2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog - R 
    Jul 13, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog - R

Honors Programs

John V. Glass III, M.A., Ph.D., Director
Abigail H. Shelton, Ph.D., Assistant Director
James L. Smart, Ph.D., Assistant Director

16 McCombs Center


The Office of Honors Programs seeks to provide gifted and motivated students with an enhanced course of academic study and to provide and assist students in discovering opportunities for their intellectual development, creative expression, cultural enrichment, and personal growth.

Responsibility for the direction of Honors Programs lies with the Director and Assistant Directors of the Office of Honors Programs and the Honors Council.


Entering first-year students receiving a Chancellor’s Scholarship, or transferring students receiving the Elam Promise Transfer Scholarship are eligible and encouraged to enroll in Honors-designated sections of regularly offered courses and to pursue completion of a program of Honors study.  Students who have not qualified at matriculation for either the Chancellor’s or Elam Transfer Scholarships may be invited by faculty or petition the Honors Council to participate in Honors courses based on their academic performance at UT Martin. All students pursuing a program of Honors studies must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.2.  

The University Scholars Program

Founded in 1981, the University Scholars Program at the University of Tennessee at Martin is the cornerstone of the Office of Honors Programs’ courses of study.  The University Scholars Program provides a select group of highly motivated and capable students with an enhanced learning environment, an integrated curricular experience, foreign study, academic research, and the application of classroom learning in service to the campus, local communities, and region. The goal of the University Scholars Program is to develop exceptional critical thinkers and citizens educated through engaging the works and ideas that remain central to human civilization and culture.

Pathways through an Honors Program of Study

To receive recognition at graduation for having completed a program of Honors Studies, students may complete the University Scholars Program or complete a total of nine H-designated and HNRS courses with a grade of B or higher. The nine H-Designated and HNRS courses may include up to five (5) lower division classes and must include at least four (4) upper division classes.

Honors Designated Courses

All students awarded a Chancellor’s Scholarship are eligible and encouraged to enroll in Honors (H) Designated courses. These courses are offered at the discretion of individual departments and may fulfill General Education requirements or may be courses that satisfy requirements for specific major fields of study. Courses with H designation are designed to provide qualified and motivated students with opportunities for intellectual challenge, cultural enrichment, and personal growth. The following courses are offered by and at the discretion of individual academic departments:


The University Scholars Program

The University Scholars Program is the cornerstone of the Office of Honors Programs’ courses of study offers qualified, highly motivated students the opportunity to live and work in a community of peers engaged in the study of works and ideas foundational to the modern world. In their first two years, students in the University Scholars Program complete seven courses in partial fulfillment of the university’s general education requirements.  In their third year, students participate in a study abroad experience. In their fourth year, students complete a thesis or equivalent project in their major field of study. First and Second Year University Scholars live in the University Scholars Program Living Learning Community (LLC) located in Cooper Hall. Upperclassmen may choose to continue to live in the LLC.  The University Scholars Program aims to produce exceptional critical thinkers who are prepared to meet the challenges of their individual pursuits after graduation.

University Scholars Scholarship

In additional to their Chancellor’s Scholarship, students accepted to the University Scholars Program receive an additional annual scholarship of $2,500 renewable for four years and contin­gent upon their successfully meeting the program’s requirements.

University Scholars Curriculum


All University Scholars annually produce an ePortfolio providing an ongoing, curated catalog and exhibiting of their curricular and extracurricular achievements; ePortfolios are submitted for review at the end of students’ first three academic years.

Study Abroad

Prior to graduation, University Scholars participate in a semester (12 weeks or more) or extended (3 weeks or
more) summer study abroad program.

University Scholars Research Project

In their fourth year University Scholars complete and present in a public defense a thesis of substantive original
work in their major field of study. This project normally consists of four semesters of academic effort under the
direction of a faculty mentor. University Scholars pursuing work on their projects enroll in the following courses:
HNRS 318 (fall semester of junior year), HNRS 328 (spring semester of junior year), HNRS 418 (fall semester of
senior year), and HNRS 488 (spring semester of senior year). Students may complete their projects in fewer
semesters with the approval of the Honors Director and Honors Council.


Students successfully completing requirements of the program will graduate with a minimum academic distinction of magna cum laude, which includes the institutional and cumulative GPA of 3.5, and receive additional recognition and the distinction of graduating as a University Scholar.

Application and Admission to University Scholars Program

Students who are eligible to receive a Chancellor’s Scholarship are invited and encouraged to apply for admission to the University Scholars Program at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Thirty entering freshmen are selected on the basis of their high school record, standardized test scores, application essay, and a campus interview. Continuation in the program is contingent upon performance.

Application materials must be received by 15 November. Qualifying applicants will be notified by the Honors Program Director and invited to campus for interviews during the University Scholars Prospect Weekend. Following the campus visit and interview process, applicants accepted to the program will be notified by 01 February.

Please send application materials to:

The Office of Honors Programs
16 McCombs Center
The University of Tennessee at Martin
Martin, TN 38238