Honors Opportunity Program

The Purposes Of The University Of Iowa College Of Education Honors Opportunity Program Are:

  • To provide additional challenge to College of Education undergraduates
  • To form mentorships between researchers and future educators
  • To attract students of high ability and commitment to education and related professions
  • To foster the process of completing a program that will culminate with a University of Iowa degree with honors 

What are the benefits for students?

In addition to the distinction of graduating with honors, students are eligible to receive scholarships and awards, including the David Connie Belin Honors Award, specifically for students who complete the Honors Opportunity Program. The benefits of interacting with a faculty mentor on a research project are immeasurable; as well, students are provided the opportunity to present their research. Honors students are also invited to make use of the Blank Honors Center (BHC) as a respite for study and socializing. The third floor of the BHC offers a lounge and space to study, have discussion and interact with other honors students. HOP students are also invited to take part in cultural events sponsored by the Honors Program.


Students who complete 12 hours of course work in the field of gifted education may also apply for an honors constellation through the university honors program. These twelve hours can be completed through graduate-level classes and workshops. This is the perfect solution for any teacher hoping to become a TAG teacher after graduation. TAG is one of the shortage areas in Iowa and across the nation.

General Information

All College of Education students who have achieved a cumulative  GPA of 3.33 are invited to be part of the Honors Opportunity Program (HOP). Any student whose GPA does not meet the requirement may still participate in HOP. Those students whose GPA is below the requirement are asked to submit a letter from a faculty member in support of their ability to succeed in HOP to the Director of the Honors Opportunity Program.

During their sophomore or junior year, HOP participants attend a one-credit honors seminar (7X:100) in which they are oriented to the research programs of College of Education faculty and learn basic research principles.

Throughout their junior and/or senior year(s), students are paired with faculty mentors whom they assist. The expected outcome is a senior paper or co-authorship of an article with a faculty member. This component is known as the College of Education Honors Project (7X:101) and is a one- or two-credit course.

Students must complete all of the required experiences and any five of the Optional Experiences listed elsewhere. Questions of judgment about completion of program components will be determined by the Honors Opportunity Program Advisory Board. Students who complete the requirements will graduate with honors.