Honors Admissions

Honors Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)


How do I join the Judy Genshaft Honors College?

Prospective students have the opportunity to join the Judy Genshaft Honors College as First Time in College (FTIC) or Upper-Level (transfer/continuing) by submitting the appropriate application.


First Time in College (FTIC) Admission is for high school seniors actively applying for admission to USF. All FTIC students interested in joining the Judy Genshaft Honors College must submit an FTIC application. If accepted, students must confirm their spot in the college.


Upper-Level Admission is for students who have graduated high school and are currently attending college, whether at USF or another college or university. All transfer and continuing students interested in joining the Judy Genshaft Honors College must submit an Upper-Level Admission application.

When will I be notified of my Honors acceptance?


If you have been admitted to the Judy Genshaft Honors College based on your FTIC Honors application, you will receive an email acceptance along with your Honors acceptance letter in the mail.


Upper-level admission application decisions will be made on or before Aug. 1, 2023.

If I have been admitted into the Judy Genshaft Honors College, how do I secure my spot?

First Time In College (FTIC) students admitted to the Judy Genshaft Honors College must confirm their spot in the college.

Confirmation dates and instructions coming soon!

Is there an extra cost of being part of the Judy Genshaft Honors College?

There are no extra fees associated with joining the Judy Genshaft Honors College.

If you wish to live in the Honors Living Learning Community (LLC), there is a $125 per semester fee that covers Honors-exclusive programming.

Is the Judy Genshaft Honors College the same on all USF campuses?

Students admitted to the Judy Genshaft Honors College have the same benefits, opportunities, and curricular requirements, regardless of their home campus (Tampa, St. Petersburg, or Sarasota-Manatee). While each campus has a unique course offerings, it will be possible to complete all of your Honors requirements at any USF campus.

How many Honors students will be admitted into the Summer/Fall 2023 class?

We are planning to enroll around 630 students on the Tampa campus and 125 students across the St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee campuses.

What are the benefits of being a student in the Judy Genshaft Honors College?

Students in the Judy Genshaft Honors College have access to:

Honors students graduate with a portfolio full of academic and professional experiences that set them apart from their peers and prepare them for the next stage of their career.

What engagement opportunities does the Judy Genshaft Honors College offer?

The Judy Genshaft Honors College offers many engagement opportunities and activities. You can become involved in service trips, community engagement, local cultural partnerships, Judy Genshaft Honors College Student Council, and internships. The College also offers music opportunities, such as the Honors Philharmonic Orchestra, Honors Choral Ensemble, and Honors Jazz Ensemble.

Does the Judy Genshaft Honors College offer advising?

The Judy Genshaft Honors College has a team of advisors. First-year Honors students are assigned advisors and are required to meet with them during the Fall and Spring semester before registering for classes to remove their academic hold. You are also encouraged to make an appointment with your Judy Genshaft Honors College Advisor after your first year to ensure that you are on track. These advisors are an excellent resource for any questions you may have.

Additionally, the Judy Genshaft Honors College offers peer advising for freshmen.

Can I call the College and talk to someone?

Yes. Honors Ambassadors are answering our main line (813-974-3087) Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and are happy to assist you with your inquiries.

Can I schedule an in-person tour of the Judy Genshaft Honors College?

Is there a separate Honors Orientation?

During the required USF Orientation, Honors students will attend a special Honors Orientation session as well.


  • PLEASE NOTE: Honors requirements subject to change.

What are the Judy Genshaft Honors College requirements?

Honors students must complete requirements in three components:

For Students who entered Spring 2022 or earlier:

50 hours of community service (25 for continuing/transfer students)

2 completed activities

  • i.e. Foreign language, study abroad, globally-focused internship or research, GloBull Ambassador, cultural minor or certificate program, etc.

