Elementary Honors Program

ELEMENTARY honors program

Our Honors Program is designed to provide an enriched academic experience for talented and highly motivated elementary education majors. It offers rewarding experiences such as smaller class sizes and opportunities to engage in educational research. The program also gives students the opportunity to participate in the many unique and rewarding offerings of the University of Utah's Honors College.

Students successfully completing the Honors Program will graduate from the university with a B.S. in Elementary Education with University and Department Honors.

Note: For students who are already part of the University Honors College, our Honors Program provides additional opportunities for you to complete your University Honors degree with classes and experiences in your major.


The departmental honors track provides access to small challenging courses and in-depth research experience, culminating in a year-long honors thesis project. Honors students may also take other classes offered through the Honors College and are eligible for Honors College scholarships and other events.

The Elementary Education honors thesis provides our students with the following opportunities:

  • Opportunity to investigate a topic of interest and importance in depth
  • Opportunity to work closely with a faculty member
  • Opportunity to show potential employers and admissions committees that you have a sustained commitment to a line of inquiry and a finished product to present
  • Opportunity to earn formal departmental honors in psychology on your transcript
  • Opportunities to present your work at university conferences and beyond




University of Utah Honors College           Urban Institute for Teacher Education


Elementary Honors FAQ

As soon as possible! Students must first apply to the University Honors College. Once you have been accepted, you will need to meet with the UITE Education Advisor and Honors advisor to ensure that you are meeting requirements and to help guide you through the process. The second phase of the application process is the honors thesis proposal with two application cycles each year (fall and spring). The Phase 2 application must be made by the end of March of the junior year. For those pursuing the Elementary Education degree and licensure, that is the March prior to beginning the licensure year.

An honors section has its own syllabus in addition to the syllabus for the regular class. An honors section will feature additional assignments and activities. There is an expectation that the quality of submitted work is considerably higher and will be graded accordingly.

Please contact the Assistant Dean, UITE Director and Elementary Education Honors Advisor Ms. Mary D. Burbank, mary.burbank@utah.edu to receive a permission code for any departmental honors elective class.

You will need to meet with advisor Aaron Reynolds, the Honors College Advisor first. He can assist you in getting started. You must apply to the Honors College to begin taking Honors coursework. You can contact Aaron at a.reynolds@honors.utah.edu or schedule an advising appointment here: https://honors.utah.edu/honors-academic-advisors/

To meet with the UITE Elementary Advisor to discuss the Elementary departmental track, please contact Ms. Mary Burbank at mary.burbank@utah.edu.

If you are interested in pursuing the Elementary Education degree and license, please contact Ms. Sara Hatch Southwick. You can contact Sara at sara.hatch@utah.edu or schedule an advising appointment here: UITE Academic Advising

The Elementary Honors Advisor, Ms. Mary Burbank, will answer questions to determine if the departmental honors track is right for you, potential research opportunities, advice about specific courses to consider to prepare you for research and graduate school, specific questions about the thesis proposal, and other questions that arise as you plan, conduct, and complete the honors thesis itself.

The Elementary Education Advisor, Ms. Sara Hatch Southwick, will answer questions regarding the Elementary Education Licensure program coursework, program, admissions to UITE programs and any general advising questions that you may have. She will help guide you through the UITE Licensure Application as it is different than the Honors Application.

The Honors College Advisor, Aaron Reynolds, can answer specific questions regarding the Honors program requirements, deadlines and can offer you information regarding Honors opportunities.

All three advisors work together to provide you with the information you need to succeed in Education.

Yes! There is a departmental Honors track available for Transfer students. Please contact Ms. Mary Burbank, the UITE Honors Advisor, for additional information. You can also see the Transfer Honors Tracking Sheet to see the courses that you need to enroll in to complete the Honors requirements.

If you intend to pursue your Elementary Education degree and licensure, yes you do. The UITE Licensure Programs application asks for different and more in depth information than the Honors Track or the Honors College application. For more information regarding the UITE Licensure Programs Application, please contact Ms. Sara Hatch Southwick, sara.hatch@utah.edu.

Departmental honors theses range from approximately 20 to 40 pages, including references, tables, and figures.

Completed honors theses from across campus are filed with the Marriott Library: Honors Theses

The thesis should follow the required formatting of the Honors College and also conform to APA style. Honors Thesis Example

Successful completion of a departmental honors thesis is excellent preparation for graduate or professional school. If you obtain licensure, an honors degree displays your desire for continuous education and improvement in your field. Regardless of your career plans, showing that you can complete a year-long project and produce a high-quality written product and poster presentation will be impressive to future employers and admissions committees.

Yes! The program is designed as a single structured program of study and research, which means that the Honors electives, honors writing course and honors thesis satisfy the requirements of the University Honors degree in Elementary Education. Please see the Honors College advisors or Ms. Mary Burbank, the UITE Honors Advisor, if you have other questions about specific requirements.

If you are interested in the program, please contact Mary D. Burbank, Assistant Dean and Director, College of Education

Elementary Education Honors Program Advisor
Mary D. Burbank