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 as well as counseling 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 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 the fall 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 of 3.6 cumulative GPA is preferred. Students with a GPA below 3.4 are not eligible as students must maintain a 3.4 cumulative GPA to maintain good standing in Honors. 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 support in Honors). 

Transfer Students

Transfer students are eligible to apply if they have completed fewer than 60 credit hours and plan to remain at UK for at least four semesters. 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 first institution or members of Phi Theta Kappa at a two-year institution.

Information Sessions for Prospective Upper-Level Students

We will hold four info sessions during the fall semester for prospective Lewis Honors College students. Join via Zoom at https://uky.zoom.us/my/kaylapowell. No registration necessary.

  • Wednesday, February 15, 3:00-4:00pm
  • Tuesday, March 16, 2:00-3:00pm
  • Monday, April 12, 3:00-4:00pm
  • Thursday, May 6, 12:00-1:00pm


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 the 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): Who are three people that you feel have made a significant impact on the world in the last 100 years? Who are they and why did you select them? How would you want them to be recognized or memorialized (for example, with a day, a celebration, or a monument, etc.)?
  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. Statement of Endorsement: Applicants should submit the name, title, and email address of a faculty representative from their primary major who has agreed to write a statement of endorsement on the applicant’s behalf. When arranging to secure a statement of endorsement, students should inform potential faculty that the letter needs to include a) details outlining how Honors will enhance the applicant’s educational journey, and b) clear indication that the endorsing faculty member (or other faculty in the department) will support the applicant’s Honors thesis completion. The faculty representative will be contacted with instructions on how to submit their statement of endorsement upon submission of the ULA application. Transfer student applicants may contact the academic department they plan to enroll in at UK or can provide a letter of recommendation from a faculty member at their first institution. This letter should come from someone outside of the Lewis Honors College.

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.

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.


Beginning the fall semester of initial enrollment, students admitted through the ULA process will receive a minimum of $500 per semester in scholarship funds. This award can be used to offset the $250 per semester Honors fee. Remaining funds can be used for academic or personal expenses.

Decisions and Important Dates

Admission decisions will be released on a rolling basis starting in January. Decisions will be made by a committee of Honors faculty and staff who will review the application to ensure the student will have a high probability of success in the Honors College. Students will be evaluated on college GPA, quality of writing samples, and confirmation of thesis completion support from the applicant’s primary department.

Students who submit their application for Fall 2021 admission on or before December 15, 2020 will receive their admission decision by February 15, 2021 and be eligible for early priority registration for the Fall 2021 semester. All students wishing to be admitted to the Lewis Honors College for Fall 2021 should submit their application materials no later than May 15, 2021. Students should anticipate receiving admission decisions on or around June 15, 2021.

Contact Us

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

Apply Here