The Lewis Honors College provides students with the opportunity to enhance their academic and co-curricular experience at University of Kentucky. From their acceptance through graduation, Honors students have a special home on campus in the Lewis Honors College and its inviting Scholars’ Lounge. Entering freshmen are welcomed onto campus early to attend Lewis Launch, and are matched with a Peer Mentor and a group of their classmates, many of whom become fast friends. Honors courses are small (capped at 25), filled with fellow honors students, and taught by dedicated, talented faculty. Honors courses offer not simply “more” or “harder” work, but instead give students access to broader, deeper, and more complex learning experiences than standard courses. Honors students learn from each other in discussion-based, small courses.
Priority registration for all courses
Honors students are given “priority registration” during scheduling, meaning that they are able to choose and schedule classes before anyone else on campus. This benefit allows students to be very deliberate about which courses/electives they choose to explore during their undergraduate years at the University of Kentucky.
Lewis Honors College has its own advising team, whose members are specially trained to work with gifted and accelerated students. Once matched with an Honors advisor, students keep that advisor throughout their time at UK. They work to develop their college (typically but not always a four-year) plan, which will help them get the most out of their UK experience. Our advisors help students invest their pre-college work and plan strategically for their future. The Lewis Honors College is a natural home for students who have multiple academic goals and a significant amount of academic flexibility due to their rigorous high-school course work in AP/IB.
In addition to their Honors Academic Advisor, every Lewis Honors College student is paired with a counselor in our Center for Personal Development (CPD). These counselors help students explore their purpose as they set and reach both personal and professional goals. College is an important time to grow, explore various interests, deepen skills, and to make challenging decisions about the future. Our counselors are here to talk through all that with students. The Center also promotes well-being and career readiness in individual sessions and group activities.
Distinction, Scholarships, Grants, and Awards
Every student who graduates from the Lewis Honors College earns the distinction of University Honors on their UK diploma. At our biannual Honors Medal Ceremonies, our graduates also receive the Honors Medallion, a tangible symbol of their intelligence and hard work during college. The College presents annual awards for excellence in research, leadership and service. In addition, enrollment in Lewis Honors College offers students access to funding and awards that are available exclusively to them: we award $75,000 every year, on average, in need- and merit-based scholarship funding, and another $53,000 to support student research, travel, Education Abroad, and summer study. Additionally, if students are selected to be an Otis A. Singletary Scholar, they receive mentorship, support, and free tuition for four years plus some support for on-campus housing for two.
Individualized preparation for scholarship opportunities, such as the Rhodes Scholarship, Truman Scholars and Fulbright Fellowships and for opportunities on UK Campus
The Lewis Honors College has successfully nominated Fulbright Scholars, Rhodes Finalists, Marshall winners and more. Honors faculty, advisors and CPD counselors get to know students and help them pursue special opportunities, like those with UK’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. You may find the full list of Nationally Competitive Award recipients here. Honors advisors assist students in the step-by-step preparations for these prestigious awards, which often include taking part in faculty-mentored undergraduate research. We also mentor students as they apply for opportunities on campus such as the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, The Gaines Center for for the Humanities or participating in simultaneous Undergraduate and Graduate Study through the University Scholars Program. Honors also sponsors the Early Assurance Program (EAP), which puts accepted sophomores on a special track towards acceptance at the UK College of Medicine.
Honors Residential Experience & Inclusive Belonging
The Lewis Honors College is dedicated to providing a distinctive living environment among like-minded peers who are intellectually curious and prioritize their studies, well-being, and community. The Honors Residential Experience provides a space for any Honors students (first-year through senior) in both Lewis and Haggin Halls which are located on Central Campus, next to the Lewis Honors College, Jacobs Science Building, and W.T. Young Library. Both in the Honors Residential Experience and in the Honors College, we are committed to providing a welcoming, inclusive space for students of different identities, beliefs, and interests.
Education Abroad, Internship, and Research Opportunities
The Lewis Honors College works closely with the Office of Education Abroad to ensure that our students get access to high-quality education abroad experiences, including opportunities to do research and internships. Honors students have the capability and the drive to go above and beyond in their Education Abroad Program, and doing so can help them discover new opportunities and can also set them apart on job market. Students have done everything from working with the head of the CDC in London, England to studying emerging medical technology in Costa Rica. Funding is also available for students to do undergraduate research abroad. Through regular info sessions and deliberate Honors advising, the majority of Honors students are able to take their interests abroad while earning experiential education credits.