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Apply to Honors as a First-Year Student


The University Honors Program values diversity and seeks students who bring a wide variety of perspectives, experiences, and skills to our incoming class. We want to know both that you are curious and passionate about your own interests and that you want to engage with students and faculty from different disciplines in the Honors Program.

Please see below for first-year student application requirements. (NOTE: Current USU or transfer students with at least one semester's college grades complete a different application, available here.)

Interested and qualified students must apply for admission to the University Honors Program. All applications must include: (1) a completed basic information form, (2) a brief activity resume formatted as indicated, (3) an unofficial high school transcript, and (4) two brief essays that respond specifically to the prompts below. 


Step 1: Basic Information

  • Fill out the basic information form at the bottom of this page (left side).

Step 2: Extracurricular Resume

  • UPLOAD a brief (1-2 page) activity resume. All resumes must follow the format of the Sample Activity Resume.

A strong resume demonstrates your potential as a curious, engaged Honors student at USU. Please list relevant extracurricular, volunteer, and work experience completed during high school, including a brief description of each activity and the school years (9, 10, 11, 12) of participation. While work experience is not usually evidence of extracurricular engagement, it can indicate time constraints that limited what a student could do outside of coursework in high school, as well as grit and resilience. We are sensitive to those constraints and value those qualities in students.

Step 3: Transcript

  • UPLOAD a file of your unofficial high school transcript.

The University Honors Program is looking for students who have challenged themselves academically, given the resources available to them. Some transcripts speak for themselves; if yours does not, please feel free to speak briefly on its behalf. The admissions committee will evaluate the rigor of your course schedule. If your high school does not offer advanced placement or concurrent enrollment courses (or offers few of them), please submit with your transcript a brief (200–250 word) paragraph that explains your school's offerings and your choices within those limits and/or any necessary explanation of grades. 

Step 4: Essay

  • UPLOAD two brief, clearly labeled essays responding separately to the prompts below.

The USU Honors Program seeks a diverse group of curious, engaged students with the ability and desire to share ideas across disciplines. Our motto, from the poet Horace, is “Sapere aude” or “Dare to Know,” and we want to support students eager to take that dare. Please write and upload two brief essays that respond to the following prompts (label the two essays with the underlined titles below): 

Academic Curiosity (250-300 words): Describe thoughtfully and in detail one key moment during high school when you became truly passionate about a specific idea, assignment, or activity connected with a class. How and why did this particular moment capture your imagination, and how does this example illustrate your academic curiosity and desire to take our Dare to Know? 

Honors Interest (250-300 words): Take a look at descriptions of our upcoming Honors Experience Seminars and Honors Book Labs. Choose one course or Book Lab that sounds particularly interesting to you, and write an essay describing what you imagine contributing to the interdisciplinary conversation if you had the opportunity to enroll. We are interested in curious students who bring diverse perspectives to our community and who are eager to expand their own and others’ perspectives through civil discourse and conversation. Use your discussion of one particular USU Honors Experience Seminar or Book Lab to show us more broadly what you personally would add to our Honors community.   

Step 5: Combining and Converting Your Application Files 

We ask students to combine files and upload their transcript, extracurricular resume, and both essays as one single PDF file. Please follow these directions: 

From Google Drive:

  1. If all of the files you want to convert are together in one Google Drive document, use the top menu to choose File>Download As>pdf document. Don't forget to save your application with the appropriate file name.
  2. If you need to add additional files before converting, choose Insert>Image to combine your files, and then follow step 1.

From Microsoft Word:

  1. If all the files you want to convert are already part of one Word document, select File>Save As. Then, name your file  and choose “.pdf” as the file format. 
  2. If your documents are not all Word files, place the cursor in your Word document where you want to insert your PDF, JPG, or other file. Then, select Insert>Picture (Insert>Object in some versions). Once all of your documents are in one file, use the instructions in step 1 to convert the file into a single pdf.

From Preview:

  1. Using Preview, open all of the individual files that you want to combine.
  2. Using the small dropdown box in the top left, select Thumbnail view.
  3. Click and drag each page from thumbnail into a single preview window.
  4. When you have put all the documents into one file, select all the thumbnails (shift+click on Mac) and choose File>Export as PDF in the main Preview Menu. Save using the appropriate file name.

Please do not upload separate Word documents, JPGs, Google docs, Pages documents, zip files, or other file types. Try using the techniques in this article if you have additional questions about combining or converting your files.

Please note that applications are processed only if students submit all documents and complete all steps of the application, as outlined above. Submitted documents should include student's first and last name in the file name.

NOTE: Students interested in completing Honors with a Business major may also be interested in applying to the Huntsman Scholars Program. Admission to the Huntsman, Quinney, or Caine Scholars programs does not guarantee admission to the University Honors Program; please apply directly to Honors. 

Incoming First Year Student Application

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Upload Your Transcript, Resume, and Essays as a single .pdf file. Submitted documents should include student's first and last name in the file name.