UMKC Catalog


Program Description

The UMKC Honors Program seeks to attract exceptionally motivated and academically talented undergraduates from every school and college at the University to study in an environment that encourages excellence.

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 behavioral and social sciences, the humanities, the hard sciences and other divisions of the University.


Honors Credit

In order to accomplish these goals, all honors students have the opportunity to enroll in honors seminars and a weekly interdisciplinary colloquium taught by some of the best faculty on campus. Colloquium allows honors students to meet on a regular basis to discuss and debate important issues.  Students follow a different theme each semester, selected based on faculty and student research interests.  In Colloquium, all the honors students, freshmen and seniors alike, meet with UMKC faculty and distinguished guest lecturers to study and discuss subjects ranging from the environment to religion, from the fine arts to sports.

Honors credit may also be received from:

  • Specially designed honors seminars
  • Independent study
  • Undergraduate research
  • Honors contracts
  • Honors discussion groups
  • Senior Honors Thesis
  • Study Abroad

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. Upon graduation, those who complete an honors thesis in addition to the basic honors requirements are designated as Honors Scholars.


Program Initiatives

UMKC offers a supportive atmosphere to encourage integrative thinking through an exciting Living/Learning Community and specialized advising with Honors Faculty Fellows. Leadership skills are honed through special institutes and 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.

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

  • Priority enrollment  during registration.
  • Specially designated general education courses for honors students.
  • Tickets to all UMKC Theatre productions.
  • Graduate-level borrowing privileges at Miller Nichols Library.
  • Individual advising to prepare honors students to compete for national scholarships (i.e., Rhodes, Marshall, Truman and Goldwater).

Admission to the Honors Program

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

  1. Score in the top 10 percent on the ACT or SAT
  2. Rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class

Students not meeting these criteria may apply for admission to the Honors Program and will be given consideration on a case by case basis.  For incoming freshmen, a total of 28 hours of honors credit is required to receive a bachelor's degree with general honors.

Transfer students generally need to meet at least one of the following criteria in addition to providing recommendations from two instructors:

  • Fulfill those criteria set for first-year students
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.7
  • Have participated in their previous college’s Honors Program

Continuing UMKC students are encouraged to apply to the Honors Program. Minimum requirements for admission are a 3.5 UMKC grade-point average and the recommendation of two UMKC professors.

For transfer and continuing students, a total of 25 hours of honors credit is required if the student enters the Honors Program with more than 25 credits but less than 50, and a total of 21 hours of honors credit is required if the student enters the program with 50 or more credits.

The Honors Program application may be found at the Honors website  Applications for fall semester are accepted during the previous spring semester and are due by March 15.  Late applications will be given consideration by the review committee.  Applications for the spring semester are due by October 31.

Continued Participation in the Honors Program

Honors students are required to register for the Honors Colloquium at least three-fourths of the time they are enrolled in the UMKC Honors Program. Additionally, a minimum overall grade-point average of 3.2 is required for all honors students for continued participation in the Honors Program. Students whose overall 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. In view of certain extenuating circumstances, and in consultation with the student's academic adviser, the director of the Honors Program may choose to allow the student to remain in the program.

Honors Certificate for Pharmacy Program Students

Honors Program students who are Pharmacy majors will be awarded an honors certificate of recognition upon successful completion of their undergraduate and Honors Program requirements.  This certificate will serve as the equivalent of the honors notation for the baccalaureate diploma and transcript.

Honors Living/Learning Community

The UMKC Honors Program, in collaboration with the Department of 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 program is designed to build cohesive community among the honors students, promote student and faculty engagement, and provide continuity of the intellectual learning experience outside of the classroom.

Lucerna, the Honors Program Undergraduate Journal

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

Study Abroad

Members of 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. The Honors Program organizes a summer study abroad program to Uppsala, Sweden; however, in consultation with the Honors Director, students can earn honors credit by participating in any study abroad program. For more information on Study Abroad, see

The Honors House

The Honors Program is pleased to invite all honors students to make use of the Honors House: 5317-19 Holmes, 3rd Floor. Members of the Program have free access to space where they can meet, study, conduct discussion sessions, etc.

SEARCH: Students Engaged in Artistic and Academic Research

Honors students completing the senior honors thesis or undergraduate research are encouraged to present their findings at the annual SEARCH Symposium for Research and Creative Achievements. 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 or other performance media displaying creative works.

For more information, see the SEARCH website.