Information for Prospective Students

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Prospective Students

The Honors College at UMD invites curious students to tackle today’s most complex issues. Through innovative teaching, immersive local and global experiences, and a nationally and internationally diverse population, the Honors College prepares scholars to be global leaders. Honors students have exclusive access to more than 400 academic courses taught by top faculty and experts at the forefront of their fields. These academic experiences, along with student-faculty connections, are the hallmark of Honors’ small living-learning communities at a preeminent research university.

Learn more about the Honors College by exploring the resources available on this website. For further information or questions about the Honors College, please contact Erin Wessell, associate director of the Honors College.

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Prospective Students: Scholarships



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New Students: Choosing an Honors Program


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New Students: Spend a Day With an Honors Student

Three Honors Ambassadors

Each year, the Honors College is committed to recruiting a group of academically talented, diverse, and highly motivated students to the campus. Honors Ambassadors is a student-run group that allows us, current Honors students, to share our enthusiasm about the Honors College with you! We represent Honors at open houses and question and answer panels, as well as other recruitment-related events. We serve as the bridge between you and current Honors students, giving you the inside scoop on the University and Honors. We look forward to meeting you and your family and wish you a fantastic school year. Go Terps!

Honors Ambassadors Host-A-Day
Spend a Day with an Honors Student!

On scheduled dates, Honors Ambassadors will be available to host prospective students. You will be able to explore the everyday life of an Honors student, from classes to campus involvements. We try our best to match you with a current Honors student who shares your academic areas of interest, depending on our Ambassadors' availability. During the fall semester, this program is open to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Fall 2016 Visitation Dates:

The Fall Visitation Dates are weekdays, September 26 - November 18 (excluding Sept. 30 and Oct. 10) between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Note that we have excluded dates that are already scheduled as visitation days for the University of Maryland. Visitation days including Visit Maryland Day and Open Houses are very busy times for our Honors Ambassadors, and we want visiting students to get the most out of their Host-A-Day experience.

Requests to be hosted MUST be submitted AT LEAST 2 WEEKS prior to the date you wish to visit. Requests for the Fall 2016 semester will be accepted from Monday, September 19 through Wednesday, November 9.

While we will do our best to accommodate requests, we cannot guarantee availability. Spaces will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Please allow adequate time, generally one full week from the date of your request submission, to receive information regarding the scheduling of your visit. 

The Host-a-Day request form will be available by mid-September. Several dates are requested on the form so that we may provide the best opportunity to pair you with a current student, who may have a varied class schedule. This is not always an easy task as many students have no classes on Fridays, or may only have major courses on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or might intern three days a week. Thank you in advance for your understanding and flexibility.

Questions about the Host-A-Day program can be sent to Please forward all other inquiries to

Also, please be aware that this program is for students only. We appreciate the dedication and involvement of parents, but ask that parents find alternative activities during their student’s Host-A-Day visit. We want visiting students to get a true college experience and feel free to talk with our Honors Ambassadors about all aspects of campus life.

Finally, please note that the Host-A-Day program is not a campus tour, nor is it an overnight program.  If you are interested in taking a tour of the University of Maryland, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at (301) 314-8385 or explore visitation options online If you are interested in staying overnight with a Maryland student, please contact the Department of Resident Life’s Overnight Stay Program at (301) 314-4255 or online at

Meet Our Student Coordinators

Hi! My name is Lara Fu, and I am a senior Government & Politics major with a minor in International Development & Conflict Management. I am part of the Gemstone Research Program in the Honors College. I joined Honors Ambassadors as a freshman because I love talking to prospective students and families and sharing why I love the University of Maryland and the Honors College so much. Aside from Honors Ambassadors, I am also involved on campus as a GEMS100 Student Teacher, the president of Gemstone Student Council, and a Maryland Images Tour Guide. Additionally, I have been in three productions at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, I represented the University of Maryland at the Student Conference on U.S. Affairs held at the U.S. Military Academy, and I work at the Geography Advising Office. If you have any questions about the Honors College or the University of Maryland in general, please feel free to contact me! Go Terps!
 -Lara Fu ’17

