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Honors Academy

The College of Business Honors Academy is a four-year, cohort-based, enhanced business curriculum for high-ability students who have the potential and desire to become the next generation of business leaders. Academy students complete most of their foundation and core business courses together as a cohort using an action-based learning style focused on the development of critical thinking, technical and communication skills. These classes allow students to discuss and develop solutions for real-world business problems and create the social and intellectual bonds necessary to ready students for the ever-changing business world.

Corporate Sponsors


Pinnacle Bank

Opportunities and Benefits

  • Join a cohort of 40-45 first-year College of Business students
  • Learn from top faculty in a small-class team environment
  • Solve real-world business problems for major corporations in an exclusive Strategic Management Lab with consultation and feedback from corporate executives
  • Network and develop mentorship relationships with corporate leaders
  • Visit corporate offices to gain a better perspective of business culture
  • Participate in an internship or study abroad experience
  • Compete in regional and national business competitions
  • Develop leadership skills through monthly interactive workshops
  • Build a community of scholars through teambuilding, social, service and networking activities
  • Community service work opportunities including more than 450 hours served with 70 organizations
  • Serve on a non-profit organization board -- 18 students have already served on 13 boards

Class of 2017-18 -- 41 percent studied abroad in Brazil, China, England, France, Italy, Japan, Spain, Uganda, Germany, Ireland and Belgium -- 100 percent involved in student organizations -- 66 interned with 74 employers and 45 percent completed more than one internship
Michael Hadden quote - The deciding factor was the Honors Academy. 
            Seeing the many opportunities that would help me
            differentiate myself was very exciting to me and the
            reason I chose Nebraska.  Michael Hadden
            Honors Academy Student
            University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Business


$2,500 Study Abroad Experience Scholarship
$500 per year UNL Honors Program Scholarship (students must remain in good standing)

Honors Academy scholarships can be added to any other scholarships awarded by Nebraska or the College of Business.

Application Deadline: November 2: High school seniors, March 1: Transfer students
Selected Candidate Interviews: January/February
Transfer Students: Apply by March 1
Contact Erin Burnette with questions.

Honors Academy
Honors Academy

Selection Criteria

Honors students outside the College of Business
  • Outstanding academic achievement based on:
    • ACT of 27+ (or new SAT 1300+/old SAT 1220+)
    • Review of GPA, class rank and academic transcript
  • Demonstrated leadership potential through involvement in school and community activities
  • Committed to a major in business
  • Effective oral and written communication skills

Application Process and Timeline

First-Year Students
Honors Academy Student Overview, 72 percent students from Nebraska, 28 percent from out of state, Average GPA 3.77, All ten majors offered at the College of Business represented in Academy
  • November 2*: Complete Honors Application on MyRed. Specify Honors Academy at top of application
  • Prior to November 1: Apply to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Mid-December: Selected candidates invited to on-campus interviews**
  • January/February: On-campus interviews
  • Early March: Extend offers to join the Honors Academy

*Honors Academy applications will be reviewed on a space-available basis after the November 2 deadline.

**Students who live 100+ miles from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are eligible for a video interview

Students accepted into the Academy are automatically accepted into the UNL Honors Program.

Transfer Students

On a space-available basis, we accept transfer applications from Nebraska students going into their second-year of college and from students transferring before the start of their second year of college. The transfer application deadline is March 1. To begin the process, contact Erin Burnette.


