Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
You may be invited to join an honor society based on your GPR or other accomplishments. Honor societies are typically student organizations; some are affiliated with academic colleges or departments. An honor society may require you to pay a membership fee in order to join and does not require Honors coursework. While many honor societies are legitimate and may be worth your time, scams do exist. We encourage you to investigate any invitations you receive to ensure that they are from real and significant organizations. The UIW Honors Program does not oversee any honor societies.
The UIW Honors Program is an academic program overseen by the Associate Provost of Undergraduate and Graduate Education. The program requires completion of Honors coursework and curriculum and results in graduation distinctions officially recognized by the University of the Incarnate Word. The program requires an application to join, but you will not be charged for joining.
Yes, current UIW students may apply to the Honors Program each Fall. Applications are due by March 1 in order to process applications in time for entrance to the Fall semester, review of Fall class schedules, and participation in the August New Honors Student Orientation (NHSO). Learn more information about the application process by clicking below.
Transfer Students with less than 60 college credits are eligible to join the Honors Program. All applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be considered:
- Minimum 3.3 GPA after completion of one semester or more at UIW, or equivalent
- Completion of the Honors Program application for current UIW or transfer students
Applications are due by March 1 to allow time for processing and admission decisions to be issued for class schedule adjustments before the Fall semester, and participation in the August New Honors Student Orientation (NHSO). Learn more information about the application process by clicking below.
You are a freshman if you:
- are a student without college credit or
- earned college credit prior to high school graduation (dual credit/early college high school)
Incoming Freshman may apply to the UIW Honors Program by completing the Honors Program section on the University ApplyTexas, CommonApp, or GoUIW applications.
You are a transfer if you:
- earned college credit after high school graduation (during fall/spring semester) and
- do not have a bachelor’s degree and
- do not qualify for readmission
Transfer students may apply to the UIW Honors Program by completing the Honors Program section on the University ApplyTexas, CommonApp, or GoUIW applications.
You are a current student if you:
- have completed one full semester at UIW and
- do not have a bachelor’s degree
Current UIW students may apply to the UIW Honors Program by completing the Honors Application.
Please review the eligibility requirements to be sure you meet the minimum GPA and test scores before completing an application.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by the Honors Program Leadership. All admissions are based on a holistic review, accounting for academic preparation, extra-curricular activity, leadership, and other examples of scholarly and community achievement. Students may be selected for a brief interview to discuss their application and meet with the Admission Committee. Upon review of the completed application, the Honors Admission Committee will makes its final decision and offer invitations to chosen applicants.
There are many reasons to join the Honors Program! Honors classes emphasize critical reading and thinking, offer engaging discussions, and develop exceptional writing and communication skills. The curriculum is also flexible enough to accommodate Study Abroad (in fact we encourage it!). Honors is for students with intense curiosity about what makes the human experience meaningful. If you are the kind of student who wants to understand how subjects as varied as biology, literature, history, psychology, physics, economics, mathematics, and art all intersect, Honors might be for you.
In addition to these benefits, the University Honors Program offers these specific benefits:
- Emphasis on interdisciplinary interaction. We have students from all of the academic colleges participating in our programs, which means that you will have the opportunity to hear different perspectives on the same issue.
- Focus on your personal, professional, and intellectual development. Our program requirements--such as the Intro to Honors course, Honors Student leadership participation, and Point Plan--are designed to help you make purposeful decisions as you work toward your own personal vision of success.
- The opportunity to earn Honors course credit through course contracts, independent study, or special topic courses.
- Priority access to specialized advising for Honors.
- The ability to graduate with a transcript distinction.
No matter your specific career goals, an Honors education can help make you a better doctor, businessperson, lawyer, professional, artist, writer, engineer, architect, teacher, civic leader, citizen, and human.
No. All Honors Students must complete two-to-five Honors courses during their undergraduate career. Depending on how each student wishes to earn points among the three categories of Curriculum, Scholarship, and Self-Development, there may be one or two honors courses on your schedule each year. In many cases, the heaviest number of Honors courses are in the first two years, however, the Honors classes may be spread over your four years of Undergraduate study. Should you choose to do original research in your major as an honors thesis, that work is managed with the help of a faculty mentor over an 18-24 month time frame. The long time frame allows you to spread the work out so the load is manageable and not overwhelming.
Generally, you will find that honors classes tend to be more interdisciplinary in nature and are more interactive. In addition, the class discussions and assignments in an honors class require a deeper level of critical thinking. There won't be more assignments; the challenge is in the type of assignments you receive. In addition, professors tend to use their Honors classes to try out new teaching methods.
No, with the exception of the Alvarez Scholars Program, the Honors Program does not administer scholarships or provide tuition waivers. Although many of our students receive generous financial aid offers, there are no scholarships specifically associated with being an Honors student. Questions about financial aid should be directed to the Office of Financial Assistance.
We also support our students with extra experiences and funding. For example, you will have access to funds within the Office of Research and Graduate Studies for your Honors Thesis or travel associated with the Honors Program. We will also pay your way to participate in our social-justice trip and for your attendance at specified workshops, such as graduate school preparation and leadership development.
Yes, it will speak volumes about your abilities and aspirations. Students in Honors programs are widely recognized as being the best students at a college, having both superior academic ability and the motivation to make the most of their college experience. Consider what an American college degree means to the general public. Because there are more than 3,000 colleges and universities in the United States, most people have no way of evaluating the quality of colleges in their local area. But people do know that if you join an Honors Program; you are a superior student who is clearly committed to getting the best education and the best courses and professors available to you.
All honors students must earn 20 honors points within three categories--Curriculum, Scholarship, and Self-Development--to achieve University Honors. They also must keep up their grades to achieve at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA. There are also participation requirements. Although not required, we strongly encourage every student to attend one of the social justice trips offered each year. A full accounting of the requirements are listed on our requirements page.
Absolutely! We encourage Honors students to become involved across campus in organizations and leadership roles that allow them to add depth and context to their academic experiences. Many students are able to be successful in both the Honors Program and other major commitments like Athletics, Greek life, Residence Assistantships, and the arts (music, theater, band).