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Develop Intellectually

The greatest benefits Lewis Honors College students enjoy are intensified intellectual development and a heightened personal awareness of the individual’s place in their culture. It is a shared experience enabling students to develop close personal connections to their peers through small, discussion-based classes, the Honors Residential Experience, and the many programs and activities of the Honors College, and to the Honors faculty and staff dedicated to mentoring their growth as passionate scholars, public intellectuals, and engaged citizens of their communities.

Honors classes have always left me feeling inspired, invigorated, and inquisitive—I really believe they've made me a better thinker.

Ella Brown-Terry
Ella Brown-Terry '25
Fulbright Canada-Mitacs Globalink Research Intern

Explore the Curriculum

How a student will complete University Honors depends on when they join the Lewis Honors College—whether as a first-year student, or through upper-level admission.  

The Honors Curriculum is designed to help students develop as critical thinkers, engaged community members, and curious life-long learners. Through a series of small, discussion-based courses and special opportunities, Honors students experience an enhanced version of all that UK has to offer.

Students who enter as first-year students follow a curriculum that includes a foundational seminar, six hours of experiential learning, course work that integrates into the student’s Major and UK Core Requirements, and a senior thesis.  Students work with their Honors Academic Advisor to chart their path through Honors in a way that compliments their interests, degree requirements, and career plans and that does not slow their time to degree.    

Students who enter as second- or third-year students via the upper-level admission process complete a shorter curriculum.


  • HON 140: Knowledge and Society
  • Communication Core: 3 credit hours 
  • Lower-Level (100-200) Honors Courses: 6 credit hours 
  • Upper-Level (300+) Honors Courses: 6 credit hours 
  • Honors Elective: 3 credits
  • Honors Experiences: 6 credits
  • Honors Thesis: How a student completes their Honors thesis will depend on the student’s major and areas of interest. Students enroll in either a course in their major department or in HON 491. (3 credit hours)
  • 3.4 GPA policy

Options to Fulfill Requirements

  • Honors Course Agreement: Instructions for proposing an Honors Course Agreement​, such that a non-Honors course can be taken for Honors credit 
  • Graduate-Level Courses: Instructions for counting graduate-level coursework towards Honors requirements  
  • Honors Elective: Any Honors course, including a lower level, upper level, departmental Honors section, or an Honors experience (3 credit hours)
  • Honors Experiences: Research, Education Abroad, Internships, and Service Learning