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Plan II Honors Program at Top of Rankings in Spring Review

Sun, September 16, 2012
Plan II Honors Program at Top of Rankings in Spring Review
Over 75 years of excellence.

A new site on the web, Public University Honors, is devoted entirely to the evaluation and discussion of public university honors programs and public honors colleges.  Plan II Honors ranks among the top honors experiences in the country.

"Overall Excellence is based on honors curriculum; prestigious scholarships (Rhodes, Truman, Goldwater); honors graduation rates; honors housing; study-abroad programs; and priority registration for honors students. Honors Factors excludes prestigious scholarships from the scoring in order to place greater emphasis on honors-specific features of each program.

UT Austin’s Plan II Honors Program is Number 3 in both Overall Excellence and Honors Factors. The LSA Honors Program at Michigan and the Echols Scholars Program at Virginia are number 1 and 2 respectively in Overall Excellence."

"Universities with smaller honors programs (fewer than 1,800 students) can focus on developing and sustaining an extremely high degree of excellence within the much larger university as a whole. Competition for places in these programs may be almost as difficult as earning a place at an elite private institution. Though smaller than the mean size of all programs under review, most of the colleges and programs listed below have enrollments greater than 1,000 honors students."  (Plan II Honors enrollment stays under 700 total students.  The entering freshman class each year is 175-185 students.)

1. University of Virginia, Echols Scholars Program
2. UT Austin, Plan II Honors Program
3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Honors Carolina
4. University of Washington, University Honors Program
5. University of South Carolina Honors College"


  • UT ranks in the top four for career services.
  • UT ranks #11 in "all scholars" awards.*
  • The University of Texas at Austin ranks second in Truman Scholarships.  UNC Chapel Hill is first and Virginia is just behind UT Austin.*
  • UT Austin leads public university honors in Marshall Scholarships.*
  • UT ranked in Princeton Review top 10 list of the best values in public education–the state universities that provide a very high level of quality at a reasonable sticker price or at a price that is offset by financial aid.

*Please refer to Plan II Awards for information on Plan II specific post-baccaluareate awards.


Public University Press published the Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs on April 18, 2012. The Press is a new–and small–organization, which now plans to publish annual or biannual editions of the Review, including an expanded version in 2013 or 2014. The project to research and write about honors programs began as part of a plan to write a series of articles that compared published rankings and summarized their findings.

The guidebook has 57,000 words of searchable narrative along with 58 charts, including comparisons in two major categories, Overall Excellence and Honors Factors. There is also a summary stats sheet for each program or college. The book compares honors programs with similar admissions requirements and provides detailed information about the impact of honors curriculum, prestigious scholarships (Rhodes, etc.), graduation rates, and the quality of benefits to honors students such as housing, study-abroad programs, and priority registration policies. Each program or college has a full narrative profile and a statistical summary page. The Review is 289 pages in length (e-format).

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    University of Texas at Austin
    305 East 23rd St
    CLA 2.102
    Austin, Texas, 78712-1250