Address: 401 Cohodas Hall
Web Address: www.nmu.edu/honors
Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies, Continuing Education and Research: Cynthia Prosen
Honors at NMU
The honors program provides academically talented students with a four-year series of interdisciplinary and department-based courses designed to complement the student’s undergraduate degree, regardless of major field. The honors program is not an academic major itself, but substitutes specially-designed courses for most of the liberal studies and university-wide graduation requirements while providing unique learning experiences. Graduates who complete four years in the honors program will have the full honors designation printed on their official university transcripts. Those who join the program as non-freshmen will have the appropriate upper division honors designation printed on their transcripts. Northern’s Honors Program offers small class sizes that enhance individual attention. Participants also have the opportunity to engage in independent and collaborative research with NMU faculty members.
Mary L. Campbell Endowment
The Mary L. Campbell Scholarship is awarded to students with high academic ability and need. First-year students who apply to the honors program by March 1 will be given first priority. Awards are $1,000 annually, and students may renew the award for four years. The number of scholarships will vary with the earnings of the endowment fund.
The Academic Program
Full, upper, and lower division honors may be earned. For full honors, students earn liberal studies credit by completing interdisciplinary HON core courses usually in the first and second years. In the third and fourth years, students complete 12 credits of HON or "H" contract courses, which count toward liberal studies, major, and/or minor requirements, depending on the student’s curriculum. In the fourth year, honors program students enroll in a capstone senior experience, completing a research project of independent design. In addition, students must demonstrate proficiency in mathematics (at least pre-calculus) and a foreign language (at least at the 202 level). Proficiency can be demonstrated by advanced placement (AP) credit, course work, or appropriate examination. Depending on the student’s program, credit earned in mathematics and languages may count toward liberal studies requirements in foundations of natural sciences/mathematics and formal communication studies, respectively. Students may complete the second two years for upper division honors. Students doing so complete the honors program courses in the upper division, demonstrate either mathematics or language proficiency and complete the senior capstone. Students may complete the first two years for lower division honors. Students doing so complete the honors program courses in the lower division and demonstrate either mathematics or language proficiency.
Honors Core Courses (HON)
Students successfully completing all four first-year core courses will earn required liberal studies credit in foundations of communication, foundations of humanities and foundations of visual and performing arts. Although only one course is required, those successfully completing both of the 200-level courses will earn four credits each of the required liberal studies credits in foundations of social sciences and foundations of natural sciences/mathematics (see the “Course Descriptions” section of this bulletin). Students who have earned advanced placement or college credit from dual enrollment in composition earn additional credit in humanities in the first-semester core courses.
Contract Courses ("H" Courses)
These courses may be used to support the honors program student’s major, minor or liberal studies requirements, but may not overlap with other honors program course requirements. Full and upper division honors students should complete 12 credits in upper level HON courses and honors contract courses. Either PY 100H Honors Psychology as a Natural Science and SO 101H Introductory Sociology Honors may be substituted for 4 credits in this group. By agreement between academic departments and the honors program, qualified honors program students may enroll in existing 300-level or higher undergraduate department courses for honors program contract course credit. Prerequisites for selected courses must be met before enrollment. No later than the end of the first week of the semester, the student must complete an honors program course contract in which different or additional course work is specified after consultation with the instructor. Readings along with field, lab or studio work, and a paper, presentation or performance will be described in the contract. Students are encouraged to contact the professor during the preceding semester to ensure that the contract will be available. To earn credit towards the honors program, the student must earn at least a "B" in contract courses.
Senior Capstone Experience
In their last year of study, honors program students enroll in a senior capstone experience in which they design, develop and present a research, performance or exhibition project in cooperation with faculty supervision.The student will co-enroll in HON 001.
Conferences, Presentations, Publications
The honors program facilitates and encourages travel to state, regional and national honors conferences for those who are presenting. It also encourages students to present their work at the local level through the HSO forum each semester, or through independent venues.
For full honors, the honors program requires student to learn foreign languages and also encourages them to volunteer and study abroad. The honors program works with academic departments to create special study abroad opportunities and our national council organizes semesters abroad for honors students nationwide.
Admission, Retention and Graduation Policies
Qualifications for first-year student admission to the honors program normally include a 3.50 high school grade point average; a score of 27 or higher on the ACT (or 1210 SAT combined score); two letters of recommendation from high school teachers, counselors, and principal; and a written personal statement. Currently enrolled and transfer students with demonstrated academic ability may also join the honors program. In this highly competitive program, the university retains the right to exercise judgment regarding the eligibility of the applicants. To graduate in the honors program, students must achieve a 3.00 university grade point average.
Each honors program student will be advised by both a major department adviser and an honors program adviser. Honors program students will also receive counseling for advanced degree work and professional employment.