The Honors Program

Men's Hall Lobby #156

The Honors Program at the University of Nebraska at Kearney challenges students to go above and beyond by fostering intellectual curiosity. The Program offers exceptional students the opportunity to excel in academic, leadership, and personal development during their undergraduate careers. This four-year program enriches and supplements all academic majors at the University through special classes and an Honors living and learning community. The Program encourages students to create scholarly projects (both scientific and creative activity); explore outside of the normal boundaries (e.g. study abroad, national student exchange); and enact meaningful change through leadership development and service projects.

The program is designed for academically-motivated students, offering a challenging experience in the Liberal Arts tradition. Specialized sections of Honors General Studies courses enhance student-faculty interaction, emphasize critical thinking in a seminar atmosphere, and increase opportunities for intellectual exploration. The Honors Program Course Requirements clearly outline expectations for Honors students. Honors students are expected to engage in at least one pathway described below in the Honors Program Pathways.


First-time freshmen may apply to the Honors Program after being admitted to UNK. This should be done in their senior year of high school. For GPA and other requirements, please see: 

Students who do not meet the criteria above may apply to join the Honors program after completing one full-time semester at UNK (12 credit hours or more). For requirements and online application, please see: 

Honors Program Learning Community

Honors students are allowed to live in Honors Halls, which are only for Honors Students. Living in a community of engaged, positive, high-ability students places individuals in an environment that supports academic achievement, campus involvement, and personal development. This learning community supports very high retention and graduation rates.

Honors Program Pathways

The Honors Program design includes three pathways to support the education and development of Honors students. These areas of activity are referred to as "The Pathways" of the Honors Program. Honors students are expected to complete at least one Pathway to craft an experience that best prepares them for their future.

Enacting Meaningful Change

Students can enact meaningful change in their lives and in others through Honors Program Pathway Projects, community service initiatives, and/or independent, leadership works. These are the individuals who will contribute talent and energy to make their future communities thrive.

Exploring Assumed Boundaries

Honors students are encouraged to recognize and explore outside of their self-created boundaries. An example of Exploring Assumed Boundaries: Students can spend time living and learning in another country or another state here in the United States to build their language skills, gain intercultural skills, and have experiences that will empower them in their professional and personal lives.

Sharing Knowledge

Honors students can share knowledge by presenting or exhibiting scholarly work. This scholarly work can be done through independent measures, in the classroom, through a fellowship, or through Undergraduate Research Fellows (URF) and the Summer Student Research Program (SSRP). Such experiences give students the opportunity to apply knowledge gained from coursework to produce novel creative works or to solve problems.