The Northwood University Honors Program's general academic mission is to emphasize critical analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of course content. This is accomplished through innovative teaching and assessment methods, greater breadth and depth of content, and higher standards of rigor. Its professional mission is to provide a more comprehensive exploration of disciplines used within various professions. The Honors Program enhances personal growth by creating a community of likeminded students dedicated to maximizing the value of their education.

Being limited in size-20 students maximum-honors courses place more emphasis on class participation and discussion-based learning. They encourage students to direct their own learning and emphasize development of social and leadership skills. By offering a variety of learning experiences, honors courses encourage collaborative learning, offer experiences outside the classroom, seek frequent faculty-student interaction, and accelerate student intellectual growth. In addition, by developing discipline-appropriate research skills, honors courses stress independent research and learning, present primary sources and original documents, offer access to updated literature from the field, and urge originality in writing and analysis. Honors courses offer an enhanced range and depth of study through increased quality of work, not quantity of work.

Participation Requirements

Honors students at Northwood University may participate in the program at three different levels. All students who qualify and complete any honors course are considered to be Honors Program Participants, and their honors courses are identified on their transcripts. Each semester, Honors students decide for themselves how many Honors courses are right for them. Students who complete 12 semester credit hours in specified groups of honors courses earn an Honors Certificate. Those who complete 24 semester credit hours earn an Honors Diploma. Students that earn the Certificate or Diploma will have a note on their transcript indicating that the student has opted for an enhanced and challenging undergraduate education. Successful completion of either the Honors Certificate or Diploma will require a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a minimum cumulative GPA in honors courses of 3.0.

Enrollment in even a single Honors course allows students to participate in all Honors activities such as the Student Honors Association meetings, end-of-year honors dinner, and special speaking and cultural events.

Admission Process

Admission to the Honors Program from high school requires one of the following three conditions:

  • 3.25 or better high school GPA with a minimum 25 ACT or 1150 SAT
  • 3.50 or better high school GPA with a minimum 24 ACT or 1100 SAT
  • 3.75 or better high school GPA with a minimum 23 ACT or 1070 SAT

Study Abroad

Students who complete 15 or more credit hours in honors courses at Northwood University may apply for honors admission to either Semester in Asia or Semester in Europe. Honors admission automatically provides a scholarship that adjusts the study abroad program fee to the fee level students would otherwise pay for the combination of residential tuition, fees, room and board on the Northwood campus they attend. Scholarship amounts will be adjusted in proportion to the individual program fees. The Honors scholarship may only be used once. Students cannot receive multiple honors scholarships for study abroad.

Student Honors Association

The Student Honors Association is a group of honors students who band together for social activities outside of the classroom. The group also provides student input to the Faculty Honors Council. The SHA is a registered student organization led by an executive board and has participated in such activities as:

  • Information table at new student orientation and "Kick-off" party
  • Social events for honors students to "meet and mingle"
  • Beginning of year picnic for honors students
  • Year-end reception for honors students
  • Honors Symposium, honoring Northwood's best achievers
  • Informal dinners with faculty members
  • Leadership opportunities & intellectual growth
  • Networking and EXCEL credit

Frequently Asked Questions

How are Honors courses different from regular courses?

Honors courses generally reflect emphasis on higher level thinking skills applied to the subject material. Students are expected to contribute more to analytical discussions in class, and writing assignments are generally more demanding in composition and research methodology.

Why participate in the Honors Program at Northwood University?

  • Smaller class sizes
  • Priority registration for Honors Diploma candidates
  • Notation on academic transcript tells employers and graduate schools about your achievement
  • Participate in the Student Honors Association (SHA)
  • Honors scholarship for certain Study Abroad programs
  • Class emphasis on discussion-based learning, individual research, and developing critical thinking skills
  • Special events just for Honors students
  • Enhanced contact with outstanding faculty

What kind of recognition does the Honors Program Offer?

There are three levels of participation:

  • Honors Participant: Any student enrolled in an honors class is an Honors Participant. Students may take as many or as few Honors classes as they choose as long as they meet the minimum requirements for enrollment. Individual Honors courses will be designated on the student's academic transcript.

  • Honors Certificate:* Any student who successfully completes 12 semester hours of honors courses in the required categories will have completed the Honors Certificate. This designation will appear on the student's academic transcript. The required categories include:

    • 3 hours of English or Humanities (ENG, HUM, PHL, HIS)
    • 3 hours of Social Science (ECN, PSY, PSC, SOC)
    • 3 hours of Business Studies (MGT, MKT, ACC, FIN)
    • 3 hours non-specific (any honors course)
    *6 credits must be at the 3000/4000 course level.
  • Honors Diploma:** Any student who successfully completes 24 semester hours of Honors courses in the required categories will have completed the Honors Diploma. This designation will appear on the student's academic transcript. The Honors Diploma requirements include 24 semester hours of Honors courses in the following categories:

    • 6 hours of Humanities and English (ENG, HUM, PHL, HIS)
    • 6 hours of Social Science (ECN, PSY, PSC, SOC)
    • 6 hours of Business Studies (MGT, MKT, ACC, FIN)
    • 6 hours non-specific (any honors course)
    **12 credits must be at the 3000/4000 course level.

    How do I get started?

    If you meet the qualifications to participate in the Honors Program, simply register for the Honors classes you would like to take. You should consult with an Academic Advisor when planning future semesters since the Honors sections of classes may require adjustments in your Curriculum Guide.