The mission of the Niagara University Honors program is to create and support a scholarly community of students who, in addition to earning high grades, possess the following unique characteristics:
- Have a passion for learning across a breadth of disciplines. The mission of the Niagara University Honors program is to create and support a scholarly community of students who, in addition to earning high grades, possess the following unique characteristics:
- Enjoy the interchange of ideas and thoughts,
- Are willing to take intellectual risks to satisfy their intellectual curiosity, and
- In addition to their broad interests, are motivated to undertake significant original research at their own initiative in their chosen major field of study.
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What we do
The Honors program provides curricular support to these students by offering smaller, ‘Honors student-only’ sections of general education classes in which alternative pedagogies and close interaction between professors and students are encouraged. An Honors-enhanced course in one’s major provides extra knowledge and experience, helpful for preparing the student to carry out an ambitious research program.
Finally, by means of a year-long Honors thesis, the NU Honors program participant conducts original research at his or her own initiative while working one-on-one with a member of NU’s faculty. At the end of this process, NU Honors program participants will have not only added to the sum total of humanity’s knowledge, but will have distinguished themselves from their peers across the nation by having produced significant, original research projects that are more similar to those done in graduate school.
In addition to the Honors curriculum, a robust extra-curricular calendar of events enables NU Honors program participants not only to enjoy intellectually stimulating company but also to satisfy their thirst for knowledge about topics they might otherwise not encounter in the classroom. In the end, NU Honors Program participants graduate with the desire and tools to be lifelong learners with many interests while being fully equipped to excel in their own particular specialties.
Invitations to the Honors program are sent to the following:
- Entering first year students who have been offered either a President’s or Trustees’ Scholarship by the end of March will be invited to apply. Applications will automatically be sent to those who qualify.
- Rising NU sophomores (with fewer than 48 credits) and transfer students (with fewer than 48 credits) who have a cumulative 3.50 or higher in all prior college coursework. (Invitations are emailed in the summer after one’s first year.)
An invitation to apply is not a guarantee of admission to the program. Admission to the Honors program is a selective process. As part of the application process, applicants must submit a short essay demonstrating they possess qualities compatible with the honors program mission statement.
The Departmental Honors Program allows students who have made their academic mark while at Niagara benefit from the two-semester Honors Thesis experience.
- Students who have attained a 3.5 GPA or better at the close of their third year of study may join the Departmental Honors Program.
- Students who qualify should contact their departmental chair or the University Honors Office.
Any student dismissed from the honors program can apply by the first semester of their fourth year to conduct a Departmental Honors Thesis.
- The student will need to have a 3.5 GPA in their major field to be selected by their department to conduct this two-semester honors thesis.
- This alternative affords a student the opportunity to graduate with departmental honors in their major field. All procedures applicable to the University Honors Thesis apply to the Departmental Honors Thesis.
But Why Should You Bother?
Admissions committees in graduate schools, medical schools, and law schools and employers in the business world put great weight in an undergraduate’s research skill development. Admissions committees and employers alike will look with great interest on any applicant that can reveal the types of advanced research skills that a departmental honors thesis experience provides.
Dr. Michael D.
University Honors Program Director