UNE launches Honors College for highly motivated undergraduate students

A student points to their presentation poster as they talk to a fellow student
The Honors College at UNE is a program of recognition and empowerment for select, highly motivated undergraduate students.

The University of New England has announced the establishment of an Honors College designed to promote interdisciplinarity and innovation while enhancing the education of select, highly motivated undergraduate students.

The UNE Honors College is an intellectual and social community within the University intended to recognize high-achieving students and provide them with varied academic and extracurricular experiences, including curated seminars, career preparation, research experiences, and dedicated housing to foster camaraderie and inspiring discussion. 

“The UNE Honors College actively creates a diverse, supportive community of peers in which students can grow and explore their interests, whether they be in research innovation, artistic endeavors, or pre-professional preparation,” said Honors Dean John Austin, Ph.D. “Honors College mentors aim to keep students connected through dedicated seminars and events as we encourage students to hone their skills and write their own story.”

Students enrolled in the Honors College at UNE will enjoy early move-in access to Honors co-housing, steps from Maine’s coast, early class registration, and stipends of up to $2,000 for approved projects in research or scholarship. Among other academic and social benefits, students will embark on a two-day leadership retreat prior to the start of classes in their first year, and all incoming students will be enrolled in a first-year seminar course.

The program is available to students from all academic programs and will accept just 30 high-performing first-year students each year. Factors considered for admission include high school grades and the rigor of coursework, extracurricular activities, the admissions essay, and teacher recommendation letters. No separate application process is required.

Selected students will also engage in thought-provoking discussions in an advanced “Innovation for a Healthier Planet” seminar series that will explore the topics of interdisciplinarity, sustainability, and design thinking. Students and faculty will interact closely to share ideas and carry out meaningful passion projects on diverse topics.

“The Honors College will provide an opportunity for highly motivated students to work together across disciplines to tackle projects related to today’s global challenges,” said Gwen Mahon, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “By fostering a culture of intellectual curiosity and collaboration, the Honors College will graduate leaders and change-makers who are prepared to succeed in a rapidly changing world.”

John Austin, Ph.D.