Admissions to Honors

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Note: Please submit your University admissions application prior to applying to the Honors Program.

Come Be a Part of Something Exceptional

The University of Nevada, Reno Honors Program is seeking the best students in any undergraduate discipline offered at the University on a selective basis.

Although most students in the Program enter as first-year students, students who are already enrolled at the University or who are transferring to the University are eligible to apply to the Honors Program. Since the Program can take only the best-qualified applicants, evidence of academic strength is required.

This may be demonstrated by both a strong academic record including competitive classes of A.P., I.B. or Honors caliber and high tests scores. Successful applicants generally have unweighted GPAs of 3.65 or higher and ACT scores above 28 or SAT scores above 1320, respectively. Transfer students usually have fewer than 45 college credits.

*Please note that although the Writing section is now required on the SAT II, the University of Nevada, Reno Honors Program does not consider the writing section subscore.


  • Incoming First-Year Students
    • A Minimum SAT I score of 1320 on Math & Critical Reading combined, or a minimum composite ACT score of 28
    • Ranking in the top ten percent of high school graduating class
    • Cumulative high school GPA of at least 3.65 on a 4.0 scale (unweighted)
    • Evidence of motivation and commitment to academic excellence
  • Continuing University of Nevada, Reno Students
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.65 or higher from all previous institutions
    • Evidence of motivation and commitment to academic excellence
  • Transfer Students
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.65 or higher from all previous institutions
    • Evidence of motivation and commitment to academic excellence
    • Up to 12 hours of Honors credit from other institutions may be accepted for Honors credit. For approval, the courses must be compatible with the University of Nevada, Reno Honors Program and listed on the student's transcript.

Application Process

Applications must be initiated online and include the following:

  • A 500-Word Essay - Each applicant must write an essay responding to ONE of the three prompts below:
      1. How will being a member of the Honors Program enhance your studies at the University of Nevada and help you attain academic excellence? Support your essay with the benefits of Honors membership that are relevant to your personal study and career goals.
      2. How do you envision the experience in the Honors Program to be different from that of honors, AP, IB or other rigorous coursework you have taken in high school? Provide specific examples that support how an Honors experience at the University of Nevada, Reno will benefit you academically and professionally.
      3. The Honors Program seeks to provide students who are both academically talented and highly motivated with an undergraduate education that nurtures and promotes capacities to think competently, understand deeply and act ethically." Provide detailed examples that support how your academic and educational experiences, your motivation, and your career goals align with the Honors Program mission statement.

  • 140-character tweet: Applicants must also submit a 140-character "tweet" touching on an aspect of their personality or character not otherwise covered elsewhere in the application.

  • Letters of Recommendation (on official letterhead) - At least two letters from high school teachers or other persons familiar with the student's academic abilities must be submitted attesting to the potential to succeed in the rigorous environment of the Honors Program. Current University of Nevada students and transfer students must provide recommendations from college professors, not high school instructors. Each letter of recommendation must include a Teacher Recommendation Form with the top portion filled out by the student and be sent in directly or submitted online directly by the recommender, not the student.

    The Teacher Recommendation Form is available here. Note that the form can also be completed in hard copy and sent to the address shown below, or it can also be completed and submitted electronically here.

In addition to the online application, please forward copies of the following documents to the Honors Program:

  • High School Transcripts - Incoming students should submit updated high school transcripts to the Honors Program as well as to the Admissions and Records Office at University of Nevada, Reno.
  • Test scores - Incoming students should send a copy of all ACT and/or SAT scores to the Honors Program.
  • College Transcripts - Transfer students should send copies of transcripts for all coursework completed at the college level to the Honors Program.

NOTE: Even if you have already sent these documents to the UNR Admissions and Records office, it takes University staff time to scan the documents before the Honors Program office can view them. To avoid a delay in processing your application, it is best to send unofficial copies of these documents to us via fax, e-mail, or U.S. mail. You may also hand deliver them to our office in the Jot Travis Building, Room 11 (under the Overlook Café.)

University of Nevada, Reno
Honors Program/MS 112
Reno, NV 89557-0128
Ph: (775) 784-1455
Fax: (775) 784-1456


Each application is reviewed by the Honors Admissions Committee.  

The priority application deadline for new, first-year students is February 1. The review of completed applications begins February 1. Following the February 1 priority deadline, strong applications will be considered until the fall Honors class reaches capacity.

The deadlines for current University of Nevada, Reno students and incoming transfer students are February 1 for fall and November 1 for spring. Spring applicants are notified of acceptance by mid-February and fall applicants are notified in early January.

Online Application

Once you have applied to the University, use the APPLY NOW! link to apply to the Honors Program. You will need to create an account first, then you will be able to access the Honors Program's application on the Application Menu.

Note: Please first apply to the University before applying to the Honors Program.