Honors College

The major purpose of the Honors College (HC) is to give enrolled students a wider perspective in their studies. The HC is a community of bright, highly-motivated students looking to push themselves as intellectuals and individuals; outstanding alumni who are making a difference around the world; exemplary faculty who have a passion for teaching, mentoring, and advising; and a dedicated staff whose mission is student success.

For Honors students, the Honors College is more than a prestigious title and additional requirements. It is having unparalleled opportunities to work side-by-side with our best professors on cutting-edge research, travel to the far reaches of the globe to put theory into practice, and develop exhilarating projects that create new knowledge and may even change the world. It is a network of intelligent peers, connected through Honors courses. Honors at USK challenges students to develop their full potential by collaborating with dedicated advisers and faculty members to design individualized Honors College paths that best support their intellectual, academic, personal, and professional growth and development.


The Honors College is designed to enhance the USK experience for our most motivated, intellectually curious students. The primary pathway by which students enter our program is through their college admission to USK. Current USK students and transfer applicants can also seek admission to the Honors College.


The minimum criterion to be considered for the Honors College is a freshman or transfer GPA of 3.5 or higher. Students who are admitted into the program typically have outstanding academic records and impressive accomplishments outside of the classroom.

Admission Process

Prospective High School Students

The Office of Admissions identifies USK’s brightest applicants and invites them to the Honors College. For questions about this process, please contact the Dean of Admissions.

Prospective Transfer Students

The Office of Admissions identifies USK’s best transfer applicants and invites them to the Honors College. Transfer students who wish to be considered for admission into the Honors College should direct questions about this process to the Dean of Admissions.

Current Students

USK students may apply during their first year to the Honors College. Students who wish to be considered for admission into the Honors College during their first year may find information about this process from the Dean of Admissions.

Honors Requirements for Current Students

In addition to all coursework required of all USK students (i.e., major, general education, integrated interdisciplinary core required coursework), current USK students who are admitted to the Honors College must also complete at least six Honors Special Workshops by the end of their undergraduate studies. There Honors Special Workshops are offered every semester on various advanced topics in the arts and sciences.

Students in the Honors College may take one course per semester at the Honors level (Honors course). The course may be taken in any subject area. The course will require a deeper engagement of the subject as well as additional academic work (paper, project, etc.). On successful completion, the student will earn an extra semester hour credit and course honors designation. (For example, a student completing a 3-semester honors-designated course will earn 4 semester hours.)

Transcript Notation

Students earn Honors notation on their transcripts and in the graduation program if they achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.


Health Scholars Honors Program

The Health Scholars Honors Program (HSHP), an Honors College program, provides an environment that fosters intellectual and personal growth, peer support and friendship, and ethical values. HSHP offers exceptional students who are interested in the health professions and committed to community service a unique opportunity to enrich their undergraduate education while attending USK.  The program challenges students to find the right professional school and career by exploring health-related sciences and professions through faculty and health-care professional-led Honors seminars and workshops.

Application to HSHP is separate from, and in addition to, application to the University. Students may enter the program as freshmen or as college transfers prior to their fourth semester.

Factors in the admission decision are the student’s high school and/or college grades, class rank, the rigor of the courses the student has taken, the quality of the required application essays, a strong recommendation from a math or science instructor, standardized test scores, and the student’s interest in science, health and service as demonstrated by extracurricular activities. Admission is highly selective.

  • Explore health professions pathways and clarify your career goals
  • Gain a better understanding of a specific health profession
  • Build rapport with health care professionals and find out about future shadowing opportunities
  • Learn from people who work directly in your area of interest
  • Better understand a work environment
  • Learn how to break into a field and find out if you have what it takes to succeed
  • Broaden your network of contacts for future reference
  • Build confidence for your professional school interviews
  • Access the most up-to-date industry information

Students who are admitted to HSHP may be invited to participate in Early Acceptance Programs in medicine (DO), dentistry (DDS), or pharmacy (PharmD) at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. USK is a LECOM-affiliated university. For more information, visit https://lecom.edu/admissions/entrance-requirements/early-acceptance-programs/.