students in class

Why Choose Honors?

A Step Ahead in College

Students enrolled in the Honors College enjoy a number of benefits in addition to the personal fulfillment that comes from academic achievement.

Honors College students receive priority registration within their class, have close contact with many of the university's talented professors -- both in the classroom and in the many opportunities for undergraduate research -- and may take advantage of the opportunity to compete with the rest of the best and the brightest at colleges and universities nationwide for prestigious scholarships such as the Rhodes, Truman, Marshall, and Goldwater.

An Edge in the Real World

Honors College Scholars graduate from the University of Vermont with skills that open doors to prospective employers and graduate schools alike: creative, critical, and integrative thinking; fluent written and spoken communication; and imaginative and effective problem solving. The Honors College promotes active learning where students in seminars and thesis projects determine their own goals and pursue them by applying creative knowledge.

The rigors of the Honors curriculum and the active, creative approach to learning enable students to launch their careers, enter elite graduate programs, travel the world, or serve their communities after they graduate. You’ll find recent Honors College alumni studying medicine, completing a law degrees, finishing doctorates in veterinary medicine, and pursuing the full range of master’s and doctoral studies in the humanities, sciences, engineering, social sciences, and the arts. Honors College students have also entered the workforce and landed positions at Google, Amazon, HBO, Global Foundries, Fuse Marketing, EQUITAS Life Sciences, W. W. Norton & Company, and NextCapital Group, among others. For some HCOL alumni, graduating as an Honors College Scholar creates opportunities to give back to a local community or to the broader global society, After graduating many Honors College students travel the country or the world doing postgraduate fellowship work through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the National Institute of Health, Teach for America, or the Peace Corps. Wherever students find themselves after graduation, the Honors College opens doors and helps create opportunities for post-UVM success.

Honors College Benefits

Research Opportunities

Have you ever imagined developing your own research project—and having it funded?  Do you want to prepare yourself for the intense scholarly inquiry you'll encounter in graduate school or a challenging career?

Honors College students are encouraged to pursue advanced research. Through the Office of Fellowships, Opportunities, and Undergraduate Research (FOUR), housed in the Honors College, they learn about the research process from start to finish. How do you write a research proposal? What factors go into deciding whom you will work with? How do you interpret your results and present them to experts in the field?

Students can choose from several undergraduate research programs depending on their major; learn more by visiting FOUR.

Library Privileges

studing in the libraryStudents in the Honors College receive graduate student status at all the university's libraries, allowing them to check out books for an entire semester, instead of the usual two weeks. This privilege comes in handy when working on ongoing research projects or senior theses.

Students also receive special training by library professors in using the libraries the main David W. Howe Memorial Library, Cook Chemistry/Physics Library, Dana Medical Library and the Library Annex and conducting research both on site in the libraries and via computer in cyberspace.

Together, the libraries hold 1.4 million volumes, 20,000 serial subscriptions, 5,300 current journals, 9,700 electronic journals, 250 other databases, 1.2 million government documents, 225,000 maps, 35,000 audiovisual materials, 45,000 rare books and 9,000 linear feet of manuscripts.

Early Registration

Honors students have priority registration for the next semester's classes. This means that Honors students have an opportunity to register before other students in their class, or, depending on their major, before the majority of students on campus.


Graduation with Honors

architectual columnStudents who fulfill all the requirements of the Honors College, including successfully completing a senior thesis or project, earn the special distinction of graduating as an Honors College Scholar. This distinction is noted on student transcripts and the designation of Honors College Scholar is conferred at UVM's commencement ceremony.

A Sense of Community

One of the most rewarding aspects of enrollment in the Honors College is the connections students make with other people: fellow students, faculty mentors, visiting scholars and artists, as well as professionals in education, health care, engineering, journalism, politics, and numerous other career fields. These are connections that inspire students to explore new paths -- academic subjects, political causes, community volunteer work, study abroad, graduate school, careers -- that they might not have considered before.

However, honors students are not the only ones to benefit from the social and professional connections available through the Honors College. Faculty have intentionally designed the college with an "open door." It is a place where everyone on campus can become fully involved in the pursuit of scholarship: through the plenary lecture series, the offices of undergraduate research and fellowships advising, special seminars, and numerous other events.

The Honors College is a place that aims to energize the university's academic life, a place for everyone on campus to share ideas and engage in scholarly debate.


Involvement in the Honors College doesn't stop when classes end for the day. The college's on-campus housing allows students to extend their classroom discussions and research -- not to mention, fun and socializing -- into the evening.

Honors College students in their first year are encouraged to live together in University Heights, which is located new the Living and Learning Center and the athletic facilities.. Second year students also have the option to request to remain in the University Heights or adjacent residence halls which comprise the Honors College Learning Community. 

Common Hour and Symposia

As part of the Honors College's commitment to fostering an enriching intellectual climate, the Common Hour associated with the first-year course HCOL 085, allows anyone in the campus community to hear talks by some of the most accomplished people on campus.  Former UVM President Daniel Fogel, for instance, has spoken to the students about affirmative action, Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Van de Graaf about the role of narrative in court cases, and visiting scholar Gov. Madeleine Kunin about women in politics.

In addition, each year the Honors College brings visiting scholars to campus for public lectures. These have included ethicist Peter Singer, philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, Pulitzer Prize Winning author Edward P. Jones, V. Gene Robinson, the former Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, environmentalist Bill McKibben, author Michael Pollan, and the celebrated writer and cartoonist Alison Bechdel.


Student Equity Action Committee

Join with a committed group of student leaders to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion the Honors College. Find out more about how to get involved here.