Aug 12, 2022  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Honors College


Purpose and Focus

The Honors College plays a unique role in UNLV’s educational mission. It is a selective undergraduate college that offers an educational experience focusing on a solid liberal arts and sciences foundation, but in the context of a major research university with extensive academic and cultural opportunities. The Honors College is an educational partner with the “discipline” colleges of the University, in which Honors students pursue their academic majors. The combination of a central intellectual core in Honors, combined with advanced learning in a major field, helps students prepare for graduate education, professional school, and rewarding careers. With a diverse student body, a strong curriculum taught in collaboration with UNLV’s outstanding faculty, intense advising, research, service and leadership opportunities, scholarships and special residential arrangements, the Honors College offers an exceptional value in higher education. The College attracts excellent students from around the globe who, together with faculty and staff, form a unique learning community supporting educational achievement and excellence.

Objectives of the Honors College

The Honors College prepares students for academic, professional, and personal success after they graduate from UNLV. That preparation is achieved through separate curricula for the University Honors Program, the Research and Creative Honors Program, and the Service-Learning Honors Program.

  • Strengthens written and oral communication skills. 
  • Strengthens inquiry and critical-thinking ability.
  • Develops abilities to analyze carefully and synthesize a broad range of information.
  • Develops intellectual breadth and instills patterns of behavior that lead to lifelong learning.
  • Prepares informed, engaged, ethical citizens who possess global and multicultural awareness.
  • Allows students to create and produce original research and creative works in collaboration with faculty members.
  • Allows students to engage with community partners in Southern Nevada and participate in service-learning projects addressing social justice issues.

College Programs

The Honors College offers three programs: University Honors (UH), Research and Creative Honors (RH), and Service-Learning Honors (SH). University Honors students complete the University Honors Curriculum, which automatically satisfies the General Education Core, Distribution, Multicultural, and International requirements of UNLV. Research and Creative Honors students complete a special research or creative project culminating in a thesis within their major disciplines. Service-Learning Honors students complete two semesters of community engagement, serving their community and addressing social justice issues through experiential learning. All Honors College students complete a series of interdisciplinary seminars taught by outstanding UNLV faculty members. The admissions process and core requirements for each of the three Honors College programs are described in more detail later in this section.

Advising

The Honors College has extensive personal advising, with full-time academic advisors and other staff who support students’ work toward their career goals.

Pre-Professional Students and Students Planning Post-graduate Study

Many students in the Honors College plan to attend professional or graduate schools. The Honors College focuses on preparing Honors College students to apply for various types of postgraduate studies, with our graduates attending many of the best professional and graduate schools in the country. Pre-professional advising, advising for pre-law studies through the College of Liberal Arts, and one-on-one advising are important components in developing student success.

Scholarships

The Honors College administers scholarships funded by special endowments to the College on a competitive basis, with priority consideration given to University Honors Program applications received by November 1. A number of scholarships are available to incoming freshmen, and others are made available to transfer and continuing students, depending on available funding. Nevada residents may be eligible for State of Nevada Millennium Scholarships, which can be received along with scholarships from the Honors College. Additionally, UNLV has a number of academic scholarships for which honors students typically compete with great success. The university’s top scholarships are independently awarded to students in the Honors College by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office. Contact the Honors College for further information.

Nationally and Internationally Competitive Awards

Each year, students from across the United States apply for a select group of awards and fellowships to support their undergraduate and graduate efforts. Because there are few of these relative to the number of students applying, they are highly competitive, and therefore, very prestigious. Students who receive such scholarships demonstrate potential for great success in their postgraduate studies and subsequent careers.

The Honors College provides information about and advice on how to apply for major national and international scholarships and fellowships. Scholarships and fellowships the Honors College coordinates, among others, are the Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Truman, Goldwater, the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program, the Soros Fellowship, Rotary Ambassadorial, Udall, and Gates-Cambridge Scholarships. The Honors College is committed to working with new and continuing students to prepare them to apply for these scholarships at appropriate times during their college years. The college also provides this type of support for UNLV students who are not in the Honors College. 

