spring campus

Honors Advisors

This page is for staff and faculty who advise honors students at various stages of their progress in the University Honors curriculum of 12 s.h. of honors coursework + 12 credits in experiential learning.  

Thank you for looking out for your honors advisees! Although the Honors Program offers supplemental advising and peer mentoring, we rely on our advising partners to support honors student success! 

Honors in the Major

Honors students are advised to explore departmental honors requirements (honors in the major) as a form of experiential learning. 

Honors in the major requirements are set and supervised by departments and colleges rather than the Honors Program. Honors in the major is optional for students to receive University Honors. Likewise, students need not be in the Honors Program to pursue honors in the major. Completion of honors in the major counts as 12 credits in experiential learning for University Honors.  

For transfer students and students who have reported significant amounts of experiential learning (6 credits or more), the Honors Program will apply departmental honors coursework to the honors coursework requirement on a case-by-case basis and by request. 

Summer Orientation/New Honors First-Year Student Checklist

  • All new students will enroll in either an Honors Primetime Bundle (Primetime, HONR:1100 + Intro to Honors, HONR:1000) or the stand-alone 0EXV section of HONR:1000.
    • Primetime is recommended to all first-year honors students entering from high school in fall semester.
    • Primetime may not work for students attending Iowa Edge, Marching Band, or some athletes.
    • For the last several year, over 80% of students have participated in Primetime.
    • Students earn 1 experiential credit for their successful completion of Primetime.
  • Students who do not participate in Primetime will be expected to enroll in the stand-alone section of Intro to Honors, HONR:1000:0EXV.
    • asynchronous, offered fall and spring
    • counts as 1 s.h. honors coursework
  • At least one honors course (1 or more s.h. credits) in their first semester in the program
    • An honors first-year seminar is required for all first-year, fall semester students
      • Students who have a different required first-year seminar, e.g nursing, public health, and Tippie direct admits, are exempt from the honors first-year seminar requirement.
    • Courses frequently offered as honors or with honors sections are general education and core courses such as CHEM:1110, CLSA:1200, ECON:1100, EES:1400, PHIL:1861, RHET:1030, SOC:1010
    • For transfer students who have completed general education requirements, honors contracts are recommended

For Ongoing Advising

Students must complete 12 s.h. of honors coursework, 12 experiential learning credits, and have a 3.33 UI cumulative GPA by graduation.
  • Students should continually enroll in honors courses until a minimum of 12 s.h. are complete. Students have up to 4 semesters to complete their required honors coursework.
    • Each semester, check for honors options for general education courses and elective courses
      • Instruct advisees in how to search for honors courses in MyUI
    • Inform students of HONR courses taught by honors program staff such as HONR:2900, HONR:2992, HONR:2993, and HONR:2994
    • Honors contracts are recommended for students who want to further explore courses related to their major, minor, or certificate.
      • First-year students should generally be taking honors classes rather than contracting 
      • In general, honors does not permit contracting for courses for which an honors section is offered.
  • HONR:2990 Study Smarter: Meaning, Motivation, & Experiential Learning is expected for second- or third-year honors students. Students who show significant progress in honors experiential learning (four or more credits recorded on their University Honors degree audit) are exempt.

Advising for Experiential Learning

Students can begin experiential learning any time.

  • Direct students to honors peer mentors, the Honors Program portal in ICON, or to honors.uiowa.edu for further exploration of their options.
  • Direct students to the University Honors Degree Audit to self-assess their progress.

CLAS, Community-Engaged, and Tippie RISE courses approved for honors experiential learning count automatically on the University Honors degree audit and do not require a reflection process. Experiential coursework options are listed on the honors program website at https://honors.uiowa.edu/experiential-coursework.

Most types of experiential learning require the honors reflection process to receive credit. The three-part reflection process comprises a pre-experience questionnaire, a post-experience questionnaire and a narrative reflection, found in the Honors Program Portal on ICON. We recommend a yearly practice of reflection. Students should begin to report their experiences at the end of their second year. 

  • Completion of the pre-experience questionnaire beforehand or early in an experience is a best practice to document goals and assess achievement, but students can also report experiences retroactively, drawing on memory to complete the pre-. 
  • Annual completion of reflection assignments to document and improve learning is a best practice. 
    • A second or third post- and narrative reflection may be submitted the following year(s) for additional credit if an experience continues. 
    • High quality reflections on experiences encompassing multiple years will also be counted. 
  • To ensure that credit is counted in time for University Honors recognition at graduation, students are encouraged to submit their final reflections before or early (within the first five weeks of) their final semester.