Honors College

The UAF Honors College provides opportunities for students to pursue excellence in academic and personal development. We foster critical and independent thinking and help students become informed, responsible and active citizens. Honors students have access to small classes, research opportunities, intensive advising and scholarships. Students are encouraged to participate in service, leadership, research, study abroad, internships and other opportunities that contribute to their personal growth.


Students who meet at least one of the following criteria are automatically eligible for admission to the Honors College and can opt-in at the Honors College website.

  • 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA from high school (weighted)
  • UA Scholar
  • Highest-tier Alaska Performance Scholarship awardee
  • Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) student
  • Rural Alaska Honors Institute (RAHI) graduate
  • Biomedical and Student Training (BLaST) student
  • Student has earned at least 30 credits through the University of Alaska Advantage Program

Students who do not meet at least one of these eligibility criteria, but are interested in petitioning for admission to the Honors College, are strongly encouraged to do so at the Honors College website. Petitions include an academic statement, letters of recommendation and an interview with Honors College staff and students.

Program Features

Honors students complete a flexible schedule of courses that includes honors sections of general education courses and courses developed specifically for the Honors College. Other courses may be contracted for honors credit by students who work with individual professors. With approval by the director, students who study abroad may earn up to 6 honors credits for the academic courses they take at their host universities. Undergraduate students who complete graduate courses may count those courses toward their honors course requirement. In all cases, courses will only count toward honors distinction if the student earns a grade of B (3.0) or higher. Honors students are expected to complete a minimum of 6 honors credits each academic year. 

The Honors College offers students intensive advising with an opportunity to develop a personal plan for their UAF years that builds in generous scholarships, extracurricular opportunities, research, leadership, service and more to meet the goals of each student.

The Honors House, located in the heart of campus, provides honors students with a casual and comfortable home away from home. The house includes computer labs, a smart classroom, quiet study areas, a kitchen, a laundry room and a place for social gatherings.  

The Honors College also features a Living-Learning Community (LLC) for first-year students. The Honors LLC allows students to live in a supportive environment, plan and participate in honors events with students who share similar interests, and gain a deeper connection to the Honors College.

College Requirements

To graduate as a University Honors Scholar, students must fulfill GPA, capstone project or thesis, and honors course and credit requirements. 

In order to graduate, honors students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25. 

In addition to the other college requirements, students must work with a faculty mentor to complete a capstone thesis or project that includes a written component and an oral presentation. 

University Honors Scholar designation is awarded at commencement to students who complete 12 credits of honors coursework including specific honors courses, elective honors courses, and a capstone project or thesis, in addition to other program requirements.

Any student who, in addition to completing the honors capstone, completes 18 credits of honors coursework is recognized as a University Honors Scholar with Distinction, so long as their GPA is 3.5 or higher. In addition, students who wish to graduate as Honors Scholars with Distinction perform at least 40 hours of service learning, which can include volunteer work, participation in the Honors Student Advisory Council, attendance at campus-wide events and more.  

Any student who, in addition to completing the honors capstone, completes 24 credits of honors coursework is recognized as a University Honors Scholar with Highest Distinction (3.5+ GPA). In this case, the student completes upwards of 80 hours of service learning.  

Climate Scholars Program

The Climate Scholars Program (CSP) is a signature track within the Honors College. Focusing on rapid environmental change, and climate resiliency and adaptation, the CSP features unique and, in many cases, unparalleled opportunities to engage in experiential learning all over the State of Alaska and beyond. As with all other honors students, Climate Scholars complete a capstone thesis project and may graduate with 12, 18 (distinction), or 24 credits (highest distinction). More information can be found at the Climate Scholars Program website.

Additional Information

For more information contact the Honors College at the Honors House, 520 Copper Lane, 907-474-6612uaf.honors@alaska.edu or visit the Honors College website.