Frequently Asked Questions about the Honors Program at Utah Valley University


Who do I contact about enrolling in the program?

All the contact information and information regarding applying for and graduating from the Honors Program is on our website, www.uvu.edu/honors.


Who is eligible to join the Honors Program?

In judging applications, the Honors Program considers the student's high school academic record (including grades and courses taken), standardized test scores, and writing ability (as demonstrated in a brief essay on one of several assigned topics). Normally a high school grade point average of 3.50 or higher is recommended, as well as an ACT composite score of 25 or above, or SAT composite of 1200 or above. However, there are no cut-offs and students can fall above or below these average scores. We encourage all interested students to apply. Please find the details for applying on the UVU Honors Program’s web page: www.uvu.edu/honors.

Will I automatically be admitted to the Honors Program if I meet Honors admission criteria?

No. Acceptance into the Honors Program is not automatic and not all admitted students are awarded a scholarship. Students must submit an Honors application. The typical freshman application deadline is February 15 of each year (for new or transfer students seeking a Tuition or Housing Scholarship), but the Program offers rolling admission and a very limited number of scholarships for continuing students. All students applying to the program must submit an ACT or SAT score. We are currently developing a fully-online application.

Should I schedule a personal interview with a member of the Honors staff prior to submitting my application?

Such an interview is not required for admission to the Program. However, if you are interested in the Program and would like to find out more about it, we encourage you to visit campus after scheduling an appointment with a member of our staff. If you visit us during the academic year, we can arrange for you to sit in on an Honors class in which you may be interested. The UVU Admissions Office offers daily tours of the entire campus throughout the year.

Once I’m accepted, what’s the next step?

Students are notified of acceptance into the program via letter to their UVLink email. That letter will detail for you the courses you need to register for, as well as any other information regarding initial enrollment in the program. Most students schedule a meeting with their Honors Coordinator to help plan a schedule that appropriately integrates Honors alongside their other coursework. One of the benefits of being in Honors is Priority Registration (meaning you get to register as soon as registration opens), so we encourage you to get all your advising with Honors and in your major taken care of before registration begins!

How many students are in the Program?

There are approximately 400 students in the Program (out of a total undergraduate population of 30,000). Approximately 120 first-year students enter the program each year.

What are Honors courses like?

Except in rare cases, enrollment in Honors courses is limited to 15–25 students. Honors classes typically involve more discussion and less lecturing/note-taking, more critical and analytical thinking and less simple memorization, and more writing and less objective testing than regular classes. The general goals of the Honors Program are to promote students’ abilities to recognize and draw interdisciplinary connections, to engage in critical thinking, to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, to promote student self-confidence and intellectual independence, to enhance students' abilities to work collaboratively with others and to enhance students' global and intercultural awareness.

Must I take extra courses to be in the Honors Program?

Yes. The UVU Honors Program requires students to take 9 credits of specialized courses: three semesters of the one-credit Honors Colloquium (HONR 100R), as well as HONR 2000: Ancient Legacies and HONR 2100: Modern Legacies. Other courses required for graduation with Honors are drawn from courses that fulfill General Education or major requirements. See the website for a detailed list of which courses and how many credits you must complete.

What criteria must I meet in order to remain in the Honors Program?

You must keep a 3.4 GPA to graduate from Honors and complete the required credits that are determined by the point at which you enter the program. Students who fall below a 3.4 GPA prior to graduation must participate in an Honors probation program to help repair their academic performance problems. Students earning a grade below B- in an Honors Core class will be required to retake the class in order to earn Honors credit.

Will my GPA be lowered by my participation in the Honors Program?

Not likely. Because Honors students are typically bright, mature, and well-motivated—and because the environment in Honors classes is especially conducive to learning—Honors students tend to make higher grades in their Honors classes. Each year over 90% of first-year Honors students earn a 3.0 GPA or higher. The average first-year Honors student earns a GPA of 3.5 in his/her Honors classes—and an identical 3.5 in her/his non-Honors classes.

What academic honors may be earned by Honors students at graduation?

UVU Honors students are able to graduate with two kinds of Honors: “Latin” honors such as cum laude and magna cum laude (which are based strictly on GPA); and University Honors (which are awarded by the Honors Program). The primary requirements for graduation from the Honors Program are a university grade point average of 3.4 or above, 26–33 credits hours of Honors coursework in a range of fields (including HONR 100R, 2000, and 2100), and the completion of an Honors Thesis or Honors Project. Each year, a number of UVU Honors students are also initiated into distinguished academic fraternities, including Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key Honor Society.

Are Honors courses more difficult than non-Honors courses?

Honors courses tend to require more writing, critical thinking, and class participation than non-Honors courses. However, most Honors students come to appreciate and enjoy the special challenges posed by Honors courses—and take as many Honors courses as they can.

What enrichment activities are offered by the Honors Program?

