Apr 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Honors Program

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About the Program

The Honors Program brings students and faculty together in a community committed to inquiry and discussion. It is designed for students in any major who are highly motivated and intellectually curious. The program offers a series of interdisciplinary seminars capped at 12 students. The seminars support student independent research and experiential learning. Honors courses are open to students who are not in the Honors Program on a space available basis.

The Program bases our academic and extracurricular activities around Six Program Goals: Thinking, Scholarly Inquiry, Writing, Speaking, Perspective, and Civic Engagement. Honors contributes to the public good by preparing undergraduate students to become conscientious and productive members of their communities, to engage in lifelong learning, to enhance their sensitivity to cultural diversity, to behave ethically, and take responsibility for their actions. Furthermore, Honors is also committed to the creation of new knowledge through a sustained program of basic and applied undergraduate research.

Program Requirements

Incoming first-year and transfer students must take at least one Honors course during their first two semesters. All students in the program must maintain a GPA of at least 3.300. 

The program culminates in an optional Honors Capstone through HON 499 . Successful defense of the thesis, creative project, or service project before the Honors Council grants the student the title of University Honors Scholar, the highest academic recognition bestowed by UMF. This distinction is printed on the diploma and transcripts. Two lower levels of Honors recognition, which do not require HON 499, are also possible.

Program Benefits

Honors students have access to the building from 7:00 am until midnight seven days per week during the fall and spring semesters. The Honors House contains a seminar room, a private student office with a desk and computer, a snack-filled kitchen, and an Honors office. The Honors House also opens onto a lovely back deck and yard with seating for use in the warmer months. Students also enjoy the benefits of free printing, priority registration, and the opportunity to engage in monthly on- and off-campus events from game night to local and out-of-state excursions.

Honors Recognition Level Requirements

University Honors Scholar:

University Honors:

  • A minimum of 15 credits in Honors, including at least one 300+ level course.

Honors Certificate:

  • A minimum of 9 credits in Honors

Ways to Earn Honors Credit

The Honors Program offers a variety of courses each semester. In addition, students may take advantage of additional options to earn credit toward Honors status outside of HON course offerings through Honors Enhancement and Honors Experience. 

Honors is interested in supporting creative and out-of-the-box pathways for its students as part of an existing course curriculum. Honors Enhancements allow students the flexibility to incorporate one non-Honors course, up to 3 credits, into the Honors Program. Enhancements extend a course, perhaps by the submission of final papers and projects for publication, presentation of material at professional conferences, or the integration of coursework with community outreach. Interested students should consult with the Honors director and arrange with their instructor a suitable plan of study to enhance any UMF course to meet HON standards. No instructor at the university is under obligation to agree to the arrangement.

HON 305 - Honors Enhancement  Credits: 0


Honors Experience

The Honors Experience is intended to provide honors students the opportunity to be actively engaged in the process of learning, i.e. it promotes a student-centered approach to learning.

Students move through the experiential learning cycle which can be conceptualized as a process with several components: students have an experience (Concrete Experience), reflect on observations about that experience (Reflective Observation), analyze responses and formulate new ideas (Abstract Conceptualization), and then actively test these new ideas in new situations (Active Experimentation). Students prepare a final culminating report and presentation that demonstrates how the experience altered or reinforced previous notions.

Prior to registration, students will work with a faculty member or the honors director to create a proposal for the experience. Experiences may consist of but are not limited to, internships, volunteerism, research, and special projects. Upon the conclusion of the experience, students submit a comprehensive report recording and reflecting upon the experiential learning cycle to the honors director and present their experience at an honors event.

Typically, honors experience requires 32 hours of “experience” per credit. Students may enroll for a minimum of 0 credits, but no student is permitted to enroll for more than 3 credits total in HON 397 - Independent Study in Honors , including multiple or repeat registrations which are allowed. Prerequisite(s): Junior standing and Permission of Honors Director only. (Pass/Fail only.) Variable.

Honors Capstone

The Honors Capstone is the culmination of the honors program. The Honors Capstone provides students with an opportunity to follow their curiosity in completing an original project. The project can be a research thesis, a creative project or a service project. A primary distinguishing feature of an Honors Capstone is the defense. At a predetermined date, those completing a capstone project will submit their finished work to the Honors Director for consideration by the Honors Council. (A list of the current members of the Council, including three student representatives, is available on the UMF Honors website or by request.)

The Honors Council conducts the defense, usually held in the Honors House. The student and their HON 499 faculty advisor attend the defense, where the faculty advisor is encouraged to briefly introduce the student and the significance of the student’s work. A majority of the Council must agree to pass or fail the capstone project. On occasion, the student’s work may be passed contingent on revisions, but given the late timing of the defense, students should present to the Council a finished draft. (Honors provides a document for proposing a capstone project, including general expectations and standards.)

The capstone project can be completed along several pathways:

1. 0-credit model (e.g., Honors add-on to equivalent capstone work in major, teaching portfolio, etc.)

2. 3-credit model (i.e., traditional Honors-directed capstone project)

HON 499 - Honors Capstone  Credits: 0-3


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