Honors College


Dean: Shannon L. Blanton, Ph.D

Director of Honors Advising and Retention: Amy Atkisson, MAE

Director of Honors Administration, Strategic Initiatives, and Fellowships: Ashley Floyd Kuntz, Ph.D.

Director of University Honors Program: Michael E. Sloane, Ph.D.

Director of Science and Technology Honors Program: Diane C. Tucker, Ph.D.

The UAB Honors College brings together intellectually curious students from all majors to form a close-knit community of emerging scholars. Our honors courses are designed to prepare students to communicate effectively in written and oral form, demonstrate critical thinking skills, integrate knowledge across domains, participate effectively in team endeavors, and function as ethical citizens of communities.

All UAB Honors College students benefit from the following:

  • Innovative honors seminars
  • Honors sections of core and elective courses
  • Unique experiential learning opportunities in service learning, undergraduate research, and study abroad
  • Special speaker series, discussion groups, and student activities
  • Smaller class sizes
  • Additional academic advising
  • Optional honors housing
  • Honors New Student Retreat

Honors Student Leadership

Leadership development is an integral part of the honors student experience. UAB Honors College offers opportunities for students through workshops, coursework, and events throughout the year. In addition, we offer three formal student leadership groups:

  • Honors Ambassadors: A highly selective group of outstanding honors students, Honors Ambassadors are our official representatives and participate in a number of activities and events that connect visitors and other constituents of the UAB community – prospective students and their families; current students and alumni; administrators, faculty, and staff – to the UAB Honors College.  
  • Honors College Leadership Council (HCLC): Elected representatives of the Honors College student body, the HCLC leads efforts to advocate for the needs of the honors community, promotes the visibility of the Honors College both on and off campus, and seeks to foster a sense of community within the Honors College. The HCLC plans service, social, and educational events for all honors students.
  • Honors Resident Assistants: Selected by both UAB Honors College and UAB Housing and Residence Life, Honors RAs live with our first-year students in the New Freshman Residence Hall. They help honors students adjust to college life and create community among new students.

Honors Faculty Fellows

UAB Honors College established our Honors Faculty Fellows program in 2016 to create stimulating academic enrichment experiences and enhance community. Faculty members are nominated and selected each summer. Recent Honors Faculty Fellows activities include a science fiction book club, an honors running club, and monthly seminars on timely topics (e.g., deception in politics, the minimum wage, gun violence). 


UAB Honors College students can either pursue our Personalized Pathway or choose one of our Specialized Programs  in global and community leadership (GCL), science and technology (STH), or interdisciplinary arts and sciences (UHP). We encourage students to visit http://www.uab.edu/honors for additional information on the Personalized Pathway and Specialized Programs. In addition, many of our honors students participate in departmental (major-specific) honors programs or Fast Track Fifth Year Master’s Programs. When possible, we also offer opportunities for students to take special seminars typically available only to graduate students. These enhanced curricular and co-curricular opportunities are designed to stimulate high-ability students, build community, and prepare students to accomplish their long-term goals. 

Contacting the Honors College:

Mailing Address:
HHB 520
172 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294-1152
  Physical Address:
  Heritage Hall, Room 520
  1401 University Blvd
  Birmingham, AL 35294

Phone: 205-996-7190

Email: honorscollege@uab.edu

UAB Honors College Admission Requirements

Incoming Freshmen:

In order to be admitted to the UAB Honors College, students must first be admitted to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Following general university admission, there are two paths for incoming freshmen to join the UAB Honors College:

  • Invitation – Admitted students with a minimum ACT score of 28 or SAT score of 1260 and a 3.5 GPA will receive an invitation in the mail to join the UAB Honors College. Students who join the UAB Honors College prior to January 15 will have the option of applying to specialized programs in science and technology, interdisciplinary arts and sciences, and global and community leadership. All students offered admission into the UAB Honors College or its programs must confirm their enrollment online no later than May 1 of their senior year.
  • Application – Students who do not meet the standardized test score or GPA requirements must submit an application in order to be considered for admission.  A committee of faculty and staff will review these materials and notify students of their admission status.

To learn more about enrolling in the UAB Honors College, please visit http://www.uab.edu/honorscollege/

Current and Transfer Students:

Current UAB students and transfer students may be eligible for admission into the UAB Honors College, provided that they have earned at least 12 hours of credit with a minimum 3.5 collegiate GPA. All current and transfer students must earn at least 18 credits of honors-level coursework during their time at UAB. Prospective current and transfer students should contact the Office of Honors Advising and Retention at honorsadvising@uab.edu to discuss possible admission into the UAB Honors College based on their existing academic profiles and future trajectories.

Continuation in the Honors College

UAB Honors College students are required to maintain a 3.0 cumulative UAB GPA to remain in good standing.  Each student's academic record is evaluated at the end of fall and spring semesters and any student who falls below the minimum requirement will be placed on immediate probation.  A student on probation will be required to meet with an Honors College advisor or the director of their program to discuss the student’s action plan to raise the cumulative UAB GPA to at least 3.0.  Students on probation have up to one year to raise their UAB GPA at least 3.0.  The probation period ends when a student’s GPA rises to at least 3.0 or after 1 year has elapsed.

Continued failure to meet minimums after the one year probationary period will result in suspension from the Honors College.  Suspension includes the loss of all privileges associated with being an honors student, including priority registration and honors graduation designation. In rare circumstances, a student may appeal to the Dean of the Honors College for an extension of the probation period or for reinstatement. Additional requirements may be required by individual honors programs for students to remain in good standing.

Honors-Level Courses

All UAB Honors College students must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours of honors-level coursework to graduate with Distinguished Honors. Students who choose to earn 30 or more honors credits will graduate with High Distinguished Honors. Specific requirements for our Personalized Pathway and our Specialized Programs are detailed in these sections. Honors credits can be earned in the following ways:

  1. Courses offered with an HC prefix
  2. Courses offered with an STH, HON, or GCLH prefix
  3. Honors-level course sections offered through academic departments
  4. Honors by Contract*
  5. Courses required for departmental honors programs

*Honors by Contract allows students to augment their experiences in standard courses. Within the first two weeks of the semester, an interested student should meet with a faculty member to devise an honors contract. Contract details vary, but they share a commitment to academic excellence above and beyond the minimum requirements for the course. Some faculty may require additional readings, labs, papers, or research. Others may ask students to complete qualitatively different work while maintaining the same quantity of assignments. Once the faculty member and student have agreed on the contract, they both sign an Honors by Contract form which the faculty member submits to the UAB Honors College. Forms are due no later than the second week of the semester the student is enrolled in the course.

Commitment to Excellence

Honors College admission is a noteworthy achievement, recognizing not only demonstrated academic excellence but also potential for future success. The UAB Honors College is a scholarly community comprised of students, faculty, and staff who commit themselves to high standards of intellectual and personal integrity. As such, honors students should be among the most respectful, hard-working participants in any classroom. They should challenge themselves to think in new ways and to remain open to insight from others. In addition, they should be ethical community members continually looking for ways to serve their peers, the campus, and the local community.