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Phone:  906-227-2344
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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 many of the general education program 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.

The Academic Program

Honors Program Designations

Students may earn one of the following Honors designations: Lower Division, Lower Division with World Language Studies, Upper Division, Upper Division with World Language Studies, Full, and Full with World Language Studies. 

For any Honors designation, students must also demonstrate proficiency in mathematics (at least pre-calculus) and at least one language course other than English. Math Proficiency can be demonstrated by advanced placement (AP) credit, course work, or appropriate examination. For the language course, AP language credit or a language course taken at another university that is listed on a student’s transcript can fulfill this requirement. Otherwise, the student must take a language course (other than English) at NMU.  

Honors Core Courses (HON)

Students successfully completing HON 101 (4 credits) and 201 (4 credits) will fulfill completely the “Perspectives on Society” component of NMU’s General Education program. Students successfully completing HON 111 (4 credits) will completely fulfill the “Human Expression” component of NMU’s General Education requirement. Students completing both these courses, HON 101 and HON 111, will completely fulfill NMU’s Written English Competency requirement. Additionally, students who complete HON 211 (4 credits) will fulfill completely the “Integrative Thinking” component of NMU’s General Education requirement (see the “Course Descriptions” section of the Bulletin). Optional upper division courses HON 301 (4 credits) and HON 302 (4 credits) each fulfill completely the “Social Responsibility in a Diverse World” component of NMU’s General Education requirement as well as the World Cultures requirement. Note: Students must have a "C" or better in HON 101 and HON 111 to fulfill NMU’s Written English Competency requirement.

Contract Courses

These courses may be used to support the Honors Program student’s major, minor or General Education 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 second Friday 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 may present a research, performance, or exhibition project in cooperation with faculty supervision. The student will enroll 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 NMU Celebration of Student Scholarship event each spring.


The Honors Program encourages students to learn world languages and also encourages them to volunteer and study abroad. The Honors Program works with academic departments to create special study abroad opportunities and the National Collegiate Honors Council organizes programs 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; one letter of recommendation from a high school teachers, counselors, or and principal; and a written personal statement. Currently enrolled and transfer students with demonstrated academic ability may also join the Honors Program. Submission of standardized test scores is optional. 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.


The Honors Program currently offers two scholarships exclusively to incoming students accepted into our program: The Mary L. Campbell Scholarship and the John and Shirley Berry Annual Scholarship. Application details are on the Honors Program website.


Bulletin Year: 2023 - 2024 Undergraduate Bulletin