Frequently Asked Questions

Deciding to become a University Honors student is a big step.  The questions you have are ones that many students share.  Feel free to contact us ( or 907-786-1086) if you need additional guidance.

What are the requirements to graduate as a University Honors Scholar?

  • 16 credits of Honors Core Seminar Program Requirements

    • University Honors Foundation Courses (9 credits)
    • University Honors Junior Requirement (1 credit)
    • University Honors Senior Requirement (6 credits)
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5

Will University Honors courses count towards my degree?
Yes. Six credits of the University Honors Foundation Courses will fulfill 3-credits of Social Science and 3-credits of Humanities under the General Education Requirements. All other credits will count towards your degree as lower- and upper-division electives. Your senior year credits may count towards your degree requirements depending on your major.

What are the requirements to be admitted to the Honors College?
In general, students applying to the University Honors College from high school or transferring into the program with previous college-level work must have at least a 3.00 GPA, and show strong evidence of ability to reach and maintain a 3.50 GPA level at UAA within a reasonable time.  However, the initial GPA entrance requirement is a general guideline, and not an absolute criterion.  All students who believe that they can succeed and benefit in an honors program are encouraged to apply.  Students who are receiving the “University of Alaska Scholars” award ( will be automatically admitted upon application.

How will being in University Honors benefit me?
The University Honors College offers a variety of “perks” that Honors students enjoy.  Some students like taking the Honors seminars, which are small and engaging.  Honors students in good standing who meet certain criteria will receive access to priority (early) registration.  The Honors Computer Lab and the Honors Student Commons are available to all Honors students to use, work and socialize, and we offer various social and academic events.  We alert students to opportunities for internships, scholarships and jobs.  Honors students receive personalized advising and attention. Most of all, we try to get to know you and your goals, so we can help you connect with the right resources on and off campus.

Are Honors classes more difficult than regular classes?
As with all classes, Honors classes vary by instructor.  They are not intended to be more difficult than other classes at the same level.  However, Honors classes are small and seminar-style, so students do have to come prepared and be ready to actively participate and be engaged in each class.

What are the requirements to remain a member of the Honors College?
Honors students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher to remain in good standing in the program, and must progress in the Honors curriculum by taking Honors courses at the appropriate time for their curriculum.

Do Honors students have to take a certain number of credits per semester to be in the program?
No.  The Honors College does not require students to take a minimum number of credits.  Honors students can be part-time and still be admitted and participate in Honors.

Is the University Honors Program the same as the “University of Alaska Scholars” Program?
No.  The University of Alaska Scholars ( Program is a scholarship program that provides partial funding for a student to attend any University of Alaska campus.  The UAA University Honors College is an academic program in which students take designated courses while working on a baccalaureate degree.

Are “University of Alaska Scholars” required to participate in the University Honors College?
No.  The University of Alaska Scholars ( are invited to apply to the University Honors College, and they will be automatically accepted if they do apply, but they are not required to do so.

What if my cumulative GPA drops below 3.0 during a semester?
You will be on Honors academic probation. All Honors students with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 will be required to meet with the University Honors College Assistant Dean and will have a full academic year to improve their GPA. 

What happens if I successfully complete all University Honors requirements, but graduate with a cumulative GPA below 3.5?
All of your Honors courses will appear on your transcripts demonstrating Honors-level work, but you will not be awarded the “University Honors Scholar” designation.

How do I calculate my cumulative GPA?
The GPA is calculated by dividing your total cumulative “quality grade points” earned by your “total quality hours” attempted. Academic letter grades carry the following grade points: A = 4.00 B = 3.00 C = 2.00 D = 1.00 F = 0.00

The number of credits for a class (for example, 3) is multiplied by the grade point value of the grade (for example, A=4) to give the total grade points (in this example, 12) for each course. The total number of quality grade points is then divided by the total number of quality hours attempted (in this example, 12/3 = 4.00 GPA). More information about this can be found in the UAA course catalog.

How is my GPA calculated for “Graduation with Honors?”
To graduate with honors (Latin Honors or University Honors), you must have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher at UAA and the calculation must include any repeated courses and all transfer credits. See the UAA course catalog for more information.

