University Honors Program
phone: (208) 885-6147
Idaho Commons 315
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2533
Moscow, ID 83844-2533
Student studying in library

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why should I join the Honors Program?
    According to honors students, among the most compelling reasons are the chance to make friends and exchange ideas with other UHP students, the value of small, stimulating classes taught in a discussion format by selected faculty, the program's distinctive extracurricular offerings--these include student leadership retreats, opportunities to attend  "Food for Thought" luncheons with faculty members,  "Fireside Chats" with faculty, free chamber music series tickets, cultural enrichment and other off-campus trips and service activities--priority registration privileges for selected students, scholarships for selected students, and an exceptional course of study, learning, and research in advance of graduate school or various professional and career paths--nearly 400 students are active in the UHP: we encourage you to consider the benefits of the program by applying for admission.
  • Are honors courses more demanding than non-honors courses?
    Honors classes offer opportunities to explore subjects in significant depth-- students find that their education and their academic performance are enhanced by strong mentoring relationships with faculty devoted to enabling each student to fulfill his or her potential, and by the lively, participation-based modes of learning in small classes. Honors students generally average higher grades in honors classes than in non-honors classes. The typical average overall GPA of honors seniors for honors and non-honors coursework is 3.6 to 3.7, with a 3.9 average in honors courses. Honors classes are graded relative to the abilities of the students. You must earn your grade, but you are not held to unfair standards relative to students in non-honors classes. We think you will thrive by taking advantage of these modes of learning and mentoring.
  • How will the Honors Program fit with my major?
    Honors students are enrolled in nearly every degree program at the University of Idaho. Students in especially demanding majors may find it challenging in some semesters to fit a desired honors course into their class schedule, but experience shows that close consultation between a student's major advisor and the honors advisor can provide the support needed for achieving an honors certificate. In addition, with good planning, nearly every student should be able to earn the honors core award and coordinate honors courses with the university's General Core Studies requirements in general education. A majority of honors students complete on average at least one honors course per semester, and qualify for priority registration privileges.

  • What makes the honors curriculum distinctive?
    Lower-division honors core courses enable students to learn with their peers in small classes taught by honors faculty: these classes also fulfill requirements in the university's general education core curriculum. Moreover, each year the program offers innovative upper-division seminars, with each class limited to seventeen students. Recent and forthcoming topics include "Energy Issues," "Banned Books," "Nanotechnology," "Geography of Conflict," "Music in Film," "Africa in Rebellion," "History of Gangs in America," "The Uncommon Traveler," "Crossing Borders with the Graphic Novel," "The Zombie Apocalypse and International Issues," and "Politics and Film."
  • Are there residence halls on campus of particular interest to honors students?
    Yes! UI honors students take advantage of a variety of options among communities and living groups, including the McCoy Hall Community (10th and 11th floors of Theophilus Tower, especially for freshmen) and Scholars LLC. Honors Program members have priority in reserving rooms in McCoy and Scholars LLC residences.

    McCoy Hall Community

    Living in McCoy offers first-year students the advantage of meeting and living with other students who maintain high academic standards, and who also are interested in being involved in extra-curricular activities and campus life. McCoy residents enjoy shared academic, social, and cultural enrichment opportunities. McCoy is an alcohol-free living community. Incoming University Honors Program (UHP) freshmen receive priority for reserving space in McCoy.

    Scholars Living Learning Community

    The Scholars Living Learning Community is designed for high-achieving students from all academic programs. Living in the Scholars LLC provides shared academic, social, and cultural enrichment opportunities. Scholars is designed to encourage studying and community interaction in the main floor common area, which has a large kitchen and dining area, fire nook, game room, living room, and study rooms. Above the main floor community areas are three floors with two- to five-person suites designed with a shared living area, bathroom, and kitchenette that open into individual rooms. The Scholars Living Learning Community consists of single-sex suites, which are located on co-ed floors.

    A 3.3 college grade point average or above is required for acceptance into the Scholars LLC and applicants should be interested in participating in extra-curricular activities and campus life. Priority housing assignments will be given first to continuing Scholars LLC residents, then to University Honors Program students and residents of McCoy Hall. Other students with 3.3 college GPAs may reserve rooms when the "Any Hall, Any Room" renewal and reservation period begins.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Continuing residents are allowed a one semester 'grace' period if their GPA falls below the minimum criteria.


  • Does the UHP offer scholarship and tuition waiver support?
    Yes--the University Honors Program offers a limited number of awards of selective scholarships for Idaho residents and WUE-rate waivers of nonresident tuition. For more information, see the Scholarships page on our website.
  • Who receives priority registration privileges?
    Students with a 3.3 cumulative/institutional GPA who have completed prior to the current semester a minimum average of three HON-designated credits* per semester during their membership in the program, shall receive permission to register with the first group of seniors. Also, new UHP members who enroll for at least three HON-designated credits during their first semester in the program qualify for priority registration.

    *Note: nonhonors credits earned via the Honors Elective Agreement do not count for purposes of determining priority registration.

  • May honors students participate in study abroad or student exchange programs?

    Honors students are encouraged to apply for exchanges to other American universities or to universities abroad--about twenty or more UHP students study abroad each year. Students have participated in semester or year-long international exchange programs during recent academic years to study in Australia, Chile, China, Ecuador, England, France, Ghana, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Scotland, Spain, and Sweden. Many of these students also have benefited from their UHP and UI scholarships and from the university's International Experience Grants (typically $1,000 per semester, based on GPA/Class Rank/Financial Need) to offset travel and study expenses. Students absent from campus for an exchange at either another U.S. or a foreign university may qualify for a reduction of 3 or 4 credits per semester (maximum of 7 credits total over two semesters) in the 27 credit Honors Certificate requirement, with these exchange credits typically used to satisfy upper-division credits within the honors curriculum.