Honors Programs

University Scholars

Learn more about our University Scholars Program, including admission details, FAQs and program requirements. Acceptance into Xavier's University Scholars Program comes with many benefits, including a $2000 travel grant available for use toward any Xavier-run or Xavier-affiliated international classroom experience. 

University Scholars Program FAQs

University Scholars Programs offer incoming students more challenging curriculums and close support from professors while completing their undergraduate degree.

Students can typically declare any major, although programs may vary by institution. Students complete the curriculum for their chosen major but they also take extra honors courses alongside other students in the university scholar program. These courses are generally smaller in class size and complement the students’ chosen majors.

Admittance to University Scholars Programs is competitive and involves several steps, from applying to interviewing and submitting an essay.
Students apply for University Scholars Programs because they are looking for an academic challenge beyond the typical four-year degree curriculum. Honors courses allow students to research topics of their choice alongside other high-achieving students with the personal guidance of professors.

Students in Xavier’s University Scholar Program also benefit from priority housing selection, early course registration, travel stipends and access to private honors study lounges.

Students who complete the curriculum requirements for Xavier’s University Scholar Program graduate with honors as a University Scholar.

University Scholars Program Requirements

Generally, University Scholar Programs require a minimum GPA and completion of specific honors courses within the curriculum.

Here are the three major requirements for Xavier’s University Scholars Program:

  1. Scholars must complete any five courses with the Honors (HONR) attribute; these courses are expected to overlap largely with a student's core requirements and/or a student's major
  2. Scholars must complete HONR 300 (a multidisciplinary "Connections" course taught by two faculty from different departments) any time after their first year;
  3. Scholars must maintain a cumulative 3.000 grade point average during their freshman year and a 3.200 cumulative grade point average thereafter. Note: only Honors courses with a C or above meet a Scholars requirement.
Any incoming student is eligible to apply, although Xavier’s University Scholar Program is very selective. Students accepted into the program generally rank in the top 15 percent of their high school class and typically present composite scores of at least 1300 (SAT) or 29 (ACT).
Yes. Admitted students generally rank in the top 15 percent of their high school class and typically present composite scores of at least 1300 (SAT) or 29 (ACT). In addition to the guidelines for academic scholarship, applicants need to complete an application form, which includes a brief essay. An interview may also be requested.

Application Process and Program Details 

Before accessing honors and scholarship applications, students must submit an application for admission to Xavier, either through the Common Application or the Xavier application. Upon submission of an application for admission students will receive an email with log-in credentials that will allow you to access scholarship applications, honors applications and your personal application status page.

When are applications due for University Scholar Programs?
Applications for Xavier’s University Scholar Program can be completed any time after submitting an application for admission to Xavier.
The University Scholars Program allows Xavier students from every college and major to be challenged with greater academic depth and rigor through a sequence of classes they choose to complement their major and core requirements. Scholars take six Honors courses over four years, five of which are chosen wholly by the student (to maximize a student's interests and schedule flexibility); the sixth course, HONR 300, is taken in the second, third, or fourth year and is a multi-disciplinary exploration taught by two faculty from different departments that addresses big ideas that highlight connections between fields. Honors sections of courses highlight smaller enrollments and take advantage of interaction between Honors peers. They emphasize learning across the university and engagement with the world.

Acceptance into the University Scholars Program comes with many benefits, the most substantial of which may be the recently added $2000 travel grant available for use toward any Xavier-run or Xavier-affiliated international classroom experience. More details may be found at xavier.edu/usp. Additionally, University Scholars are given the option for priority housing selection their first year, early registration each semester, and access to the Honors Lounge, with its kitchen, study, and library facilities in Alter Hall. The student-run Honors Council also plans social and educational events for Honors students, including poetry readings, film festivals, conferences, dances, and cookouts. The University Scholars Program underwent a substantial revision in 2016, and the faculty-led Scholars Advisory Council has been introducing a series of new benefits since the revision.

A new policy for admission to the program has been implemented for fall 2017 and going forward. An application process that includes a short essay will allow incoming students to provide broader information to a faculty panel that helps communicate a student's academic ambitions beyond test scores and high-school GPA. In the past, typical University Scholars have been students with excellent high school records and SAT scores around 1300 and up or ACT scores around 29 and above.

Minimum requirements for a student to graduate with Honors as a University Scholar include:
  1. Scholars must complete any five courses with the Honors (HONR) attribute; these courses are expected to overlap largely with a student's core requirements and/or a student's major;
  2. Scholars must complete HONR 300 (a multidisciplinary "Connections" course taught by two faculty from different departments) any time after their first year;
  3. Scholars must maintain a cumulative 3.000 grade point average during their freshman year and a 3.200 cumulative grade point average thereafter. Note: only Honors courses with a C or above meet a Scholars requirement. Students whose grade point averages fall below these figures will be placed on probation within the Program and given a semester in which to bring up their grades.

Contact The Director

Stephen Yandell
Director, University Scholars Program
Associate Professor of English

Xavier University
3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, Ohio 45207-4446

Phone: 513-745-3598
E-mail: yandell@xavier.edu
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