Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I become a member of the Honors Program?

Being a member of the University of Nevada, Reno Honors Program is indeed an honor. Membership is a mark of distinction that sets you apart from other undergraduates. You are a high achiever, a self-motivator, and a go-getter. The University of Nevada, Reno Honors Program provides an enriching educational opportunity for students like you to grow intellectually, think independently and critically, and engage in new and different learning experiences. You are an exceptional student, an extraordinary member among a community of scholars. The Honors Program supports you in accepting the challenges of an Honors education, one where you are an active participant in your education and an investor in your future success. The Honors Program, and its broad community of faculty and friends, is committed to rewarding your efforts by providing you with a rich array of Honors courses each semester, an exciting social environment, and unique opportunities to develop new ways of thinking and engaging in stimulating learning experiences.

The benefits of membership are plentiful: small-sized, interactive classes; instruction by outstanding teaching faculty; a challenging Honors curriculum; stimulating interaction with students and faculty; priority enrollment and early registration; graduation with an Honors degree; special recognition at graduation; social and academic activities; Honors orientation and advising; Honors credit for international study; membership in Honorary societies; and attendance at national and regional Honors conferences.

How do I apply to the Honors Program?

You apply to the Honor Program by completing and submitting an online application that includes your academic records; lists your significant extracurricular, community, and service activities; mentions accomplishments, awards, and talents; and discusses your involvement in academic research. You will also write a 500-word personal essay and a 140-character tweet describing your interest in joining the Honors Program. Two letters of recommendation attesting to academic eligibility must accompany your application. Letters from teachers and counselors are acceptable; recommenders must personally submit their letter.

What must I do in order to graduate from the Honors Program?

To complete the Honors Program, an Honors student must earn a University of Nevada, Reno degree, satisfy all major and Honors Program requirements, and remain in good standing throughout the student's college career. An Honors student must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.25 each semester and achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.25 at the time of graduation; complete a minimum of two Honors courses each year; demonstrate significant contributions to Honors academic and social activities; meet with an Honors advisor once a year; complete a minimum of thirty credits of Honors coursework; and complete an Honors Thesis/Project and an oral defense.

How do I complete 30 credits of Honors coursework?

You complete 30 Honors credits by enrolling in Honors courses, contracting with a professor for a 300 or 400-level course in your major, and by completing a minimum of 6 credits of an Honors Senior Thesis/Project. You can also earn Honors credit by studying abroad and through service activities.

College is challenging as it is. Will involvement in the Honors Program require substantially more time and work?

Honors emphasizes quality not quantity. Honors is not about doing more work, but doing better work, thinking independently and critically, and being involved in new learning experiences. Honors is an opportunity for you to enhance your educational experiences and intellectual awareness. Whether it is an academic program or a social activity, your life is enriched by an Honors experience. Much of the work you do to graduate with an Honors degree is work you would have done anyway. But to ease the "burden," the Honors Program incorporates stress-release options: contract courses with a professor of your choice; capstones or senior projects in all majors dually serving as the Honors thesis/project; Honors points in place of Honors credits; and small classes, personalized attention, and frequent interaction. You gain a deeper understanding of a topic by taking a different approach to the same course. Honors courses are more challenging, stimulating, and rewarding. Honors courses are not harder; they are different.

Will my GPA suffer if I enroll in Honors courses?

If you prepare for class, participate fully, and take an active role in the learning process, you should do as well in Honors classes as in regular classes. Research shows that Honors students respond positively to small, supportive classes; students who enroll in Honors courses earn the same grades they would have received in regular classes. If you approach college as serious business, you will succeed.

My major is very demanding and I have few electives. Will I be able to obtain enough Honors credits to graduate?

Yes. No matter what your major, you are required to complete the core curriculum; the Honors curriculum consists of a number of Honors sections of core courses. In addition, you can take Honors courses in your major by arranging for Honors in the Major credit with professors of your choosing. You can also earn up to 6 Honors Points by participating in the many Honors activities that promote learning experiences in non-classroom educational settings. Finally, all Honors students must complete 6 hours of a Honors Senior Thesis/Project.

What Honors classes are available each semester?

Honors courses are listed and designated H in each semester Course Schedule. A complete listing of Honors courses is available. Only by obtaining the Honors course call number through the Honors Program office can you, as an Honors student, register on MyNEVADA for an Honors class.

When do I register for classes?