Honors Academy

To graduate from the Honors Academy program, the following requirements must be met:

  • Complete the cohort-based Academy business coursework (total of 43 credits)
  • Complete a University of Nebraska-Lincoln-approved study abroad experience or an internship experience
  • Become Toastmaster-certified or participate on at least one student competition team
  • Participate in Academy leadership skills development workshops (approximately once per month)
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Complete two honors seminars offered through the UNL Honors Program
  • Be a full-time student (at least 12 hours of credit per semester)

Class of 2018 -- 75 percent completed an internship, 61 percent studied abroad, 36 percent completed an internship and studied abroad and 97 percent studied abroad or interned

Academy Course Sequence

First Year

  • Macroeconomics (3 credits)
  • Microeconomics (3 credits)
  • Bureau of Business Research Special Project Lab (1 credit hour)
  • Business Leadership Development (1 credit hour)
  • Accounting Principles I (3 credits)
  • Business Writing (3 credits)

Second Year

  • Accounting Principles II (3 credits)
  • Career Development and Planning (1 credit hour)
  • Statistics (3 credits)
  • Principles of Finance (3 credits)
  • Principles of Marketing (3 credits)
  • Principles of Management (3 credits)

Third Year

  • Business Analytics and Decision-Making (3 credits)
  • Internship and Job Search Strategies (1 credit hour)

Fourth Year

  • Business Strategy Capstone (3 credits)
  • Premier Corporate Partners Lab (2 credits)
  • Professionalism and Life Skills (1 credit hour)
  • Legal Environment or Business Law I (3 credits)

Additional Information

Courseworkdisplay details
Workshopsdisplay details
Academy Councildisplay details

Academy students take 43 credits of honors level business coursework with their Academy cohort. This coursework consists of core and foundation courses common to all business majors. For your general education classes, major classes, and electives, you will be with other students from across the university. Majors in the College of Business generally require 120 total credits, so approximately 1/3 of the required credits are taken with your cohort. In addition to the Academy cohort classes, you will also take two honors seminar classes to fulfill the requirements of the UNL Honors Program. These seminar classes are taken with other honors students from across the university.

All Academy courses are taught using active learning teaching methods to help you quickly apply what you've learned in class and develop critical thinking, problem solving, technical and communication skills. For example:

  • The Bureau of Business Research Lab accompanying the Micro and Macroeconomics courses lets you take the theory you are learning in the classroom and use that theory to analyze current economic problems.
  • The Principles of Finance class incorporates extensive Excel modeling applications so you learn how use financial theory to allocate scarce financial resources. This class also includes a Writing Lab component to help you master technical writing skills by creating financial analysis and recommendation reports.
  • The Business Strategy Capstone class includes a practicum lab where you will work in a project team to solve business problems for corporate clients.


Academy students are required to attend monthly leadership skills workshops. These workshops are led by prominent faculty and staff and successful members of the business community to help students build upon their leadership skillset.

Each workshop focuses on a specific skill and includes interactive activities to help you apply the skill in your daily life as a college student.

Academy Council

The Honors Academy Council is a group of current Academy students who helps plan events for current students and provides feedback on the program to faculty and staff. The Council will also be the sounding board for new ideas and will help shape the future of the Academy.

The Council will help plan the following:

  • Social events
  • Service opportunities
  • On-Campus speakers
  • Corporate site visits and more!

Frequently Asked Questions

Application and Eligibility FAQs
Academic Program FAQs
  • Will I be taking all my classes with Academy students?display details
  • Do I have to be in a specific major?display details
  • I have college credit, AP credit, or IB credit for some of my classes. Will those count?display details
  • Do I have to maintain a certain GPA to stay in the Academy?display details
Miscellaneous FAQs
  • Where can I go for my study abroad experience and when should I plan to do a study abroad?display details
  • What is Toastmasters?display details
Application and Eligibility FAQs

How do I set up a campus visit to learn more about the Honors Academy?
All campus visits can be set up through our Visitor's Center. Visit Nebraska Admissions website to schedule your day.

When you make your reservation, mention that you would like to meet with the Honors Academy in the "special accommodations" section and Visitors Center staff will be sure to put us on your schedule for the day.

I'm a transfer student. Can I apply to the Honors Academy?
Yes! We accept transfer applications from students going into their second-year of college on a space-available basis. The transfer application deadline is March 1. To begin the process, contact Erin Burnette at eburnette1@unl.edu.

I'm a current Nebraska student. Can I apply to join the Academy as a sophomore?
Yes! We accept second-year applications on a space-available basis. The application deadline is March 1. To find out if there is space available and to begin the application process, contact Erin Burnette at eburnette1@unl.edu.