Hi! My name is Aaron Solomon, and I am a senior studying Cell Biology and Computer Science. I am a member of the Integrated Life Sciences Honors College, and am truly ecstatic to be serving as an Honors Ambassador Student Coordinator this year. My academic interests lie in the area of computational genomics and personalized medicine, and I research cancer genetics at the University of Pennsylvania and here at Maryland. I joined Honors Ambassadors in the spring of my freshman year, and love working with current students and incoming freshmen to show off all Maryland has to offer. I look forward to a fantastic year with all of you. Please contact me if you have any questions, and Go Terps!
-Aaron Solomon ’17


Meet Our Advisor

Thank you for visiting our site and learning more about our Honors Ambassadors. As admissions coordinator for the Honors College, it is my privilege to work with such an impressive group of student leaders. Our Honors Ambassadors are extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and they are a great resource for information about the Honors College and the university. We look forward to meeting you!
-Erin Wessell, Associate Director

Contact us at:

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Open House for New Students


Open houses are an opportunity for prospective Honors College students to visit ...

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Academic Policies

Academic Policies

Statement on Academic Integrity
GPA and Academic Requirements
Repeat Policy
LLP Transfer and Removal

Honors College Statement on Academic Integrity

The Honors College is an intellectual community that engages high-achieving undergraduates to pursue knowledge in an atmosphere of honesty and trust. We support the University’s commitment to academic honesty and responsibility. Students found responsible for a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity by the Student Honor Council, receiving an “XF” or worse, will be removed from the Honors College, including the living and learning program. For more information on the University’s Code of Academic Integrity, please visit the Office of Student Conduct.

Honors College GPA and Academic Requirements

The minimum GPA for students to remain in good standing in the Honors College is a 3.0 cumulative. Students who fall below a 3.0 GPA minimum will receive communication from the Honors College executive director alerting them to their probationary status in the Honors College. The 3.0 GPA minimum is a consistent standard across the College; no LLP may set a lower or higher minimum GPA for its students. Students falling below a 3.0 are considered to be on Honors College probation until the GPA is raised back to a 3.0.

A minimum 3.2 GPA is required to earn the Honors College citation.

It is important to note that individual programs have at least the minimum expectations above but may also maintain additional program-specific expectations. Students are encouraged to consult with their LLPs to ensure full knowledge of academic standards and expectations.

Students will be required to meet with the appropriate representative of the LLP staff if their GPAs fall below the 3.0 minimum.

Denied Access to Honors Courses

Students who fall below a 3.0 and are therefore on HC probation will be denied registration access to Honors seminars and LLP courses until the GPA is at a 3.0. It is possible for a LLP to grant registration overrides for a respective LLP course on a case-by-case basis, allowing the student to remain on track with sequenced course requirements.

*University Honors program requires a 3.0 GPA minimum for access to UH seminars and has the right to administratively remove students who are registered for these courses who do not meet this requirement. Students will be notified with sufficient time to alter their schedules in order to maintain financial aid or other services that are credit-laden. After such date, students will be removed from the Honors seminar.

Removal of Students from LLPs

In addition to the Honors College policy, an LLP may have further expectations for their students. For example, an LLP may stipulate no grades below a “C” in LLP course work or the successful completion of an internship requirement.

Students who have a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA but are removed from their LLP due to failure to maintain academic expectations may be allowed to continue their Honors College experience in the University Honors program, after appropriate review.

For more information on University retention policy, please visit the online Schedule of Classes section on Academic Probation and Dismissal.

Honors College Repeat Policy

The Honors College Policy applies to all courses across the Honors College living and learning programs (LLP). An LLP director may grant an exception allowing a course to be repeated within the respective LLP in rare, extenuating circumstances after consultation with the Honors College executive director.