One of the benefits of membership in the Honors Program is priority registration, the opportunity to register earlier than the general population of students. In order to take advantage of priority registration, you must be advised through the Honors Program every semester. Honors advising is mandatory for all Honors students at least once a school year, freshmen and seniors during the fall semester and sophomores and juniors during the spring semester. Students who do not have mandatory advising may choose to register for classes at their regularly scheduled time. Honors advising begins at the end of October and the end of February each year; mark your calendars with a reminder to schedule an appointment with an Honors advisor. Afterwards, note the registration times listed for Honors students in the Registration Schedule on MyNEVADA. Course call numbers for Honors classes are available only from the Honors Program office. You must register promptly to take advantage of this opportunity.

How do I get advisement?

Honors advisement is mandatory for all Honors students. All Honors Students must participate in Honors advisement at least once each academic year. First-year students and Seniors should arrange appointments with their Honors advisors in the Fall Semester. Sophomore and junior students should arrange appointments with their Honors advisors in the Spring Semester. In addition, you must meet with an advisor in your major and minor fields of study.

Is it possible to receive Honors credit while studying abroad?

Yes. Study abroad is an enriching academic and personal experience. There are many opportunities for Honors students to earn Honors credit or Honors points to study and travel abroad. Honors credits must be arranged prior to registration and travel.

What is the Honors Residential Scholars- A Living Learning Community?

The Honors Residential Scholars program is a Living Learning Community open to qualified students of all academic majors who have been admitted to the Honors Program and who have chosen to live on campus. It is an opportunity for incoming first year Honors students to live in a supportive environment and to get to know other Honors students who are also committed to academic excellence. Honors students enroll in a common core of Honors classes, interact with other Honors students and faculty, and participate in exciting programs such as attendance to the Performing Arts Series. You must apply for the Honors Living Learning Community early. Availability is limited. If you want to know more about the Honors Living Learning Community, contact the Honors Program.

How can I get information about scholarships and fellowships?

The Honors Program provides information on national scholarships, fellowships, and grants and assists students in the process of applying for these awards. Any student who wishes to be considered for such awards as the Fulbright Fellowship, the British Marshall Scholarship, or the Rhodes Scholarships should come to the Office of Undergraduate Fellowships in the Honors Program Office for information. Remember these awards are highly competitive and demand extensive preparation. A list of these awards and deadlines are available on the Office of Undergraduate Fellowships website and in the Honors Program Office.

Must I notify the Honors Program Office if I change my address, phone number, or email address?

Yes. Notify the Honors Program Office immediately if you move or change your phone number or email address, even if you change your address during the summer months. Please contact the Honors Program directly to help keep our records up-to-date. You can also update your address with the school through your ePAWS account. . The Honors Program cannot keep in touch with you if we don't know where you are.

How do I receive information about the Honors Program and upcoming activities?

The Honors Program schedules a series of events and activities each semester. Get involved! Communicate with other Honors students and faculty. Attend as many activities and events that the Honors Program offers. Stop by the Honors Program office and ask for the latest schedule of events. Read the Honors Newsletter. Make sure your email address and mailing address are current. Read your email. Open your mail. Answer the phone. Consult the Honors website. Spread the news.

How do I get involved in Honors student activities?

All activities sponsored by the Honors Program are open to all Honors students and friends. Come, bring a friend, and get involved. One sure way to become involved in Honors activities is to become a member of the Honors Student Council.

What is the Honors Student Ambassador Program?

Student involvement is essential to the success of the Honors Program. Honors Student Ambassadors are selected Honors students who promote a positive perspective of college life to prospective Honors students and their families. Ambassadors share information, answer questions, and help prospective students to make an informed decision when making their college choice.

Can I graduate with Honors without being in the program?

No. You can graduate with high distinction or distinction, but the Honors Program is the only way to graduate with an Honors degree. As of the 2011 -2012 University Catalog, all undergraduate students are eligible for Latin Distinction

Is there going to be any fun?

Absolutely. The Honors Program is committed to providing Honors students a rich curriculum of Honors-level courses, outstanding Honors faculty, and a challenging academic environment. Many opportunities are available to students to build lifelong friendships, develop long-term mentoring relationships with faculty, and collect memorable learning experiences. The Honors Program is dedicated to cultivating an environment that is inclusive, diversified, and welcoming. Exciting social activities are scheduled each semester: ice cream socials, fund raising events, musical performances, reading discussions, prep day potlucks, and football tailgates. You too can make your own fun: create study sessions, hold deep intellectual discussions, play board games. All Honors students are invited to participate to make their own fun.