Approximately 125 Illinois students are selected for this challenging program each year. Through small and stimulating courses, a mentoring system, and informal seminars and lectures, undergraduates dive into the rigors of academic disciplines and interact with noted scholars. Get the details on this opportunity for talented and gifted students from the Campus Honors Program.
Your academic excellence can be acknowledged through a special program or university-wide recognition.
Eligibility for honors at graduation is calculated after grades are recorded following your final semester. You need a minimum of 60 credit hours at the Urbana-Champaign campus and the minimum GPA in all course work presented for graduation.
- Honors: cumulative GPA of 3.65
- High honors: cumulative GPA of 3.75
- Highest honors: cumulative GPA of 3.90
To qualify, you must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA for courses taken at the University of Illinois and rank in the top 3 percent of the graduating class. See section 3-404 of the Student Code for additional information. The names of Bronze Tablet recipients are inscribed on tablets hanging in the Main Library in recognition of continuous academic achievement.
The College of Fine and Applied Arts James Scholar Honors Program creates an opportunity for FAA students to develop knowledge independently under the guidance of their instructors and advisors. Students entering the program in 2016 and later will complete a set of requirements designed to provide challenging, engaging, and diverse experiences. These requirements emphasize the value of research, community engagement, professional development, leadership, and collaboration and will prepare our James Scholars for a successful academic or professional future.
- Annual opportunities to apply for funds to complete projects or conduct research
- More direct interaction with professors and advisors
- Participation in a variety of requirements that are designed to be flexible and to engage and inspire
- Annual designation as a James Scholar on transcripts
- Early registration privileges
- Recognition at graduation
At the end of each semester, your progress will be reviewed. All James Scholars must earn a certain number of points each semester throughout their academic careers to maintain James Scholar status and receive recognition at graduation.
- Earn 2 points per semester. The total number of required points is prorated on the basis of the semester of entry into the program. For example, if you enter the program in the fall semester of your freshman year, you must earn at least 16 honors points by the end of your senior year; if you enter the program in the spring semester of your sophomore year, you must earn 10 points by the end of your senior year. Point values for many activities are included on the honors points table.
- Beginning of the Semester: Must log in to the James Scholar Database and submit your honors plan to earn points at the beginning of each semester (Monday, August 24–Friday, September 11, for fall 2020). The honors points table outlines some options. You may choose to focus within a single category or select options throughout all categories.
- End of the Semester: Must log in to the James Scholar Database and update your honors plan at the end of each semester with documentation of how you completed your stated honors plan (Monday, November 30–Friday, December 18, for fall 2020). You must refer to the honors point table for specific instructions.
- Maintain full-time (12 semester hours) enrollment at the University of Illinois each semester you are receiving early registration privileges.
- Maintain a cumulative GPA ≥ 3.30.
If circumstances require you to leave the program for a semester, a student petition is necessary to resume participation.
Research/Academics—2 Points/8 Points Max
An appropriate honors project is developed by a student with an instructor for a particular class. Once an agreement on the requirements for the honors project has been reached, the student must submit the details to the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. Each student should download an honors credit learning agreement (HCLA) or pick one up in the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs and return the completed form before the second week of classes.
Community Engagement—2 Points/6 Points Max
The following courses have been approved as public engagement courses. Not all courses are offered every semester.
- AHS 365 (Civic Engagement in Wellness)
- ARTE 260 (Museums in Action)
- ARTE 475 (Art Museum Exhibition Practice)
- FAA 199 (Exploring Arts in the City)
- FAA 391 (Action Research Seminar)/MUS 438 (Designing Musical Experiences)
- LIS 418 (Community Education)
- MUS 199, section I
- MUS 199, section SCH
- SPAN 232 (Intensive Spoken Spanish)
- SPAN 332 (Spanish and Entrepreneurship)
- UP 455 (Economic Development Workshop)
- UP 456 (Sustainable Planning Workshop)
- UP 478 (Community Development Workshop)
- Eligible incoming freshmen are invited to participate as a part of the admission process. Eligibility is determined after a review of application materials.
- Freshmen who have completed one semester of study at the University of Illinois and have earned a GPA ≥3.30 in their fall classes are encouraged to consider nominating themselves for the program. Submit the online self-nomination form during the first two weeks of the spring semester. Admission to the program is competitive due to a limited number of spots available. Selected students will be notified one week after the application deadline.
- Sophomores who would like to participate may self-nominate if they have a cumulative GPA ≥3.30. Submit the online self-nomination form during the first two weeks of the semester. Selected students will be notified one week after the application deadline.
- Self-nominations will not be accepted after completion of the sophomore year or by students who have more than 60 University of Illinois credit hours.
Transfer students may self-nominate during their first semester in residence at the University of Illinois if their transfer GPA is ≥3.50. Submit the online self-nomination form during the first two weeks of the semester. Selected students will be notified one week after the application deadline.