Upper-Level Admission

Upper-Level Admission to the Lewis Honors College

The Lewis Honors College at the University of Kentucky welcomes applications for Upper-Level Admission (ULA). Membership in the Honors College provides students with enhanced opportunities to deeply explore their chosen field of study. Students will also have access to expanded course offerings, faculty mentorship, Honors advising, and career support through the Center for Personal Development (CPD).


Apply Here


Students entering their second or third year of attendance at the University of Kentucky and transfer students (see below) who plan to remain enrolled for a minimum of 4 semesters are eligible for acceptance into the Lewis Honors College. Applicants who submit their materials by the December deadline and are accepted into the Honors College will be eligible for Honors priority registration for their first enrolled semester. All students accepted through the ULA process will begin enrollment in the Lewis Honors College starting the fall semester after notification of their acceptance, regardless of when the application was submitted. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.60 is preferred as Honors students are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.40 to maintain good standing in Honors. Applicants with a cumulative GPA below 3.40 should explain in their personal statement their plans for increasing their GPA to at least a 3.40 (to avoid being placed on academic notice in Honors). 


Transfer Students

Transfer students are eligible to apply if they plan to attend UK for at least two academic years. Applicants must submit all college transcripts and may be asked to submit a high school transcript. Preference will be given to students enrolled in Honors Colleges/programs at their prior institution or members of Phi Theta Kappa at a two-year institution. Transfer students do not need to indicate interest in Honors in their admission application to the university. 


Information Sessions for Prospective Upper-Level Students

Fall 2023 Information Sessions:

Wednesday, September 27
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Lewis Honors College U136

Monday, October 30
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Lewis Honors College U136

Thursday, November 16
2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Virtual Zoom Meeting ID: 825 1140 2247

Drop-in office hours for ULA application questions:

Tuesday, December 12
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
In-person: Lewis U118B
Virtual Zoom Meeting ID: 825 1140 2247


The application for Upper-Level Admission to the Lewis Honors College consists of five parts:

  1. General information: Online form collecting student and academic data.
  2. Statement of Intent: State your rationale for wanting to apply to the Lewis Honors College. Be sure to explain how prior experience (academic achievements, extra-curricular activities, leadership, service work, etc.) has prepared you to be successful (300 words maximum).
  3. Short Essay: Address the following prompt (500 words maximum): Kentucky is one of four states that is a Commonwealth. The term means the state is for the common good.  What do you consider to be for “the common good” and how do you hope to use your life experiences, challenges, uniqueness, and intellect to contribute to the common good in your community, as you define it?
  4. Writing Sample: Submit a writing sample (preferably from a course in your intended major) that highlights excellence in thought. The writing sample should be double-spaced (12-point standardized font, 1-inch margins). Typical submissions are between 4 and 10 pages, but there is no page number requirement.
  5. Letter of Recommendation: Applicants should write the name, title, and email address of a faculty member who will write a letter of recommendation on the student’s behalf. This letter should speak to the student’s ability to engage in the classroom and perform at a high level academically.

Documents must be uploaded as either .pdf or .docx files



Students entering the Honors College as second-year ULA admits (with three years remaining until graduation) will have a reduced curriculum requirement of 21-credit hours. Students entering the Honors College as third-year ULA admits (with two years remaining until graduation) will have a reduced curriculum requirement of 15-credit hours. Students will work with their Honors academic advisor to select coursework. 


Early Assurance Program

Students who apply for the Early Assurance Program do not need to submit a separate ULA application. All students admitted to EAP will receive automatic acceptance to the Lewis Honors College.


Decisions and Important Dates

Admission decisions will be made by a committee of Honors faculty and staff. Students will be evaluated on college GPA, quality of writing samples, and confirmation of thesis completion support from the applicant’s primary academic department.

Students who submit their application for Fall 2024 admission on or before midnight on Friday, December 15, 2023, will receive their admission decision before priority registration begins for the Fall 2024 semester. All other students wishing to be admitted to the Lewis Honors College for Fall 2024 should submit their application materials no later than midnight on Friday, May 3, 2024. Students should anticipate receiving admission decisions by mid-June 2024.  


Contact Us

For questions regarding the ULA process, please contact Kayla Powell at kayla.powell@uky.edu


Apply Here