Honors Program Admission Requirements


Admission Criteria

Admission to the Honors Program is competitive yet open to all. We read every application individually and base admission on an assessment of an applicants's curiosity, initiative, and intellectual flexibility, combined with consideration of GPA, standardized test scores, prior academic work, a writing sample, and demonstrated commitment to high achievement in intellectual, artistic, athletic, community, and similar endeavors. The Honors Program admits a limited number of students each academic year, typically 100–120.

Because UVU is an open-admissions university, the UVU Honors Program maintains a flexible approach to admitting students, but we use the following general guidelines:

1. Students applying as traditional freshmen are expected to have completed a college preparatory curriculum in high school.

2. A high school GPA of 3.50 or higher is strongly recommended, as well as an ACT composite score of 25 or above.

3. Preference in admission to the Honors Program will be given to students whose high school transcript indicates they are prepared for a wide variety of possible college majors, although demonstrated strength in a particular sector (the sciences, the arts, the humanities, etc.) can also be attractive.

4. Current UVU or Transfer students applying for admission to Honors should typically have a college GPA of at least 3.4, accrued with at least 30 credit hours. Successful completion of required writing and mathematics courses is also highly recommended.

5. No firm cut offs exist and each completed application is read carefully. All interested students are encouraged to apply.


Admission Entry Points: Freshman and Junior

The Honors Program at Utah Valley University has two entry points: Lower-Division (students having earned fewer than 60 credits) and Junior-Entry (students having earned 60 credits or more). Each entry point has its own set of course requirements and students admitted to the Program should meet with their Honors Coordinator to plan their schedule.


Distinction as an Honors Graduate

To receive distinction as an Honors Graduate, Freshmen admitted to the Honors Program should complete a total of 21 lower-division Honors credits in their first two years. Depending on the degree program, students should then complete between 12 and 18 upper- division Honors credits, which includes a two-semester Honors Thesis or Project prior to graduation.

Transfer and Continuing Students Transfer and Continuing students admitted to the Honors Program (having earned 60 credits or more) should meet with their Honors Coordinator and the Director to determine an exact course of study.


Program Requirements

All Honors students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.4 and should complete at least one Honors course per semester. Please note that some UVU academic merit awards require students hold a higher GPA. Honors students holding an Honors academic scholarship at UVU must maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher and complete 15 credits per semester, depending on the conditions of the award.



How to apply to the Honors Program / Housing Award


Application Form

For admission to the Honors Program and/or Honors Housing, please complete the Honors Program's online application form. It can be found at https://orgsync.com/61220/forms/101583. Applications for the Fall 2014 semester will be accepted through August 4, 2014 at 11:45 PM. All program financial awards have been issued for the 2014-15 academic year.

1. If not a member of the UVU OrgSync community, you will be prompted to either log in by providing your email address and password or become a new member.

2. To become a member of OrgSync and complete the online application form, you will then be prompted to enter some basic information and create an account. 

3. Once an OrgSync account has been created, you will then be prompted to complete the online application form. Please read the instructions carefully and have ready to upload your completed essay(s) in PDF, .doc or .docx formats (essay prompts are listed below). If you have questions about using our online application, please call 801-863-6262 or 801-863-6841 for assistance.

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Only students admitted to the Honors Program are eligible for Honors Housing. Utah Valley University maintains a contract with Ventana Student Housing and pays two thirds monthly rent for each four-bedroom Honors suite. Honors students live with each other and each pay the remaining third of the rent, currently approximately $130 each month.

For additional Utah Valley University scholarship information, please click here


Prior to beginning Honors Program Application Form:

  • Please complete the application essay(s) using the prompts below.

  • Please have your completed application essay(s) in PDF, .doc, or .docx formats.

  • If you have questions about using our new online application, please call 801-863-6262 or 801-863-6841 for assistance.


Admission Essay Prompts

The cornerstone of the UVU Honors application is the essay. Draw on your best qualities as a writer and thinker; academic risk-taking is a core value of the Honors Program, so take some risks and have fun. We borrowed the questions below from the University of Chicago's famously unusual admissions essay tradition.

Work on the essay carefully, remembering that eloquent writing is both difficult and powerful. Have someone edit your writing but don't let an editor erase your unique voice. Your response will be evaluated on content as well as form (spelling, grammar, and punctuation). Please keep your response in the neighborhood of 500 words.

1. A famous quote by José Ortega y Gasset, the Spanish philosopher proclaims, "Yo soy yo y mi circunstancia" (1914). José Quintans, from the University of Chicago, sees it another way: "Yo soy yo y mi microbioma" (2012). Make a case that you are you and your. . .? How do you mediate between the two?

2. "This is what history consists of. It's the sum total of all the things they aren't telling us." (Don DeLillo, Libra) . What is history, who are “they,” and what aren’t they telling us?

3. The mantis shrimp perceives both polarized light and multispectral images, using the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom. Human eyes have color receptors for three colors (red, green, and blue); the mantis shrimp has receptors for sixteen types of color, enabling them to see a spectrum far beyond the capacity of the human brain. What might they be able to see that we cannot? What are we missing?

4. How are apples and oranges supposed to be compared? Possible answers involve, but are not limited to, statistics, chemistry, physics, linguistics, and philosophy.


Housing Award Essay Prompt (if applicable)

Please compose an additional essay on the topic below that showcases your best writing ability. As in the essay described in section C, please demonstrate original thinking and polished writing. Proofread carefully to remove typos, clichéd phrasing, and unclear ideas. The most impressive essays will be clear and lively and will give us a vivid sense of who you are and what you can bring to Honors Housing. Aim for about 500 words.

"The instructor said, Go home and write a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you — Then, it will be true."
"Theme for English B” by Langston Hughes

Perhaps you recognize this poem. If you do, then your mind has probably moved on to the question the next line poses: “I wonder if it’s that simple?” Saying who we are is never simple (read the entire poem if you need evidence of that). Write a truthful page about yourself for us, an audience you do not know—a very tall order.

Hughes begins:
“I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.”
That is, each of us is of a certain age and of a particular family background. We have lived somewhere and been schooled. We are each what we feel and see and hear. Begin there and see what happens.


Apply Here

Applications for Fall 2014 will be accepted through August 4, 2014 at 11:45 PM. All program financial awards have been issued for the 2014-15 academic year.

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)