The Davidson Honors College is open to students of any major and provides special opportunities for students to enhance their learning and leadership skills within and outside the classroom. We are distinguished by our commitment to academic innovation, professional development, and our welcoming community.

We prepare thoughtful, informed, agile and impactful citizens. Our students are thinkers, doers, explorers, creators, servants, leaders, and agents of positive change. Through curricular and co-curricular experiences, they are equipped with new ways of knowing, seeing, doing and being in the world.

Through their experience in the DHC, they build capacity for:

  • Collection, analysis, and synthesis of information;
  • Excellence in oral, written, interpersonal and digital communication;
  • Independent and collaborative work, problem-solving and community engagement;
  • Learning and reflection about their own and others’ experiences;
  • Ethical, original, creative, and critical thought and action;
  • A meaningful life and future personal and professional success.

Honors students benefit from a passionate team of faculty and staff who provide holistic support for their university experience. This includes dedicated assistance with honors academic advising, career exploration, community engagement, research mentoring, and as applicants for local, national, and internationally competitive scholarships.

In addition to world-class academics, your experience will include experiential learning through internships, service learning, undergraduate research and creative scholarship, and opportunities to travel nationally and internationally. And while DHC students are involved across campus and throughout the community, they are also active in the Honors Student Association, DHC Ambassadors, Dean’s Student Advisory Council, the Living Learning Community, and regional and national honors organizations. UM honors traditions include a fall float trip, weekly Friday morning hikes, monthly tea times, open mic nights, medallion ceremonies on the eve of Commencement each semester, and an annual Evening of Excellence.

As a current student in the Davidson Honors College, you will have tremendous opportunities for academic, personal, and professional development. You’ll also be part of a vibrant, interdisciplinary community of students, faculty and staff with diverse interests and aspirations, and who represent virtually every academic major at the University of Montana.

As a High-School Student, you can participate in a two-week pre-college program hosted by the Davidson Honors College. Learn more about the Schwanke Honors Institute here.

As a First Time Freshman, you can kick off your college experience among other motivated, talented and passionate students.

As a Transfer Student, you can join the DHC when you make your transition to the University of Montana. It is imperative that you visit with an Honors Advisor to ensure you have enough time allotted at UM to fit honors requirements into your academic plan.

As a Current UM Student, you can join the DHC part-way through your UM education. Similar to transfer students, it is very important that you visit with an honors advisor to ensure that honors will fit into your UM academic trajectory.

Please work with UM Admissions to schedule a visit to the beautiful UM campus. If you indicate an interest in honors, the staff in the Admissions Office will ensure that you have an opportunity to meet with a representative from the Davidson Honors College during your visit.

We also work with the UM Admissions Office to designate at least two special visit days- one during the Fall semester and another during the Spring semester- which focus on the UM honors experience and provide an in-depth look at the Davidson Honors College.


A Davidson Honors College education will ask you to challenge yourself in a number of ways: intellectually, personally, pre-professionally, and as a member of our broader society. Students in the Davidson Honors College are hard-working, ambitious, aspirational, and dedicated. There are additional requirements involved with participation in the UM honors experience, but the extra work involved in participation in the Davidson Honors College is worth the effort!

Students who graduate from the Davidson Honors College earn “University Scholar Distinction” after working their way through a series of requirements that entail specific coursework, honors electives, experiential opportunities, and a culminating honors Capstone project. 

Honors courses are generally smaller, capped at 20 talented, motivated students, representing majors from across campus. Honors courses emphasize themes such as critical thinking, problem solving, oral, written, and digital communication, research and community engagement. Honors courses are fun and include lively discussion and exchange between and among students and faculty. Honors courses aren’t just about ‘learning more stuff’ or ‘extra work’ but rather, they present opportunities for meaning making and opportunities for deeper dives into the subject matter and its applications for academic, personal, and professional success.

