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 while supporting student independent research and experiential learning. The program culminates in the Honors Thesis, which can be completed through a variety of approaches. Successful defense of the thesis before the Honors Council grants the student the title of University Honors Scholar, the highest academic recognition bestowed by UMF. Seminars are typically conducted in the Honors House, which contains seminar rooms, quiet study and meeting space, a private student office with desk and computer, a kitchen, and the Honors Office. The Honors House also opens onto a lovely back deck and yard with seating for use in the warmer months. Honors students have access to the Center from 7:00 am until 10:00 pm seven days per week during the fall and spring semesters.
Incoming First-Year Students
Students who graduated in the top ten percent of their high school classes, have a strong background in college-preparatory courses, and meet other criteria may receive an invitation to apply for the program from the Admissions Office and Honors Director.
New or current students who feel they qualify may obtain an application from the Honors Director at 125 Lincoln Street. Students may also be recommended by UMF faculty for the program.
AFTER YOU ARE IN THE PROGRAM:
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 3.3. Three levels of Honors recognition are possible. Awards are presented at the annual Honors Banquet and recognition of their achievement is applied to university transcripts. University Honors Scholars are also recognized at commencement.
UNIVERSITY HONORS SCHOLAR:
A minimum of 20 credits in Honors, including Honors Thesis
A minimum of 20 credits in Honors, including at least one 300- level course or above
A minimum of 12 credits in Honors
HONORS COURSE ENHANCEMENT:
1. Honors students may take one time only for Honors credit one 300 or 400 level course outside of the HON offerings. In theory, any upper level course could count for this credit. However, it is the student’s responsibility to consult with the Honors director and arrange with their instructor a suitable plan of study. No instructor at the university is under obligation to agree to the arrangement. Honors provides a document with general guidelines for students and faculty as well as basic registration information.
2. Students who pursue this option are expected to offer a brief account of their work in the course at an Honors event attended by their instructors and fellow Honors students.
Honors students may apply one of the following one time only towards their Honors credits. It is the student’s responsibility to receive approval from the Honors director for these credits prior to the experience:
- 4 credits of global experience (study abroad/travel course)
- 4 credits from select internships or community service
- 4 credits from independent research (Wilson scholarships, independent study in Honors, etc.)
Students who pursue this option are required to present their experience at an Honors event and to complete any additional requirements as determined by the Honors Council.
With prior permission, Honors Experience may also constitute the basis for an Honors Thesis.
A primary distinguishing feature of an Honors thesis is the defense. At an agreed upon date, those completing a thesis will submit their finished thesis to the Honors Director, who will forward to the Honors Council. A list of the current members of the Council, are available on the UMF Honors website or by request.
The Honors Council conducts the defense, usually held in the Honors House. The student and faculty director both attend the actual defense, and the faculty director is encouraged to introduce briefly the student and the significance of the project. A majority of the Council must agree to pass or fail the thesis. On occasion a thesis 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 thesis, including general expectations and standards.
The thesis can be completed along multiple pathways:
- No credit model (student independent work, Wilson scholarships)
- 0-credit model (Honors add on to equivalent capstone work in major, teaching portfolio, etc.)
- 4-credit model (traditional Honors directed thesis)