Honors and Recognition

UI Honors Program

Our Honors community enriches the Iowa undergraduate experience by cultivating intellectual curiosity and practical skill through challenging coursework, creative engagement, and experiential learning to foster a deeper understanding of one's discipline and self. As a member of Honors at Iowa, you can:

  • enroll in honors and participate in honors activities;
  • become an honors research or teaching assistant with a faculty member;
  • receive weekly notices about upcoming honors events;
  • earn scholarships through the Honors Program;
  • get assistance in applying for national and international scholarships;
  • complete an honors thesis or project and graduate with departmental Honors with formal recognition on your transcript and diploma.

Eligibility Requirements

Admission to the University of Iowa Honors Program comes after students are admitted to the University. Notice of honors membership occurs shortly after admission to the University. Students are invited to accept or decline admission to the Honors Program. Accepting admission makes students eligible for honors housing but does not constitute an acceptance of admission to the University. Final school choice can be made later. 

To qualify for Honors at Iowa as a transfer student, you must have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or above on at least 24 semester hours (s.h.) of college credit.

Those who are not automatically invited to join the University of Iowa Honors Program can request admission by submitting to the honors program the following materials:

  • a letter stating how you would take advantage of opportunities in the Honors Program;
  • a recommendation from a high school teacher attesting to your academic ability; and; 
  • academic transcripts.

Current UI students who did not qualify for the Honors Program upon entering the university will be invited to join if they achieve a 3.33 or above UI GPA.

Honors students are expected to maintain a UI GPA of 3.33 or above. Academic departments and colleges may establish higher minimum GPAs for honors students in their areas.

UI Honors Program
420 Blank Honors Center

Recognizing Excellence

Even if your grades are a bit below the requirements, ask your advisor about other honors. If you’re an international student, or have had significant cross-cultural experiences, ask about the International Honor Society.

Dean’s and President’s Lists

The Dean’s List honors undergraduate students who achieve GPAs of 3.50 or higher on 12 s.h. or more of graded work and who have no hours of I (incomplete) or O (no report) for that semester. Honorees who are entering first-year students are invited to join Phi Eta Sigma.

The President’s List honors undergraduates who achieve a GPA of 4.00 for 12 s.h. or more of graded work and who have no hours of I (incomplete) or O (no report) for two consecutive semesters.

Undergraduate Graduation with Distinction

Tippie College of Business, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the College of Engineering confer the following honors:

  • Highest Distinction…Highest 2%
  • High Distinction…Next Highest 3%
  • Distinction…Next Highest 5%

College of Nursing:

  • Highest Distinction…3.90 GPA or higher
  • High Distinction…3.80–3.89 GPA
  • Distinction…3.75–3.79 GPA

Carver College of Medicine:

  • Highest Distinction…3.85 GPA or higher
  • High Distinction…3.75–3.84 GPA
  • Distinction…3.65–3.74 GPA

Academic Awards and Honorary and Professional Societies

Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma, Sigma Xi, Mortar Board, Phi Beta Delta, Golden Key, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Omicron Delta Kappa are among 64 national honorary and professional societies that have active chapters at Iowa.

In addition to these honorary societies, many scholarships and awards based on academic excellence are presented every year. The Office of Student Financial Aid website has descriptions of the scholarships, awards, and prizes given to undergraduates at the University.