Can I be in both the Honors Academy and the Raikes School for Computer Science and Management?
No, students cannot be a part of the Academy and the Raikes School. Both are cohort-based programs that take a specific sequence of courses. You may, however, apply to both programs and then decide which program is the best fit for you prior to enrollment.

Are Academy students also in the University Honors Program?
Yes! All Academy students are also part of the University Honors Program (UHP) and have all the rights and responsibilities of UHP students.

Do I have to live in a specific residence hall with other Academy students during my first-year?
No. Academy students can live anywhere on-campus, including, but not limited to Neihardt (Honors hall), our new suite-style residence halls, and fraternity houses. Students in the Academy may also choose to move off-campus after their first-year.

Can student-athletes be in the Honors Academy?
Yes! We are able to work with student-athletes to create a course schedule that satisfies Academy requirements and accommodates their practice and game schedules. Contact Erin Burnette with specific questions about balancing the Academy with your responsibilities as a Husker student-athlete.

Can I double major or minor outside of the College of Business and still be in the Academy?
Yes! Many Academy students have additional interests outside of business and select minors or double majors outside of the College of Business.

Can I join a fraternity or sorority and also be in the Academy?
Yes! Many Academy students are a part of the fraternity and sorority life here at Nebraska. For more information on fraternity and sorority recruitment visit the Greek Affairs website

Academic Program FAQs

Will I be taking all my classes with Academy students?
No. Your core and foundation business coursework (43 credits) will be taken with your Academy cohort. For your general education classes, major classes, and electives, you will be with other students from across the university.

Do I have to be in a specific major?
All students in the Academy must declare at least one of the 10 majors within the College of Business. The 10 majors are actuarial science, accounting, agribusiness, business administration, economics, finance, international business, marketing, management, and supply chain management.

Note: The actuarial science major and the economics major can be completed through either the College of Business or the College of Arts and Sciences. Actuarial science and economics majors in the College of Arts and Sciences are NOT eligible to be in the Honors Academy.

I have college credit, AP credit, or IB credit for some of my classes. Will those count?
Nebraska does accept AP scores, IB credit and dual credit courses. More information about AP and dual-credit courses can be found here:

For a list of AP scores needed to get credit, visit http://admissions.unl.edu/discover/academics/advanced-credit/advanced-placement.aspx

For information about an IB diploma and credits visit http://admissions.unl.edu/discover/academics/advanced-credit/ib-program.aspx

For information about transferring in dual credit visit http://admissions.unl.edu/nebraska/equivalency.aspx

Do I have to maintain a certain GPA to stay in the Academy?
Yes! There is a 3.5 GPA requirement to stay in good standing in the Honors Academy. For more information about Academy requirements, please visit our Current Students webpage.

Miscellaneous FAQs

Where can I go for my study abroad experience and when should I plan to do a study abroad?
You can choose any University of Nebraska-Lincoln-approved study abroad opportunity in more than 50 countries and 140 universities worldwide. If you would like to earn business credits during your study-abroad experience, the College of Business offers five group study abroad programs including Oxford University in England, China, Japan, Italy and France. The study abroad scholarship can be used any time after the sophomore year for summer or semester-long study abroad. Many students choose to study abroad after their sophomore year, and then complete an internship experience after their junior year. Your Academy advisor will work with you to help you plan your study abroad.

What is Toastmasters?
Toastmasters is an international public speaking organization with the goal of empowering individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. It provides a non-threatening and supportive environment to give a variety of speeches and to both give and receive constructive feedback.

Academy students will be Toastmaster certified by the end of their four years at Nebraska.

What does it mean to be Microsoft Master Certified?
Microsoft Master Certification requires that students successfully pass mastery skills tests in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. All College of Business students must fulfill this requirement prior to graduation.


Burnette, Erin
HLH 125 W
P.O. Box 880405
Lincoln, NE 68588-0405