Several DHC staff members provide honors advising through 1:1 advising meetings, group advising sessions, and regular workshop series. DHC students also receive academic advising from primary advisors in their academic areas of interest. Honors advisors typically meet with students about honors requirements, registration, experiential opportunities, degree composition, career development, and general mentorship.

The DHC curriculum and requirements are designed to complement any major, minor, and certificate found at UM. Indeed, honors students represent almost every degree program at the University of Montana. With assistance from honors advisors, DHC students develop and hone their academic plans to incorporate honors requirements and opportunities into their degree plans.

Yes, we have several opportunities for career development in the DHC. In fact, we have a dedicated advisor for career development for 1:1 and small group advising, courses geared toward career development, and a robust network of alumni to support students in achieving their goals after graduation. Check out the Career Development Program page for more information.


The Davidson Honors College application is separate from the University of Montana application and can be found on the UM Admissions website as well as the DHC website. If you have already applied and been accepted to UM, you can apply to the Davidson Honors College by accessing our application located under forms on your UM Admissions Portal page. You should receive access resources to log in with your Admission Confirmation email. Alternatively, you can use the Forgot Password option plus the email you applied with to gain access. If you are currently an enrolled UM student (not an incoming freshman) you can apply to the DHC using the link below.

A strong application represents the student’s abilities, interests, and character in distinctive and compelling ways. Students should articulate their aspirations and how these fit with UM and the DHC. Strong applications tend to every element of the application (short answer responses, essay, etc.). Optional materials (such as the letter of recommendation) are encouraged. Transcripts should reflect students’ academic prowess and ambitions. A few red flags: typographical errors, redundant responses, and one-paragraph, re-purposed essays. Applicants should resist the temptation to tell reviewers ‘what they want to hear’ and to let their unique personalities shine through.

Applications are accepted year-round. However, applications for the following year open in early-August. For example, students who plan to enroll in Fall 2024 can apply beginning in August, 2023. Students are encouraged to apply in the fall (before the first Friday in December) to be considered for incoming student scholarships.


We offer a limited number of renewable, merit-based scholarships to incoming first-year students. To be considered for these scholarships, students must apply to the DHC before the first Friday in December. To learn more, visit our Incoming Students Scholarships page. For students in the honors college, we have an application for annual scholarships to support student experiences. To learn more about scholarship offerings for current students, check out our DHC Scholarship Information page.

There are NO additional costs or tuition fees to be a student in the DHC. There is also no application fee to apply to the DHC. Please visit the UM Undergraduate Cost of Attendance page for more information.


The DHC does indeed have honors-specific housing within the University’s residence halls. Situated in the newly renovated Knowles Hall as of Fall 2023, the Honors Living Learning Community (LLC) is a community shared by incoming freshman in Honors with resident assistants who are upperclassman in Honors. It’s a great way to build last friendships with people within your new cohort. Knowles Hall is also centrally located on campus and closest to the Food Zoo making it an optimal place to live. 

Students in Honors represent every corner of the University. There are numerous students who are double majors or have additional minors added to their degree. There also many Honors students who are in athletics including cross country, golf, soccer, dance/cheer, and more. Nearly all Honors students are involved in student groups and often seek volunteer opportunities and leadership positions within the UM and Missoula. The DHC also does a lot to help students study abroad by offering resources, scholarships, and promoting faculty-led summer abroad programs.

There are myriad ways to get involved in the DHC community! As an incoming freshman, one very popular way is to live in the Honors Living Learning Community. It’s a great way to be introduced to the community and begin building long-lasting friendships. There are many more ways to get involved to through service projects, assisting with recruitment, outreach, and correspondence with visiting students, and assisting professors with their classes by engaging with students. Additionally, the DHC has many fun social traditions to welcome new students, celebrate students’ successes and talents, and to simply share a donut or a cup of tea with a friend.

Visit our Opportunities page to learn more about ways to get involved in the DHC community and participate in DHC traditions!