How to Apply

Incoming students (first-year & transfer) may apply to the University Honors Program once they are accepted to the University. Current students may only apply after their first fall quarter at DU.

  • Application Deadlines - First Year Incoming Students

    For students entering DU in Fall 2024. 

    New student applications will be reviewed in 3 rounds. Please apply early! Students must meet the deadlines below to be guaranteed full consideration and a decision before the DU's May 1st deposit deadline. Application deadlines are listed below. The application opened on January 15.

    • Round 1: February 14, 2024 (recommendations due February 21, decisions released by March 6)
    • Round 2: March 6, 2024 (recommendations due March 13, decisions released by March 27)
    • Round 3: Deadline Extended! April 7, 2024 (recommendations due April 14, decisions released by April 24)
      • Note that you must meet this deadline in order to get an Honors decision before the May 1st deposit deadline!

    **If you are unable to apply by these deadlines, you will have one other opportunity to apply after your first fall quarter at DU.  Please see the "Application Deadlines - Current DU Students" section for information on applying during our Late Admit round. Dates for Fall 2024 will be posted by Spring 2024.

  • Application Deadlines - Current DU Students

    Effective March 2023, current DU students may only apply after their first quarter at DU*.  For example, a student who begins at DU in Fall 2023 who wishes to join Honors must apply after the Fall 2023 quarter.  After that period, there will no longer be an opportunity to be part of the program.  The Late Admit 2023 period has ended. Deadlines for the Late Admit 2024 period will be posted by spring 2024.

    Late Admit Round: TBA (recommendations due TBA; decisions released by TBA

    Orientation for students admitted in this round will occur the week of TBA.

    If you are a current DU student applying to the program, your recommender must be a DU faculty member, and you must have a cumulative 3.5 GPA or higher. 

    *If you started at DU in a term other than fall quarter, please see the "Non-Fall Starts" tab for deadlines specific to your situation.

  • Application Deadlines - Transfer Students

    Because the Honors sequence includes some lower-division courses and the requirement that students earn Distinction in their major, transfer students who have already met most of their Common Curriculum requirements or are advanced in their degree programs may find it impractical to join the Honors Program.

    For this reason, transfer students should contact us at to discuss the viability of joining the program prior to applying. Transfer students applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    Transfer students entering DU fall quarter should apply during the deadlines posted for incoming first-year students. If admitted too late to meet these deadlines or transferring for a winter quarter, transfer students should apply at the end of fall quarter following the deadlines posted for current DU students. Transfer students entering DU for spring quarter may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • Application Deadlines - Non-Fall Starts

    If your first term at DU is a quarter other than fall, you will generally only have one opportunity to apply.  Below consult the list below for details specific to your start term.

    Winter Start: Students admitted to DU for a winter quarter should apply during the Late Admit round described under the "Current DU students" dropdown menu above. This is the only opportunity for winter-start students to apply.

    Spring Start: Students admitted to DU for a spring quarter may be considered on a case-by-case basis.  As there is no application specific to spring, spring-start students should contact about their individual situation.

    Summer Start: Students beginning at DU during a summer quarter should apply during the same dates listed in the "First-Year Incoming Students" dropdown menu above. There are no summer Honors classes, so functionally, you would begin with the Honors Program during fall quarter. While we highly advise applying during this round, summer-start students would also be eligible to apply at the end of the first fall quarter, during the Late Admit round described under the "Current DU Students" dropdown menu above.

  • The Application Process

    The application consists of two parts: (1) four essay questions and (2) a recommendation form.

    Essay Questions

    Once you open the application, you will be asked to respond to the four prompts below in 1500 characters or less (including spaces – about 300 words each).

    1. Honors is a community of students who are hungry for knowledge. What’s a topic you haven’t had an opportunity to learn about in high school that you are excited to learn about in college?
    2. Honors is a community of students who are passionate about a wide range of topics. What is something outside of school that you’ve independently developed a passion for?
    3. Honors is a diverse community of students that want to learn in community with one another. Tell us about a time that you were part of a successful learning community. What did you do to contribute to its success and how did your unique lived experiences affect the way that you engaged with that community?
    4. All Honors students are required to earn distinction in their majors which usually involves a capstone project like a thesis or creative work. Tell us about a project that you are proud of that relates to your academic goals or experiences. 



    You will also be asked to list the name and email address of your recommender.

    Your application will not be considered complete until your recommendation is submitted, so please notify your recommender early and submit with ample time for them to do their part before the deadline. 

    Your recommender will be asked to evaluate you on the following criteria:

    1. academic passion,
    2. classroom engagement, and
    3. desire for academic challenge

    Please note that we do not read your general letters of recommendation to DU or see your admissions application to DU.

    If you are a current DU student applying to the program, your recommender must be a DU faculty member.

  • Tips for Success

    Due to curricular constraints, we can only admit around 100 students each year.

    All students who are accepted to DU have strong academic credentials and records of engagement. The University Honors program is looking specifically for students who are hungry for knowledge, passionate about a wide range of topics, and want to learn in community with one another – both within the classroom and beyond.

    While we will consider your overall admission rating as determined by the DU admissions office, the bulk of your admission decision for the University Honors program is determined based on your answers to the four essay prompts listed above, as well as your recommender’s analysis of your academic passion, classroom engagement, and desire for academic challenge.

    We are also looking for students who are likely to complete the program and graduate with University Honors. In order to graduate with University Honors, students must complete about half of their Common Curriculum course requirements in smaller Honors-only class sections. They must also achieve distinction in their major, and graduate with a 3.5 GPA.

    Thank you and we look forward to reading your application!

Not sure how to log into your MyDU portal to submit the application? Check out our FAQs tab for instructions.