Application Process

First-Year Applicants

We invite all LMU applicants to also apply to the Honors Program. Applications for the University Honors Program for incoming freshmen are reviewed during the regular LMU admission cycle. The application link is sent via email, and is not accessible through this website. It is therefore very important that you pay attention to all LMU emails, and check your junk/spam folders frequently as mass admissions emails sometimes get flagged. If you apply early action or early decision, look for an email from Honors the first week of December with an invitation and link to apply. If you apply regular decision, you will receive an invitation and link to apply one day after you submit your application to LMU (so, the sooner you submit your LMU application, the more time you have for your Honors app!). Note: your Honors application has no bearing on the LMU admissions decision. You will receive a decision on your Honors application after your LMU 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;
  • 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

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.

  • First, please do not feel like you must apply to Honors. If you were a straight-A Honors and AP student, perhaps you think you are "supposed" to continue on the "honors track" (whatever that is). Perhaps your parents or guidance counselor said you should apply. However, the Honors Program at LMU is not just a continuation of honors in high school, and good grades in high school are by no means a reliable indicator of fit with Honors. Honors at LMU is a fundamentally different thing that will demand different things from you, and it might not be the right fit for what you want to get out of LMU. Now is the time to decide for yourself what is important for you to experience during your time at university. Your parents or guidance counselor will not be attending LMU--you will. Students who succeed in Honors are intrinsically motivated by the kinds of things we expect from our community--deep curiosity, academic excellence, and community engagement. There are literally thousands of things you can get involved in at LMU, and you cannot do all of them. Take some time now to decide what you truly care about, and how you really want to spend your time at university, and focus on that.
  • Equally important, please do not feel like you cannot or should not apply to Honors. Perhaps your grades in high school were middling, but you are someone who is deeply curious about the world and engaged in your communities; perhaps you never fit into the rigid mold of traditional schooling, but surrounded by curious people you know you can unlock your potential to think, talk about, write, and accomplish extraordinary things. Again, good grades in high school are not a reliable indicator of fit with Honors. We are a community of scholars who were A, B, and C-students in high school.
  • The previous two bullet points suggest that prior to applying to Honors, you need to know if Honors is a community you want to join. To this end, read the application materials. Read the Honors website (in its entirety). These resources contain a wealth of information about what kinds of things we are interested in, and what kinds of things we are not interested in. Most importantly, they describe who we are and what we do that is distinct from the rest of LMU. Therefore, these materials paint a picture of what kind of student is likely to benefit from and excel in Honors at LMU.
  • 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.
  • That said, be honest in your portrayal of yourself. If you tell us what you think we want to hear, either a) it will be obvious to us, and you'll have done yourself no favors, or b) you'll bamboozle us, and (as you'll discover once you're here, in a community that doesn't excite and fulfill you) you'll have done yourself no favors. While you are the expert on you, we are the experts on Honors and what kind of students do best in this program; the only way we can accurately match you with the program is if you paint an authentic, complete portrait of yourself.
  • 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!