Undergraduate Overview

Honors College

The IUPUI Undergraduate Honors College:
Philosophy and Requirements

The IUPUI Honors College, housed in Taylor Hall, challenges students to strengthen and enrich their university education. The program raises student academic achievement and increases intellectual vitality throughout the campus, the Indianapolis community, the state, and beyond. The Honors Program accomplishes this by being highly inclusive and offering students a number of different access points. Unlike most traditional honors programs, IUPUI's program accommodates the educational needs of beginning traditional and nontraditional students, returning students, and part-time students, while consistently maintaining an emphasis on academic excellence. 

Participation in Honors

The Honors Program is available to students at all levels of university study. All qualified undergraduates, including entering freshmen, may take courses offered through the Honors Program. Students receive permission to register for honors work based on merit criteria, which stress aptitude, motivation, and past attainment.

The Honors Program recognizes that motivation, enthusiasm, and interest are often equally important indicators of success as numerical criteria. This flexibility assures that honors opportunities are available to all interested students.


Entering freshmen are automatically invited to participate in the Honors Program when they (1) have a minimum combined SAT mathematics, critical reading, and written score of 1800 or ACT composite score of 26 (2) will graduate in the upper 10 percent of their high school class; and (3) have maintained a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher in challenging, academic course work. Entering students who have been unconditionally admitted to University College are eligible to participate in honors courses.

Honors learning communities address the needs and interests of honors students and are available to qualifying full-time entering honors students.  Since all new full-time freshmen are required to participate in learning, insofar as is possible, honors students will be placed in an honors learning community.

Transfer Admission

Transfer students who have completed at least 12 transferable credit hours at their previous institution with an overall GPA of 3.2 or higher are encouraged to apply to the Honors Program.

Continuing IUPUI Student Admission

Freshmen and sophomores who are already enrolled at IUPUI are invited to apply to the Honors Program once they have completed at least 12 credit hours of non-remedial course work with a GPA of 3.2 or higher. 

Current IUPUI juniors who are interested in applying should have a GPA of 3.3 or higher and have completed at least 9 credit hours of honors course work previously.

Honors Students and Bachelor's Degrees

The Honors Program offers students the opportunity not only to take honors courses, but also to earn honors credit that can lead to completing their degree "with honors." Completion of the Honors Notation signifies that the student has performed at an exceptional level and has been exposed to the principles of undergraduate learning as well as to interdisciplinary course work.

Students may earn a General Honors Notation by completing the following prescribed program of honors study. This notation signifies that the student has performed in an outstanding manner across a broad spectrum of study in diverse fields of the arts and sciences. When successfully completed, the General Honors Notation is listed on the student's IUPUI transcript. Students who graduate with a degree from Indiana University may have the notation also listed on their diploma. Purdue University does not provide this option on its diplomas.
Requirements to graduate with the General Honors Notation, students must:  
Complete 18 credit hours of honors credits:

  • 9 credit hours must be completed in regular Honors course work.  
  • The remaining 9 credit hours may be completed with some combination of course work,  independent research, culture studies, etc., as noted under "Credit Options" below.

Maintain the following grade requirements:

  • A GPA of 3.3 in all university course work completed. 
  • A GPA of 3.3 in all Honors course work completed.
  • To count for credit toward the Honors Notation, a grade of B or higher must be obtained in the course (i.e., courses in which a grade of B- or lower is received will not count toward the 18 hour credit requirement).
  • Submit an Application for Honors Notation by the second week of the semester in which the student will graduate.
Credit Options

Honors courses form the common academic core.

  • A minimum of 9 credit hours are required.  
  • Choose from honors-designated courses (H399, H499) and other honors-approved courses (e.g., "S" prefix courses).

"H" Option courses enable students to design an Honors experience in selected courses with individual faculty.

  • Up to 9 credit hours of H Option credit will count toward the notation.  
  • Application for "H" Option credit is required after consultation with the course instructor.

Research course work provides students with valuable research experience as well as excellent preparation for graduate or professional study.

  • Up to 6 credit hours of H399 Honors Independent Research will count toward the notation.
  • Up to 6 credit hours of H499 Honors Senior Thesis/Project will count toward the notation.  
  • Students normally pursue a research emphasis that is related to their chosen major or that may serve as their capstone experience.
  • Students may receive financial support through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

Graduate course work enables students to become familiar with graduate education while delving further into their major field.

  • Up to 6 credit hours of approved graduate course work will count toward the notation.

Community service offers valuable professional experience and enables students to give back to communities while examining how their academic programs intersect with the world at large.

