How to Apply

Students may apply to the University Honors Program once they are accepted to the University. Incoming students, transfer students, and current DU students are all welcome to apply.

  • Application Deadlines - First Year Incoming Students

    New student applications will be reviewed in 4 rounds. Please apply early! Only the first 3 rounds guarantee full consideration and a decision before the deposit deadline of May 1st. Application deadlines are as follow:

    • Round 1: February 15, 2023 (recommendations due February 22, decisions released by March 8)
    • Round 2: March 8, 2023 (recommendations due March 15, decisions released by March 29)
    • Round 3: April 5, 2023 (recommendations due April 12, decisions released by April 26
      • Note that you must meet this deadline in order to get an Honors decision before the May 1st deposit deadline!

    • Round 4: June 14, 2023 (recommendations due June 21, decisions released by July 6)
      • Applications accepted only if space is still available. Full consideration is not guaranteed
  • Application Deadlines - Current DU and Transfer Students

    Current DU students and transfer students may apply for admission during the academic year by the following dates:

    • Winter Quarter: November 15 - December 1, 2022
    • Spring Quarter: January 15 - February 1, 2023
    • Fall Quarter: May 15 - June 1, 2023


    Because the Honors sequence includes some lower-division courses and the requirement that students earn distinction in their major, current DU students who have already met most of their common core requirements or are advanced in their degree programs may find it difficult to transfer into the program. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your particular situation at

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

  • The Application Process

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

    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 community of students that want to learn in community with one another – both within the classroom and beyond. Tell us about a time you learned something from a peer.
    4. What is one activity that you have been involved in that you think has prepared you to be an engaged member of the DU Honors community? Why?



    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

    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 core 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!