University Honors seminars, which are open to all Honors College students, are not repeatable. These courses are seat limited, one-time offerings or offered for a limited time and therefore are often not available for re-enrollment.
Other LLP courses are regularly offered, however are cohort-specific and are not designed for reenrollment as they are sequential, building on previous courses. In rare circumstances, a student may be allowed to repeat a course with the next cohort. In this case, the University Repeat Policy regarding how both final grades will be calculated in to the GPA will prevail. There are guidelines regarding GPA calculations based upon when the original course was taken and within how many credits. Students are advised to consult the undergraduate catalog for their matriculation year or meet with an academic advisor for more information. Course catalogs can be accessed on-line via the Office of the Registrar and clicking on Catalog-Undergraduate.

Internal LLP Transfer and Removal Policy

Student LLP Withdrawal

Honors students, who have matriculated to the University and wish to switch out of their LLP are discouraged from doing so until the end of their first semester unless there are extenuating circumstances. Generally, the Honors College policy requires students to meet with their Program’s director or associate director for advising and consultation and to wait until the end of the fall semester.

If the student still wishes to switch at the end of the fall semester, they may do so by completing the exit survey provided by their LLP representative.

Generally, students may only switch into the University Honors (UH) program.* It should also be noted that while most students in good academic standing (GPA 3.0 or above) will be allowed to move into UH, students with below a 3.0 cumulative GPA may be placed on Honors College probation and not be allowed transfer to UH until the 3.0 cumulative is achieved. Additionally, student conduct/behavioral or other concerns may prevent approval of transfer to UH.
*A small, select group of students may switch to ILS when invited.

Program Removal of a Student

It is the position of the Associate Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Studies that the Honors College and the Living and Learning Programs (LLP) within are additional campus resources affording a subset of eligible students an enriching academic experience. Students entitled to the Honors College resources are those whose competitive academic records are deemed so by the Honors College staff and who continue to prove themselves responsible to both academic and community expectations. Students who either fall below the stated GPA minimum (3.0) and other LLP academic expectations or who are found responsible for academic dishonesty and receive an XF or worse by the Office of Student Conduct may be removed from the Honors College and/or their assigned LLP. Additionally, any student who is considered a disruptive and/or unproductive member of the community, regardless of their academic record, may be removed from the Honors College and/or their assigned LLP. Either action can impact a student’s ability to earn the Honors College citation or graduation cords.

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Honors Options

Honors Option Guidelines


The Honors Option has been established in order to offer upper level Honors students greater flexibility in fulfilling the Honors course requirements of departmental and college Honors programs. The Honors Option is designed for those departments which find it particularly difficult to offer separate upper division Honors courses. It is not intended to replace the offering of separate upper level Honors courses, whenever adequate resources are available. Students should be enrolled in (or at least have applied to) their major's departmental honors program.


Students can earn a maximum of 6 Honors credits in upper division, non-Honors courses by contracting with professors to pursue study which can be shown to be qualitatively beyond the normal requirements of the course. Students may contract to do additional work or work which replaces the normal course requirements. In either case, it should be clear that the plan of study enriches the student's academic experience. Samples of contract proposals can be found here.

To participate in Honors contracting, an Honors student must submit a completed Honors Option Contract form provided by the Honors College. Propoasals should be written independently by the student. The contract will describe in first person narrative (1) the Honors course requirements to be completed by the student, (2) will specify how these requirements are qualitatively beyond the normal requirements of the course, (3) indicate how successful completion will be determined, (4) and include the course syllabus. The contract should be submitted for approval to the Honors College by the end of the third week of classes. The student will be notified within one week of receipt of the contract whether or not it has been approved or denied. Please be sure to include all necessary information to avoid either a proposal denial or delay in review.

In addition to regular class attendance, students and professors are expected to meet at least twice before the end of the semester on specified dates to discuss the Honors component of the course and to assure that the provisions of the Honors Option Contract are being fulfilled.

Eligibility & Limitations:

  1. Students must be admitted to a departmental or college Honors Program.
  2. Students may contract a maximum of two upper level courses (6 credit hours) during their undergraduate career.
  3. Generally, students may contract one course per semester.
  4. If a proposal is denied approval, the student may resubmit a revised proposal addressing the issues specified in the "Reasons for denial" section of the Notification Form. The entire process of reconsideration must be completed by the third week of the semester. There are no exceptions.
  5. For students working toward their Honors citation, credit for Honors Option courses will count towards an H-version, not a seminar.

