COVID-19 Updates:

Admission to University Honors: High School Students

All first-time freshmen who apply to a baccalaureate degree at UC are considered for admission to the University Honors Program (UHP). In order for the student to be considered, the university must receive all completed all sections of the Common Application and additional documents for admission by December 1st. Students do not submit a separate application for the University Honors Program.

Admission to the University Honors Program is very competitive. Students invited to participate typically have:

  • an ACT composite score of 32 or higher; the average ACT (or SAT equivalent) for the past three years has exceeded a 33. 
  • an unweighted high school GPA of 3.6 or higher or a weighted high school GPA of 3.8 or higher. 
  • Outstanding personal statement and essays in the UC application for admission that demonstrate particular skill in reflection
  • Strong combination of co-curricular activities, unique experiences, awards and achievements or work history

Note that meeting the above academic parameters does not guarantee admission. 

Anne Frank Quote

Admission is based on more than test scores and high school GPA. While we are looking for students who have excelled academically, we are also looking for students who demonstrate leadership capacities, a willingness to take on challenges and an interest in becoming engaged in local and global communities. We are looking for reflective learners. Students with high test scores and GPAs must also demonstrate the above in their application for admission to the university to be considered for the UHP.

With the above in mind, we pay very close attention to co-curricular activities as well as the personal statement and essay that are submitted as part of the application for admission to the University of Cincinnati. Applications are reviewed holistically, keeping all of these aspects in mind.

Profile of UHP Fall 2018 

The following characteristics are descriptive of the incoming class. The test scores featured should not be viewed as program requirements for admission.

  • ~330 students enrolled across all 9 baccalaureate colleges.
  • The average entering ACT score is 33.3.  The middle 50% of the cohort had an ACT score between 32 and 34.
  • Of the entering cohort, 21% of the students identified as Asian, Hispanic, Black, American Indian, Hawaiian-Pacific Islander and/or multi-racial.
  • UHP first year students hail from 21 states (including Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana). Out-of-state students represent 25% of the entering cohort.
  • International students make up 4% of this cohort and represent at least 5 countries.
  • Some of the notable experiences students had prior to entering UC include service mission trips in other countries, research participation at UC and other institutions, participation in foreign exchange study opportunities and participation in state/national competitions.

Admission Notification

Students who have been admitted to the University Honors Program as incoming first year students for fall 2019 will be notified in early-February 2019.

Students who have not been invited to participate in the University Honors Program as incoming freshmen will not be sent a notification.

We know that there are many high-achieving, highly-motivated students at UC who are not in the program. Due to limited capacity, we are not able to invite all high-achieving students to the program as freshmen. Students who are not invited to join the program as incoming freshmen are encouraged to apply to participate in the program through our transition admission process. Learn more about that process.

While the UHP does not offer tuition-based scholarships or financial aid, we are often asked by students when they will receive notification of their UC financial aid package and scholarship awards. Typically, admitted students receive this notification in mid-March. If you have questions about financial aid or scholarships, please contact UC's Office of Student Financial Aid.

Questions about admission to University Honors?

Please contact the Office of Admissions at 513-556-1100 or 

If you have been admitted to the UHP and have questions about honors housing, please see that section of our website.

"Seize the moment of excited curiosity on any subject to solve your doubts, for if you let it pass, the desire may never return, and you may remain in ignorance."
—William Wirt