Top of Page
Skip main navigation

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to the Honors College?

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Undergraduate Honors College, complete the online application and two essays. Applications are accepted from incoming undergraduate freshmen, transfer students, and current NSU students.

When is the application deadline?

Applications are reviewed on a continuous basis academic year-round, and we recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications open August 1st, and close March 1st for current students and May 15th for incoming undergraduate freshmen and transfer students.

When will I find out if I am accepted?

Five to seven weeks after we receive your Honors College application, decision emails will be emailed to both your NSU email address and the personal email address you indicate on your application. For inquiries regarding your Honors application, please email

What do you look for in an application essay?

  • Utilize as much of the word allowance as needed to convey what makes you distinctive. Be personal.
  • Provide depth and creativity in your essay. Use your essay as a vehicle to introduce yourself to the faculty.
  • Remember to proofread your essay for typographical and grammatical errors.

How is an Honors course different?

Honors courses are more interactive, discussion-based, and hands-on than other courses, but are not necessarily more challenging. As an Honors student, you’ll get direct interaction with faculty and may be asked to present portions of the material to your peers. These courses might include a field trip or other hands-on learning experiences not offered in other courses. Honors seminars (which begin with the course prefix HONR) are unique courses offered only as Honors courses. Honors sections of regular courses (which include an “H” at the end of the course number, like CHEM 1500H or BIOL 1500H) generally cover the same content as non-Honors sections of courses, but present the material in different ways.

Are Honors courses more difficult?

Honors courses are typically smaller, more interactive, discussion-based, and more hands-on compared with other courses, but they are not designed to be more difficult. As an Honors student, you will have direct interaction with faculty and may be invited to lead discussion of the material. Honors courses might include a field trip or other hands-on learning experiences.

What benefits do I get from being in the Honors College?

The most important benefit to being in the Honors College is that you are a member of a close-knit and engaged community of your peers and faculty who celebrate academic excellence. As an Honors student, you will receive supplemental scholarships, access to unique and distinct lectures, opportunities to participate in research and travel study, and an array of engaging and interesting co-curricular programs.

Are there award ceremonies at which I might be honored? Are my parents allowed/invited to attend?

Honors students are honored at the Fall and Spring Honors Banquets, at Honor Society inductions, and at commencement. Parents and families of Honors students are invited to attend the Honors College Induction, Spring Honors Banquet, Honor Society inductions, and all commencement ceremonies.

How can I meet and interact with other Honors College students?

The Honors College hosts an array of co-curricular programs designed to broaden your experiences (trying something new) and help you meet other Honors students and Honors faculty. As an Honors student, you can play a big role in defining and shaping these programs (including lectures, visits to local parks for kayaking and horseback riding, seeing a theatrical production or an opera, and social events). The Honors community has two leadership groups for students who are interested. The Honors Student Advisory Board is the governance group that represents fellow Honors students' interests in meetings with Honors College administration. The Honors Advocates are the program planning and implementation team that serves the Honors community.

Why is it important for me to get to know faculty members?

College provides a wonderful opportunity for you to get to know and work with experts and leaders in their chosen fields. You may develop lifelong mentoring relationships and friendships with faculty. These relationships could open the door for you to participate in faculty-led research and creative projects. Such collaborations often lead to students presenting at conferences or submitting their work for publication on a national level. In addition, having a sense of connection with your faculty members will help you feel at home at NSU.

Why should I get involved in research as an undergraduate student?

Participating in research will provide you with a valuable experience and serves as excellent preparation for graduate school and beyond. When you participate in research, you will gain a deeper connection with your studies and the process of discovery. Research opportunities for Honors students can be explored in any major, discipline, or area of interest.

Can I still be accepted into national honor societies, or is being in the Honors College equivalent?

Membership in the Honors College is a distinct honor from membership in national honor societies. Many students in the Honors College are also eligible and invited to join national honor societies. Honor societies can be a valuable resource to build a professional network.

If I live at home while enrolled at NSU, how can I get involved in Honors College events?

