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Incoming First-Year Students

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Applying as an Incoming First-Year Students

The majority of EKU Honors students are accepted as incoming first-year students. If you are interested in beginning in EKU Honors in your first semester at EKU, you must apply during your senior year of high school. EKU Honors holds one application cycle each year, with applications opening in early August and closing on the second Monday of January each year. Please click here for specific information about the upcoming cycle's deadlines.

Incoming first-year students may only apply for EKU Honors during the fall semester. We do not open applications for the spring semester. If you plan to graduate from high school early and begin at EKU in the spring semester, you may complete the application cycle as a current EKU student, since you will be a current EKU student at the time you would begin EKU Honors.

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Application Requirements and Process

Admission to EKU Honors is a competitive process. Students with a strong academic background who show the potential for excellence in college coursework are encouraged to apply. 

You must apply and be accepted to EKU before you begin the EKU Honors application process. Please plan ahead - it will take some time for your EKU application to be processed. You cannot plan to apply to the honors program the day after you submit your EKU application. Applicants must submit an online application, which includes a résumé, an essay, a creative short answer, and one letter of recommendation by the application deadline, which is by 5:00 pm EST on the second Monday of January each year.

Each application is holistically reviewed by a team of honors faculty and staff, who take into consideration each part of the application, as well as unweighted high school GPA and ACT scores. The typical incoming class of first-year students has an average unweighted high school GPA of 3.80-3.90 and an average ACT of 28-29.

There are no priority decisions made in the application process. The selection committee will review all applications received by the application deadline equally, regardless of when they were submitted. All decisions will be made at once; there are no rolling decisions. EKU Honors does not accept late applications. Once the application cycle is complete, we will not review late applications or make late decisions. Decision letters are typically mailed in mid-February. EKU Honors may place some students who applied by the deadline on a waitlist. The waitlist will be utilized as needed in May and June of that year.

Are you ready to apply?  Click here to get started!

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Governor's Scholars Program and Governor's School for the Arts

Did you attend the Governor's Scholars Program or Governor's School for the Arts? If so, we think you'd be a great fit for our program! Our students who are GSP and GSA alumni tell us that their EKU Honors experience tends to mirror their experiences in these summer programs. Our program coordinator typically attends the college fairs at these events each summer, so if you are planning to attend GSP or GSA, visit the EKU table to talk with an honors staff member.

GSP and GSA alumni should visit the EKU Scholarships' Office website for information on scholarship opportunities available.

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National Merit Finalists and Semi-Finalists

Have you been selected as a National Merit Finalist or Semi-Finalist? If so, you are eligible to join EKU Honors without going through the full application process. Please click here to complete the National Merit Finalist/Semi-Finalist form. Please note - you must complete this form by the application deadline of the second Monday in January!

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Honors Curriculum for Incoming First-Year Students

Incoming first-year students accepted into EKU Honors complete the Honors Flex curriculum. Honors Flex students are required to complete 25 hours of Honors coursework as they complete the university's general education and University requirements. Check out the Honors Flex curriculum information sheet for more information.

All incoming first-year students entering EKU Honors are required to complete Honors Rhetoric and Communication, even if you have prior credit for ENG 101, ENG 102, and/or oral communication. This is an honors requirement that must be met of all incoming first-year students in EKU Honors. Why is this a requirement when so many students come in with prior credit? One reason is that Honors Rhetoric and Communication is so much more than a traditional English composition or public speaking class. Honors Rhetoric and Communication combines history, philosophy, and literature in an interdisciplinary environment to prepare students for the rest of their honors requirements. Our junior and senior honors students regularly cite Honors Rhetoric and Communication as the course that has prepared them for the rest of the courses, as well as for their honors thesis. Second, Honors Rhetoric and Communication serves as a large part of the community-building aspect of EKU Honors. You will have class with the same students every single day of your fall semester. You will get to know the students and professors in your class very well, and you may very well be friends with those people long after you graduate.

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