Honors Institute

When you become part of the Honors Institute at Buena Vista University, you go places - places like the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and The Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

Honors students also take part in smaller classes, covering a wide range of subjects drawn from each of the University’s four schools. They often present a research project on a topic of their choosing, with funding provided by BVU.

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Develop yourself academically and enhance your educational experience. Apply to the Honors Institute

The Honors Institute encourages our best and brightest students to develop academic talents beyond the regular curriculum, through specialized courses and an extensive research project under the direction of a faculty mentor. Participation in the program cultivates critical thinking skills and the development of a sophisticated intellectual disposition.


Students are selected for the program based on academic achievement, potential, and an interest in completing research at an undergraduate level. To qualify, they must be enrolled or accepted to BVU at the undergraduate level on our Storm Lake campus.

  • GPA greater than 3.75
  • Top 10 percent of class
  • Completed Honors Institute Application


  • Honors research with expert faculty 
  • Priority class registration
  • Program credit at graduation and on academic transcripts
  • Elite honors-specific housing
  • $500 for research purposes
  • $2,500 travel stipend for credit-bearing trips
  • Funding to present research at national conferences

In the Honors Program, there are so many ways for us to learn and gain skills to help determine our future path. During my time at BVU, I've developed a sense of accomplishment and optimism.

Kristen Davis, Class of 2026

From science, to business, to education, to arts—BVU is your place to start building. Programs and Majors

Domestic or International Travel

  • Second-year honors students may apply for the Domestic or International Travel Fellowship
  • Students receiving the fellowship will enroll and participate in a fall travel preparation course and participate in a 3-credit travel course. 
  • Travel Fellows will be expected to participate in some of the global perspective programming hosted by the university and in the community. 

Students in Rapa Nui

Mack Family Honors Innovation Fellowship

Each year, BVU will choose exemplary students from the incoming first-year Honors class to follow their research, scholarship, or creative curiosity and turn their goals for innovation into reality. Each Innovation Fellow will use their fellowship in an extended learning experience beyond BVU during their junior or senior year. Applications for the Mack Family Honors Innovation Fellowship are typically taken during the fall semester of one’s first year. 

Student in a science lab

Honors Courses

  • All College Honors with Research (15 credit hours)
  • Honors Research (6 credit hours)

Develop yourself academically and enhance your educational experience. Apply to the Mack Family Honors Innovation Fellows

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Find out more about academic opportunities at BVU.

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