Program Details

You have high academic standards and have a natural curiosity. You enjoy learning and excelling, and you're ready to get the most you can from your college experience. That's why you're considering the CU Denver University Honors and Leadership Program. Our students benefit from learning with a cohort of 40 equally passionate students and learning from leading faculty members. Classes and requirements are tailored for you and your academic curiosity. We offer research and community service opportunities, plus leadership programs and our UHL house where you can get away and connect with your honors and leadership peers. 

Why UHL?

Why not UHL? You are an honors student and a leader, and UHL has countless benefits.

Scholarship $$$

$10,000 in scholarships, dispersed over 8 semesters

Make Yourself at Home

Our UHL house is your on-campus home. Study, use the free printer, make some coffee, or just hang out. It's our own on-campus communal house located on the picturesque and historic 9th Street Park!

Get Priority Registration

You get the first pick on classes. Need we say more?

Elevate Your Academic Opportunities

As an honors and leadership student you get more.

  • Your minor makes an impressive addition to your resume
  • The many connections you make with faculty members helps when it's time to request letters of recommendation
  • You get exclusive access to research opportunities and research

Program Overview

Who Should Apply?

Admission to University Honors and Leadership (UHL) is competitive.

To start, applicants must meet the published requirements for admission to CU Denver Beyond that, competitive applicants will rank among the best coming out of high school, with a high GPA, high class ranking, and SAT/ACT scores that indicate an ability to handle the rigors of an honors educational experience.

We expect that applicants will rank in the top ten percent of their high school class and/or have scored in the 90th percentile or above on the SAT/ACT.


UHL courses are taught in a learner-centered environment with continuous faculty and student engagement. Students hone their critical thinking skills by analyzing issues from alternative perspectives. The coursework during the first year focuses on the intellectual, social, and personal skills needed to excel in an increasingly diverse, global, and technologically complex society.

A weekly seminar series complements the UHL Core curriculum and features speakers from a variety of sectors including academia, business, and government. Seminar topics range from hot-button policy issues of the moment to the latest in scientific discovery.

Let's Talk Required English

  • Incoming UHL students who haven't taken ENGL 1020 or the equivalent will take it in their fall semester
  • Students who've alreadty fulfilled the ENGL 1020 requirement will take a UHL section of ENGL 2030 in the spring semester, not the fall
  • Not sure if you've fulfilled the requirement? Check with your school/college advisor

First-Year Foundational Courses

Your first year, in addition to required English, all UHL students will take a total of eight credit hours.

  • The Life of the Mind
  • UHL Seminar
  • Core Composition II

Second- and Third-Year Electives

Your second and third year you will explore elective classes based on which track you decide to take — Leadership Studies or Academic Honors. Over the two years, you will take 15 elective credit hours.

Fourth-Year Seminar Courses

Two semesters of UHL Senior Research Seminar wraps up your UHL experience, including a capstone experience where students will work in teams on research projects of a multi-disciplinary nature. You will earn two credits each semester.

A typical course of study for both the Leadership Studies and and Academic Honors tracks include required and elective courses.

Year 1: UHL Core (8 credit hours)UNHL 1100: The Life of the Mind
 UNHL 2755: UHL Seminar (two semesters at 1 credit hour each)
 ENGL 2030: Core Composition II (designated UHL sections)

Years 2 & 3: Electives (15 credit hours)

Electives: Five UNHL Leadership Studies or Academic Honors track electives

Year 4: UHL Core (4 credit hours)

UNHL 4991: UHL Senior Research Seminar I (2 credit hours)

UNHL 4992: UHL Senior Research Seminar II (2 credit hours)