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).


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Students entering their second or third year of attendance at the University of Kentucky are eligible for acceptance into the Lewis Honors College. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the fall and spring semester. Applicants who submit their materials by the last class day of the fall semester and are accepted into the Honors College will be eligible for priority registration in the spring 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 or decision was received. A minimum of 3.6 cumulative GPA is preferred. 


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):
     If you were to create a new Mount Rushmore, what four individuals (or figures of any kind) would you place on it and why? And how and where would you create this monument?  
  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). 
  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.

The Statement of Intent, Short Essay and Writing Sample 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 (pending approval of the Senate). 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.


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 costs.

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 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 GPA (at the University of Kentucky), quality of writing samples, and confirmation of thesis completion support from the applicant’s primary department.

Students who submit their application for Fall 2020 admission on or before December 1, 2019 will receive their admission decision by February 1, 2020 and be eligible for priority registration for the Fall 2019 semester.

All students wishing to be admitted to the Lewis Honors College for Fall 2019 should submit their application materials no later than May 15, 2020. Students should anticipate receiving admission decisions on or around July 1, 2020.

Contact Us

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

Apply Here