Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

How do I apply for admission to Honors? And if I am not admitted to Honors, will I still be considered for admission to the University?

First, you apply to UD through the Common or Coalition application. You can indicate interest in the Honors College at that point. Second, you will apply to the Honors College via a link on your My Blue Hen Home portal. There will be three short essays provided and students will need to complete one. If you are not admitted to the Honors College, your application will still be reviewed for general admission to the University.

Can I apply to Honors test-optional?

Yes. UD is allowing students to apply test-optional this year.

If I choose to submit test scores, are the supplemental essays still optional?

No, you only fill out the supplemental essays if you choose not to submit test scores.

If I do not submit standardized test scores, will it negatively affect my chance of admission to the Honors College?

No. UD Admissions reviews all application materials holistically.

Do you use weighted or unweighted GPA?

We ask you to provide your weighted GPA if that is what your school provides.

Does UD Admissions schedule interviews for UD or Honors admission?

No.

Do you apply to the Honors College or to a specific major?

First, you apply to UD for a specific major and then to the Honors College.

Does UD and the Honors College accept AP/IB scores?

Yes. The University accepts AP and IB credit, sometimes even as a course equivalent. Please see this web page with equivalency charts for a variety of different examinations, including AP and IB exams.

What is the ratio of Honors students to traditional students in the incoming class?

There are typically around 4,100-4,400 incoming first-year students to UD and about 600 of those are Honors students (so roughly 14% are in Honors).

What percentage of students admitted to the Honors College are from out of state?

About ⅔ of UD students are from out of state and Honors mirrors the university.

Can I apply to Honors after my first year at UD?

Students who did not apply or who were not admitted to Honors as incoming first year students can apply as full-time matriculated UD students. Please review this page and contact the Honors College with questions. 

2021 Application Essay Questions

Prepare Your Honors Essay

To apply to the UD Honors College, you will be asked to write an essay answering one of the provided prompts. Below are the prompts from the 2021 application. Limit your response to 300 words or less.

Question 1: How will you contribute to a diverse and inclusive community? What will other Honors students learn from you and what do you hope to learn from others?

Question 2: Reflecting back on the past year and all the challenges that we have faced as a society, what have you learned about yourself and how has that shaped your goals as an Honors student?

Question 3: While a formal education is important, lessons learned outside of the classroom are as well.  What is something you’ve learned outside of school, and how will that impact your Honors education and/or your contributions to our community?

Academics

Is the Honors College open to all majors?

Yes. You may major in any department on campus. Honors Degrees are available in over 100 majors. Please see this page for a current list of Honors Degrees.

How are Honors courses different?

Honors courses involve enriched learning experiences that are more challenging than traditional classes. Stand-alone Honors classes are small in size (20-25 students), are more discussion-based, and involve more faculty-student interaction. Faculty expectations are higher in Honors courses, and many Honors courses are more writing-intensive. Some Honors courses are also add-on courses. Honors students meet with the traditional lecture section, but often have a separate meeting with the faculty member with more intensive discussion or deeper exploration into a course topic.

What types of Honors Degrees are available?

Most (though not all) majors offer an Honors Degree. For a list of current Honors Degrees, please click here.

How much of my coursework will be Honors?

First-year students take at least half of their coursework in Honors. For example, in the first year, Honors students take a minimum of two Honors courses each semester including an interdisciplinary, writing-intensive colloquium and an Honors ENGL 110. Students will meet with an advisor at New Student Orientation to decide which courses should be taken as Honors. Upper division students are expected to continue taking Honors coursework to meet the requirements for the General Honors Award, Honors Degree, or Honors Degree with Distinction.  After the first year, to remain active in the Honors College, all students must enroll in at least one Honors course each year.

What is the typical professor to student ratio in the Honors College and how does that compare to the ratio in traditional courses?

For stand-alone Honors courses, classes might be as small as 20-25 students to one professor. For example, an Honors introductory level chemistry class might have 25 students, while the traditional section might have 100 students in the lecture. Overall, UD’s largest classrooms hold no more than 300-400 students.

Do Honors students have priority registration?