The Honors Program offers a wide range of enlightenment activities, including guest speakers, discussions led by Honors faculty, informal reading, research, and service groups, and excursions off-campus to outdoor activities, museums, musical and theatrical productions, as well as other sites and events. The close relationships students form within the Program Director and Coordinators, as well as with faculty during the Honors Thesis or Project phrase, allow for insightful letters of recommendation and individualized guidance.

Do I have to take all Honors courses?

No. We recommend that most Honors students take a mixture of Honors and non-Honors courses each semester.

What are Honors faculty like?

Though they have very different personalities and academic interests, Honors faculty all enjoy working with bright and well-motivated students, prefer interactive teaching methods to traditional lecturing, and enjoy conveying the excitement of intellectual discovery to their students.

What other benefits are available to Honors students?

Honors students receive priority registration for both their Honors and non-Honors classes. Honors students have access to academic advising every day in the Honors office, a place where students are warmly welcomed and encouraged to feel at home. Honors students receive personal attention and enjoy the sense of community, which are normally available only at small liberal arts colleges. For many students, these benefits ease the process of adjustment to college life.

Is special housing available for Honors students? Who is eligible?

Yes, the Honors Program awards 36 Housing Scholarships each academic year, which pays for 2/3 of the rent at a local apartment complex. Students have private rooms in an all-Honors apartment. Honors housing offers students a strong sense of community; regular opportunities for fun, relaxation and socializing; special programs of interest to students; onsite Resident Advisors; and an environment in which the need to study is appreciated. The mission of the Honors Housing is to create a seamless educational environment that supports the goals of the Honors Program.

Only students who apply for and are accepted into the Honors Program are eligible for the Housing Scholarship, including non-resident students. We typically award 36 Housing Scholarships annually during February and March on a competitive basis to our highest-achieving applicants. The average ACT score for students accepted into Housing is typically 27.

Will having been in the Honors Program benefit me after graduation?

Honors students have access to special educational opportunities designed to foster their long-term intellectual and personal growth. Their participation in the Honors Program is also likely to enhance their postgraduate job prospects and/or application to graduate and professional schools. Honors Program graduates from UVU have recently gone into a number of exciting post-baccalaureate endeavors. Some of our recent graduates are enrolled in graduate and professional programs at the University of California, Riverside, Western Washington University, Eastern Oregon University, and Arizona State University, just to name a few.

Navigation and Links

01. Home / Honors Program Introduction and Overview

02. Honors Program Admissions / Application

03. Honors Curriculum / Classes

04. Honors Requirements / Academic Standards / FAQ

05. Honors Scholarships

06. Additional Honors Program Information


Honors Program Staff


Honors Program Director: 
Dr. Kate McPherson 
Office: LC 204a 
Telephone: 801.863.8055 
Email: kmcpherson@uvu.edu 


Program Coordinator: 
Allen Hill 
Office: LC 202a 
Telephone: 801.863.6841 
E-mail: allen.hill@uvu.edu 


Program Coordinator: 
Tiffany Nez 
Office: LC 204a 
Telephone: 801.863.6223 
E-mail: tiffany.nez@uvu.edu 


On Campus | Main Office: LC 204 | Telephone: 801.863.6262 | Fax: 801.863.6562 |
Email: HonorsProgram@uvu.edu | Web: www.uvu.edu/honors 


Mailing Address | Utah Valley University | Honors Program MS 274 | 800 West University Parkway | Orem, Utah 84058-5999


Student Handbook2 

Honors Student Handbook (pdf)




Honors Course Requirements / Academic Standards


Honors Core Requirements

The Honors Program requires that all students entering the Program complete the nine-credit Honors Core within the first four semesters of enrolling. Students must take Ancient and Modern Legacies (HONR 2000 and 2100) in the first year of their membership in the Honors Program. Additionally, they must also take Honors Colloquium (HONR 100R) in their first two semesters.

These core classes help Honors students become part of an academic community and help them develop the habits of thought necessary for successfully graduating with Honors.


Petition for Exception to Policy

Students may petition the Honors Program Director for an exception to this policy, but such petitions should be reserved for rare occasions and only to resolve serious conflicts. Conflicts with work schedules, most academic courses, vacation or travel schedules, and transportation problems do not generally constitute acceptable reasons for an appeal.


Acceptable reasons for an appeal might include:

1. Scheduling conflicts with other academic coursework required for the student's major that prevent the student from enrolling in any of the offered Honors Core sections available

2. Placement in an internship that requires a student to be off-campus and thus prevents enrollment in any of the offered Honors Core sections available

3. Requirements for collegiate athletes that prevent the student from enrolling in any of the offered Honors Core sections available

4. Health or family concerns that prevent a student from enrolling in any of the offered Honors Core sections available


Appeal Letter

Students should write a formal letter to the Director stating the reasons for the appeal and explaining a clear plan for completing required Honors Core classes as soon as possible. Students should also meet with their Honors Coordinator prior to submitting any such appeal. Appeals are reviewed and voted on by the entire Honors Steering Committee within 15 days of submission.