Contact Information

Address:  401 Cohodas Hall
Phone:  906-227-2344
Fax:  906-227-2108
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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. 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.

John and Shirley Berry Annual Award

The John and Shirley Berry Annual Scholarship is awarded to incoming freshmen who have demonstrated high academic ability and achievement. Applications for the Berry Award are due March 15. Preference will be given to students with plans to pursue a major in the College of Business, followed by students with plans to pursue a major in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM), followed by students with plans to major in all other fields. Recipients, who must remain members in good standing of the NMU Honors Program, receive $5000 per academic year, renewable for four years.

The Academic Program

Honors Program Designations

Students may earn one of the following honors designations: full with world language studies, full, upper division, or lower division honors. For full honors, students earn liberal studies credit by completing 12 credits of HON core courses in the first and second years. In the third and fourth years, students complete 12 credits of 300 to 400 level electives or 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 experience, completing a research project of independent design within their majors. In addition, students must demonstrate proficiency in mathematics (at least pre-calculus) and at least one world language course. Proficiency can be demonstrated by advanced placement (AP) credit, course work, or appropriate examination. Students may complete the requirements for full honors with world language studies by meeting the requirements for full honors in addition to completing a language through the 202 level. Students who place out of the 202 level are required to take at least 4 credits of course work taught in a language other than English at NMU to receive this designation. Students may complete only the second two years of the honors cirruculum for upper division honors. Students doing so complete the honors program courses in the upper division, demonstrate mathematics proficiency and complete the capstone experience. Students may only complete the first two years of the honors curriculum for lower division honors. Students doing so complete the Honors Program courses in the lower division and demonstrate mathematics proficiency.

Honors Core Courses (HON)

Students successfully completing HON 101 and 201 will earn required liberal studies credit in foundations of humanities; completing either HON 111 or either HON 112 will meet the foundations of visual and performing arts requirement. Students completing HON 101 and HON 111 or HON 112 will meet the EN211 requirement in the Foundation of Communications division. Completing HON 211 will earn four of the required liberal studies credits in foundations of social sciences (see the “Course Descriptions” section of this bulletin). HON 301 meets the world cultures requirement for liberal studies in the foundations of humanities section; while HON 302 meets the world cultures requirement for liberal studies in the foundations of social sciences division.

Note: Students must have a "C" or better in HON 101 and HON 111 or HON 112 to earn credit for division I, foundations of communication.

Contract 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. 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.

Capstone Experience

In their last year of study, Honors Program students enroll in a 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 and either HON 498 or a 400 level research course in the student's academic department.

Conferences, Presentations, Publications

The Honors Program encourages and facilitates 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.


The Honors Program encourages students 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 3.30 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

  1. A student is on probation as soon as the cumulative NMU GPA is below 3.30.
    1. Once a cumulative NMU GPA of 3.30 has been established, the student is in good standing without prejudice.
  2. First semester immediately following a decrease in the cumulative NMU GPA below 3.30:
    1. Student is placed on probation.
    2. Student must earn a minimum semester GPA of 3.00.
    3. Student must meet with the Honors Program director to discuss specific plans to improve academic performance.
    4. If the student achieves a semester GPA of 3.00, student will continue to meet each semester with the Honors Program director until cumulative NMU GPA is 3.30 or higher.
  3. Second semester where cumulative NMU GPA is below 3.30 and last semester was below 3.00:
    1. Student must meet with the Honors Program director to discuss specific plans to improve academic performance.
    2. Student is not eligible for Honors funding, including Mary L. Campbell scholarships, leadership funds, and conference support without a specific exemption from the Honors Director.
  4. Third semester where cumulative NMU GPA is below 3.30 and last semester GPA was below 3.00:
    1. Student is expelled from the Honors Program and can only be readmitted following normal procedures for non-in-coming freshman admissions.
  5. Failure to meet any of the above standards results in expulsion from the Honors Program.


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.


Bulletin Year: 2021 - 2022 Undergraduate Bulletin