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2. Do I have to be a specific major to be eligible for a particular honors program?

It depends. College-wide programs are open to all CNS students, while departmental honors programs are specific to certain CNS majors. All CNS honors students must be pursuing a CNS major in order to remain in a CNS honors program.

3. Can I be in more than one honors program?

CNS students may only be in one college-wide honors program (DS, HSS or PS).  However, they may choose to be in a college-wide honors program in addition to a departmental honors program (Turing, Nutritional Sciences, Human Development & Family Sciences).  They may also choose to be in a CNS college-wide honors program and/or a CNS departmental honors program in addition to an honors program outside of the college —Plan II, Business Honors Program, etc. — if the non-CNS program permits it.  As a reminder, students must be pursuing a CNS degree to be eligible for CNS honors programs. 

4. Are honors programs for entering freshmen only?

No. Current UT students and transfer students can apply to any of the CNS honors programs before their fourth long semester of college. See each program's website for application instructions.

5. Is the Honors Application a separate application from the ApplyTexas application?

Yes. Students interested in applying to Honors Programs must submit a separate Honors Application

6. When can I apply to an honors program?

Entering freshmen can begin their honors application once they've submitted their ApplyTexas application. The honors application deadline is December 1st. Honors applicants are encouraged to apply by November 1st. Transfer application cycles typically take place at the end of each semester. Transfer application requirements and deadlines vary by program. Details can be found on each of the programs’ websites.

7. Is there an advantage to submitting the honors application by November 1st?

Applicants who submit their honors application by November 1st will have their applications reviewed earlier than those who submit later, and some may find out about their program's decision as early as mid-December. 

8. Can I be in an honors program if I plan to graduate in three years?

CNS honors programs require substantial investments of time outside of their coursework, making a three-year degree difficult. These pursuits can include independent research, studying abroad, conference presentations, substantial theses, internships, health care practicums, campus leadership, and extensive community service. While graduating in three years is not prohibited, it is not encouraged.

9. Do I have to be in an honors program to take honors courses?

Not necessarily. Students who are not in a CNS honors program can take honors courses if space permits, and if they meet prerequisites. These vary from course to course, but typically they include a minimum AP score and/or a minimum GPA. Academic advisors can provide details about registering for honors courses.

10. Do I have to be in an honors program to be an honors student?

No. The college offers honors opportunities for non-honors program students, including:

  • GPA/Rank-based honors opportunities offer recognition for academic success.  
  • Departmental Honors is awarded at graduation based on thesis completion.

11. What are the benefits of being in an honors program?

The benefit is having the best of two worlds: the close-knit community of a small college, and access to the ample intellectual and physical resources of one of the world's leading research universities. And at UT-Austin, students have the additional benefits of affordable tuition and several notable diversities—of faculty and students above all, but also of research and internship opportunities, courses, and degrees. CNS honors programs offer a supportive, inspiring community of scholars and provide students priority access to a variety of university resources.

12. If I am in an honors program, are all of my courses honors-level courses?

No. Honors program students will take both honors and non-honors courses.

13. How do honors courses differ from regular courses?

Honors courses are smaller than non-honors courses. Generally, instructors dive more deeply into content and encourage critical analysis, problem solving, inquiry, and individual thought. Subject competency is often tested through open-ended problem solving, case studies, and/or real-world analysis.

14. What do you value when considering students for an honors program?

There is no formulaic combination of scores, grades, and achievements that guarantees admission to any of the programs. Faculty and staff evaluate students’ academic merit and potential by reviewing test scores, GPA, class rank, signs of a committed interest in science or math, and success in advanced classes in those subjects. They also assess applicants' writing, work ethic, leadership, critical thinking, and maturity, and they look for evidence that they've researched and understand the target program. The materials that permit this assessment include essays, resumes that document extracurricular involvements and honors, and letters of recommendations, one of which must be from a science or math instructor. Evaluators also assess whether an applicant appears appropriate for the target program and reserve the right to recommend that an applicant be admitted to a different honors program. 

15. How do I schedule my interview for the honors program?

Our honors programs do not offer interviews as part of the application process.

16. When will I be notified if I’ve been accepted into an honors program?

Entering freshmen will be notified between mid-December and late March. Transfer applicants will be notified within 10 days prior to the start of classes of the next semester.

17. Will I be notified if I am not accepted into an honors program?

Yes. All honors applicants will hear a decision.