University Honors Program

Honors Courses

Honors courses are open to qualified undergraduates in any school of the university.

University Honors Program

The goal of the University Honors Program is to challenge students to launch extraordinary lives. We do this by providing exceptional classes, advising, and enrichment opportunities to academically motivated undergraduates at the University of Kansas. From Convocation to Commencement, we strive to foster a transformational community of critical thinkers — a community that is diverse, highly qualified, engaged, and motivated to lead.


Honors classes are typically small, discussion-oriented, and taught by exceptional instructors. Many honors courses fulfill KU Core (or major) requirements, but they are likely to do so in more depth than their non-honors equivalents. While there is no required number of honors credit hours in which a student must enroll each semester, students must complete at least six (6) honors courses totaling at least eighteen (18) credit hours to graduate with university honors.

During each student’s first year in the program, a semester-long seminar provides an introduction to an academic area of study in an informal setting that allows students to get to know one another and their instructor. The seminar explores critical questions in society and acquaints students with resources available at KU.

Whatever a student’s school or major, the University Honors Program encourages them to explore their interests through the broad curriculum choices KU has to offer, expanding their knowledge through a range of liberal arts and science courses. Additionally, honors students are required to engage in educational experiences beyond the classroom such as research, study abroad, internships, or community service.

An honors student's success team includes honors advisors, faculty fellows, and honors mentors. Jayhawk Academic Advising facilitates early and frequent contact with honors advisors who are knowledgeable about the student’s areas of interest. Honors students benefit from priority enrollment, which provides flexibility in planning one’s academic curriculum.

More information is available at the University Honors Program website.


Students from all backgrounds who are seeking academic challenge, personalized guidance, and an intellectual community during their time at KU are encouraged to apply to the University Honors Program. The program uses a holistic admissions process. For incoming first-year students, the program considers a student's response to short-answer questions and an essay prompt, as well as their academic record and involvement. For current KU students and incoming transfer students, applications are evaluated based on college GPA, involvement and activities, and an essay. Students interested in applying can learn more by visiting the University Honors Program website.

Requirements for Completion

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher at graduation.
    • Students whose GPA drops below 3.25 prior to their final semester will be expected to raise their GPA in subsequent semesters.
    • Students whose GPA is consistently below 3.25 over two or more consecutive semesters may be discontinued from the honors program.
  • One (1) first-year honors seminar (HNRS 190 or HNRS 195).
  • At least six (6) honors courses totaling at least eighteen (18) credit hours. These can include:
    • Courses designated HNRS.
    • Honors courses offered by individual departments or programs.
    • Graduate-level courses numbered 700 and above.
    • Less commonly taught languages (maximum of two courses).
    • Courses completed under an Honors Course Contract (maximum of two courses).
  • Four (4) Enhanced Learning Experiences (ELEs). Each ELE may have course-based and/or experience-based paths for completion. Each of the student’s four ELEs must be from a different category, chosen from among the following:
    • Public Service.
    • Cultural Literacy & Social Justice.
    • Global Citizenship.
    • Aesthetic Engagement.
    • Professional Development & Social Entrepreneurship.
    • Leadership.
    • Research Skills & In-Depth Learning.
    • Interdisciplinarity & Breadth of Learning.

To receive credit for an ELE, students must post a written reflection in their KU Portal when the experience is completed.
Though some experiences may overlap between two or more categories, no single activity can be counted toward more than one ELE requirement.
A course taken toward the 18 hours of honors credit can also be used to fulfill an ELE if the student completes an appropriate reflection.

For further questions regarding honors program requirements, please contact the University Honors Program at or 785-864-4225.

Nunemaker Center

Nunemaker Center, home of the University Honors Program, is located on Daisy Hill across the street from Templin Hall. Honors students are encouraged to take advantage of the spaces available at Nunemaker, including several classrooms and study areas, a kitchen, and comfortable lounges. The center is open most days and some evenings.