Prospective Students

The mission of the UNK Honors Program is to provide a more rigorous and enriching undergraduate experience for students in the Honors Program. We deliver this experience through special classes, extra-curricular opportunities, and a community of Honors Students. We believe a strong Honors Program benefits the entire campus community.

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"The Honors Program has allowed me to get the most out of my college experience by opening doors for me to be involved with community service, research, leadership positions, social events, and networking opportunities that have led to lifelong friendships." -Nathan Harms, senior

Honors Community

Men's Hall

Men's Hall

  • The center of the Honors Community and home to over 130 students each year.

  • A lively, fun, and focused residence hall.

  • Residents are top scholars, accomplished athletes, talented musicians, and more.

  • The environment creates a strong sense of community among the students, who challenge and support each other.

  • Don’t be fooled by the name, this hall is a co-ed building.



The Honors Students Advisory Board organizes social activities each month, such as pancake feeds, dances, and holiday caroling. The Advisory Board also works with Honors staff to develop new policy, provide a student voice in program management, and represent the Honors Program on campus.

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Honors Students volunteer on campus, in Kearney, and across the state. Honors Students have the talents and energy to make their communities great places, and they actively find ways of “giving back” on a regular basis.

Book Club

The Honors Program has a book club each semester, where interested students read a common book and discuss it with other students and faculty over the course of several meetings. We’ve read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Code Name Verity, I am a Man, and more.

UNK Honors Program Advantages

The Honors Program offers high-ability students the advantage of learning opportunities suited to their aptitudes and interests. Classes focus on critical thinking, and out-of-class activities put students in situations where they can learn according to their interests at a pace suited to their appetite for knowledge.

Honors Program advisors work individually with students to help them gain the greatest advantage from their college experience.

Knowledge: UNK Honors students take classes, conduct projects, and live in a community that pushes them to learn more about their chosen fields, and about the accomplishments of diverse civilizations and cultures. Honors students become lifelong learners.

Community: UNK Honors students participate in campus activities and non-profit organizations, developing experience and values that make them important assets in their workplaces and communities.

Character: UNK Honors students are surrounded by people who help them develop the personal values of hard work, integrity, and community that help them develop into mature citizens.

Credentials: UNK Honors students graduate with a record of academic excellence, broad knowledge, and personal achievement that are valued by employers and universities.

Life as an Honors Student: Expectations & Progress

Freshmen in the Honors Program typically live in Men’s Hall, a 1930s building recently renovated in its original art-deco style. This co-ed building has a vibrant community of talented students who work hard and play hard together. Freshmen take an Honors general studies class each semester, which they select from a menu of Honors course offerings. These classes are not more work, but they are more engaging and are designed to emphasize critical thinking, communication, and deeper understanding. Freshmen also tend to become involved in several organizations on campus, and they often participate in intramural games.

Some sophomores continue to live in Men’s Hall, and others choose to move to other housing. They take another Honors general studies course, and they may begin their H-Option classes (link to program description). Sophomores start developing independent research projects with faculty, and they might study abroad.

In the junior year, Honors students are most likely to study abroad, and they are also getting deeply involved in independent research. We see juniors in leadership positions around campus, from organizations to student government. They take at least one H-Option class, and they start thinking about “after UNK.”

Seniors begin their fourth year with a retreat where staff make sure they have a good plan for finishing their program, talk about transitioning to graduate school or the career market, and connect them with campus resources that will help students achieve their goals. Seniors complete their third and final H-Option, often present their research at academic conferences, and submit their senior study to the Honors Program. Students are recognized at the annual Spring Honors Banquet and receive medallions to wear at graduation.