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James Scholar Honors Program

Challenge yourself to impact the future.

Becoming a James Scholar

There are two ways to join the College of AHS James Scholar Honors Program. Students are either admitted to the College as a James Scholar (as an incoming freshmen or as an on-campus or an off-campus transfer student) or eligible AHS students may go through the Self-Nomination process.



Incoming freshmen in the top 10% of the admitted class (by major), are invited to participate in the James Scholar Program as a part of the admission process. Eligibility is determined after a review of individual high school GPA and ACT and/or SAT scores.

Transfer students

Incoming transfer students with a minimum 3.65 cumulative grade point average from their previous institution are invited to participate in the James Scholar Honors Program as part of the admission process.


AHS students who would like to begin the self-nomination process to become a James Scholar must meet the following requirements:

  • Have an Illinois cumulative GPA of a 3.50 or higher
  • Have completed at least one semester on campus
  • Not be a 2nd semester junior or beyond, unless the student has received permission to remain an undergraduate for a fifth year.

Provided those requirements are met, students can beginning the Self-Nomination process during the first 4 weeks of the fall or spring semester. PLEASE NOTE: Students beginning the Self-Nomination process in the spring semester, must complete 2 Honors Plan to earn James Scholar designation for the academic year. The process is as follows:

  1. Student meets eligibility requirements above
  2. Student completes an Honors Plan (or two)
  3. Student successfully completes the honors project(s)
  4. Student has a semester Illinois GPA of 3.50 (and yearly Illinois GPA of 3.50 if Self-Nominating in the spring semester)
  5. Student receives confirmation email from the College
  6. Student has the full benefits of being a James Scholar starting the next semester

For questions, feel free to contact Dr. Tonya Pulley, AHS Honors Program Coordinator, or Dr. Gretchen Adams, AHS Honors Dean.

Submit Honors Plan

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