Professor's Responsibility:

  1. Develop and approve an appropriate plan of Honors study with the student and specify the dates for consultation.
  2. Assign a grade to the student in the normal manner, keeping in mind the terms of the Honors Contract.
  3. At the end of the semester the sponsoring faculty member will receive the Honors Option Final Report Form. As soon as possible, the faculty member should return the form indicating whether or not the work submitted meets the conditions of the Honors Contract and therefore should or should not receive Honors credit. Based on this information, the Honors Program will notify the Office of Records and Registration whether or not to apply the notation "Honors credit" to the transcript.

Application to take a class as Honors Option.

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Awards for Honors Students

Davis Foundation Honors Summer Scholars Award

With the generous support of the Cora and John H. Davis Foundation, Honors College offers the Davis Foundation Honors Summer Scholars Awards each year in cooperation with Maryland Summer Scholars. This means that the Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research is able to grant additional summer research awards of $3000 just for Honors College students! Please see the Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research website for more information and application deadlines.

Honors College Visual Art Gallery Awards

The Honors Visual Arts Gallery recognizes the outstanding work of Honors College student artists and displays their creative work in Honors community spaces. For information about the competition and the latest talented awardees.

University Honors Student Paper Awards

The Best Honors Paper Award was established in honor of the founding director of General Honors at Maryland, Prof. John Portz. In 2013, Roger, Karen and Emily Winston generously donated funds to support and expand the scope of this award for Honors students. There are now three principal categories for these awards: (1) Best University Honors Seminar Essay, (2) Best University Honors Seminar Research Paper, and (3) Best Departmental Honors Thesis. These prestigious awards are coordinated by the faculty and staff of University Honors for the Honors College. For more information please visit the University Honors homepage.

Portz Outstanding Honors Student Award

The Portz Outstanding Honors Student award was established in 1978 in honor of the first Director of the General Honors Program, Prof. John Portz (1966-1978). The award consists of a certificate and a prize of $150.00. It is given annually to students who combine exceptional academic achievement with outstanding service or accomplishments outside the classroom. The award is presented at the fall Honors College Citation Ceremony to one student in each of the seven Honors College Living and Learning Programs.

Thorne Study Abroad Scholarship

Donations to the Thorne Study Abroad Scholarship provide financial assistance to Honors College students who study abroad for the first time in the winter or spring term. The Honors College works with the Maryland's International Programs to identify worthy recipients. This scholarship was established by former Honors director Prof. Barbara L. Thorne's colleagues and students in honor of her extraordinary service to Honors.

For more information about the Thorne Scholarship:

Honors Alumni and Parent Scholarships

Thanks to an endowment created by the benevolent and inspirational John and Edythe Portz, select outstanding Honors College seniors receive a scholarship, enabling these exceptional men and women to continue their educations with reduced financial stress.

Without these generous scholarships our students would accumulate even more debt and would need to work even longer hours at outside jobs. The Alumni and Parent Scholarships allow deserving students to focus on their studies and complete their undergraduate programs without interruption.

Sincere thanks to alumnae who have contributed to the Honors Scholarship Fund in honor of Prof. and Mrs. Portz. Those supplemental gifts increase the number of high impact need-based scholarships awarded to academically talented, hard working Honors students.

The Gordon Prize in Managing Cybersecurity Resources

The Gordon Prize is open to all students in good standing in the Honors College. It is an endowed award established with the generous donation of Dr. Lawrence A. Gordon. The award seeks creative and innovative essays that may approach the topic of “Managing Cybersecurity Resources” from a variety of perspectives. The winning essay receives a total award of $1,000.00.

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Teach for the Honors College



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Teaching Policies and Guidelines



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General Education Course Approval



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Sample Course Syllabus



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Departmental Honors Directors