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Apply to Honors as a First-Year Student

If you have received a special invitation to apply to Honors, please fill out the application below. Applications for the 2020-21 cohort will open this fall.


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) an unofficial high school transcript, (3) a brief activity resume formatted as indicated, and (4) an essay that responds specifically to the prompt below.

Step 1: Basic Information

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

Step 2: 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 3: Extracurricular Resume

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

A strong resume will demonstrate 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. Work experience is not evidence of extracurricular engagement, but it can indicate time constraints that limited what a student could do outside of coursework in high school, and we are sensitive to those constraints.

Step 4: Essay

  • Upload an essay of no more than 500-words that responds specifically to the prompt below.

The essay is perhaps the most crucial part of your honors application. The program is very selective and is seeking a wide range of perspectives, experiences, and skills in our incoming class. The admissions committee is looking for evidence of both intellectual passion and clear ideas about how you will contribute to the Honors Program's interdisciplinary community. Show us your potential in an essay responding directly and clearly to this prompt:

The USU Honors Program is looking for a diverse group of students with academic passion and the ability to share ideas across disciplines. Write a 500-word essay that describes thoughtfully and in detail one moment during high school (i.e., not an entire class) when you became very excited about a specific idea, assignment, or activity connected with a class. How and why did this particular moment spark your interest? How, specifically, will you bring that intellectual passion into the University Honors Program, sharing it with students and faculty both in and outside of your future major?

Step 5: Combining and Converting Your Application Files

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 filetypes. Try using the techniques in this article if you have additional questions about combining or converting your files.

Please note that applications will only be processed if students submit all documents and complete all four steps of the application, as outlined above. All submitted documents should include student's first and last name in 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 Personal Statement as a single .pdf, .doc, or .zip file. Submitted documents should include student's first and last name in file name.