Knowledge changes you. You change the world.

From our Dean

Dean Shane Sharpe of Honors College

Thank you for your interest in The University of Alabama Honors College. Each year, we welcome the best and brightest students to our community of scholars. Our students are varied in their personal backgrounds, academic interests, and professional goals, but they have one thing in common: they have found a place to grow as individuals, develop as leaders, and contribute as engaged citizens.

We embrace four pillars of the educational experience in the Honors College which form the foundation of our academic and co-curricular programs: Innovative Scholarship, Advanced Research, Civic Engagement, and Cultural Interaction. We provide the access and opportunity our students need to develop personally and professionally and to make a difference in the world around them, while at The University of Alabama and for years to come.

It is an honor to serve these students along with the dedicated faculty and staff who support an environment of community collaboration and academic excellence. Please take some time to explore our website and learn more about the breadth of our students’ and faculty’s interests and accomplishments.  I’m confident that you will be as impressed as I am.

We would love to hear from you if you are interested in learning more about the Honors College. If you are a student and The University of Alabama and the Honors College may be in your future, I hope that you will schedule your visit to campus or set up a meeting with our recruitment team to find out if Honors College is right for you. If you are among our alumni and friends, we look forward to sharing our story through this web site, and we hope that you will stop by when you are on campus.

The basis of students’ educational experience in the Honors College is the Four Pillars:

Innovative Scholarship
Rethinking how exceptional students learn is the cornerstone of the academic experience in The University of Alabama Honors College. Students have the option to enroll in honors classes offered in their major and to choose our diverse small seminars in which classes are capped at 15 students. These courses provide a flexible learning environment that allows students and teachers to interact easily. Honors seminars encourage discussion and deliberation, critical thinking and discovery. In the Honors College, there are many ways to learn—from departmental honors to small seminars, visiting faculty and artists-in-residence to self-directed study, honors by contract and internships. The Honors College prepares students for a future of service, advanced education, and outstanding professional achievement.

Advanced Research
Education is about finding answers, solving problems, and improving lives. Advanced Research in the Honors College provides opportunities for students to do that in an environment that supports and encourages academic rigor. Some students partner with faculty in research projects; others begin work on a graduate degree while still an undergraduate. Some students design their own learning contract with the guidance of our dedicated faculty. Still others use the most advanced technology available to conduct their own research in the Computer-Based Honors Program. Not a computer major? Not a problem. This selective program is for honors students who want to make a difference in the world around them through research and dedicated study. Our students are some of the most highly awarded for academic achievement and outstanding scholarship in the nation.

Civic Engagement
We believe education changes lives—our students’ and those of the world around them. There are plenty of opportunities for students to serve the community right now. Some Honors students commit to a semester-long mentoring program in local elementary schools, while others register for a service-learning course. Some students volunteer for a weekend project sponsored by our Honors College Assembly. Our students quickly discover how education and service change them and can change the world.

Intercultural Interaction
Education should expand our minds—and our understanding of the world. Global curiosity encourages understanding, compassion, collaboration, and engagement. Wherever we have the ability to explore our connections or our differences with one another, we have opportunities to engage with others “across cultures.” Our students find many opportunities to engage with others, and with the community, across cultures. Students can attend on-campus lectures that provide artistic insight or highlight other countries and celebrate cultures. They participate in Art Speaks and Xpress Night. They volunteer to be a “first friend” or conversation partner for an international student. They do community service in Alabama’s Black Belt.  And through it all, they learn more about themselves and the world around them.

As a member of The University of Alabama Honors College,

I believe education is a privilege. I believe in my fellow students—all of them.
So I treat our community of scholars with dignity and respect.
I listen to them. I learn from them.
I engage in collaborative discussions, trusting they will do the same.
I believe new opportunities make me better.
I embrace change. I remain curious. I am hopeful.
I believe giving back does not start after graduation.
I believe it begins now, and should happen every day after.
I believe knowledge can change us.
I believe we can change the world.