The College of ACES James Scholar Honors Program has been opening doors of opportunity and windows of insight for its students for over six decades.

Benefits of the ACES James Scholar Program include:

  • Priority registration (starting in the first semester of James Scholar enrollment).
  • Qualify to apply for living in the Honors Living Learning Community.
  • Unique opportunities to earn honors credit, including ACES 396: Honors Study Abroad Retrospective.
  • Scholarships for study abroad and the Capstone Experiential Learning Project.
  • The opportunity to present the results of your Capstone Experiential Learning Project as a poster display during the ACES Undergraduate Research Day on April 12, 2024; at the campuswide Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 25, 2024; in a departmental meeting/seminar; or at a professional/scientific conference.
  • Access to a specially designated Honors Advisor in your major department. Among other things, the Honors Advisor provides James Scholars with guidance in preparing the Honors Completion Plan and with exploring options for the Capstone Experiential Learning Project.
  • Graduation with James Scholar Distinction from the College of ACES (with a commemorative certificate, an honor cord, bronze medallion, and notation on your final transcript)

Responsibilities of belonging to the ACES James Scholar program include:

  • Maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.40 (3.50 for scholars majoring in Agricultural & Biological Engineering).
  • Adhere to academic integrity standards in the Student Code of Conduct (text available here).
  • Be enrolled full-time unless otherwise approved by the College of ACES.
  • Successfully complete four courses with honors credit before you graduate (one per year).
  • Prepare an Honors Completion Plan (academic roadmap) at the start of your junior year (due by October 27, 2023).

Director of ACES James Scholars

Dr. Jason Emmert

Dr. Jason Emmert

Jason is a professor in Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He spent 11 years at the University of Arkansas as a professor in Poultry Science, before returning to the University of Illinois in 2008 to work in the areas of student recruitment and scholarships in the College of ACES Office of Academic Programs. In 2017 Jason joined the Animal Sciences faculty and currently teaches the introductory course taken by all new freshmen in the college (ACES 101), an advanced composition course which enrolls nearly 500 students per year (ANSC 205). He also assists with an animal handling course (ANSC 103), and conducts nutrition research with poultry.


If you’re interested in learning more about the ACES James Scholar Program, please email aces-jshp@illinois.edu.