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Honors Program

Admissions Process

Students may apply to the University Honors Program once they are accepted to the University.  Incoming students, transfer students, and current DU students are all welcome to apply.  The deadlines for the 2021-2022 academic year are as follows:

Incoming First-Year Students
Application Opens: December 1, 2021
Priority Application Deadline: February 15, 2022
Final Application Deadline: April 5, 2022

Current DU and Transfer Students
Winter Quarter: Apply November 15-December 1, 2021
Spring Quarter: Apply January 15-February 1, 2022
Fall Quarter: Apply May 15-June 1, 2022

Application Link

The application link and relevant deadlines can be found at  You must be admitted to DU and have your DU ID (87#) and PioneerWeb password ready in order to apply.  For assistance with password issues, please call 303-871-4700.  Students will be notified of their admission status within one month of submitting a complete application. 

Application Information

The application requires a letter of recommendation in order to be considered complete.  It also requires you to answer the following three essay questions:

  • Describe an academic experience you had in high school that changed the way you think or understand things.  250-500 words
  • Describe a current event in the U.S. or abroad that has affected what you believe or how you view the world.  Please do not write about something in which you were personally involved or that relates to you personally (e.g., your hockey team's big win) but about something done by or affecting others with no personal connection to you.  250-500 words
  • Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself.  250-500 words

In order to maintain the high quality of the program, we limit the number of students admitted each year to a cohort of about 100 students.  Students applying after the deadline may be considered if there are spaces available, and qualified students who apply after the program is full will be put on the waitlist.  Students on the waitlist may be admitted between May and June. 

Because the Honors course requirements include some lower-division courses and earning distinction in their major, current DU or transfer students who have already met most of their Common Core requirements or are advanced in their degree programs may find it difficult to transfer into the program.  Please contact us at if you would like to discuss your particular situation.

Tips for a Successful Application

Your application will not be considered complete until your letter of recommendation is submitted, so please notify your recommender early and submit with ample time for them to do their part before the deadline.  

Honors students have strong academic potential, indicated by a high GPA, a strong letter of recommendation, and completion of an ambitious high school curriculum.  Current DU students must have a letter of recommendation from a DU faculty member and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above.

Strong essay responses demonstrate an innate academic curiosity and a desire to learn, an interest in engagement with new ideas, and a strong capacity for self-reflection and character development.  Reflect on what makes your intellectual journey to date unique, and do not be shy about using first person POV--we want to get to know you!