Welcome to the Honors Program


Kate at Navajo Nation Parade

Photo by Tanner Vance

Our Mission

The UVU Honors Program enhances the collegiate experience of highly motivated students through specialized academic and enrichment opportunities that cultivate personal, professional, and civic engagement. 


Program Description

The UVU Honors Program seeks out highly motivated and diverse students who exhibit curiosity, creativity, passion, initiative, and flexible thinking. Admitted students receive specialized academic and social opportunities beyond the typical collegiate experience. We promote student success through intensive advising, inclusive experiences, classes with outstanding faculty, and sustained peer-group interactions during cultural events, outdoor adventures, and research endeavors. Through imaginative and intellectual engagement, Honors students build on their personal, professional, and civic potential.



We encourage any student with curiosity, talent, and drive to apply for admission to the Honors Program through a competitive application process that assesses them holistically based in part on two short admissions essays. There is no minimum GPA or test score required to be admitted. We welcome and support students from all backgrounds seeking any face-to-face baccalaureate or associates degree.

To earn Honors Program distinction on the transcript and diploma and to wear our regalia, students must complete between 20 and 31 credits of Honors level coursework based on their completed credits at the time of admission. An overall GPA of at least 3.40 must be attained to qualify for the Honors Program Graduate distinction.


Program Entry Points

The Honors Program at Utah Valley University has two entry points: Lower-Division (students having earned fewer than 50 credits) and Junior-Entry (students having earned 50 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. The honors course planner can help you plan out your semesters.


Honors Course Planner


Honors Advisement Policy

Students in the Honors Program should meet regularly (at least twice a semester) with their Honors Coordinator: Allen Hill advises students with last names beginning A–L and Tiffany Nez advises students with last names beginning M–Z. Please schedule meetings well in advance of Priority Registration. For Spring semester, registration typically begins the last week of October and for Fall semester, the first week of April.

Honors advising is Secondary Advising, meaning it supplements the advising students receive from their Primary Advisors in their academic major. All students are encouraged to choose an academic major to explore as soon as they enter the university.  Honors can also help connect students with wellness programs and other resources that ensure student success.


Official Graduate Recognition

Honors Program graduates receive a special Honors medallion and a specially embroidered UVU green satin stole to wear during Commencement and Convocation. Graduates are also celebrated at an Honors Graduation Banquet each April, to which they may invite guests. Transcripts for students completing Honors requirements will show the student's Honors coursework and feature the statement "Honors Program Graduate." In addition, a special seal appears on the student's diploma. 

Our Objectives

  • Encourage students to realize intellectual potential through challenging academic experiences
  • Prepare students to embark successfully on post-baccalaureate endeavors
  • Immerse students in the cultural and outdoor excellence of Utah and its region  


Why Join the Honors Program?

The Honors Program provides opportunities for motivated students pursuing an associate or baccalaureate degree. Honors offers:

  • a powerful first-year experience
  • sustained peer-group interactions
  • smaller classes with outstanding faculty
  • experiential learning
  • sponsored cultural events
  • outdoor excursions
  • dynamic social gatherings
  • unique scholarship opportunities
  • exclusive academic advising
  • graduation (official) recognition 



We read every application individually and base admission on an assessment of an applicant's curiosity, initiative, and intellectual flexibility. 

We admit between 150 and 200 students annually based on:

  • potential for innovation, creativity, and intellectual inquiry
  • high school and/or college GPA
  • ACT or SAT scores
  • prior academic work
  • two short essays
  • demonstrated commitment to interdisciplinary high achievement 


Program admission is competitive; many students participate without receiving a financial award. The Honors Program awards: 

  • Program admission (Available to any UVU student in any major attending at main campus both part-time and full-time, regardless of residency.)
  • Tuition Scholarships (Dollar amount in increments of $500 up to $2000, renewable for up to eight semesters.) 
  • Housing Scholarships (Available for single students only; renewable for up to two years.)  


