Application Process

First-Year Applicants

We invite all LMU applicants to also apply to the Honors Program.

The application period for fall 2023 is now closed. The Fall 2024 application period will open in January 2024. Check back here for deadlines, a link to more information, and to access the application.

Note: your Honors application has no bearing on the LMU admissions decision.

The application will require:

  • A cover letter stating your intent and reasons for applying;
  • A short essay based on a prompt;
  • A few short questions to help us get to know you better;
  • Optionally, a recommendation from someone who can objectively evaluate your academic potential and personal character.
  • Optionally, any other materials you'd like to submit (a portfolio, a video, a website, a writing sample, etc.)

Application deadlines vary by year and according to whether you apply to LMU as an Early Action/Early Decision or Regular Decision applicant. Please pay close attention to the dates in the application information and the invitation email you receive. Please read the Tips and Hints section below before completing your Honors application.

Transfer/Current-Student Applicants

The Honors Program admits current LMU students to the program each fall for admission in the spring. The number of students we can accept depends on available seats in the program. Transfer admits are required to meet all the same program requirements as freshman admits, including the Honors Core curriculum (though we waive HNRS 1000 and count your regular FFYS as Honors FFYS). If you are considering applying to Honors as a transfer, it is wise to hold off taking core classes that have an Honors replacement (see the Core curriculum comparison here). Please read the Tips and Hints section below before completing your Honors application.

The internal application period for current LMU students is currently closed. It will reopen in October for current LMU students to start in the Honors Program in the spring. If you have any questions, please email

If you are transferring to LMU from another 2-year or 4-year college or university, please consult the Director at for guidance about whether and how to apply to the University Honors Program.

Tips and hints for an effective Honors application

Based on our experience reviewing years of Honors applications, the Honors leadership team has compiled the following list to help maximize the effectiveness of your Honors application. Likely, these are good tips for every program you are applying to, but they are certainly important for the Honors Program at LMU.

  • You only belong in Honors if you are the type of person who loves to take on difficult tasks in order to develop your abilities and your character, regardless of whether these tasks will benefit your academic record or your career.  Before applying to Honors, ask yourself realistically whether this describes you.  If your primary goal is to excel in college through high grades and other high-profile distinctions, you can do those things without being in Honors.  Students who succeed in Honors are intrinsically  motivated by the kinds of things we expect from our community: deep curiosity, academic discipline, and community engagement.
  • The most important qualification for an applicant to the LMU University Honors Program is to welcome intellectual, moral, and social challenges that go beyond what is strictly required.  The best evidence you can give that you are this type of student is to describe and document times when you have freely chosen to go to a higher level at something (inside or outside school) than your teachers, parents, coaches, etc., required you to do.  Presenting information that convinces those who read your application that this is one of your qualities is more important than your GPA, which high school you attended, your standardized test scores, or any other single aspect of your application.
  • There are many students admitted to LMU with excellent academic records and excellent applications who may not belong in the University Honors Program.  This is because Honors challenges students through extra requirements beyond the general LMU core curriculum and beyond the curricula of any specific major or minor.  Our requirements for second language proficiency, student research, and community engagement push students to develop all your abilities (not just those applicable to your major or future career) in the interest of thriving in both work and life. Honors is only one of the many ways you can get a great LMU education and distinguish yourself in the process for future opportunities.  Honors is not for everyone, including every incoming high GPA student.
  • There are incoming LMU students with lower GPAs or a mixed high-school transcript that does not necessarily reflect your future potential. Your previous academic record is not necessarily a reliable indicator of whether you should apply to Honors.  You may be a very talented and dedicated student who was not served very well by the educational system you have previously experienced.  Circumstances beyond your control may have prevented you up to now from reaching the level of development you are capable of.  If this is you, tell us the story of those circumstances in your application, and tell us how you want your story to continue while at LMU.
  • Prior to applying to Honors, you need to know if Honors is a community you want to join. To find out, read the application materials, and read the whole Honors website.  If you are the kind of student who wants what we offer, and who will benefit our community, show us how in your application materials. Every applicant will say they are a perfect fit, which is not very useful. Use the application materials to demonstrate to us what kind of student you are, what kind of person you are, and how you will both benefit from and contribute to our curious community. Tell a story about who you have become, how you have become who you are, where you are going next, and why you think Honors at LMU is the place to do that. Talk in specifics, not generalities. To that end, note that we are looking for a different kind of thing than is typically asked for in college applications (especially the Common App), so recycling essays or materials from other applications is unlikely to showcase why you belong in our unique community.
  • Take care with each portion of the application. Everything we ask for has been carefully designed to try and cut to the core of who an applicant is, and whether they are a good fit with Honors. None of the questions are "throwaways" or busy work. Make sure you carefully consider each prompt and answer it in a way that best showcases who you are. Triple check your materials for spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, and typos.
  • Address and properly format your cover letter. It's a letter, after all. If you're unfamiliar with how to write a cover letter, consult this reference from Purdue. Do this with all the cover letters you write during the application season. We do our best to try and avoid subconscious biases from cues like a poorly-formatted letter, but it's nearly impossible in reality. Do yourself an easy favor. In our case, address the letter to the "Honors Program Application Review Committee.
  • Plan ahead. As you can tell, the Honors application will take some time. You will need to write fresh materials, which means you will need time to prepare and edit several drafts of these materials. We have limited time to make final admissions decisions, so we will not generally consider late applications.
  • Remember that there are human beings on the other end of your application!