Most honors classes are small: honors students benefit from close intellectual contact with faculty and fellow students. Through honors core courses in general education as well as innovative seminars, the UHP curriculum supports the development of each student's knowledge, initiative, and creativity. As part of a dynamic, broad-based education, members are encouraged to participate in domestic or international exchange programs, and to engage in laboratory or field-based research programs as well as internships and other forms of cooperative education.

Learning experiences are intended to engage students in curricular and co-curricular education across all majors and programs of study, in accord with expectations that guide learning in five areas of undergraduate education.

Students who complete specified HON-designated credits per semester take advantage of priority registration privileges. As many as 26 honors credits satisfy the general university core requirements that all students must complete to graduate.

The great majority of the over 400 students active in the program participate without adding to the total number of credits needed for graduation. Students who receive the "Honors Core Award" and the "University Honors Program Certificate" also have these distinctions noted on their official UI transcripts.