Better Because of Illinois
  • PwC xACT National Case Competition Champions: 2008, 2009, 2010
  • 90% of students who begin in the College of Business will graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (highest on-campus)
  • #3 preferred institution for recruiters Wall Street Journal

About Us


"I have never been surrounded by such a hardworking, professional, diverse, and talented group of people like those in Business Honors Program. Each of them has left a significant mark on the College and the University." - Dan Korenchan, Class of 2015

Learning to develop and nurture a diverse network of colleagues upon whom you can rely for advice, support, and encouragement throughout your business career is an essential leadership skill. The Honors Program in the College of Business fosters this skill and develops high-potential students into strong business leaders who not only excel intellectually, but also understand that with success comes responsibility to serve their communities, their alma mater, and each other. The program strives to challenge tomorrow's business leaders to redefine leadership as helping those around them and to view networking as creating relationships without any expectation of return. Honors students leave a legacy in their diverse endeavors- leading the way with energy, optimism, and enthusiasm. By doing so, the Business Honors Program benefits all undergraduates, and not just the students in the honors cohort.

Our mission is Leadership Through Service.

In November 2012, we held the first annual Business Honors Conference, which combines TedTalk style presentations with a whole-program reception that allows students to share the diversity of their experiences. The Honors Program at the College of Business of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a one-of-a-kind leadership program with the mission to make the College of Business, and the world, a better place. The Conference was sponsored by Illinois Business Consulting, and the keynote speaker for the night was Denise Jovanovich of State Farm.

Here is a montage of the conference itself:

Program Components

The Honors Program provides significant experiences for the Honors Program students and expects the students to make the College of Business a better place by using the skills learned from those experiences to be undergraduate leaders of the college. Most of the activities for the honors cohort will be concentrated in the students' freshman and sophomore years. Juniors and seniors in the Honors Program will participate in leadership teams that will work with faculty and administrators of the College of Business and the University of Illinois to encourage broader participation in programs that better prepare students for their professional futures. The framework of the Honors Program for juniors and seniors also recognizes the commitment to major studies that is required of these students.

Advantages of membership in the Honors Program include:

    • A 4-year, renewable merit scholarship.
    • A seminar series, "Conversation with Leaders," with national and international business leaders.
    • A mentorship program based on the idea of "mentoring chain reaction" to teach students to rely on each other for support and council and begin to develop a life-long network of business contacts.
    • Representing the College of Business as a Business Student Ambassador.
    • Weekly honors course for freshmen and sophomore students taught by College of Business Deans featuring hands-on leadership development projects.
    • An international experience, largely funded by the College of Business, at the end of the freshman year. Students are expected to pay $1,000 of the nearly $4,000 cost. Financial aid is available for students with significant demonstrated need. In 2014, the students will be visiting Singapore and Thailand.
    • Opportunities to directly shape the direction of the Honors Program by serving on the Business Honors Student Board and various task forces.
    • Unparalleled access to a growing network of Honors alumni at annual Honors Conference
    • A job shadow program during winter break of freshman year.
    • Social activities for honors students.
    • The Assistant Dean for Honors serves as a leadership development advisor for honors students.

The Honors Cohort

The heart of the Honors Program is the group of students selected to be College of Business Honors Program students. The 35 Honors students who make up each year's cohort will be selected based on multiple criteria. In addition to academic achievement, candidates will be evaluated on their leadership skills, community service activities, extracurricular impact, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. Those students will work with the Assistant Dean for Honors, faculty, staff, and fellow students to develop the leadership skills that will be used to encourage all business undergraduates to take advantage of the resources of the College of Business to prepare for professional careers.

Here are 15 Honors members and their stories from the Fall 2012 Honors Conference:

Since the founding of the Business Honors Program in 2004, we have had numerous opportunities, including meeting Warren Buffett, as pictured below

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding the Honors Program, then please email the Assistant Dean for Honors, Rich Johnson.