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.

Are you...

  • a student who loves to learn?
  • curious about the world?
  • ready to try something new?

Then join Honors at Iowa because...

Benefits Include:


This is not another AP class.
This is not your high school's honors program.
This is Honors at Iowa, a place to make your connection.


Student Perspective

Real thoughts from real honors students

Smaller community at the university

  • Honors housing options are smaller than most residence halls. Because of that, I got to know many of my floor mates and recognized them at the dining halls, classes, and student organizations.
  • I spent a lot of time hanging out with my friends and studying in the Blank Honors Center (we call it the BHC or Blank).
  • At the BHC I met upperclassmen, including the Honors Peer Mentors, who had taken the classes I am taking now. They had a lot of helpful advice, such as which student organizations were helpful to them or how they got involved in research.

First year seminars

  • These small-sized classes were another great way to meet other students in the Honors Program. Some of my classmates I recognized from my Chemistry class. Because of this connection, I worked with them as a lab partner for the semester.
  • I took a First Year Seminar on Volcanoes, and I am an accounting major. It was a great way to push me out of my comfort zone and expand my interests without requiring a large time commitment.
  • I took an Honors first year seminar that related to the materials I was learning in Elementary Psychology. We did a fun experiment with the FYS class that really helped me have a deeper understanding of the large lecture content.
  • My first year seminar teacher and I really connected. I thought his work was interesting and compelling. I decided to work with him by taking more of his classes and TAing (serving as an undergraduate teaching assistant) for him.

Honors coursework

  • Typically, Honors classes are smaller than their standard class counterparts. I took Honors Foundations of Biology, the class had 80 students while the standard class was over 300 students. We met at round tables of 10 instead of in a lecture hall.
  • My Honors class was taught by the professor instead of a TA. This special classroom environment allowed me to directly learn what the professor thought was important.
  • I worked closely with a professor I really liked. I met with him once a week and we got to know each other well. Because of this, he was more than willing to write an excellent letter of recommendation for me when I applied for graduate school.
  • My Honors class provided special resources. We had weekly study sessions with the TA where we reviewed material for the tests, and she answered questions about lecture. When it came time to take the test, I felt really prepared.

Experiential learning

  • The honors pro-staff helped me get connected to exciting, out of the classroom experiences. I knew I wanted to study abroad so I met with Honors Experiential Learning Director Andy Willard, and he helped me to devise a project plan that enriched my time overseas.
  • I knew I needed to do an internship while pursuing my undergraduate degree to help me after graduation. The honors reflection process helped me to articulate the value of that experience for me. I anticipate that this will serve me well with future employers.
  • For medical school, I needed to be able to write a good personal statement and have excellent interviewing skills. Director of Scholar Development Kelly Thornburg teaches a workshop on developing writing and interviewing skills in preparation for applying for major scholarships.

Ready? Here are your next steps:

  1. Check our eligibility requirements and see if you qualify.
  2. Schedule a visit. We'd love to meet you!
  3. Learn more about Honors Housing.
  4. Prepare for your Honors Orientation.
  5. New to Iowa? Consider Honors Primetime.
  6. Review Membership Requirements.