  • Up to 3 hours of community service "equivalent credits"* will count toward the notation.
  • For each 30 hours of approved service, students will earn 1 "credit equivalent" upon completion of a six- to ten-page reflection paper on the significance of this service to their academic growth.
  • Service learning course work is also available under regularly offered Honors Courses.

International Experiences and Culture Studies develop informed, empathic, and globally experienced leaders.

  • Up to 6 credits will count toward the notation for participation in an approved study abroad program.  
  • Three "equivalent credits"* can be earned by completing four semesters of a foreign language (including American Sign Language).  
  • Three "equivalent credits"* can be earned by completing two semesters of non-honors courses that focus on cultures other than those of Western Europe. Courses may be selected from a list of qualified courses available online or in the Honors Program Office. Students must choose two courses in the same cultural sphere. Note: Courses used in this way may not be double-counted for another Honors category.

*Equivalent credits are not counted toward official degree requirements but are granted toward qualification for the General Honors Notation. They are internal to the Honors Program only and are not included in official credit hour calculations by the Office of the Registrar.

Honors Associate Notation

Candidates for the Honors Associate Notation must complete the 9 credit hours of Honors work as outlined above.  Six of these credit hours should be in Honors-designated courses. Students must also complete all regular associate degree requirements with a minimum overall GPA of 3.3 and at least a 3.3 GPA in honors courses.

Departmental or School Honors Programs

In addition to the General Honors Program that is open to all qualified students, there are currently honors programs in nine departments, each with its own requirements: Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Communication Studies, French, Geology, German, Philosophy, Political Science, and Psychology. Honors degrees also are offered by the Kelley School of Business, the School of Nursing, and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. For information on the requirements for these programs, see each school's section in this bulletin.

Honors House

Honors House is located in the Campus River Walk Apartments and is open to Honors-eligible students.  A full-time resident assistant, who serves as a mentor, guide, and resource person for residents, lives on site and assists in program development and implementation as well as meeting the individual needs of each resident.

Honors programming is offered throughout the year and creates excellent opportunities for Honors students and faculty to interact. Regular weekly and monthly events help build a stronger sense of community and supplement classroom activities. Students create their own Honors House Student Council that oversees House activities and provides direction for the future growth and development of Honors House.  The Honors Program maintains an office on site to provide academic advising, administrative assistance, and special program support for Honors House residents.

Honors Club

The Honors Club is dedicated to uniting people interested in maximizing their educational opportunities. The club provides social, educational, and community service opportunities for the student body and faculty that enhance the learning environment at IUPUI and in the community. Membership is open to all university students, faculty, and staff. Monthly meetings, along with specially planned activities, offer students, faculty, and staff numerous opportunities for enhancing their educational endeavors. Students should e-mail their interest in joining the club to honors@iupui.edu.

Bepko Scholars and Fellow Program

The Bepko Scholars and Fellows Program is a comprehensive undergraduate and graduate scholarship program that aims to develop engaged scholars-students who view service and learning as keys not only to personal growth, but also to the growth and vitality of the communities in which they live.

Students begin as Bepko Scholars their freshman year. An enriched and integrated liberal arts curriculum supplements the in-depth training they receive within their majors. Scholars have access to the full range of state-of-the-art facilities available at IUPUI while faculty committed to undergraduate teaching serve as mentors. They also have supplemental programming-including access to distinguished state, national, and international leaders as well as conversations with civic and nongovernmental organizations-supplements classroom activities. Opportunities for study abroad and internships as well as intensive preparation for graduate and professional school admission are provided.

An integral part of the program is service learning.  Scholars are expected to become actively engaged in service endeavors: from volunteering with local organizations to research with public service offices, scholars are involved in a large variety of civic activities.
When scholars remain at IUPUI for their graduate or professional studies, they become Bepko Fellows. Fellows continue their civic engagement activities and serve as mentors for new scholars. Colloquia and seminars supplement their extensive graduate training.
Admission to the program is highly selective, with approximately 20 scholars admitted each year. Students must apply as freshmen (transfer and graduate students are not eligible for this award) and for the fall semester-awards are not available to students who begin their studies in the spring or summer.

To be eligible for consideration, students must present excellent academic credentials, have a demonstrated commitment to community service, and clear objectives for both their undergraduate and graduate degree program.  Students must apply by December 1.
The scholarship provides full tuition and fees at the Indiana resident rate as well as books for four years of undergraduate study. On-campus housing expenses are also provided for the freshmen year. When scholars become fellows at IUPUI, the program will provide $5,000 in tuition support for up to four years of graduate or professional study. Further information and application instructions are available at www.BepkoScholars.iupui.edu.