The Honors Program

Conrad Hall 115
(308) 865-8702

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 with 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. 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). Students should apply in the Spring semester of their first year at UNK, prior to registering for Fall semester classes. For requirements and online application, please see: 

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 explore the various opportunities 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.

Independent Scholarship

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.

Study Abroad

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.

Community Service

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.

Leadership Development

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.