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Why Honors?


University Honors students graduate at much higher rates (around 12-16% points higher). Even comparing to UT students with similar high school credentials, a student who participates in Honors is 9% more likely to graduate in 4 years than a student who does not participate in Honors.


University Honors students report going to graduate or professional school after graduation almost twice as much as non-honors students (42% vs 27%). University Honors students also go to top 100 schools at a higher rate (27% vs 11%) and include schools such as the University of Tennessee and the UT Health Science Center, as well as Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Belmont, Duke, Harvard, Purdue and others. 


In 2022, University Honors graduates reported a mean salary of $60,907.14, while non-Honors graduates reported a mean salary of $55,676.37.


Being an honors student is more than simply taking specialized classes and participating in a specialized curriculum. Honors students are members of a larger community and culture of honors. In order to enhance the experience of learning and to cultivate scholarship, we provide additional opportunities to our students.

Learn and collaborate with your honors peers in UNHO 101 First Year Seminar or an equivalent course. This course is designed to help students learning about honors education at UT, problem solve and complete service learning with their peers, and with their transition to university life and the Volunteer family. University Honors offers specialized sections for its members to further develop the honors community and help address the specific needs of high-potential students. 
Specialized honors academic coaching is available to each honors student as part of the Vol Success Team initiative. Honors Vols who participate in honors coaching their first year are 87% more likely to be successful in Honors, so we encourage our scholars to visit their coach early and often! Learn more here.
Students in both University Honors programs receive funding for completing honors requirements. See Chancellor’s Honors Program and Haslam Leadership Scholars Program pages for details.

We also award approximately $60,000 in student grants to support deep engagement experiences like global study, research, internships, and service/civic learning. Students can apply for grants to support engagement after their first year in Honors. The Haslam Leadership Scholars program offers full funding. Contact the University Honors staff to learn more. 

Priority registration allows students to design an ambitious curriculum that includes specialized coursework, international and intercultural learning, undergraduate research, and service-learning. Priority registration permits honors students to be some of the very first students to register for classes each term. All honors students must be advised through their college or department and have all holds cleared in order to enjoy this benefit.
Although the library offers exceptional spaces for students to study, we offer honors students an exclusive study space. The University Honors student lounge is housed in the Howard Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy. The lounge provides a convenient place to study, hold meetings, or just hang out between classes. Honors students also have special after-hours access to the building via their VolCard. We also have a designated classroom building on campus — the Cowan Cottage near Strong Hall.
To help our students excel in research and scholarship, honors students enjoy the same privileges at Hodges Library as graduate students: they can borrow books for up to sixteen weeks and reserve a carrel, where research materials and books can be held for an extended period of time.
The University Honors LLC provides a residential atmosphere to enjoy dynamic experiences and hands-on activities that will immediately stretch scholars’ thinking through unique academic opportunities. Learn more here
It is no secret that honors students desire to make an impact and become involved in more than academics. With so many ways to get involved on campus, it is important for students to seek outlets through which they can best grow as a student, a leader, and, ultimately, as an individual. University Honors offers multiple ways to leave your mark on the University of Tennessee honors community as well as build upon the honors culture. Click here to learn more.
Many Honors Vols choose to serve, work, research or engage abroad as part of their UT experience. For an extensive list of opportunities, see UT’s Programs Abroad office, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, the Center for Career Development and Academic Exploration and the Jones Center for Leadership and Service. University Honors coaches, faculty and staff may also locate exclusive opportunities each year.