Jul 23, 2024  
2007-2009 Catalog 
2007-2009 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

University Honors Scholars Program

The two-phase Honors Scholar Program consists of a Freshman/Sophomore core curriculum of Honors courses and a Junior/Senior concentration that includes an Off-Campus Study Semester, a Senior Thesis, and a Senior Honors Seminar.

Students completing the entire two-phase program are named University Honors Program Scholars and have such recorded on their transcripts and diplomas along with departmental and/or school honors. Students completing the two-year Junior/Senior Honors Scholar Program are named Junior/Senior University Honors Program Scholars and have such recorded on their transcripts and diplomas along with departmental and/or school honors. (See description of the two-year Junior/Senior Program below.)

Admission Requirements

  • Entering freshmen who have been accepted into the University of Michigan-Flint submit a separate application for the Honors Program (available from Admissions).
  • Selection is based on strength and diversity of curriculum and extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, a writing sample, ACT scores, grade point average, class rank and an interview.
  • GPA of 3.5 or higher and Composite ACT score of 26 or higher are recommended.

Phase One: Freshman/Sophomore Program

During freshman and sophomore years, Honors students together as a class complete a core curriculum of four Honors courses. The four courses (HON 251 , HON 155 , HON 156 , HON 252 ) are intended to encourage the students to look beyond the confines of their own disciplines and to develop a more complex, multi-disciplinary perspective. As part of the curriculum, freshmen also participate in an annual day-trip to the Festival Theater in Stratford, Canada, to attend a theater performance.

Advisor: Honors Program Director. Students should also seek the advice of an advisor in the department of their major area of concentration.


  1. HON 155 , HON 156 , HON 251 , HON 252 
  2. Completion of a foreign language requirement by one of the following:
    1. Completion of the 211 course of any foreign language currently offered at the University of Michigan-Flint (prerequisite: completion of the prerequisite class or placement into the 211 course).
    2. Completion of a one-credit Honors directed reading course in the language of choice, FRN 205 , GER 205 , LAT 205 , PTG 205, or SPN 205  (prerequisite: completion of the prerequisite class or placement into the 211 course).
    3. Placement out of the 211 course and into a higher-level language course. Such placement means that the requirement is waived, and the foreign language option considered fulfilled.
  3. Completion of three honors elections. (See Honors Elections below.)
  4. Completion of 55 credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher.

Note: In order to graduate from the four-year program, students must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Transcript Designation

Students who complete the requirements of the Freshman/Sophomore phase of the program with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher are named Freshman/Sophomore Honors Scholar Program Students and have such recorded in their transcripts.

Phase Two: Junior/Senior Concentration Program

The Junior/Senior phase is designed to promote independent study and scholarship within the student’s concentration or major area of specialization. During the sophomore year, students apply for acceptance into the concentration. After they are accepted, students, with the aid of the Honors Representative for the department, select an advisor. The advisor works closely with the student in planning the course of study for the concentration, as well as in planning for the final senior year project.

Note: For students enrolled in professional preparation programs in academic units other than the College of Arts and Sciences, the requirements for the junior and senior level and beyond are carried out under the provisions of a program-specific honors policy and procedure approved by the Honors Council. Students develop and implement an honors program contract coordinated by the professional program and subject to the approval of the Honors Program Director.

Admission Requirements

• Sophomores consult the Honors Representative (listed above) for the department or school in their major area of concentration concerning requirements for acceptance into the Junior/Senior phase of the program. This must be done in the fall of the sophomore year.
• Students should have completed all requirements of the Freshman/Sophomore phase of the program.

Advisor: Honors Advisor in the major area of study working in cooperation with the Honors Program Director


  1. Independent Study/Research Methods Course. HON 393  or equivalent in the student’s concentration (1-3 credits).
  2. Off-campus Study Proposal. Completed in conjunction with the Research Methods Course.
  3. Off-Campus Study Semester. HON 495  or equivalent in the student’s concentration.
  4. Honors Thesis. HON 496  or equivalent in the student’s concentration.
  5. Senior Honors Seminar. HON 498  (HON 390 ), generally taken in the winter semester of senior year.
  6. Completion of two additional honors elections.
  7. Completion of all University requirements and requirements for the major area of concentration
  8. Cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Special Features of the Honors Program

Honors Elections
Students are required to complete a total of five honors elections over their entire course of study in the four-year Honors program, three during the Freshman/Sophomore phase of the program and two during the Junior/Senior phase.

  • Two elections must be outside the student’s major area of concentration.
  • One election may be a service election (see below).

To complete an honors election, the student develops an independent study project in conjunction with any regular course. Honors elections may not be completed for HON 251 , HON 155 , HON 156 , HON 252  or HON 498 .

The student approaches the professor early in the semester, and plans a study project which requires at least 15 hours of extra work over the semester. The student and the professor agree upon a time line and sign an Honors Election Contract (available from the Honor Program Secretary, Mary Packer, in Biology, 264 MSB).

Honors election projects serve to supplement in depth or in breadth the regular content or experience of the course. They may include the following:

  • a short essay, lab report, book report, or research paper
  • an additional assignment for the course
  • a performance review
  • an oral presentation
  • a performance
  • field work or report on field work
  • a conference presentation
  • a study of another culture attached to a foreign language course
  • any project considered appropriate by the instructor as a means to extend the breadth or depth of the course

A service election requiring a minimum of 30 hours of service may be fulfilled in one of the following ways:

  • a community service project completed through the Service Learning Office. For details and forms, contact Laura Bucklen, 338 UCEN, (810) 766-6898.
  • a service project within the university. The project is completed under the auspices of a professor, generally in connection with a course. It may also be completed under the auspices of the supervisor of a department (for example, the Head of Circulation in the library).
  • a service project within or in connection with the Honors Program under the auspices of the Honors Director or the Honors Director’s designate.