Other awards for which Honors College students are often competitive (e.g., Fulbright, Boren and Gilman) are administered by the International Programs Office at UNLV.

Interested students should contact the Honors College or visit the Honors College website for more information. 

Academic Policies

Students must remain in good standing in the Honors College in order to retain their Honors College scholarships and to receive the benefits of Honors College participation.

Students in good standing satisfy the following conditions:

  • Enroll as a student at UNLV or participate in an official UNLV educational program (e.g., study abroad, student teaching, special internships) during each semester of the academic year from their admission until graduation, unless special arrangements are made with the Honors College.
  • Complete an average of three Honors College credit hours during each semester they are registered as full-time students at UNLV, unless special arrangements are made with the Honors College.
  • Maintain an overall GPA of 3.30. Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in HON-prefix classes.

Probation and Suspension

Students’ GPAs are evaluated at the end of every academic year to determine whether or not students are in good standing, as per the conditions stated above. Students who are not in good standing are placed on probation for one academic year or suspended from the Honors College. Below are conditions for suspension and probation. 

Any one of the following conditions results in suspension:

  • UNLV GPA below 2.00 at the end of freshman year (defined by their time of residence at UNLV)
  • Failure to complete an average of 3-credit hours of Honors College courses each semester (until all such courses are completed)
  • Failure to raise UNLV GPA to at least 3.30 after a one year probation period
  • Failure to raise Honors College GPA to at least 3.00 after a one year probation period

When suspended, students lose priority registration and all other Honors College privileges. Students who have been suspended from the Honors College may petition the college for readmission. Any such petitions will be considered by the Honors College Admissions Committee and Dean of the College. 

Any one of the following conditions results in probation:

  • UNLV GPA below 3.30
  • Honors College course GPA below 3.00

Probation lasts for one academic year and will be lifted at the end of the academic year if the student raises their UNLV GPA to at least a 3.30 and their Honors College course GPA to at least a 3.00.

Repeating HON 400 Seminars

The College does not recommend the repeat of HON 400 seminars because the intent of the curriculum is to encourage continuing exploration of diverse realms of knowledge and inquiry. Any Honors student wishing to repeat an HON 400 seminar as provided for in the university’s academic policies must register for an offering of the same subject title as listed in the original and the current UNLV class schedule. This is, in any case, an unlikely probability as HON 400 seminars differ from year to year and many are only given once.

University Honors Program (UH)


Admission to the UH Program

The Honors College Admissions Committee considers applications to the University Honors Program at any time, but applications for Fall submitted by the date of November 1 receive scholarship priority consideration. The goal of the College is to admit excellent, committed, and academically talented students who will succeed in and benefit from the College’s rigorous curriculum and programs. Each candidate for admission has a unique record of achievement and life experiences, and will therefore be individually evaluated. The College Admissions Committee considers application essays, high school transcripts (considering the difficulty of the courses taken, the nature of courses taken, and grade trends, among other elements), extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and college admission test scores. In some cases, candidates are asked to interview. These criteria are designed to select fine students who will enhance their demonstrated talents in the context of a diverse college of excellent peers. The College expects that applicants will display in their applications strong academic abilities, advanced writing skills, a critical intellect, and a commitment to excellence, leadership potential, and educational values.

First year applicants to the Honors College’s UH Program must submit two essays, a letter of recommendation, high school and any college transcripts, ACT or SAT test scores, and a summary of activities in which they have participated. Applicants should know that a large number of applications are submitted to the College and a limited number are accepted, making the admissions process competitive. Therefore, it is expected that students will provide their best work.

Transfer and current non-honors UNLV students are required to submit transcripts of all post-secondary work completed, a writing sample, and one letter of reference from a college or university faculty member. Transfer students are expected to have at least a 3.50 overall GPA from the institutions from which they are transferring. Non-honors UNLV students who apply are expected to have at least a 3.50 overall GPA from courses taken at UNLV.

UH and Second Degree Seeking Students

The Honors College allows former UH students who are pursuing a second baccalaureate degree to receive University Honors on their second diploma if the good standing conditions for University Honors are met during the second degree.

