What is CHA?

The Commonwealth Honors Academy (CHA), is a program for excellent high school students who have completed their junior year.

Why Should I Attend CHA?

Once graduated from CHA, you will:

  • Receive six hours of university credit.
  • Receive an in-state full-tuition scholarship with a 3.5 cumulative high school GPA and a minimum 25 ACT Composite score. Those who do not meet this criteria will have the opportunity to receive the Academic Achievement scholarship for First-time Freshmen students.Learn more about Scholarships

* Online and/or class fees may still be charged

** Excludes Racer and Thoroughbred Academy classes.

CHA Students working on pottery at Murray Art Guild
CHA students can join community groups for fun activities and exciting experiences. One group got their hands dirty with a pottery modeling class at the Murray Art Guild.

CHA is a unique opportunity

The Academy is different from the average high school in its approach to living and learning in a community. CHA allows you to make friends with other students with a high intelligence. A diverse group of students is one of the most valuable aspects of the academy.


There is no cost to you other than personal items, snacks, optional expenses, and a $250 tuition fee. Fee waived for those of you receiving free or reduced student lunch, or ACT Fee Waiver.


All students applying for the Commonwealth Honors Academy should have a 3.5 GPA (on a 4-point scale) and 25 Composite ACT (or the equivalent PSAT, SAT or another standardized test score). High school juniors throughout Kentucky as well as the Murray State University out-of-state service region* are invited to apply.

* The Out-of-State Service Region includes the following state's counties:
Tennessee: Henry, Montgomery, Obion, Stewart, and Weakley Counties
Illinois: Massac County
Indiana: Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick Counties


Interdisciplinary Humanities & Fine Arts Course

All students enroll in an interdisciplinary humanities fine arts course. This course develops the Academy's theme, taking material from the traditional humanities (e.g., history, literature, philosophy) and the Fine and Performing Arts (e.g., music, visual arts, theatre).

Elective Course

Each Academy student will enroll in an elective course. Subjects taught will depend on the faculty members hired. Students selected will have a chance to choose their preferred elective from the available electives. The Academy will attempt to match students with their top preferences. Each elective course will address the theme of the CHA from its own perspective.


Each student will take part in a meeting focused on issues of both society and its citizens. In groups, students will discuss topics such as communication, family, peer relationships, and choosing a university. Students will also talk about citizen's duties. At the end students will create a connection between the program's theme and their lives.

Academy Reunion

A CHA reunion will take place the following September. Students will to return to Murray State campus to see friends and discuss the academy. Students will receive certificates of achievement during a ceremony honoring Academy graduates. Parents are welcome to the reunion. Parents will be able to ask questions and receive information about college life.