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Each year, a number of outstanding applicants to the University of Vermont are offered the opportunity to join the Honors College and its community of undergraduate scholars. The Honors College works with the Office of Admissions to review the academic records of the University's entering class each fall and invites top performers to enroll. There is no separate application to apply to the Honors College. Students receive their Honors College invitation decision at the same time that they receive their UVM admissions decision, and they can confirm their invitation status through their letter of admission in their application portal. Early applicants who do not receive an invitation soon when first admitted to UVM may receive one as late as February.

The Honors College seeks to bring in students who have a demonstrated record of being highly motivated and high achieving in their work both inside and outside the classroom. Invitation to the Honors College is based on high school academic performance and seeks to create a diverse learning community. The college selects students from a variety of academic areas, from the humanities and sciences to environmental studies and education, from nursing and social work to business, in order to enhance this intentionally diverse community of scholars.

Students invited to join the Honors College are invited to Admitted Student Visit Honors College receptions. At these receptions invited students and families have the chance to meet with current Honors College students and faculty, learn more about the college and curriculum, and tour the residential hall in University Heights North. A list of spring 2020 Honors College receptions is available here.

Do first year students apply to be in the Honors College? What are the criteria to be in the Honors College?

There is no application required for first-year admission; invitation is based on high school academic performance. Seeking to create a diverse learning community, we consider many factors in order to build a balanced and diverse class. The final criteria used will depend on the profile of the incoming class as a whole.

When will I know if I've been invited to the Honors College?

Students learn of their Honors College invitation status when they receive their UVM application decision (December 12 for early applicants, February 21 for regular decision applicants). In addition, in early March we notify students if they have been placed on the Honors College waitlist and will be in contact with those student through the spring.

How many students are invited to the Honors College?

We are targeting an incoming Honors College class of about 260 students, so this is a very selective process. Due to our small incoming class size, many very highly qualified UVM students will not receive an invitation to the join the Honors College. It's important to know that there is a second opportunity to join; students at UVM who complete their first year of study with a 3.4 or better cumulative GPA can apply for sophomore admission. Many of our most successful Honors College Scholars are students who joined the Honors College as sophomores.

Are Honors College students required to live in the Honors College residential hall, University Heights?

Honors College students are expected to live in University Heights. The residence halls provides housing for Honors College students in a wide variety of spacious rooms in suite options, as well as single rooms. In addition, University Heights North houses classrooms, many study lounges, and a multipurpose room for meetings, lectures, and dinners. Because the Honors College classrooms and administrative offices are also located in University Heights, students have easy access to advising and support from the staff and faculty.

I've been invited to join the Honors College, but am unsure if I should accept this invitation. What should I consider when making my decision?

This is a great question--we're glad that you asked! If you value the following aspects of undergraduate education, the UVM Honors College is a good fit for you:

  • being part of an engaged and active community of learners
  • taking courses that encourage you to broaden your intellectual horizons and engage in stimulating debate, writing, research, and reflection
  • engaging in undergraduate research, not just in your senior year, but as early as in your first year of study
  • taking advantage of specialized advising for nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships
  • using the benefit of priority registration to actively and purposefully create an academic program that will challenge you and provide strong abilities that translate to success in graduate school and professional schools, as well as in the global marketplace
  • preparing for your future by graduating as an Honors College Scholar (the designation earned upon completion Honors College requirements, as noted on the UVM diploma and transcript)

This all sounds great! How can I find out more?

  • Attend one of the upcoming Honors College receptions for students who have been invited to the Honors College on any of the Admitted Student Visit Days.
  • Send an email with any specific questions to
  • Call the Honors College at 802-656-9100.
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