The University of Alabama Honors College seeks to enhance the undergraduate experience of all Honors students through innovative scholarship, advanced research, intercultural interaction, and civic engagement. The Honors College provides students with an enhanced academic curriculum and leadership opportunities while promoting engagement with peers and faculty members. One of the highest priorities of the Honors College is to empower students to reach the peak of their potential and be recognized for their achievements. Honors College students are known for leadership on campus and in the community, innovative thinking, creation of new programs and initiatives, and success in winning awards and scholarships at the University, national, and international level.
The Honors College serves its students through the core Honors experience and other specialized programs, including the Randall Research Scholars Program and the University Fellows Experience. The Honors College also works collaboratively with other colleges to create unique partnerships and departmental honors programs throughout the University, allowing Honors students to major in any discipline and adding to the diversity of the Honors experience. The minor in Educational Studies, housed in the College of Education, is a non-certification/licensure program designed specifically for Honors College students who are interested in educational issues but who are not education majors.
Honors College facilities in Nott Hall include administrative, faculty, and student offices; a reception area; multiple seminar and conference rooms; an Honors College student lounge; a lounge for the University Fellows Experience; and a suite and computer lab for the Randall Research Scholars Program. The Honors College has multiple residence halls that are an important facet of a strong Honors community, providing spaces for group study and engagement. The majority of the Honors residence halls are coeducational, suite-style facilities and feature several Honors faculty-in-residence members in addition to Honors residential assistants.
Honors College students have access to Honors housing, and entering freshmen have the opportunity to attend Honors summer orientation sessions. After the first semester, Honors College students will be given priority registration over students who share the same student classification (senior, junior, sophomore, freshman). Honors courses are noted on the official transcript, and completing the Honors College requirements is noted on both the transcript and official graduation documents.
For more information about the Honors College, contact The University of Alabama Honors College, 288 Nott Hall, Box 870169, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0169; call 205-348-5500; or visit honors.ua.edu.
Honors College Experience
The foundation of the Honors College is the Honors experience which provides students with an enhanced academic curriculum and the ability to work with their peers and outstanding faculty members in an enriched academic environment. The Honors experience does not constitute a major or a minor, but most Honors courses fulfill core curriculum requirements which allows students to pursue their degrees within an Honors framework. University Honors (UH) courses are the foundation of the Honors experience and often can be used to satisfy general education requirements. The majority of UH classes are limited in enrollment to a maximum of 15 students and are open to all Honors College students as only a few have prerequisites (UH 400 Honors Independent Study, UH 405 Leadership Experience, UH 498 Honors Thesis Research, UH 499 Honors Thesis). Professors in UH courses stress the development of critical, analytical, and interpretive skills.
All incoming Honors College freshmen are encouraged to engage in Honors Year One, a program that combines academic coursework with opportunities for engagement on campus in the first academic year. Honors Connection, Common Book Experiences, and Freshmen Exploratory Topic classes provide freshmen a way to transition into college life and develop new relationships with other Honors College students and faculty. As automatic members of the Honors College Assembly (HCA), Honors freshmen are also encouraged to become involved in the diverse programming offered by HCA.
Honors College students normally take one or two Honors courses per semester rather than an Honors-only schedule. The evaluation of work done in Honors courses neither penalizes nor unduly rewards students for undertaking the Honors curriculum. The majority of Honors courses are lower in enrollment than their non-Honors counterparts, and most Honors College students perform better in their Honors classes because they find them more engaging and challenging. Honors credit can be earned in a variety of ways, including University Honors courses, departmental honors courses, graduate-level courses, Honors by Contract, independent study, and an honors thesis.
The requirements for admission to the Honors College are a 30 ACT/1390 SAT and a 3.5 high school GPA or higher. Because of our commitment to meeting the needs of students from within the state, Alabama high school graduates have another path to admission if they are within the top 5 percent of their class and have at a 28 ACT/1310 SAT (new) or higher and a 3.5 or higher GPA.
Although there is no formal deadline to apply to the Honors College, incoming freshmen should apply as soon as possible to facilitate registration for Honors Housing and Honors Orientation. All eligible students who apply after the course registration deadline for a semester will be admitted for the following semester.
Current UA Students admitted as full-time undergraduates with at least 12 UA hours and a minimum 3.3 overall GPA and Incoming Transfer Students with at least 12 overall hours and a minimum 3.3 overall GPA will be accepted to the Honors College upon submission of their applications. All students who apply with more than 25 hours are required to draft a plan to finish all honors coursework prior to admission. Students will be notified of their acceptance via email.