Students will complete:

  • IDH 2010 Acquisition of Knowledge
  • IDH 4200 Geographical Perspective
  • 2 additional Honors courses
  • + 2-semester Thesis Research Track
  • IDH 2010 Acquisition of Knowledge
  • IDH 4200 Geographical Perspective
  • 3 additional Honors courses
  • + 1-semester Capstone Research Track

For Students who entered Summer 2022 or later:

 Students will complete a total of two activities, selected from two different categories: 

  • Career/Professional Development & Leadership Experience​ 
  • Community Engagement & Service​ 
  • Creative & Artistic Experience​ 
  • Global Experience​
  • Research 

Students will complete: 

  • IDH 2010 Acquisition of Knowledge 
  • IDH 4200 Geographical Perspective 
  • 2 additional Honors courses 
  • + 2-semester Thesis Research Track 
  • IDH 2010 Acquisition of Knowledge 
  • IDH 4200 Geographical Perspective 
  • 3 additional Honors courses 
  • + 1-semester Capstone Research Track  

What is involved in a Research Track?

Honors students can choose to pursue a two-semester Thesis or a one-semester Capstone course to complete their Research Track.

The Senior Honors Thesis is a culmination of a student's Judy Genshaft Honors College experience, involving independent work, writing, and critical thinking. The project includes six semester hours of the baccalaureate degree program. The thesis itself may relate to your major but does not have to.

Students may also choose to participate in Capstone, where students enroll in an Honors course and work with a group of peers and the course's faculty member to solve a problem.

Is there a GPA I have to maintain to stay in the Honors College?

To remain in good academic standing with the Judy Genshaft Honors College, students must maintain a 2.75 overall GPA or higher. However, to earn Honors Distinction, students must have a 3.25 overall GPA or higher at the time of graduation.


If I am part of the Honors College, do I take Honors classes only?

No. Honors students take a total of six Honors courses throughout their undergraduate career (including a one-semester capstone or a two-semester thesis). Students complete their remaining prerequisites and major courses in their home department. For example, a mass communications student would take Honors courses with their Honors peers through the Honors College and take public relations courses with their major peers through the College of Arts and Sciences.

What are Honors courses like?

In many high schools, Honors courses are just more difficult versions of "regular" courses — Honors Chemistry is just like regular Chemistry, only with extra readings or assignments. That is not what classes in the Judy Genshaft Honors College are like.

Here, our Honors classes explore interdisciplinary special topics like Music and Emotions, Science Fiction, Science Fact, or Archaeology of Food, with deep discussion and active learning approaches. You will be in a class no larger than 19 students, with peers from all different majors. Each student will contribute their individual expertise to the conversation, and learning is richer because of the wide range of perspectives represented in the classroom.

Do Honors courses fulfill credits I already need for my degree?

Yes. Honors courses fulfill upper-level General Education Requirements (GERs), required of all USF students, regardless of major.

Who teaches Honors courses?

Honors faculty teach Honors courses and include a variety of experts, including former CEOs, medical practitioners, leaders in the Tampa Bay community, and more. 

Can I take Honors classes on any campus?

Yes. Space permitting, all Judy Genshaft Honors College students are eligible to enroll in any IDH class on any USF campus, regardless of their home campus.

Do Honors students get early registration for all classes?

Yes. Honors students can sign-up for all of their courses on the first day registration opens each semester. 

What are the most popular majors in the Honors College?

The Honors College encompasses students from all majors. However, the most popular majors Honors students pursue are Biomedical Sciences, Pre-Medical Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, and Health Sciences.


Are there Honors College-specific scholarships?

All Judy Genshaft Honors College students can receive $2,000 in scholarships.

This award is paid in three installments during the students' academic career:

  • $600 after completing the community engagement requirement (or your first Experiential Learning Activity) 
  • $600 after completing the global experience requirement (or your second Experiential Learning Activity) 
  • $800 after completing the academic requirements

Each of the three scholarships is paid out once and are nonrenewable. Please see other scholarship timelines and information here

Are there other scholarships I can apply for?

Most Judy Genshaft Honors College students also qualify for generous travel scholarships to fund study abroad opportunities. These scholarships are distributed based on the specific program, financial need, and available funding.

Also, thanks to the generosity of many donors, there are more than 30 other competitive scholarships, awarded to over 150 recipients, for which only Judy Genshaft Honors College students can apply. Students may apply for these Honors College-specific awards as well as general USF scholarships. These applications typically open in November and are due on Feb. 1.

Students can also visit the Office of National Scholars for more information about competitive academic awards.