Second degree seeking students will enjoy the benefits of other Honors College students, including use of the Honors Suite and priority registration, but will not be eligible for Honors College scholarships.

Graduating Honors and Latin Honor Designations for UH

Students who successfully complete the Honors College’s UH program graduate with honors if they:

  • Complete the requirements for the University Honors program, as well as the requirements of their major, and applicable UNLV graduation requirements.
  • Graduate with a final GPA of at least 3.30
  • Graduate with a final Honors College GPA of at least 3.00, and
  • Graduate with at least 60 credits earned at UNLV.

The distinction University Honors will appear on final transcripts and diplomas.

Latin honors designations, Cum Laude, Magna cum Laude, and Summa cum Laude, which appear on final transcripts and diplomas, are awarded by the Honors College to UH graduates as follows: Students graduating from the University Honors program graduate Cum Laude if their final cumulative UNLV GPA is 3.50 - 3.69 and Magna cum Laude if their final GPA is 3.70 or higher. (Note: The Honors College awards Summa cum Laude only to students who complete the requirements for Research and Creative Honors.)

University Honors Core Requirements

Students admitted to the Honors College’s University Honors Program are required to complete a minimum of 31 credits of HON-prefixed courses and to satisfy or test out of at least 12 credits of Foreign Language. Students entering University Honors directly from high school can satisfy most of the requirements in the Honors Core Curriculum with honors courses and at least 12 credits of Foreign Language. Students who enroll after entering UNLV or who transfer to UNLV may apply some of their regular courses toward the honors core but must still meet the 31-credit HON requirement and the requirements in the core.

Students transferring from other honors programs or colleges can petition to have up to six honors credits earned at the previous institution applied towards the 31-credit requirement. Although advanced placement and international baccalaureate credits earned by an appropriate score as defined elsewhere in this catalog can be used to replace certain honors courses, those credits do not count toward the 31-credit HON-prefixed minimum.

Students must fulfill the University Honors Curriculum in order to become University Honors Scholars. The University Honors Curriculum satisfies the university’s General Education Core, Distribution, Multicultural, and International requirements.

All University Honors students must take the following nine classes:

Notes:


Note 1: Honors students have several options to complete this requirement. Students may take one language through the Intermediate II Level (214) or two languages through the elementary II level (114). Students who test into 213 may take just 213 and 214 (6 credits); students that test into 214 may take just 214 (3 credits); students that test higher than 214 have satisfied Foreign Language and International requirements (0 credits). If a student takes Latin, they must complete a 3 credit class that satisfies the International requirement. Foreign Language courses numbered 187, 287, 387, or 487 will not automatically satisfy this requirement. Please contact your Honors College advisor for more details.

Note 2: Depending on the student’s major, they may be required to take HON 102 or PHIL 102 - 3 credits.

Research & Creative Honors Program (RH)


Admission to the RH Program

Students typically apply for the Research and Creative Honors Program (RH) at the end of their sophomore year or early in their junior year. The goal of the RH program is to admit high-achieving, highly-motivated students who want to undertake a thesis project, working independently and under the mentorship of dedicated faculty, while also taking upper division Honors seminars. The RH Program is suitable for UNLV undergraduates who have completed the majority of their general education courses, as well as undergraduate transfer students. RH applicants must have a cumulative university GPA of 3.50 or higher and excellent writing skills, as demonstrated by a writing sample. Applicants should have at least sophomore standing (completed at least 30 credits). As part of the application process, students are required to meet with the Associate Dean of the Honors College and to submit an RH application form identifying their faculty adviser and describing their intended thesis project. Students interested in the RH program should begin the application process at least one semester before they intend to start RH.  UH students are eligible to apply to the RH program.

RH and Second Degree Seeking Students

Research and Creative Honors may not be earned by second-degree seeking students unless a new thesis in the new major is completed. Please see the Associate Dean of the Honors College for details. 

