The First-Year Honors Program

FHP orientation

The First-Year Honors Program (FHP) offers a unique educational opportunity to a limited number of entering first-year students. As an FHP student, you'll have the opportunity to learn in small groups and establish a sense of community with students of similar abilities. At the end of the first year, you may continue your Honors education by joining your college's Honors Program.

As a student in FHP, you will be placed in the First-Year Honors Seminar (HON 121H), a special section of Information Literacy (LIB 160H), and an Honors section of the first-year English course, Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition (ENGL 250H). These classes form the academic core of the first-year program.

Honors 121 - The First-Year Honors Seminar

The First-Year Honors Seminar (HON 121H) meets twice each week in the fall semester. Each section is limited to 10-12 students and is led by two upper-class Honors students. The purpose of the seminar is to help you become familiar with Iowa State, the Honors Program, and other Honors students. The seminar includes an explanation of university policies and procedures and their effects on first-year students, tours of various facilities at Iowa State, and discussions of individual and group educational goals.

The First-Year Honors Seminar is an orientation-information-discussion class led by a team of two upper-level Honors students and designed to help you get to know the University, the Honors Program, and other Honors students. Each section has 10-12 First-Year Honors Program students and meets in the Jischke Honors Building for one hour, twice a week during fall semester.  You will tour selected sites on campus, hear guest lecturers, and discuss educational issues. You will also plan your next several semesters of study according to your personal and educational goals.  There is a one-time $60.00 fee to defray the expenses associated with the FHP seminar.


Library 160 - Information Literacy

LIB 160 is a one credit university course taught by faculty librarians & library staff and required for all undergraduate students. The course examines the use of research libraries and information resources, with an emphasis on finding, evaluating, and using scholarly information. The Honors section of Lib 160 is 1/2 semester in length. More information can be found on the ISU Library website.

English 250H - Written, Oral, Visual, & Electronic Composition

The Honors sections of English 250H emphasize critical reading and communication. Each Honors section is limited to 25 students. The class size allows you to receive individual help from the instructor and also promotes interaction between the class and the instructor.


Joining the University Honors Program (UHP)

Eligibility for FHP Members: Students must have a cumulative ISU GPA of 3.50 or above and at least 48 credits remaining before graduation.

Applying for Membership:

  • Complete a Letter of Intent and submit it to the Honors Program Office by the second Friday of the semester. You will be notified of your status via e-mail.
  • If accepted, you will automatically become a member of the University Honors Program. Your college will contact you via email with information about a required orientation session. Note: you will need to notify the Honors Program office if you change colleges.