University of Iowa

Honors Primetime is a three-and-a-half day workshop for incoming first-year honors students. Workshops of about twenty students engage in hands-on learning with exceptional UI faculty and staff, and successful completion earns 1 semester hour of honors credit.

Students at Primetime get to know other honors students, connect with honors staff and faculty, and gain an introduction to the distinct approach honors education offers while becoming familiar with the university campus and Iowa City.

Information for 2020 Participants

  • Registration for Primetime is completed separately from registration for other courses. Registration will be open from July 15 to July 22. 
  • Students will be able to register for Primetime by completing the form linked above. 
  • By August 15 students will receive their workshop assignments
  • Participants move in Sunday, August 16 and check in to the program the following day (Monday)
    • Housing will charge participants $35/day for two nights to the student's University Bill, no cash/check needed upon move-in
    • Visit the UI Housing Team Move-in 2019 Important Dates page for more information 
  • Primetime will conclude on Thursday in time for students to participate in On Iowa! events
  • For more information read our Primetime FAQ
  • We can't wait to see you there!

A Selection of Primetime Course Descriptions

Be prepared to expand your knowledge beyond the usual! Below you'll find a small sample past workshops to give you an indication of what you can expect to find. 

Media in Society

Why does media matter? How does it achieve its ends? How is pop culture manipulated, and how are seemingly oppositional motifs combined to further a brand or concept?



The goals of this experiment are to quantify the physical processes which occur in a volcanic eruption by measuring and calculating characteristics of an experimental eruption column. Basically: the science of blowing up trash cans.


Eating Local: Mapping Food Sources From Ancient Rome to Iowa City, IA

This workshop explores the types, sources, and transport of food in ancient Rome and in Iowa City. Students will be introduced to Roman food and cook ancient dishes before delving into the sources and distances that food had to travel from farm to table in antiquity as compared to today.


How Do Birds Work?

Did the structures necessary for flight, such as feathers, first appear for that purpose? Why do birds knees seem to point backwards? Are penguins truly flightless? In this workshop, we will study of the skeletons of modern and fossil birds and encounter living birds to explore how their wings work. 


Student Perspectives on Primetime:

  • "For Primetime, we came to campus early. My roommate and I really got a feel for downtown and the University of Iowa community. We walked around the Old Capitol, checked out a famous bookstore called Prairie Lights, and got frozen yogurt from Yotopia."
  • "This was my first experience on campus, so it allowed me to meet other new members of the Honors Program. I was surprised to see many of their faces in my chemistry class on the first day of school."
  • "Primetime was taught by a professor. Taking this class introduced me to the culture of college classes and how to interact with professors."
  • "Primetime ended with a symposium in which each workshop presented a brief summary of what they learned. This way, I learned about different topics and fields of study at the U of I."