Commonwealth Honors Academy

Learn. Have Fun. Earn College Credit.

The Commonwealth Honors Academy is a three-week academic enrichment experience held every June on Murray State University’s main campus in Murray, KY. You’ll live on campus while you take college-level honors classes and participate in fun activities and seminars to help you grow personally and socially.

Aside from academics, CHA gives you the opportunity to make friends with intelligent, enthusiastic, and energetic students from different areas and with different backgrounds.

Who can go to CHA?

You’re eligible to attend the Commonwealth Honors Academy if you meet the basic requirements.

  • are or will be at least 16 years old
  • be a current high school junior
  • have a 3.5 or higher GPA
  • have a 25 Composite ACT (or the equivalent)
  • and you are eager to grow - academically and personally.

Why should I attend CHA?

You’ll earn 6 hours of college credits and a 4-year full tuition scholarship to Murray State University, provided certain qualifications are maintained.

And, you’ll get a taste of what life will be like when you are a college student. You’ll live in a residence hall with a roommate, get food from campus dining locations, and learn how to navigate campus just like a regular Murray State student.

You’ll be introduced to what it’s like to take honors courses at the college level. It’ll be up to you to complete homework and manage your time wisely.

Learn more about CHA

Want to learn more about the Commonwealth Honors Society? Learn more at our Zoom Informational Session.

Watch the session recordings -  Session 1 | Session 2

What does it cost?

  • $250 Tuition processing fee
  • Money for personal articles, snacks, and incidental expenses
  • There is no fee for the program

Note: The tuition processing fee may be waived for students receiving free or reduced student lunch, or ACT Fee Waiver.


CHA and GSP are similar summer programs from exceptional students, but there are some key differences.

For outstanding high school juniors
Students live on campus
Helps you qualify for college scholarships
For students in Kentucky and out of state
Earn College Credits
Reunion in the fall


You'll take two 3-credit hour courses. If you complete the courses, you’ll earn 6 hours of college credit toward your degree at Murray State. College credits can also be transferred to other institutions.

Courses offered will fulfill seminar courses in the Honors Program Curriculum. Which courses are offered at the academy will depend on the faculty hired to teach in that year.

View the 2024 Courses

You will be given a chance to select your preferences for the available courses. We’ll do our best to match you with your top choice, but there is a limited number of spots available for each course. Course credit is transferable to other universities. Both courses will be graded using a standard collegiate grading system: A = 90-100%, B = 80-89%, C = 70-79%, etc. Please note, you must pass the courses to earn credit hours.


In addition to your courses, you’ll participate in a seminar focused on issues of personal and social development. Through small group discussions, you’ll explore topics such as interpersonal communication, family and peer relationships, choosing a university, and civic responsibility. .

Students participating in CHA talent showStudents and faculty enjoying the incredible CHA talent show.


There are a ton of different activities throughout the program. Movies, games, talent shows, tie-dye, guest speakers, karaoke… You never know what you’ll get to see and do at CHA!


You’ll spend three weeks living in a residence hall (dorm) on Murray State’s campus. Floors are divided into wings and each wing is assigned a residential counselor to lead and support you. You’ll have 14-20 neighbors in your wing. Residential counselors are outstanding college men and women who provide leadership, friendship, and encouragement.

Each floor is reserved for a single gender and visiting the floor of the opposite gender isn’t permitted, but the first-floor lobby is a great space where everyone can come together. You’ll also have a curfew when you must be in the building and on your floor.


The CHA reunion takes place in September. We’ll invite you back to Murray State’s campus for a ceremony where you and other graduates will be honored with a certificate of achievement. The reunion will also give you a chance to connect with friends you made over the summer and evaluate your time at CHA. Parents will also have the opportunity to evaluate the program and learn more about the college application process.