Honors College entrance

History of the Honors College

In the early 1980s, leaders at UNLV realized Nevada’s lack of offerings for top-performing students and planted the seeds of what would become the thriving Honors College of today. Founding Dean, Len Zane, launched the “Honors Program” in fall 1985 with an inaugural class of 38 students. The program offered 12 specially designed honors courses during that first academic year, with the original curriculum more heavily focused math and science courses.

During its first 25 years, the range and scope of Honors at UNLV gradually expanded in size and scope. In 1996, as UNLV undertook a reorganization of its academic units, the Honors Program officially became the Honors College. The growing program that was originally housed in one room of the Dickinson Library would be relocated to the third floor of Lied Library in 2001 with upgraded student facilities and staff accommodations.

In 2012, guided by its Top Tier vision for enhancing student achievement, the university began directing more resources to Honors College. Under the leadership of Marta Meana, the college would see its most dramatic growth in both student population and Honors faculty/staff. The college’s incoming class size would quadruple in just four years, from 62 students in 2012 to 272 students in 2015.

To accommodate this growth, the Honors College relocated to the renovated Roger’s Literature and Law Building in 2015. Class offerings, academic advising, and additional student programs would also expand to serve the growing student community.

Now, with a thriving community of more than 1,200 students, the college is poised to become one of the premier academic programs in the country.