Collat Business Honors Program


A selective honors program offered through the Collat School of Business provides an honors-level academic experience and enhanced credentials to students seeking top positions in business and related fields after graduation.

The focus of the Collat Business Honors Program is leadership.  The program allows students to explore their potential roles as leaders at all levels of an organization, from CEO to project team leader, and at all stages of the students’ future careers.  The program also invites students to consider less direct aspects of leadership, such as thought leadership within an organization or industry and the attributes of good “followership.”

The Honors Program goes beyond traditional business school coursework to teach leadership.  An effective leader must not only possess financial and strategic skills, but also must understand how his or her own traits, characteristics and behavior influence others in the organization.

Courses taken by students in the Honors Program provide opportunities for involvement in class discussions and exposure to the relevant literature and practice in leadership and in business communications, beyond that which is possible in most other course offerings.  The program offers a shared learning experience which simulates real-world working and learning environments.  It is these characteristics that distinguish the honors experience, not necessarily a greater quantity or more difficult level of work.

The Honors Program provides outstanding career development advantages and opportunities for students interested in accounting, banking, business law, entrepreneurship, finance, general management, graduate study, international business, investment management, and marketing. 

In recent years, CEOs and senior executives from prominent organizations have traveled to our campus to meet with Honors Program students as part of a required course on strategic leadership. These CEOs and senior executives have represented the following organizations:

• Buffalo Rock   • Coca-Colat Bottling United   •Encompass Health   •Hibbett Sports   •Mayer Electric Supply Co.   •Medical Properties Trust, Inc.   •Protective Life Corp.   •ServisFirst Bank   •Vulcan Materials  


The Program consists of a three-course sequence focusing on leadership, corporate strategy, and business ethics:

Junior Year Spring Semester
BUS 300 Introduction to Leadership Seminar
What makes for success as a researcher and business leader

Senior Year Fall Semester
BUS 496  Business Honors Seminar II
Preparation and presentation of a final research project selected by the student, advised by a faculty member

Senior Year Spring Semester
BUS 495 Business Honors Seminar I 
The role of leaders in setting corporate strategy

The curriculum offers the advantages of seminar-based learning within a large university, including increased interaction with faculty members dedicated to teaching and providing valuable academic and career guidance. The courses utilize a discussion-driven style centering on case analysis, real-world business experiences and examples, and students’ own insights and perspectives. Through a mentored program format, participants develop the high-level communication, analysis, writing, presentation and research skills exhibited by successful business leaders.

As part of the three-course sequence, students prepare a research project selected by the student and completed in the senior year, fall semester. Students are required to participate in the UAB Undergraduate Research Expo.  Upon completing the program, students who are majors in a School of Business discipline receive the special designation of graduating from UAB “With Honors in Business” or “With Honors in Economics.”


Participation is by invitation and/or application. Students wishing to be considered must either declare a major or minor in the Collat School of Business or otherwise have demonstrated a commitment to a business education, and meet the following preferred eligibility requirements: 

3.5 GPA in Pre-Business and Business Courses, and

3.0 GPA Overall

For students not meetings these requirements, their applications will be considered on an individual basis. 

Application Deadline

Students meeting the above requirements should complete and submit an application by November 1st of their junior years (students graduating other than immediately following a Spring semester should contact the Program Director about eligibility). 
Download application


Students receive a $500 scholarship, provided by the generous endowment gift of the Collat family, for each course in the program that is successfully completed.


Barbara Wech 
Barbara Wech, Ph.D.
Director, Collat Business Honors Program
Associate Professor