Qualified incoming students will also be able to apply for the prestigious Genshaft-Greenbaum Global Explorers Scholarship, a merit-based $10,000 study abroad award. This invitation-only scholarship is awarded to qualified First-Time-In-College (FTIC) students from all three USF campuses.

How do I apply for the Genshaft-Greenbaum Global Explorers Scholarship?

Qualified students can apply only if they are invited to do so. The scholarship is not open to all prospective students.


Do Honors students get priority when selecting housing?

The housing timeline for applying and reserving a room is the same for all students. Honors students do not get priority application for housing, but they do get dedicated Honors Living Learning Community (LLC) rooms on the all three USF campuses.

Is there special housing for Honors students?

Yes! Honors students may elect to live in the Honors Living Learning Community (LLC). This is an enriching experience where Honors students interact with other high-achieving peers from different majors to build a close-knit community. The Honors LLC offers specialized programming for Honors students, including career workshops, study away/abroad opportunities, service learning, fun social events, and more.

Does Honors housing cost more?

The Honors LLC on the Tampa campus has a fee of $125 per semester, which goes directly to student-centered programs and events, including the Reisen Scholarship, group outings, service-learning experiences, a personal Honors Program Director and Graduate Assistant who offer weekly office hours, in-hall private tutoring, and of course, Honors swag!

What are the benefits of living in the Honors Living Learning Community (LLC)?

The Honors LLC is a special community, designed to provide students with extra support and an enriching college experience. Not to mention, you will be living among peers from a variety of majors and interests.

Your Honors Program Director facilitates service-learning events, social gatherings, in-hall private tutoring for all subjects, career workshops, one-to-one and group advising, game nights, international and cultural programming, and more! Honors LLC students have networking opportunities, like Dinners with the Dean, leadership positions, and special student funding for research presentations and study or service abroad trips.

If our specific major/interest has an LLC, what would be the benefit of selecting to live in the Honors LLC over our major/interest LLC?

The Judy Genshaft Honors College is a small, uniquely interdisciplinary college. While you may meet many students in your major through courses and other campus activities, the Honors LLC helps you connect and network with students from other disciplines and backgrounds, giving you a more robust community.

You will also experience major-specific events in the Honors LLC, including Pre-Health and Engineering opportunities, while enjoying social activities and experiential learning with students in other majors. It’s important to remember that students' major courses are not the only classes that help prepare them for their professional, personal, and academic goals: working with others across disciplines and backgrounds is a key component in becoming a truly global citizen!

What percentage of incoming First-Time-In-College (FTIC) students live in the Honors LLC?

The Honors LLC has space for up to 350 students on the Tampa campus and 60 students on the St. Petersburg campus. The typical ratio of FTIC students versus returners (upperclassmen) is about 60% on the Tampa campus. Most of the current Honors LLC students on the St. Petersburg campus will be returning to live in Honors housing next fall.

Rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

How do Honors students who decide not to live on campus still get involved/feel part of the Honors community?

Students who commute or live off-campus still have many opportunities to be involved in Honors. Some of these include the Honors Foundations Program, Student Council, service opportunities, and many more. We have a weekly newsletter called The Honor Roll, which lists unique opportunities for Honors students.

Additionally, our class sizes are much more intimate than others on campus. With a maximum of 19 students per class, students get to their peers very well and form lasting friendships. Plus, students also have close access to their professors to build strong relationships centered around mentoring, service, and research experiences. 


How do I apply for the 7-Year B.S./M.D. Program?

There is no formal application for the 7-Year B.S./M.D. Program. Students interested in following the 7-Year B.S./M.D. Track must reach initial eligibility requirements and should communicate this information to their Honors College advisor during their summer orientation. Students will formally declare their intent to follow the Program by completing a declaration form on the B.S./M.D. website in mid-April of the first year on campus.

What are the test score and GPA requirements to participate in the program?

Students must be accepted to USF with a minimum SAT score of 1500 or an ACT score of 34 to qualify for the program. The best composite score ("superscore") will be considered. In addition to one of these test scores, students must present a 4.0 weighted high school GPA; recalculated by the USF Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

What can I be doing while still in high school to prepare for this program?

