Honors Program

Why Honors?

The University of Denver offers a challenging Honors Program for talented students who seek an advanced liberal arts education, lively dialogue with their peers and faculty on important issues, and inspiring in-depth work in their majors. Students in the Honors Program have the best of both worlds: the small classes and close community of a liberal arts college and the opportunities and resources of a research university. 

Upon successfully completing the program, our students graduate with University Honors.

Mission. The University Honors Program is an intellectually engaged and vibrant community of scholars composed of a diverse group of students, staff, and faculty. Our program fosters a distinctive liberal arts education that challenges students to cultivate depth in critical and creative thought, and facilitates students' original contributions to intellectual life, their community, and their chosen field.

Scholars from the start. As a community of scholars, we challenge students to begin their research, scholarship, or creative work starting as soon as they get to DU, and to continue with support, both in and outside of the classroom, throughout all four years. While graduate school, professional schools (law, medical, dental, pharmacy, etc.) are not goals for everyone, we support all students in the Honors Program in their preparation to competitively apply to graduate and professional schools, as well as major fellowships opportunities. 

Engage, Create, Reason, Reflect. Elements of a DU Honors Education include

  • Generating knowledge through research, scholarship, or creative work
  • Enhanced learning environments and classroom experiences
  • A vibrant and supportive Honors community
  • Exciting Academics

    The Honors Program launches students’ undergraduate careers with a sequence of small, discussion-based courses that provide a uniquely engaging Honors experience while simultaneously fulfilling about half of DU’s Common Curriculum requirements.  These courses are taught by top faculty from across the university. Students enjoy individual attention and support while exploring issues that interest them. 

  • Prep for your future

    The Honors program facilitates speaker series, workshops, and events that will help you prepare for your post-graduation goals. We help students think about graduate school options as well as sponsored programs and other opportunities.

    All Honors students also must also achieve distinction in their major which sets them up for success after graduation. While requirements for distinction vary by major, Honors students are supported in pursuing this depth in their discipline with opportunities including Honors advising, special Honors funding, and a vibrant community of peer support. 

  • Research opportunities

    The Honors Program also works closely with the Undergraduate Research Center (URC) to support students in their intellectual growth and development. The URC provides funding for undergraduate students to pursue their research during the academic year (PinS grants), as stipend researchers over the summer (Summer Research Grants), and even funding to present your research at a conference (Student Scholar Travel Fund). 

    Each spring, the Honors Program and the Undergraduate Research Center also organize an Undergraduate Research Showcase where Honors students and other Undergraduate Researchers showcase their hard work for peers, faculty, and the broader community. 

    We also collaborate on workshops and events throughout the year to help you get engaged in research, scholarship, and creative activity from very the start of your academic journey. 

    We also partner with the DU Undergraduate Research Journal, which is a biannual, peer-reviewed publication of research articles from all undergraduate disciplines. The journal staff is comprised entirely of  DU undergraduate students and works in conjunction with the Undergraduate Research Association to promote academic research across all disciplines. Many Honors students have published their work with DUURJ, and many more are involved with its editorial team.

  • Classmates and community

    The social side of the Honors Program includes a variety of events and cultural activities as well as an annual retreat. Many events are organized and sponsored by the Honors program directly. There is also a student-run book group that meets weekly. And a “Voltaire society” club where students can release their inner nerd through a mix of high-brow and low-brow fun.

  • Honors Floor

    The Honors floor, located in Dimond Family Residential Village, is a residential opportunity specifically designed for first-year students in the University Honors Program. The Honors floor provides a unique living environment for students of diverse majors and interests who have made academic work a priority. For many Honors students, living together and sharing special programming enhances their first year experience at college, and helps create lasting friendships. 

    The Honors floor is an option for those who have been admitted to the University Honors program, but is not a requirement.  Honors students who join Living Learning Communities (LLC’s) are required to live with their LLC, and some Honors students may prefer to live with an LLC, an athletic cohort, or in some other non-Honors arrangement. Students will be able to indicate a preference for living on the Honors floor after admittance to the Honors program.

  • Priority Registration

    Honors Students have priority registration, meaning that they are able to register sooner than other undergraduates. Currently, all Honors students (regardless of class standing) register before all other undergraduate students.*

    Students are assigned a time ticket each quarter during which they can register for the upcoming quarter’s classes.  We advise Honors students to review their assigned time ticket in advance of registration to make sure that their priority registration status is reflected and to contact us with any issues.

    You must be coded as an Honors student in order to register for Honors courses.  If students encounter issues registering for an Honors course, they should contact us to confirm that their honors status is coded correctly in the system.  It is generally an easy fix if there are problems.  

    *Beginning Fall 2022, Honors students will register with the class group above them. For example, the registration order will go: Honors seniors, non-honors seniors and honors juniors, non-honors juniors and honors sophomores, non-honors sophomores and honors freshmen, then non-honors freshmen.