Admissions Philosophy

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life... -- Henry David Thoreau

Standardized test scores and grade point averages tell only a small part of the story.  Expansive lists of extracurricular activities and community service hours performed reveal a bit more.  But what really characterizes an Honors student is the intense desire to fully engage intellectually in the undergraduate experience.

That applicants to the UF Honors Program are talented academically is a given.  Our admissions process is designed to help us find those students who bring something extra to the table.  We do not have a preference as to what this might be, as long as it is evident in the application.  Perhaps a student is an accomplished musician or artist.  Maybe he is an active community organizer.  She might be an exceptional scientist, or a gifted writer.  In any case, we seek students with passion and an abiding interest in pursuing a wide variety of academic and extracurricular pursuits.

The application to the Honors Program consists of an essay about your most meaningful extracurricular activity in high school and a pair of academic essays.  Think carefully about which activity you include so that we may get a sense of what inspires you.  The essays are especially important.  They must be well-written, of course, but the best ones have style; they let us know you a little.  The essays are read by current Honors students, and they are tough critics, so you are advised to spend some time on them and give thoughtful responses.

Time and again, we have found that the students most satisfied with their Honors experience are the ones who joined, not because of early registration or the opportunity to live in Hume residence hall, but because of the opportunity to more fully engage in both the Honors and UF communities.

To provide some final context, here is a quote from the "What you may expect to get from the program" section of the Honors Program handbook, circa 1985, which is just as relevant today as it was then.

“Perhaps more important, however, are the less tangible benefits.  In the long run the most lasting reward for an Honors student may be the satisfaction of having studied with excellent professors, having been stimulated by the best students who have been your associates both in and out of class, and having met and overcome intellectual challenges.”

Are you up to the challenge?  Do you want to be a part of a community of scholars?  If so, then we encourage you to apply.