Honors program

The College of Human Sciences Honors Program helps high-ability students like you expand their potential while at Iowa State University. We offer educational and intellectual opportunities to work with faculty and staff members in your major in the classroom, in research, and in professional development.

The college-level program is affiliated with the University Honors Program.

Program overview

Incoming freshmen

Honors membership for incoming freshmen is by invitation only from Iowa State University Honors Program. See the ISU Honors site for eligibility. To continue with the program, you must state your intent with the College of Human Sciences Honors Program during the second semester of your freshman year.

Undergraduates

If you have a GPA of 3.50 or higher (and weren't emailed your first semester) you may apply by filling out the University Honors Program Application. After being accepted by the ISU honors program, you are considered part of the College of Human Sciences Honors Program.

Admission

To apply to the College of Human Sciences Honors Program, you need to have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above.

  • Current freshman honors students: If you are currently a member of the Iowa State University Freshman Honors Program, you need to state your intent to continue on to the College of Human Sciences Honors Program during the second semester of your freshman year. Refer to the University Honors Program website for more information and the form you need to complete.
  • Undergraduate students: If you are not currently in the Iowa State University Freshman Honors Program, and your GPA is 3.5 or above, you may apply to the CHS Honors Program at any time during the semester simply by filling out the University Honors Program Application.

Latest time to apply:  You must have at least 48 credits remaining in your degree program. 

Program Timeline

Honors deadlines often depend on when the student was accepted into the College of Human Sciences program (spring or fall) and when the student plans to present the project at the poster presentation (spring or fall of senior year).

  • For early registration, the student must have applied and be accepted into the CHS Honors Program by either September 21 or February 21 for the respective registration.
  • The program of study must be developed and the form submitted by September 21 or February 21 to show intent to complete the program and continue to receive the benefits of the honors program.
  • The Honors Project Intent form must be submitted one year prior to completion of the honors project. It must be submitted by September 21 or February 21 depending on your presentation semester. 
  • The proposal for the honors project must be submitted no later than the semester before the poster presentation. It must be submitted by September 21 or February 21 depending on your presentation semester. 

The following are example honors program timelines based on when the student was accepted into the University Honors Program.

Example timeline

Since the timeline depends on when you plan to graduate, the timeline can change if your graduation date does.

Project Proposal form deadline depends on presentation date

Spring graduation: September 21 (semester prior to presentation)

Fall graduation: February 21 (semester prior to presentation)

Graduating with honors

Students who graduate with honors in the College of Human Sciences are recognized at the college graduation ceremony. They wear white honors cords during that ceremony and can also wear them during the all-university graduation ceremony. In addition, a special notation is placed on the student's diploma and permanent record indicating he or she graduated from the honors program at Iowa State University.

Additional benefits

  • Leadership and involvement opportunities: Leadership opportunities include serving on the Honors Student Board, honors committees for individual colleges or the university, working with the Freshman Honors Program, Honors Ambassadors, and more.
  • Research opportunities: With a full-time staff member dedicated to student research and publication, the honors program community places high value on student research and can provide a support network to accomplish what you want. A number of grants are available through the honors program to help fund student research.
  • Strong community: In a large institution such as Iowa State, the honors program provides a small niche in which students can feel like they belong. Free events, both formal and informal and often sponsored by the Honors Student Board, help bring this community together.
  • Academic focus: Both students and staff value academic excellence and are supportive of that goal.
  • Support from full-time honors staff: Honors staff can help with applying for scholarships, course selection, guidance on honors projects, and more.
  • Planning for the future: Honors staff can help in planning out coursework at Iowa State to ensure you graduate when you want and you get the most out of your college experience.
  • Honors seminars: Laid back classes on interesting topics across all content areas are taught by professors who just want to teach about a specific topic. For descriptions of currently offered seminars, go to the honors seminar site.
  • Honors classes: These are university classes taught in a smaller setting by dedicated professors or by working one-on-one with a professor to add an honors component to a non-honors class.
  • Privileges: These include 24-hour access to the Jischke Honors Building (with computer lab), extended loan privileges at the Iowa State Library, and priority registration.