1. K-State home
  2. »College of Agriculture
  3. »Academics
  4. »Honors and Scholars

College of Agriculture

Honors and Scholars Programs

University Honors and College of Agriculture Scholars programs enable capable students to develop new skills and stimulate a desire for continual learning. The programs recognize outstanding scholastic achievement, foster sustained interest in advanced education and research and promote social interaction and campus leadership. Graduates are well prepared for professional and graduate schools or a career.

What are the eligibility requirements for the Honors and Scholars programs?


University Honors Program - 

To be admitted to the University Honors Program students must have a high school (weighted or unweighted) GPA of 3.75 and an ACT score of 28 or above. Qualified students must submit an application form with an accompanying essay or project and turn in one letter of support from an individual who is familiar with the student’s record. Students with notable extracurricular experience and/or leadership activities who do not achieve the GPA and ACT requirements are encouraged to apply.

Check out the university honors program.

Agriculture Scholars Program - 

New freshmen agriculture students with a 28 ACT (or equivalent SAT) or in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class are invited to join the Ag Scholars program. New transfer students with a 3.5 GPA on 24 hours or more and continuing students with a 3.5 or above are invited to join the Ag Scholars program.

What are the course requirements for the University Honors Program?


Learn more about the requirements needed to participate in the University Honors Program.

Note: To complete the honors program, a student must complete a total of 14-15 credits and may not use any course to count toward both the university and college requirement sections.

What are the course requirements for the College of Agriculture Scholars Program?


To graduate as a College of Agriculture scholar, students must have a cumulative K-State GPA of 3.4 or higher and complete the following four credits:

  • GENAG 000: Ag Scholars Program (each semester) (0)

  • GENAG 396: Research Topic and Proposal Development (2)

  • GENAG 515: Scholars Project: Written and oral report required upon completion of research or creative project. Project must be approved by college advisory committee and supervised by a faculty member. (2)

  • In addition to the GENAG courses, students are expected to complete at least one three-credit course numbered 600 or above in their curriculum.
What are some of the benefits of completing the Scholars program?


Benefits of participation include the chance to explore a career area by working closely with a faculty member on an honors project and completion of upper-level courses. Students may present their research at professional meetings and publish the final paper in a student or professional research journal. Participants are recognized at the College of Agriculture awards ceremony and commencement, and the distinction is noted on the K-State diploma and transcript.

How do I apply for the Scholars Program?


Applications must be typewritten on the electronic forms provided below. Submit applications electronically to Dr. Shannon Washburn. An original signed hard copy must also be submitted in Waters 117. Applications must not exceed five pages in length.

Complete the Scholars Program Application available here in Word or PDF format.

In the objective section, state clearly the objectives and the goals of the project.

For the project description provide a brief (one or two paragraph) description of the proposed project. Make sure that the objectives are clear and that you provide an adequate description of the methods that will be employed (e.g., a survey will be developed and distributed to... or, an experiment will be conducted with the following treatments ...). One of the major reasons that projects are turned down is that the committee cannot figure out what will be done with the information that is provided on the application. Since members of the committee have varied backgrounds, proposals should be written without using the "jargon" of a particular field of study.

In the budget section the student may request up to $500 to help with the costs of the project. The award may be used for the purchase of equipment, software, supplies, travel, copying costs, mailing costs, etc. Unfortunately, due to potential complications for student financial aid, students may not request funds for their own salary. Any such requests will be deducted from the award. If funding has been requested a justification for the use of the funds must be provided in the budget justification section. Be as specific as possible.

Indicate whether the applicant has received previous Honors Project Awards. If so, provide date, title, and amount. List any other collegiate honors or awards.

Submit the completed application to the Honors Advisory Committee, as described above.

The Honors Advisory Committee recommends approval for the Honors Projects and the Honors Award separately. Due to limited funds or award requests that are not approved by the committee, you may receive approval for an Honors Project but not receive funding for the project. The maximum amount of the award will be $500 per semester. Students may request additional funds by submitting additional applications in subsequent semesters, but only one application will be considered per student per semester.

What is the purpose of the research/creative project? 


