The Honors Program
The Honors Program at the University of Nebraska at Kearney offers exceptional students the opportunity to excel in academic, leadership, and personal development during their undergraduate career. This four-year program enriches and supplements all academic majors at the University through special classes, an Honors learning community, scholarly projects (research and creative activity), study abroad, leadership development, and service learning.
The program is designed for students of high academic abilities and ambitions, 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. In addition to the course requirements described in the Honors Program Course Requirements, Honors Students are expected to engage in other developmental opportunities described below in the Honors Program Pillars.
First-time freshman may apply to the Honors Program after being admitted to UNK. This should be done in their Senior high school year. They should have an ACT score of 27 or higher, a grade point average of 3.75, and complete the on-line application including an essay and a letter of recommendation.
Students who do not meet the criteria above may apply to join the Honors program after completing one semester at UNK (12 credit hours or more). This should be done prior to registering for Fall classes, which happens in the Spring semester of the freshman year. These applicants should complete the on-line application, and must include a letter of recommendation from one of their first semester instructors. Applicants must have a UNK GPA of at least 3.5.
Honors Program Learning Community
Honors students are allowed to live in a special residence hall, 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 Pillars
The Honors Program design includes four broad areas of activity to support the education and development of Honors Students. These areas of activity are referred to as "The Pillars of the Honors Program." None of them are required, but each student should consider each to craft an experience that best prepares them for their future.
Honors Students are required to keep an electronic portfolio throughout their undergraduate career to document activity in each of the areas.
Students can work one-on-one with faculty experts to design and conduct their own scholarly projects (research and creative activity) outside of course requirements. Such experiences give students the opportunity to apply knowledge gained from coursework to novel problems, using the methods of their academic discipline.
Students can spend time living and learning in another country to build their language skills, gain intercultural skills, and have experiences that will empower them in their professional and personal lives.
Honors Students are individuals who will contribute talent and energy to make their future communities thrive. We expect them to develop the habits of active citizenship during their undergraduate career by working on an issue of importance to them.
Honors Students who have ambitions to be leaders in their workplaces and communities can participate in programs that develop the skills to lead other in pursuit of common goals.