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James Scholar Honors Program

Challenge yourself to impact the future.

Becoming a James Scholar

There are two ways to join the College of AHS James Scholar Honors Program. Students are either admitted to the College as a James Scholar (as an incoming freshmen or as an on-campus or an off-campus transfer student) or eligible AHS students may go through the Self-Nomination process.



Incoming freshmen in the top 10% of the admitted class (by major), are invited to participate in the James Scholar Program as a part of the admission process. Eligibility is determined after a review of individual high school GPA and ACT and/or SAT scores.

Transfer students

Incoming transfer students with a minimum 3.85 cumulative grade point average from their previous institution are invited to participate in the James Scholar Honors Program as part of the admission process.


AHS students who would like to begin the self-nomination process to become a James Scholar must meet the following requirements:

  • Earned a 3.50 cumulative Illinois GPA.
  • Completed at least one semester on the UIUC campus, including 12 graded hours.
  • Have no history of academic integrity violations.
  • Not be a 2nd semester junior or beyond (unless the student has received permission to remain an undergraduate for a fifth year).

Provided those requirements are met, students can beginning the Self-Nomination process during the first 4 weeks of the fall or spring semester.

PLEASE NOTE: Students beginning the Self-Nomination process in the spring semester must complete TWO Honors Plans to earn James Scholar designation for the academic year.

The process is as follows:

  1. Student meets eligibility requirements above.
  2. Please complete the Self-Nomination Form prior to the 2nd  Friday of the semester. No late forms will be accepted.
  3. After AHS reviews the form, the student will receive an email giving them access to the Canvas site for AHS James Scholars.
  4. Via the Canvas site, the student will submit an Honors Plan (or two) by the 4th Friday of the semester. (If student is self-nominating in the spring semester, they must submit TWO honors plans.)
  5. Any self-nominating student who does not submit their Honors Plan by the stated deadline will be removed from the self-nominating process.
  6. Student receives confirmation email with AHS approval.
  7. Student successfully completes the honors project(s).
  8. Student meets all of the requirements for James Scholars.  
  9. Student receives confirmation email from the College in January or June.
  10. Student has the full benefits of being a James Scholar starting the next semester.

For questions, feel free to contact Dr. Tonya Pulley, Director of Honors Programs.