Undergraduate Admissions - The University of Iowa

The University of Iowa

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Admission to the Honors Program

The University of Iowa Honors Program welcomes outstanding students who want to enrich their college experience with engaging course work, exciting experiences outside of class, and opportunities to make great friends.

Why Join the Honors Program?

The Blank Honors Center, with its own library, computer lab, and study spaces, is a second home for many UI honors students. Support staff in the Honors Program can also help you connect with:

  • The best classmates and the best instructors. Enroll in classes only for honors students.
  • Honors courses and seminars. Work with an instructor to make any course and honors course.
  • Personalized study plans. Capitalize on Iowa's broad course offerings to create your own field of study.
  • Social activities. Make new friends at Daum Prom or during group activities and service projects.
  • Living-learning communities. Live in one of our two Honors Living-Learning Communities.
  • Teaching opportunities. Help teach first-year students and sophomores as a junior or senior.
  • Research experience. Conduct original research for an honors thesis or project.
  • Recognition. Receive honors commendation after your sophomore year and graduate with honors.

Admission to the Honors Program

You do not need to apply for admission to the Honors Program. Qualified students are invited to join Honors at Iowa and will need to accept the invitation to become a member. There also is an Individual Review Process for students who want to join but don't meet the minimum requirements for eligibility.

Minimum Requirements for First-Year Admission to Honors

  • 30 ACT composite score (or combined 1330 SAT critical reading and math score) and a 3.8 high school GPA

Minimum Requirements for Transfer Admission to Honors

  • 3.50 cumulative GPA on at least 24 semester hours of transferrable college credit. Students with fewer than 24 semester hours will be held to the 3.50 transfer GPA in addition to the criteria for first-year students, above.

Minimum Requirements for International Student Admission to Honors

  • International first-year students need a 30 ACT composite score (or combined 1330 SAT critical reading and math scores) and a 3.80 high school GPA (on a 4.00 scale).
  • International transfer students need a 3.50 cumulative GPA on at least 24 semester hours of transferrable credit. Students with fewer than 24 semester hours will be admitted based on the criteria for international first-year students and need a 3.50 GPA on transferred college course work.

Request for Individual Review

If you don't meet the criteria but would like to be considered for admission to the Honors Program, send the information below to Dr. Robert Kirby, Associate Director, University of Iowa Honors Program, 420 Blank Honors Center, Iowa City, IA, USA, 52242.

  • A letter describing how you would take advantage of the opportunities in the Honors Program
  • Your transcript
  • A letter of recommendation from a high school teacher (for first-year students) or an instructor at your current or previous college (for transfer students)