Graduating Honors and Latin Honor Designations for RH

Students who successfully complete the Honors College’s RH Program graduate with honors if they:

  • Complete the requirements for the Research and Creative Honors Program, as well as the requirements of their major, and applicable UNLV graduation requirements.
  • Graduate with a final GPA of at least 3.30
  • Graduate with a final Honors College GPA of at least 3.00, and
  • Graduate with at least 60 credits earned at UNLV.

 

The distinction Research and Creative Honors will appear on final transcripts and diplomas.

Students graduating from the Research and Creative Honors program graduate Cum Laude if their final GPAs are 3.30 - 3.49, Magna cum Laude if their final GPAs are 3.50 - 3.69, and Summa cum Laude if their final GPAs are 3.70 or higher and they receive a grade of A in HON 499. Those with a final GPA of 3.70 or higher who pass HON 499 with an A- or lower are awarded Magna cum Laude. Latin honors designations appear on final transcripts and diplomas.

RH Core Requirements   

Students in the Research and Creative Honors Program in the Honors College complete an Honors Thesis—an independent research or creative project—over two semesters while also completing four HON 400-level seminars. RH students must complete the following 16-18 credits:

Thesis Courses- Credits: 4-6

  • HON 498 Honors Thesis/Project I (3 credits; McNair Scholars can take for 1 credit)
  • HON 499 Honors Thesis/Project II (3 credits)

HON 400 level classes, four separate classes - Credits: 12

  • Any combination of HON 410, HON 420, HON 430, and/or HON 440 will satisfy this requirement. Certain approved classes can replace an HON 400-level seminar. Please see the Honors College for more information.


Many of the seminars can be used to satisfy general education core fine arts, international and multicultural requirements.

Service-Learning Honors Program (SH)


Admission to the SH Program

The Honors Service-Learning Program (SH) is open to students with at least sophomore standing (completed at least 30 college-credit bearing classes), a cumulative university GPA of 3.50 or higher, and successful completion of any approved second year seminar. Designed for high-achieving, highly-motivated students who want to engage in community service while also taking upper division Honors seminars, the SH program is ideal for students who earned an AA degree prior to enrolling at UNLV, for transfer students, and for UNLV students who have completed all or most of their general education requirements. To apply to the SH program, students should first meet with an Honors College Adviser and then submit an SH application form and writing sample. First-year UNLV students who have already satisfied the bulk of UNLV’s general education requirements through a dual enrollment program in high school will also be required to submit a transcript for any college credit earned outside of UNLV. Students currently enrolled in the UH Program and/or the RH Program in the Honors College are not eligible for the SH Program.

SH and Second Degree Seeking Students

The Service-Learning Honors program may not be repeated by second degree seeking students.

Graduating Honors and Latin Honor Designations for SH

Students who successfully complete the Honors College’s SH Program graduate with honors if they:

  • Complete the requirements for the Service-Learning Honors Program, as well as the requirements of their major, and applicable UNLV graduation requirements.
  • Graduate with a final GPA of at least 3.30
  • Graduate with a final Honors College GPA of at least 3.00, and
  • Graduate with at least 60 credits earned at UNLV.

The distinction Service-Learning Honors will appear on final transcripts and diplomas.

Students graduating from the Service-Learning Honors program graduate Cum Laude if their cumulative UNLV GPA is between 3.60 and 3.69 and Magna cum Laude if their final GPA is 3.70 or higher. Latin honors designations appear on final transcripts and diplomas.

SH Core Requirements   

Students in the Honors College’s Service-Learning Honors Program complete two service-learning projects over two semesters while also completing four HON 400-level seminars. SH students must complete the following 18 credits:

Honors Service-Learning- Credits: 6

  • Students enroll in HON 496 (3 credits) for two consecutive semesters, totaling 6 credits.

HON 400-level classes, four separate classes - Credits: 12

  • Any combination of HON 410, HON 420, HON 430, and/or HON 440 will satisfy this requirement. Certain approved classes can replace an HON 400-level seminar. Please see the Honors College for more information.

 

Many of the 400-level seminars can be used to satisfy general education core fine arts, international and multicultural requirements.