Students interested in the field of medicine should complete a rigorous high school curriculum, including advanced coursework in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics (calculus and statistics are preferred). Additionally, since the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) now includes a section on psycho-social foundations of behavior, students are also encouraged to complete courses in the social and behavioral sciences. Since the MCAT is taken after the second year of the 7-Year B.S./M.D. Program, we strongly encourage students to consider enrolling in accelerated/dual enrollment credits in the areas of psychology, sociology, anthropology, math, and/or English.

The goal is for students to enter USF with some foundation courses fulfilled so they can enroll in more advanced MCAT preparatory courses during the first two years at USF. For more information on MCAT course recommendations, click here.


Is the Judy Genshaft Honors College and the Business Honors Program the same thing?

No, they are two separate entities. Please see below for more information.

Where is the Business Honors Program housed?

The Business Honors Program is housed in the Muma College of Business; not the Judy Genshaft Honors College.

Can a student be in both the Judy Genshaft Honors College and the Business Honors Program?

Yes! Students can be part of both the Judy Genshaft Honors College and the Business Honors Program.

What is the difference between the Judy Genshaft Honors College and the Business Honors Program?

There is a difference in coursework, graduation requirements, and amenities:

Judy Genshaft Honors College
Judy Genshaft Honors College students are required to take four Honors core courses, which satisfy General Education Requirements, and a Research Track: a two-semester independent thesis or an Honors faculty-directed capstone class and one additional Honors core course.

Business Honors Program
Business Honors students are required to take a BHP-specific professional development series (GEB 2098/2099) and a Bulls Business Community specific SLS 2901 section, both in their first two semesters, a QMB 3253 statistics course, and a Muma College of Business two-semester independent thesis. Some of the required BHP courses will satisfy major requirements and the BHP thesis satisfies the Honors Research Track.

Judy Genshaft Honors College
Judy Genshaft Honors College requirements include 50 hours of community service and two global experience activities.

Business Honors Program
Business Honors Program requirements include living in the Bulls Business Community (BBC) during the first year, attending a speaker series, participating in study abroad at least once, and completing at least one internship.

Judy Genshaft Honors College
The Judy Genshaft Honors College offers students:

  • Honors-exclusive academic and study abroad scholarships
  • Priority registration
  • Small class sizes
  • On-campus honors housing community (Tampa and St. Petersburg campuses only)
  • Personalized academic advising
  • Honors-only study abroad experiences
  • Internship and research opportunities
  • Faculty mentorship

Business Honors Program
The Business Honors Program offers students:

  • Scholarships
  • Program-specific sections of business courses for personalized attention from faculty
  • Professional development opportunities with potential mentors already in the field


Are there USF department-specific honors programs I can be part of?

Yes, there are USF department-specific honors programs students can join that are not part of the Judy Genshaft Honors College (including the Business Honors Program - see above).

Please click the links below for more information:


  • For Office of National Scholars questions, please email Lauren Chambers.

Do I have to be an Honors student to apply for national scholarships?

No. All USF students on all campuses are eligible to apply. Competitive scholarships are open to undergraduate and graduate students. There are also a few opportunities for which recent alumni may apply.

Can national scholarships be applied towards undergraduate tuition?

No. Nationally competitive scholarships are awards which enable students to gain experiences that will help direct their pursuit of academic, professional, and personal goals. Most awards only have merit-based criteria; however, there are a few scholarships that require eligibility based on financial need.

How do ONS advisors assist students?

ONS advisors provide high-touch mentoring which consists of:

  • Encouraging students to envision their future
  • Connecting students with on and off-campus resources
  • Helping students reflect on the reasons behind their academic and professional activities

In addition, ONS advisors understand the intense nature of the national scholarship application process and assist with application components such as essay writing, choice of recommenders for reference letters, and mock preparatory interviews. 

Why do I need to schedule an appointment with an ONS advisor?

Many scholarships require a letter of support from ONS or only allow each university to nominate a limited number of applicants. Even for scholarships that do not require ONS endorsement, working with an advisor will strengthen your applications for competitive scholarships.

Additionally, ONS advisors may recommend opportunities to students after obtaining more information regarding their goals and interests.