All new members are required to attend an orientation whether they join as a first year, transfer, or current student. Honors information will be provided as part of the University's first year and transfer orientations set to be held online for summer 2020.

In addition, Honors Outreach Ambassadors  invite prospective students and their families to reach out with questions and requests for zoom meetings. 

Review our 2020 Honors Program Orientation Sheet, 2020 Honors Program Orientation Guide, and be sure to register for an Honors Program information session

Incoming First Year Honors Students

Incoming first year honors students enrolling for fall semester should expect to register for a required honors first year seminar* and, if possible, for Honors Primetime, the pre-semester honors class. Beyond these unique first year opportunities, we recommend that you select as many honors classes and sections available to you, given your major or general education requirements. A typical first semester schedule will include anywhere from one to four honors classes.

* Students in the College of Engineering and Tippie Direct Admits, who are required to take a specific first year seminar for their major, may substitute a different honors class for this requirement. For these students, an honors first year seminar is recommended but not required.


Introduction to Honors Curriculum

  • The University Honors curriculum is made up of 12 semester hours of honors coursework and 12 honors credits (or units) of experiential learning.
  • The goal for orientation is for new honors students to register for their first semester courses. For first year students, this typically includes an honors first year seminar, Honors Primetime, and possibly one or two other honors general education courses. 
    • Honors Courses will be taken over a student's first four semesters. The 12 semester hour (s.h.) requirement usually works out to be three or four courses. Students may continue to take honors classes after this, but the curricular requirement is fulfilled at 12 s.h. These courses may be honors versions of general education courses, honors versions of required department courses, or Honors Primetime and first year seminars. Your academic advisor can help you locate honors courses on MyUI.
    • There are many ways to earn experiential learning credit, including, but not limited to internships, study abroad, research, and honors in the major. The focus at orientation, however, is on honors coursework. Honors students will be able to meet with honors peer mentors or a member of the honors advising staff once they are living on campus in the fall to explore which experiential option or combination of options will be the best fit for them, and when to complete them. 
  • Honors Primetime is a three-and-a-half day workshop exclusively for incoming first year honors students which earns participating students one semester hour of honors coursework credit. See below for more information on this unique opportunity!
  • Most honors students are required to enroll in an honors first year seminar for their first semester. If your major requires a specific first year seminar, you are not required to enroll in an honors one; however, you may still choose to do so!
    • First year seminars are one semester hour courses taken during a student's first semester. Students can choose from a wide range of courses and disciplines and need not select a topic related to their major. We encourage openness, flexibility and exploration in selecting a first year seminar!

Honors Primetime

Primetime is a three-and-a-half day optional class 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 one 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, all while moving in early and becoming familiar with the university campus and Iowa City. 

Transfer Students

We recommend that transfer students joining University Honors consider exploring honors in the major through their individual majors and colleges. Honors contracting is another option particularly suited to students who join Honors already  having earned a significant number of college credits.

Transfer students are encouraged to make a follow-up appointment for one-on-one University Honors advising early in their first semester at Iowa.

Current Student Orientation & Welcome to Honors

Honors at Iowa holds Welcome to Honors sessions for current/continuing students who join the program. Welcome to Honors sessions are held within the first five weeks of the semester and are advertised in the Honorable Messenger, our weekly email newsletter. New members receive an email invitation to sign up for a Welcome to Honors session. New members may also arrange individualized honors advising. See here for more information about Peer Mentoring.