The College of Engineering offers its undergraduates two types of honors programs and other options that recognize academic achievement.

Engineering Honors in Liberal Arts

The college offers new engineering students the opportunity to apply for the Engineering Honors in Liberal Arts (EHLA) program. The EHLA program is intended for a certain number of high-ability students who have a special interest in taking challenging background courses in physical science, natural science, humanities, foreign language, and social science.

If you are a high-ability first-year student with particularly broad educational goals and exceptional academic skills, you may be interested in the engineering honors in liberal arts program, which is a clone of the honors program in the College of Letters and Science. The College of Engineering honors in liberal arts program gives you the ability and motivation to fulfill not only the basic requirements for an undergraduate degree, but to enjoy a higher level of achievement: completion of unusually focused, challenging courses which require substantial critical thinking and independent inquiry in diverse modes.

The program, which is highly selective because space is limited in UW-Madison honors courses, also offers you opportunities to interact with other gifted students. This program is one way for you to progress toward an excellent engineering education, and one of many opportunities that will help you achieve excellence. You can choose many distinct routes through your undergraduate engineering degree program. (Note that the College of Engineering does not offer honors classes, except for a few honors independent studies courses)

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Andrew Greenberg
EHLA Program Director

The Engineering Honors in Liberal Arts designation will be awarded to those admitted to the EHLA program who meet the following requirements at graduation:

  1. Satisfaction of requirements for one of the undergraduate engineering degrees
  2. A cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.3 in honors classes
  3. Completion of at least 24 credits in honors courses with grades of B or better
  4. Completion of at least 6 credits in honors courses in the humanities, 6 credits in social sciences, and 6 credits in natural sciences
  5. Completion of at least 15 honors credits in courses with the timetable designation “H” or “!” (special honors sections). The other credits may have % timetable designation or be taken for honors by special arrangement

The Engineering Honors in Liberal Arts distinction is conferred at the point of graduation, and takes the form of a transcript notation. When you complete the program’s requirements (which could be as early as your second year), we encourage you to note on your resume, “All requirements for the Engineering Honors in Liberal Arts program completed.”

All students admitted to EHLA are eligible to apply for professional development funds through the EHLA Opportunity Fund, established through grants from the College of Engineering dean’s office and the UW-Madison Honors Committee. The program gives EHLA students a chance to apply for up to $1,000 to fund educationally related opportunities, such as the following:

  1. Travel to and from a study abroad program or international internship/co-op opportunity
  2. Travel to and from a domestic co-op/internship, in cases it is not covered by the employer
  3. Registration and travel to a professional conference relevant to a student’s career interests (priority given to students presenting at such a conference)
  4. Registration and travel to a career-related seminar or continuing education course
  5. Travel to investigate graduate or professional school opportunities (limited to schools at which a student has already been accepted)
  6. Funding for research or development expenses for the Schoofs Prize for Creativity, , campus Undergraduate Symposium, or any other independent studies project expenses not covered by another agency

If you are chosen for the ELHA program, you may be selected (contingent on a successful application) for a maximum of one Opportunity Fund activity before you complete your EHLA requirements, and two additional activities after you complete EHLA requirements, should you submit additional proposals that are accepted. EHLA Opportunity Fund awards are made in the form of reimbursement for actual, documented expenses relevant to the activity.

Applications are accepted year-round, but must be made at least four weeks before the beginning of the proposed activity. Awards will be competitive, limited to the funds available (approximately 10-12 awards per year), and selected based on the value added to a particular student’s education and professional development.

Download and submit the Application for EHLA Opportunity Fund Program Award to apply.

The EHLA Application is for high school seniors interested in applying for the Engineering Honors in Liberal Arts program. Return the entire form as directed on the application no later than May 23rd.

Engineering Honors in Research

Individual engineering departments are in the process of developing and offering honors programs for high-ability students enrolled in their majors. Students in these programs will plan and conduct engineering research projects under the guidance of faculty members.

Other Options for Recognition

Outstanding engineering students gain recognition in other ways. All engineering departments grant merit-based scholarships for academic achievement. The college also recognizes those students who graduate in the top five percent of their class with the transcript notation “Graduated with highest distinction.” At the end of each semester the names of all full-time students in good standing with a 3.5 or higher semester GPA and cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 will be included on the Dean’s Honor List. Students must have received no incompletes and no unreported grades. A notation of “Dean’s Honor List” and date will be entered on the student’s transcript.