The University of Iowa Honors Program seeks to nurture a deeper understanding of one’s discipline and self. Central to that is embracing and seeking to cultivate intellectual curiosity. We believe that one way curiosity is cultivated is through recognizing and embracing the diversity of our community, whether that is race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, class, religion, and/or any other identity that is integral to our students’ sense of self. Our purpose is to foster and support an environment in which diversity of backgrounds and perspectives is not only recognized and respected but viewed as a dynamic opportunity to enrich and strengthen the student experience and entire Honors Program community. We are committed to increasing the representation of populations that have historically been marginalized and excluded from opportunities in higher education, as well as being a welcoming and safe place for everyone.

Blank Honors Center

Our Mission

Honors at Iowa enriches the undergraduate experience by cultivating intellectual curiosity and practical skill through challenging coursework, creative engagement, and experiential learning to nurture a deeper understanding of one’s discipline and self.


How did Honors at Iowa begin?

The University of Iowa Honors Program was created in 1958 by Samuel Rhodes Dunlap. Professor Dunlap introduced the program as a response to the U.S. government’s call for better and more competitive education. His intent was to ensure the University’s position as a leader in research and learning. Dunlap was the program director from its founding in 1958 until his retirement in 1981, and was instrumental in the growth of the program from the half-dozen or so departments at its beginning to the many involved when he retired. He worked with the various departments to get them interested, and was also involved with honors at the national level. He attended many conferences and seminars across the country in order to promote honors.


Home of Honors

The Blank Honors Center (BHC) is home to classrooms, an instructional technology center (ITC) and study rooms (3rd floor), Honors Program offices (fourth floor), as well as the Belin-Blank Center (5th and 6th floors).

The Blank Honors Center is open Monday-Friday 8 AM - 5 PM. Swipe access to the 3rd & 4th Floor is available from 5 PM-12 AM Mon-Thurs for honors students. A student admin is available for support from 7-9 PM Mon-Thurs. Student card access is also available on Saturday 8 AM-6 PM and Sunday 8 AM-Midnight. Be sure to use your Iowa One card for access.

Visit for additional available study locations. 

Drone Oct 21

Honors Today

Honors at Iowa has taken different forms across time. Since 2013, the University of Iowa has awarded University Honors at graduation (noted on transcript and diploma) to honors students who complete the curriculum of 12 honors credits in coursework and 12 in experiential learning from a menu of options promoting many of the powerful learning experiences the University offers such as mentored research, study abroad, service learning, internships and experiential coursework. In addition, students may earn honors in the major recognition through their departments.

Brain Statue

Our Vision

We envision Honors at Iowa as an inclusive and supportive community for high achieving students who are in the process of understanding the broader significance of their education, life experiences, and relationships with the goal of awareness and self-authorship.


Professional Affiliations

The National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), founded in 1965, is a nonprofit organization that supports the community of educational institutions, professionals, and students who participate in collegiate honors education around the world. The NCHC provides publications, honors program/college reviews, professional development, an annual professional conference, and networking opportunities to its members, as well as experiential travel programs and honors student awards and scholarships.


Looking for a fun study space?

Come visit the BHC 3rd floor patio! It is open during warmer months, 8AM - 5PM. Enjoy a quiet study space outside!

BHC Hours