reserved for our Honors students. 


How will being an Honors student improve my writing and communication abilities, and challenge my ways of thinking?

Upon entering your undergraduate career, you have the capability to greatly improve the ways in which you frame arguments and articulate your opinions. The Lewis Honors College at UK was created to nurture and develop those capabilities. We offer seminar style classes of no more than 25 students that provoke stimulating discussion under the guidance of a full-time faculty member. Honors provides you with improved writing and communication abilities, a like-minded cohort, and new and challenging ways of thinking while at the same time providing you with a direct line to campus resources that allow you to best benefit from these newfound skills. The flexibility of the curriculum is ideal for students who are developing new interests, and eager to explore new challenges.


How does the Honors Thesis requirement help to demonstrate the growth of students throughout their undergraduate studies? 

An Honors thesis is essentially a culmination of your central focus of study during your time at the University of Kentucky. The final paper, project, or creative artifact you produce helps to illustrate how students have developed and improved writing abilities and increased depth of thought.  The Honors thesis will look different for every student, an aspect of the program we pride ourselves on. 


How does the Honors Residential Experience cultivate an enjoyable environment conducive to learning?​ 

The Honors Residential Experience welcomes Honors students that want to live among like-minded peers who are intellectually curious and prioritize their studies, well-being, and community. Honors housing is located in both Lewis and Haggin Halls which are located on Central Campus and provides easy access to the Lewis Honors College, Jacobs Science Building, W.T. Young Library (and Starbucks), as well as The 90 dining facilities. The goal is for members of the Honors Residential Experience to become life-long learners as they aspire to live a balanced life in their communities and society beyond the University of Kentucky experience.


Is an Honors student able to participate in other academic programs on UK’s campus outside of the Honors College?

Honors students are encouraged to follow where their academic interests lead them. Many students pursue opportunities such as Biology ScholarsPsychology Scholars, and StemCats. Honors students are welcome to participate in other Living Learning Programs such an Engineering and StemCats if they have specific interests in those areas. The Lewis Honors College strives to be as flexible as possible to help students reach their academic goals here at the University of Kentucky.


How does the Lewis Honors College help you choose and enroll in classes you are interested in?

The Lewis Honors College strives to do our best to facilitate student success throughout their university career. For that reason, we offer priority registration in order to allow our students to have first pick of classes campus-wide. Students are then able to fully explore where their interests lie and choose classes that will complement each other. The Lewis Honors College offers individual advising in addition to the advising students receive in their major area of study. The Honors advisor’s primary concern is making sure a student fulfills his/her academic potential.


Is there an additional fee for participating in the Honors College?  If so, why?  What does it pay for?

Yes, there is a participation fee of $250 per semester.* The fee helps mitigate the costs of personalized, one-on-one Honors and career advising for all of our Honors students, co-curricular programming, and the smaller class sizes essential to the Honors experience. It also supports unique academic opportunities across the disciplines just for Honors students, and allows us to offer funding that defrays the cost of student research, study abroad, and other specialized ventures. In addition to our student contribution, we also receive support through generous donors and alumni gifts, which help us to build even stronger, more sustainable initiatives far into the future. 

*Fee will be waived for Pell-eligible students.  


The Lewis Honors College encourages prospective students to visit campus. We are more than happy to let you talk with a faculty member, sit-in on a class discussion, or chat with a current student over coffee. Feel free to contact us at 859-257-3111.