The core of the College of Agriculture Scholars Program and the University Honors Program is the scholarly activity. On advice from faculty mentors, students propose, prepare, and conduct an research/creative project of their choice. The intent of this activity is to provide a creative academic experience relevant to the land-grant missions of research, extension or instruction. The project is typically completed during the junior or senior year. Supporting programs and courses taken during the freshman and sophomore years help toward the development and completion of a successful research/creative project.

How do I go about submitting a project proposal?


When invited, students wishing to complete the College of Agriculture Scholars Program need to submit an honors project proposal to the College of Agriculture Honors Committee, the deadlines for submitting applications are typically in October and March.

For more information contact: 
Dr. Shannon Washburn
Ag Academic Programs
117 Waters Hall

Are there scholarships available to help fund my project?


Scholarships are available for honors project expenses for selected participants in the College of Agriculture.

Contact Dr. Shannon Washburn if you have questions. 

Are there guidelines for my presentation or project report? 


Presentation Guidelines

Honors and Scholars students who have completed their research/creative projects need to enroll in GENAG 515 (Honors/Scholars Project) for 2 credit hours. The grading option for this course is CR/NC. GENAG 515 must be completed for the student to receive formal recognition for their participation in the University Honors or Ag Scholars Program. Students do not need to wait for their final semester to enroll in GENAG 515, they may do so as soon as their project is completed or nearly completed. 

The chair of the Honors Advisory Committee serves as the instructor for GENAG 515. The course does not have regularly scheduled meetings and there are only two requirements that must be met to receive credit: completion of the Project Presentation and the Project Report. Early in the semester you are enrolled in GENAG 515 you will receive a letter from the instructor acknowledging your enrollment and directing you to this website for further instructions. 

The instructor will determine the location of the presentations and set the date and time of the presentations based on the course schedules of the enrolled students. Depending on the number of students enrolled one or two sessions may be required for all students to give their presentations. Students will receive a letter notifying them of this information during the middle of the semester. The presentations are open to all individuals. Invitation letters are sent to project advisors, academic advisors, and various administrators in the College of Agriculture and flyers announcing the presentations are posted. 

After the student has completed their Project, they should work with their project advisor in developing their presentation. In general, the presentations should follow a format that would be used for the presentation of a paper at a professional meeting. Total length of the presentation should be 15 minutes followed by approximately 5 minutes of questions. The use of audio-visual aids is strongly encouraged. The presentations are given in a conference room setting with approximately 20 people in attendance. 

Project Reports 

In addition to the presentation, students enrolled in GENAG 515 are required to turn in two bound copies and one electronic copy of a written report the day of their presentation. The basic format of the report should contain an abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results and discussion, and conclusions. Data should be presented in tables and figures. Ideally, the report should be written in a style suitable for publication in a refereed journal in an appropriate field. Note that merely providing a copy of the audio-visual aids does not constitute an acceptable report. The report should be of sufficient quality so that a reasonably competent person could read the report, be able to repeat the experiment, and fully understand the data and your interpretation of the data. 

One copy of the report is stored in the College of Agriculture Academic Programs Office and the chair of the Honors Advisory Committee keeps the other. 

Special Notes 

Sometime projects or experiments do not work out as intended or simply do not work at all. Failure of a project does not mean that you cannot complete the requirements for the Honors or Scholars Program. If a student has made an honest effort to complete the project but things didn’t work out they may still enroll in GENAG 515 and obtain the full benefits of the Program. The presentation and the report should reflect the efforts and the results of those efforts and suggest the causes and possible remedies for the problems that were encountered. Often times the discussions generated by these situations are a valuable learning experience for the student.

Contact Dr. Shannon Washburn if you have questions. 

Who are the faculty members that serve on the Honors Program Advisory Committee? 


Andrew BarkleyAgricultural Economics
Cassie JonesAnimal Sciences and Industry
Doohong MinAgronomy
Lauri Baker Agriculture Communications
Jeremy MarshallEntomology
Chad Miller Horticulture and Natural Resourcs
Yonghui LiGrain Science and Industry
Gaea HockAgricultural Education
Richard ToddPlant Pathology