Yes.  Students’ registration time is based on number of credit hours completed and their Honors status.

What percentage of Honors students that start in the Honors College graduate with an Honors Degree?

Based on recently compiled data on Honors College graduates, nearly 90% of students complete their program at UD within 4 years. 75-80% of students in an incoming class earn the General Honors Award, which is earned by students who have completed the necessary credits to be on track for the Honors Degree after their first 2 years. Around 60% of incoming students in a given cohort complete the Honors Degree requirements upon graduation from UD.

Can traditional students enroll in Honors classes?

Yes, students not in the Honors College can enroll in Honors classes at the time of open enrollment as long as they have at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA in at least 12 credits at UD.

Are there accelerated Master’s programs at UD?

There are more than 50 4+1 programs at UD. For interest in majors and 4+1 options, review our Major Finder.

How does advisement work for students in the Honors College, especially those with double majors?

All UD students have an advisor specific to their major or department. The Honors College staff are available for complex academic planning such as two or three majors or multiple degrees.

How common is it for students in the Honors College to combine their interests in STEM and arts or humanities?

Honors College students are often involved in academic interests across campus that blend both their academic and outside interests. One example is students who participate in the environmental humanities minor which blends the humanities with science and public policy as students address issues by drawing from a number of disciplines. Another example is Honors students that may have STEM based majors, and participate in our Honors private music study option. They continue with advanced instrument or voice lessons funded by the Honors College throughout their first year.

What grade point average must I maintain to remain in the Honors College?

Honors students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.20 in the first year to remain in the Honors College. After the second year and in subsequent years, Honors College students must maintain a minimum of a 3.30 overall GPA to remain active in the Honors College. All Honors College students will be reviewed yearly after spring semester grades are posted.

Life in Honors

Do Honors student live together?

Yes. Honors students report living with other students who want an academically challenging education are more satisfied with their living environment than those who do not. However, although Honors students live together, they are not isolated from other first-year students who are not in the Honors College. While you have the support of fellow Honors students, you are still part of the broader University. Living in Honors first-year housing is a requirement unless a student is commuting from home.  After the first year, students can choose to live in upper division Honors housing, elsewhere on campus, or off-campus.

What is the relationship like between Honors students and traditional students?

Honors students are very involved in the life of the University.  Many leadership positions within RSOs and student government are held by Honors students, and you’ll find Honors students serving as RAs and student employees.  They will have classes with traditional students in addition to their Honors coursework.

Can you be in the Honors College and in World Scholars?

Yes! Any student admitted to World Scholars can also be in the Honors College.  Honors staff work with Honors World Scholars to complete requirements in their first year and beyond.

Do Honors students study abroad?

Honors College students actively participate in study abroad programs, and an Honors-only study abroad experience is offered frequently during winter session.

What is diversity like in the Honors College compared to the rest of the University?

Overall, the percentage of students of color in the Honors College mirrors that of the university at large.

Can you select your roommate in the Honors residence hall?

Yes, you can select your roommate as long as your roommate is also an admitted Honors College student. You will also fill out a questionnaire through Residence Life and Housing that will help match you with roommates.

Is experiential learning a big part of the Honors College and of the University of Delaware as a whole?

Yes, experiential learning is a very important part of the Honors College experience. Enrichment funds are available for professors to enhance the classroom experience by taking students on trips, bringing in guest speakers and more. Students may also apply for enrichment funds to build upon their research or pursue an independent travel idea.

What are your career services at UD and the Honors College?

UD has an excellent Career Center and the Honors College often partners with them on programming.

Will I have time for outside activities as a member of the Honors College?

Yes. UD Honors students are a remarkably active group: they include musicians, athletes, debaters, theatre buffs, newspaper and yearbook editors, peer tutors, quiz bowl and Model UN enthusiasts, class officers, and many participants in community service and other volunteer activities. We expect you to have a life outside the classroom. In fact, at UD, Honors students are over-represented in student activities. There is a strong Honors presence in the University of Delaware Marching Band and in the leadership of registered student organizations/clubs. Our students also participate in varsity, club, and intramural sports. Many Honors College students even start their own registered student organizations (RSOs).