Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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. As a reminder, every entering first-year student will receive some form of scholarship support.
*Fee will be waived for Pell-eligible students.
How will being an Honors student improve my writing and communication abilities, and challenge my ways of thinking?
Upon entering into 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 in order 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 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. We hope that students may then be 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 an Honors student able to participate in other academic programs on UK’s Campus outside of the Honors Program?
Honors students are encouraged to follow where their academic interests lead them. Many students pursue opportunities such as Biology Scholars, Psychology Scholars, and StemCats, both of which can enrich and further their Honors education. Furthermore, 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 in order to help students reach their academic goals here at the University of Kentucky. In addition, the Lewis Honors College has been fortunate to form partnerships with the Gatton College of Business and Economics and the College of Engineering to provide customized academic pathways through the Honors College. Honors Pathway Programs allow students in certain majors to have a more specialized trajectory through the Honors curricula.
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 College cultivate an enjoyable environment conducive to learning?
The ability to study, work, and live among outstanding fellow undergraduate scholars is an element of Honors that is extremely exciting, particularly for an incoming student. Honors Residential College, also referred to as the Honors Quad or “H-Q”, has the capability to be a substantial resource for students, and the more involved a student is, the greater benefit the residential college can be to him or her. Fellow scholars are able to keep one another aware of exciting opportunities, challenge and support each other, and come together in new and innovative ways. For many students, the Honors Residential College will resemble a liberal arts college atmosphere, while still retaining the resources of a large university. Furthermore, in order to help support the diverse interests of our students, living in the Honors Dorms is not a requirement for students, though we expect all first-year students to engage in one of the university’s many Living Learning Programs.
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 they are strong indicators 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, as well as 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 4,500 applications for roughly 500 spots.
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.