Honors Program

424 Cherry Hall
5030 Cherry Street
Kansas City, MO 64110

Gayle Levy, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of French
Contact Information

Director of Student Services:
Margo Gamache
Contact Information

Honors Program Description

The UMKC Honors Program seeks to attract exceptionally motivated and academically talented undergraduates from every school and college at the University to participate in an environment that encourages excellence and challenges students to realize their greatest potential.

The UMKC Honors Program is designed to enrich the college experience of the most outstanding students through the integration of traditional and novel approaches to learning from the humanities, the behavioral and social sciences, the natural and physical sciences and other divisions of the University.

Honors Credit

In order to accomplish these goals, all honors students have the opportunity to earn credit in the following ways:

  • HONORS Courses (Honors-only)
  • Honors Contracts
  • Honors Discussion Groups
  • Study Abroad
  • Beyond the Classroom Experiences
  • Graduate Courses
  • Senior Honors Thesis

Honors students are encouraged and supported in the conduct of research and the publication and presentation of their work regionally and nationally. As seniors, Honors students have the option to complete a six-credit-hour project, the Senior Honors Thesis/Project. Upon graduation, those who complete an Honors Thesis in addition to the basic Honors requirements are designated as Honors Scholars.

Honors Program Initiatives

UMKC offers a supportive atmosphere to encourage integrative thinking through an exciting Living-Learning Community and specialized advising with the Director of Student Services. Leadership skills are honed through unique seminars where students reflect on and analyze their community service experiences. Finally, with an eye toward giving students a leg up on their graduate school and career goals, honors students are strongly encouraged to conduct innovative individual and collaborative research or artistic activity in the form of the Senior Honors Thesis/Project.

Some of the other advantages that the UMKC Honors Program offers students include:

  • Priority enrollment during advance registration
  • Specially designated general education courses for honors students
  • Graduate-level borrowing privileges at Miller Nichols Library
  • Individual advising to prepare honors students to compete for prestigious national scholarships (such as the Rhodes, Marshall, Truman and Goldwater Scholarships).
  • Living/Learning Community

Admission to the Honors Program

To be considered for admission, a first-year student should:

  • have a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 in the core (17-unit) curriculum, consisting of English (4 years), math (4 years), science (3 years), social studies (3 years), foreign language (2 years of the same language) and fine arts (1 year).

Students who do not meet these criteria may apply for admission to the Honors Program and will be considered on an individual basis.  For incoming first-year students, a total of 27 hours of honors credit is required to receive a bachelor's degree with University Honors.

Transfer students must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • All of the admission criteria for first-year students as stated above; or
  • college-level GPA of 3.5 or above; or
  • participation in the Honors program at their previous college or university.

Continuing UMKC students are encouraged to apply to the Honors Program. Students currently enrolled at UMKC must have a UMKC cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above.

For transfer and continuing students, a total of 21 hours of honors credit is required if the student enters the Honors Program with 50 or more credits. Transfer students may count up to 9 credits of honors coursework completed at their previous college or university in fulfillment of University Honors requirements.

The above-mentioned admission requirements are "target criteria." While priority consideration will be given to students who meet or exceed the requirements, the Honors Program Admissions Committee takes into consideration the totality of each student's application, with emphasis on academics and civic engagement. UMKC wants Honors Program students who will be leaders in the classroom and in all aspects of campus and community life. Accordingly, even if you do not meet these criteria, please feel free to apply for admission to the Honors Program. Applications are especially encouraged from students who have a strong record of community engagement and are highly motivated to succeed academically.

The Honors Program application may be found at the Honors website: http://honors.umkc.edu/. The application deadline is August 1 for fall semester and January 1 for spring semester.

Continued Participation in the Honors Program

Honors students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.2. Students whose cumulative grade-point average drops below a 3.2 have a one-semester grace period during which time they can remain in the Honors Program while they work on bringing their cumulative grade-point average above the 3.2 minimum. If, at the end of the grace period, the student's grade-point average is still below a 3.2, the student will be dropped from the Honors Program.

Honors Living-Learning Community

The UMKC Honors Program, in collaboration with Residential Life, sponsors the Honors Living-Learning Community. Located in UMKC's Oak Street Hall, this community of honors students has the opportunity to live and learn together through cohort classes, special programs and events, informal interaction with UMKC faculty, social activities and community service. The Honors Living-Learning Community is designed to build cohesive community among the honors students, promote student and faculty engagement, and provide continuity of the intellectual learning experience beyond the classroom.

Lucerna, the Honors Program Undergraduate Research Journal

The Honors Program produces Lucerna, UMKC's only research journal open to papers written by UMKC undergraduates.  The honors student editors oversee all aspects of production of the journal, from soliciting submissions to editing the chosen papers.  Lucerna is published annually.

Study Abroad

Students in the UMKC Honors Program are strongly encouraged to spend a summer, a semester or a year studying in a foreign country. Taking classes and living abroad is one of the most personally and intellectually fulfilling experiences a student can have while an undergraduate. Every summer, the Honors Program organizes a summer study abroad program in Ireland, Scotland, or Sweden; however, in consultation with the administration of the Honors Program, students can earn honors credit by participating in any study abroad program. Visit Study Abroad and Global Engagement for complete information on all study abroad opportunities at UMKC.

Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship

Honors students completing the Senior Honors Thesis or undergraduate research project are encouraged to present their findings at the annual Symposium of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship. The purpose of this symposium is to display and celebrate undergraduate participation in outstanding research and other creative endeavors. Presentations may be in the form of poster presentations, oral presentations, or other performance media displaying creative works. For more information, see the Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship website.