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. 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.
Students may earn one of the following honors designations: full, upper division, or lower division honors. 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.
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.
Note: Students must have a "C" or better in HON 101, HON 102, HON 111 and HON 112 to earn credit for division I, foundations of communication.
For full honors, the honors program requires student's 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.
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 3.30 university grade point average. Further, students must achieve an overall 3.00 GPA for all HON and "H" courses to graduate in honors.
Honors Program Probationary Policy Guidelines