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MSU Academic Honors Program provides students with extraordinary learning opportunities

Gabe O'Hara PictureAs an institution, Morehead State University is nationally ranked as a top 20 university due to its emphasis on the academic experience and unique learning opportunities. One of the places where these qualities are most evident is the experience academically exceptional students get both in and out of the classroom through the George M. Luckey Jr. Academic Honors Program.  

Students accepted into the Academic Honors Program receive the Honors Scholarship, which covers tuition, housing and a one-time study abroad experience.  

"The scholarship covers tuition and housing so that the students can focus on their studies and not worry about having to take on a job for the sole purpose of paying their way through," said Skyler Cantrell (18), program specialist with the Academic Honors Program. "The number of students in the program remains relatively small (about 20 per graduating class), and that is by design to ensure that each one is given the attention to successfully transition to college life and flourish."  

The program's curriculum challenges these students' academic capabilities while providing opportunities to accelerate and broaden their personal development. This is done through more participation-based classes, undergraduate research and international experiences.    

"I think that their experiences in the program open their eyes to a much larger world and the time they spend in the program around other exceptional students helps them socialize in a way that gives them the networking skills necessary to succeed after graduation," Cantrell said.  

Gabe O'Hara, a senior biomedical sciences major/pre-med major from Georgetown, Ohio, said during his time in the Academic Honors Program, he has served on the program's student executive board in multiple leadership positions, including as president for the past two years. He has also spent three weeks backpacking across Europe with other honors students and another four-week stint in a small town in Uganda, Africa, volunteering and shadowing at a local hospital. This is all in addition to the program's undergraduate research requirement, which led to him presenting at an honors conference in Louisville.  

"The opportunities presented by the program are near limitless," O'Hara said. "and the connections you develop through these experiences are long-lasting and significant."  

Dr. Philip Krummrich, director of the Academic Honors Program, said that O'Hara's experiences are what the program is all about.  

"There's a lot more to learning than getting 'A's,' We're more interested in learning experiences than specific classes," Krummrich said. "Our goal is to create an environment in which they can thrive."  

MSU's Academic Honors Program is currently accepting applications this fall for the 2021-22 academic year. For more information, visit, email or call 606-783-2205. 

Photo: Gabe O’Hara is a senior biomedical sciences major/pre-med major in the George M. Luckey Jr. Academic Honors Program.