You can stay informed of Honors College events through our student newsletter, by visiting the Honors College website, through email invitations you’ll receive from the Honors College, and by following the Honors College Instagram. Click here to review the university’s Academic Calendars.

What happens if my GPA falls below the required minimum?

As an Honors student, you must maintain a 3.5 GPA to remain in the Honors college. Reviews are completed following each semester. If your GPA falls below the requirement, you may be given a chance to petition to retain your scholarship and/or remain in the college.

Will being in the Honors College harm my grade point average?

Not likely. Because Honors students are typically bright, mature, and well-motivated—and because the environment in Honors classes is especially conducive to learning—Honors students tend to earn high grades in their Honors classes. Each year, over 70% of Honors students earn a 3.5 GPA or higher.

Do Honors courses award higher weighting on grades?

No, NSU does not use differential weighting for grades in any classes.

When are grades posted?

Grades are normally posted one week after the final day of the semester.

Can professors send periodic grade reports to my parents?

No. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), only students have access to their grades.

Does the Honors College offer scholarships for incoming/current students?

The Honors College Scholarship is awarded to students in their first year in the Honors College. The $500 scholarship is renewed for students who maintain a 3.5 cumulative NSU GPA, are active in the Honors College, and maintain good academic standing. Click here to learn more about other available scholarships.

Is the Honors College scholarship different from the Dean’s Scholarship or the President’s Scholarship? Are there additional scholarships for Honors students?

Scholarships awarded through the Honors College are distinct from the Dean's Scholarship, the President's Scholarship, and other NSU merit-based awards. Criteria for award and renewal may vary. It is possible for you to receive several institutional scholarships (which may be capped at the total cost of tuition). Click here for more information about scholarships offered through the Office of Financial Aid.

What are the requirements to stay in the Honors College and to retain the Honors College Scholarship?

As an Honors student, you must maintain a 3.5 GPA to remain in the Honors College. Reviews are completed following each semester. If your GPA falls below the requirement, you will be invited to petition to retain your scholarship and/or remain in the college.

How do I maintain good standing in the Honors College?

To retain good standing in the Honors College, you must actively work toward one of the Honors citations, take Honors courses, attend co-curricular Honors activities, and maintain a cumulative NSU GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Do Honors students get special recognition on transcripts and/or diplomas?

Students who successfully complete an Honors citation receive a notation of this achievement on their NSU transcript and a medallion at commencement. All Honors courses will be noted on your transcript, showing prospective employers or graduate and professional schools the enhanced education you received as an Honors student.

If I am enrolled in the Honors College, does that mean I will “graduate with Honors”?

As an Honors student, you may receive several Honors by the time you graduate. Honors students may earn both a General Citation in Honors and a Research Citation in Honors (meriting a cherished medallion at commencement). This is also noted on the transcript. If you participate in the Honors in Major program during senior year, you will graduate “with Honors,” be acknowledged at commencement, and earn a distinct notation on their transcript. At time of graduation, all Honors students in good standing are presented a distinct pin certifying successful participation in the Honors community. If you are also a member of a national academic honor society, you will wear a cord, sash, and/or medallion acknowledging your outstanding achievement in your program of study. If you earn a 3.8 (or higher) cumulative GPA—and have earned a minimum number of credits at NSU—you will be recognized as “Graduating with Distinction.”

How does the Honors College help me get into graduate/professional school?

The Honors College provides opportunities in and outside the classroom to advance your personal and professional goals. The college encourages and supports your involvement in research, mentorship from faculty, academic and professional hands-on experiences, and networking. Participation and achievement in activities like these will enhance your application and recommendation letters when applying to graduate/professional school.

Are Honors College Students successful after graduation?

Honors students have shown positive success after they graduate—both regarding entry and strong performance in graduate/professional school as well as successful professional engagement following studies. Honors students take advantage of unique workshops, research experiences, internships, and engagement with faculty that all serve to help students excel after graduation. In addition, Honors courses focus on the key outcomes sought by employers: effective writing and speaking skills, teamwork, and critical thinking skills. 

Return to top of page