Meet Our Staff

Honors Steering Committee

The Honors Steering Committee is comprised of UVU faculty members, Honors Coordinators, and a member of the Honors Ambassadors. The Honors Steering Committee works with the Honors Program Director and assists with decisions concerning Honors curriculum, Program governance, policy, development, and evaluation deliberations. Members of the Honors Steering Committee represent the colleges and/or departments served by the Program and also elicit support from the UVU campus community.


Meet our Steering Committee


Honors Ambassadors

The Honors Ambassadors is an established committee of UVU Honors students who, along with the Steering Committee, help govern the Program. As student representatives, they act as advocates to their fellow Honors students when problems and questions arise concerning the Program itself, or from their interaction with professors, Honors Program Coordinators, and other students. The Honors Ambassadors work directly with Honors Program Director and student information is kept confidential.

If students have any questions, concerns, or are interested in joining the Honors Ambassadors, we solicit applications each February.


Ask an Ambassador

As student representatives, Honors Ambassadors act as advocates to their fellow Honors students when problems and questions arise concerning the Program itself, or from their interaction with professors, Honors Program Coordinators, and other students. Here you will be able to interact with our student leadership team. 


Meet our Student Ambassadors

Honors Program Director: Kate McPherson

Dr. McPherson, a UVU faculty member since 2000, is Professor of English and has directed the Honors Program since 2012. She teaches courses in Honors such as Ancient Legacies and the Honors Capstone in addition to English Renaissance literature, including courses in Shakespeare.

McPherson is also co-editor of a forthcoming 2023 relaunch of the Shakespeare Life & Times website, a section of the Internet Shakespeare Editions, with Dr. Kathryn Moncrief (Worcester Polytechnic Institute). With Dr. Moncrief, she has also published three edited collections of scholarly essays and one with Dr. James Mardock (University of Nevada-Reno). Her work also includes numerous articles on early modern maternity in scholarly journals. She holds a PhD in English Renaissance Literature from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.          

She notes that “I graduated from an Honors Program at a large state university and believe deeply in the power of Honors to connect students to their peers and to their own academic and professional strengths. I’m especially thrilled to work with both incoming and advanced students, linking them with UVU’s outstanding faculty and the many opportunities they have for engaged learning and enriching undergraduate research opportunities.”       

Kate is married to UVU 2005 alumnus Michael Nagro, who teaches English at Timpanogos High School. They have one daughter, Miranda, a 2018 UVU alumna.


Program Coordinator: Allen Hill

Allen Hill graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Philosophy & English Literature from Utah Valley University in 2004. Allen joined the Honors Program staff in 2008 after several years working as a research assistant for UVU's Center for the Study of Ethics and Managing Editor and Symposium Coordinator for the Sunstone Education Foundation and its magazine. Allen’s main areas of responsibility in Honors includes advising students (last names beginning A–L), academic scheduling, colloquium planning / grading, managing program art and design, assessment, wilderness first response / first aid, and outdoor excursions. Some of Allen’s personal enjoyments include gardening, reading on the porch, the arts, the science, the desert, the rock 'n' roll, and the trusted companionship of his special lady-friend, Lindsay. Allen is also a dog lover. He actually likes most animals and plants, really.


Program Coordinator: Tiffany Nez

Tiffany Nez graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English from Utah Valley University in 2007. She joined the Honors Program staff in 2007 after several years working outside higher education in business management positions. Tiffany’s main areas of responsibility in Honors include advising students (last names beginning M–Z), Honors Program housing, Honors scholarships, and ticketed events. Tiffany is passionate about literature (enjoying a mix of fiction and nonfiction), travel, (Spain trip soon!), and is a novice connoisseur and sommelier. She is currently researching the education systems on US reservations with the hope that she can assist in saving her cultural heritage. Her husband, Jared is a full-time comedian and her daughter, Faith is a full-time fashion fiend. Sometimes she runs on Geekpower, but always tries to enjoy the ride.


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