College of Education

James Scholar Honors Program

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Program Details

Program Details

Eligible students receive an invitation to participate in the program on the 10th day of classes in the fall semester. Current UIUC and transfer students must have an Overall and/or UIUC GPA of 3.5 or above in order to receive an invitation to participate in the program. Incoming Freshmen are identified at the campus level. 

Students must successfully complete a James Scholar Project in the Fall and Spring semester in order to receive James Scholar transcript notation for the academic year. For all requirements, please see below.

  • Entering freshman who are in the top 15% of the College of Education admitted applicant pool are invited to participate in the James Scholar Program.
  • Transfer and continuing students who have earned at least 3.5 Institutional and/or Overall grade point averages will be invited to participate in the James Scholar Program in the fall term for the current academic year.
  • The College of Education does not have a self-nomination process.
  • Students must complete a James Scholars Project in the fall and spring semesters in order to receive transcript notation for the year.
  • Students must earn a "B-" or better in the fall designated James Scholar course/course related project and earn an Institutional, Term and Overall GPA of 3.5 in order to continue in the James Scholars Program for the spring semester. Note: First semester freshmen who earn an Institutional and Overall GPA of 3.25 during their fall semester are eligible to continue in the spring. This applies only to freshmen for their first semester.
Processing and Certifications
  • Students must complete an eHCLA (electronic Honors Credit Learning Agreement).
  • Students who are studying abroad for a full semester can earn automatic James Scholar Credit for that term. Students who complete a short program will be required to present a video at one of two spring James Scholar events in order to earn credit.
  • The James Scholar eHCLA's deadline for fall semester is October 1. The spring deadline is March 1.
  • Students who have met the James Scholar requirements for fall and spring semesters will be certified a James Scholar for that academic year. This certification will be entered on their transcript.

A Note About Honor's Credit Learning Agreements (eHCLA)

All students who wish to participate in the James Scholar Program must complete an eHCLA in order to be considered a James Scholar for that semester/academic year. Even if students take a designated James Scholar course, they must still complete the eHCLA.

Commencement and Honor Cord Recognition

The College of Education recognizes the intellectual achievements of James Scholar students. Special James Scholar honor cord recognition is available at the College of Education May commencement ceremony. Eligibility to wear a special James Scholar honor cord at the College of Education commencement is based on the number of academic certifications received. Academic certification is awarded on an annual basis; a student must be a James Scholar both fall and spring to receive academic certification for the year. To receive honor cord recognition, students must:

  • Have been awarded at least three annual James Scholar academic certifications if student began studies at the University of Illinois campus-UIUC.
    • Of the three academic certifications; two semester projects must be research.
  • Have been awarded at least two annual James Scholar academic certifications for students who were admitted to the University of Illinois campus as a transfer student.
    • There is no research requirement for transfer students.
  • Participate your senior year (both transfer and UIUC students); it is highly recommended that you participate in the Professional Development Opportunity your final semester during student teaching.