Will doing Honors lower my grade point average?
We have found that, as a general rule, Honors students’ grade averages are actually higher in their Honors courses than in their regular coursework. This means that, for many students, Honors courses raise their GPA.

Can I join the University Honors College in the spring semester or in my sophomore year?
Yes! It may be possible to take some Honors classes concurrently or out of sequence if you still plan to graduate within four years.

How do I stay in touch with Honors College faculty and staff?
The most efficient way to keep in contact with Honors College faculty and staff is by email. You are expected to give us your current email address and check it regularly for important messages about program courses, events, academic advising, and other matters. All University Honors students are subscribed to the mailing list and will receive newsletters featuring Honors announcements and information about other events. Some Honors instructors also use email to stay in touch with students about courses.  Contact information for the Honors College is available through the Contact Us tab on the Honors College webpage.

Do you recommend that I live in the dorms?
Absolutely. Living in the dorms gives you the opportunity to be a part of a residential college community and makes your college experience more complete.

Do I have to live on the Honors Floor if I choose to live on campus?
No. University Honors students are not required to live on the Honors Floor, but we recommend it as an excellent opportunity to live with students of similar academic commitment and abilities, and to be part of the Honors living-learning community. Find out more about living on the Honors Floor.

If I am in the Honors College, will doing an exchange keep me from graduating on time?
As long as you consult with the Honors College staff, International Affairs, and the Student Exchange Office, going on exchange should not hinder your progress toward graduation. We will work with you to ensure you can complete your Honors courses in time. Contact the Office of International and Intercultural Affairs Interim Director, Leslie Tuovinen (786-4135 or, if you have any questions about international study abroad or international student exchange.

Am I required to see an advisor?
Yes. We think it is important for you to see an advisor in order to foster successful academic planning.

Who is my advisor?
You will have two academic advisors:

University Honors Advisor: Initially, your University Honors Advisor is the Associate Dean of the University Honors College. During your first two years in the University Honors College, you are required to meet with your University Honors Advisor at least once a semester to review your academic performance and to have your course schedule approved prior to registration. If you would like assistance with choosing your advisor, please call 786-1086.

Departmental Major Advisor:
As soon as you select a major, you will have an academic advisor in your major. That advisor is responsible for monitoring your progress in your major department. If you would like assistance with contacting your departmental advisor, please call 786-1086, or contact your major department directly.

What are “Departmental Honors?”
In addition to the University Honors College, several academic departments offer opportunities for honors recognition within the major. Departments currently offering honors options are Anthropology, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Economics, English, Geology, History, Justice, Languages, Mathematics, Music, Nursing, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, and Theatre. Learn more about departmental honors here.

Can I get both University and “Departmental Honors?”
Yes. If your department offers an honors option, we encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity. For example, a University Honors student majoring in Psychology can select the honors track within the major and graduate with both University Honors and Honors in Psychology. In addition, some departmental honors courses may be substituted for senior-level University Honors College courses with permission of the University Honors Dean.

Will attaining University Honors help me get into Medical/Law/Graduate School?
There are a number of factors that govern admission to graduate programs, including overall grade point, qualification tests (e.g. MCAT, LSAT, GRE), the quality of an applicant’s personal statement, internships and appropriate experience, etc. An Honors academic program can help, but cannot by itself determine one’s future success. However, participation in an Honors College often affords a student more opportunities for research, internships, scholarships, and faculty mentoring, all of which enhance an applicant’s resume.

Who is eligible to receive the University Honors Tuition Scholarship?
This competitive award is open to all University Honors students, but the number of awards is limited for each year. Award recipients must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5. Students must apply to compete for these scholarships.

Where can I apply for more scholarships?
Visit the web site for the Office of Student Financial Aid and Veteran Affairs at for information and applications for UAA and University of Alaska Foundation scholarships.

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS) has up-to-date information about funding opportunities at the local, state, national and international levels, as well as about prestigious national scholarship and fellowship opportunities.

Additional sources: 
•    AHAINA (African American, Hispanic, Asian, International, and Native American) Student Programs
•    UAA Career Services Center
•    Native Student Services