Honors Year One
The University of Alabama Honors College has one overarching goal: to help exceptional students reach their potential. Creating opportunities for students their first year on campus is a critical part of our mission. Honors Year One is student-directed programming that helps new students engage with their fellow students and with faculty; discover opportunities and interests; and participate in areas of service. Special events, academic opportunities, and other first year-only events address the unique needs of the newest members of the Honors College.
Because of the importance of engaging with the Honors College from the beginning of each student’s academic career, beginning with the freshman class of 2017, all Honors College students will be required to participate in an Honors Year One experience during their first year. HYO experiences engage students with fellow students and with faculty and foster deeper, more meaningful connections to Honors. The University of Alabama Honors College has one overarching goal: to help exceptional students reach their potential. Creating opportunities for students their first year on campus is a critical part of our mission. Honors Year One is student-directed programming that helps new students engage with their fellow students and with faculty; discover opportunities and interests; and participate in areas of service. Special events, academic opportunities, and other first year-only events address the unique needs of the newest members of the Honors College.
Honors College classes and experiences that fulfill the HYO requirement include:
- UH 100 Honors Year One: All Honors Connection Courses are one credit and Pass/Fail. They fulfill one “UH Foundation Course” requirement.
- UH 102 Freshman Common Book Experience: All Freshman Common Book courses are one credit and graded. They fulfill one “UH Foundation Course” requirement.
- UH 103 Honors Action: All Honors Action Programs are one credit and Pass/Fail. They fulfill one “UH Foundation Course” requirement.
- UH 155 Freshman Seminar: All Honors Freshman Seminars are graded and fulfill “Humanities” Core Requirements (HU) AND “UH Foundation Course” requirements.
- Students must receive a grade of "C" or better in a graded course or a Pass in a P/F course in order for the course to fulfill the HYO requirement.
Additional Retention Requirements
Overall GPA and course completion are monitored each semester. Honors College students who drop below a 3.3 overall GPA will be put on probation. Failure to earn a 3.3 GPA the following semester will result in suspension from the Honors College. Suspended students may be reinstated by contacting the Honors College after their overall GPA increases to at least a 3.3.
Honors College students must complete Honors coursework at a proportional rate to overall degree completion relative to time of admission. Students whose rate of completing Honors coursework falls significantly behind their rate of overall degree completion will be temporarily suspended pending an approved plan to finish Honors coursework.
All Honors requirements are subject to change, and exceptions to the requirements for special circumstances exist. *For more information and up-to-date requirements, visit honors.ua.edu.
University Honors (UH) courses are the foundation of the Honors experience and often can be used to satisfy general education requirements. Most UH classes are limited in enrollment to a maximum of 15 students and few have prerequisites. Professors in UH courses stress the development of critical, analytical, and interpretive skills.
Departmental honors courses seat only Honors students and have limited enrollments in order to maximize interaction between students and faculty. Various departments offer these classes and regularly assign their best teachers to Honors sections, seeking to encourage Honors students to major or minor in their disciplines. All graduate level courses (500 and above) offered by departments count as Honors credit as well, once the Honors College is notified after course completion.
The Honors by Contract option allows Honors College students to make certain departmental courses at the 300- or 400-level count for Honors credit. In order to earn Honors credit, the student must collaborate with a supervisor to create an additional assignment or learning element that raises the course to Honors level work. Students must earn at least a "B" grade on the extra assignment and can apply no more than six hours of Honors by Contract courses toward the Honors College requirements.
Independent study allows students to pursue self-directed study in a subject area chosen by the student in consultation with a qualified supervisor. Self-directed studies often lead to conference presentations, publications and other experiences unique to the student's interests. Students who wish to take UH 400 must first satisfy a three (3) credit prerequisite of Honors Foundation courses at the "UH" designated 100, 200, or 300 level.
The Honors Thesis option allows students to undertake thesis research and writing for class credit and can be completed through the Honors College or a departmental honors program.
To complete the requirements of the Honors College, all students are required to earn at least 18 hours of Honors credit. Six credits out of the 18 must be in "UH" designated courses (also known as Honors Foundation courses) and graduate with an overall GPA of at least 3.3. Students must apply for graduation with the Honors College in addition to their official UA graduation application in order to have Honors designations displayed on their transcript and official graduation documents.
Taken by first-year students in the Randall Research Scholars Program, this course provides an accelerated introduction to computer hardware and software. Open only to students admitted to the Randall Research Scholars Program.
This course is a discovery-based partnership in which incoming freshmen will engage with current Honors College students to help find their place and transition into a collegiate environment. The ultimate goal for each student that participates in Honors Year One is to be exposed to the fundamental ideals of the Honors College, including innovative scholarship, advanced research, cultural interaction, and civic engagement.