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The honors college at the university of houston

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The Honors College at the University of Houston

The Honors College at the University of Houston provides a residential experience akin to a smaller university while maintaining access to the curriculum and resources available housed within a larger Tier One research university. With over 2,300 students[1], it is one of largest public university honors colleges in the United States.

Like many honors programs or colleges, there is an additional and more highly selective application process than for the university as a whole. The Honors College reports that its average student is in the top 10 percent of their high school class with a score of 1300 or above on the SAT.[2]


Now one of the 16 colleges housed within the University of Houston, the Honors College originated in 1958 as the Interdisciplinary Honors Program (IHP) with Louis Kesteberg serving as its initial program coordinator.[3] Mary Ellen Goodman, a researcher and fulbright scholar, became the IHP's first Director in 1964, although it was in an unpaid position with no additional leave time from teaching.

In January 1977, the IHP was relaunched as the University Honors Program (UHP) and given a much expanded budget, including that for a full time Director, Dr. Ted Estess, and a small staff. From 1977 until 2009, Dr. Ted Estess led the UHP as Director, and then Dean upon its conversion in 1993 into The Honors College, Dr. William Monroe, who had joined in 1985 as an Associate Director and then Associate Dean, became the current Dean in 2009.

In 2016, Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society, created the Texas Mu chapter at University of Houston[4], which is housed inside the Honors College.


Since 1977, the signature class at the Honors College has been a two-semester course called "The Human Situation", that all students take during their freshman year.


  1. "These These Public Schools Offer an Honors College". US News & World Report. Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  2. "Criteria for Admission". www.uh.edu. Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  3. Magazine, Houston History. "The Tip of the Spear: Honors Education at UH | Houston History Magazine". Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  4. Wermund, Benjamin (2015-10-14). "Three new national research institutes among UH's accomplishments". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2021-09-12.

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