Honors elections in the form of independent study projects, conference presentations, field research projects and the like may be completed in conjunction with independent study courses HON 292  and HON 393  subject to the approval of the supervising professor and the Honors Director.

Honors elections do not receive a grade. Instead, the work is evaluated as satisfactory or unsatisfactory by the instructor, and the results reported on the appropriate form to the Honors Program Secretary. The evaluation is not used in arriving at a grade for the course. Forms and detailed instructions are available from the Honors Program Secretary, Mary Packer, in Biology, 264 MSB

The Off-Campus Experience

The core of the Junior/Senior phase of the program is the Off- Campus Study Project. Students begin preparing for this project in their junior year, with the aid of their Honors Advisor. Students submit a proposal for their Off-Campus Study project, and a budget estimating expenses.

Students are eligible for up to $3000 in expenses from the Honors program, and may apply for additional research support through the Office of Research in order to cover the costs of traveling and conducting research. Students are encouraged to travel to other states and other countries in order to benefit from a new and different context.

Sites for the Off-Campus Experience may include:

  • university campuses
  • research institutes
  • hospitals or other similar institutions
  • places of business
  • political offices (internship in Washington, DC, for example)
  • a site in the field for work in biology, anthropology, archeology, health care
  • an appropriate site agreed upon by the student, the Honors advisor and the Honors Director

Possible projects may include:

  • original research either in the field or in a laboratory, generally working with a professor at another university campus or on site
  • an internship connected with the student’s area of specialization
  • a summer program in the United States or abroad
  • foreign language study to gain proficiency in the language
  • travel connected with the student’s research, creative project or performance
  • an appropriate project agreed upon by the student, the Honors advisor, and the Honors Director

Project Proposal: The Research Methods Course

During their junior year, students enroll in a 300-level Independent Study/Research Methods course (HON 393  or the equivalent in their concentration). This course is designed for the development of the Off-Campus Study Proposal. In order to complete this course satisfactorily, students should:

  • work one-on-one with their departmental Honors Advisor to develop a project.
  • conduct individual research to find several potential sites for the Off-Campus Study Experience.
  • consult the Honors Director concerning required format of the proposal.
  • submit the proposal and a budget estimating expenses for the Off-Campus Study Experience to the advisor for approval.
  • submit the proposal to the Honors Director who in turn submits it to the Honors Council for approval.

Funds are released and credit for HON 393  (or the equivalent) is given only after the completed proposal has been approved by the Honors Council.

Project Development: Honors Thesis I

In conjunction with their Off-Campus Study Experience students enroll in HON 495  (or the equivalent in the concentration), an independent study course which provides four credits for the Off- Campus Study Experience.

To allow for flexibility in scheduling, the student may enroll in HON 495  or its equivalent before, during or after the Off-Campus Study Experience.

The student may arrange for additional credits in one or more of the following ways:

  • Arrangements may be made for credits to be transferred from a summer course or study program, if applicable.
  • The student may undertake an additional independent study course, such as HON 393 , with the approval of the Honors advisor and the Honors Director.

    The student receives no credit and no final grade for HON 495  (or its equivalent) until the Honors Thesis (HON 496 or the equivalent) is satisfactorily completed. Until that time, the student receives a grade, designed for work in progress.

Project Production: HON 496 

Following the Off-Campus Study Experience, the Honors student completes a Senior Thesis or creative project under the supervision of the Honors Advisor. The Honors Thesis or project is designed to provide expertise in the student’s discipline and further enrichment of the student’s curriculum.

The Honors Thesis is generally a research paper ranging in length from 35 to 60 pages. The paper should be well written, carefully documented and organized.

A creative project also could meet the requirements of the senior project. The production, performance or creative work should be fashioned according to the requirements of the student’s specific area of study, and must be deemed appropriate by agreement of the Honors Advisor, the Honors Director and the Honors Council. Examples include:

  • the writing and directing of a play
  • the production of a film
  • the creation of a piece of music or art

The Honors Thesis or project may represent original research or a new finding in the field or may be an original creative work. It may also result in conference presentations and publications in scholarly journals. However, originality in the form of new findings in the field is not required for the completion of a satisfactory thesis, nor is publication or presentation at a conference.

Completion and Approval of the Honors Thesis

To complete the Honors Thesis satisfactorily, the student should:

  • develop drafts of the Honors Thesis in cooperation with the Departmental Honors Advisor.
  • consult with the Honors Director concerning Honors Thesis format.
  • submit the final approved draft to a committee of readers generally consisting of the advisor, a second member of the department, an outside reader, and the Honors Director or an Honors Council member.
  • give a Thesis presentation before the committee or at a conference.
  • submit a final draft of the Honors Thesis for binding.

Final Submission and Binding

The student does not receive a grade for HON 495  and HON 496  (or their equivalents in the concentration) until the student has submitted the final revised draft of the thesis in the department, ready for binding at the Print Shop.

Generally seven or eight bound copies are made, one for each member of the committee of readers, one for the department, one for the Honors Program, and one or more copies for the student. Binding costs at the Print Shop are generally covered by the school or department.

Senior Honors Seminar: HON 498 

Students generally enroll in the Senior Honors Seminar, HON 498  (390), in the winter semester after they return from their Off- Campus Study Experience. The seminar allows Honors students from different disciplines to come together to share ideas and perspectives from a cross-disciplinary perspective.