Three female students outside smiling

Two programs offer unique opportunities and benefits

Through the James Scholar Program and the Business Honors Program, high-potential students receive enhanced academic experiences and opportunities to build meaningful relationships with the College, the campus, and beyond. About 100 incoming freshmen are selected to be Gies Business James Scholars, and between 35 and 40 are invited to join the more selective Business Honors Program.

Who qualifies for Honors programs?

Every student is considered for Gies Honors programs through their freshman admission application. Students in the top 10% of freshmen admitted to Gies will be invited to apply.

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Additional Honors Designations

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List is prepared each semester to honor students whose GPA for that semester is in the top 20% of the College. In addition, students must complete at least 12 hours of coursework in which traditional letter grades are earned.

College Honors 

College Honors are awarded at graduation to graduates with a cumulative GPA and Illinois coursework of 3.50 for Honors, 3.75 for High Honors, and 3.90 for Highest Honors.

Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society

Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive through a business program accredited by AACSB International. Juniors in the top 7% of their class and seniors in the top 10% will be invited to apply for membership in this honor society.

Merit-Based Scholarships

All incoming freshmen are considered for merit-based scholarships from Gies Business through their admission application, and award winners will be notified by late March. There is no separate application for scholarships for incoming freshmen. Current students also have an opportunity to apply for merit-based scholarships once a year.

Bronze Tablet Honoree Distinction

The University of Illinois began the tradition of inscribing the Bronze Tablets with the names of students receiving University Honors in 1925. A new tablet is hung in the Main Library each year. Inscription on the Bronze Tablets recognizes sustained academic achievement and is exclusively for the top 3% of each college’s graduating class.

Campus Honors Program

The Campus Honors Program (CHP) provides an honors-quality way of satisfying general education requirements and helping students discover the interrelations between their own and other disciplines. Approximately 125 students are admitted to the CHP each year as first-year students. High-achieving students may apply for admission at the end of the first semester of their freshman year. Designated as “Chancellor’s Scholars,” students in the CHP may be enrolled in any undergraduate curriculum.

Louis Gordon

"The Gies Business Honors program continues to open doors for me every day. My favorite aspect of the program is the constant support we have from our advisors who help us to find our way and excel. Always knowing where to turn for questions, ideas, and suggestions helps me to get the most out of every day as a Gies student."

Louis Gordon, Finance '22

News and Events

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Gies announces strategic shift

Gies Business will focus its investments on its rapidly growing online iMBA, specialized master’s programs, undergraduate education, and lifelong learning.