Honors and Enriched Academic Opportunities
In fulfilling the requirement for an enriched program of study, a student may use any combination of the various types of Honors opportunities available. In order to maintain HC membership and graduate with Honors College notation, students must complete at least three Honors experiences by the end of their second Spring semester and at least eight total Honors experiences by graduation. For Students completing a second degree, two additonal honors experiences are required to graduate from the Honors College in that second degree.
Many departments offer Honors courses especially for Honors College members. Often these classes are much smaller than their non-Honors counterparts; some are designed specifically for Honors students and have no non-Honors counterpart. Material is usually covered in greater depth than in non-Honors courses, and there is more classroom interaction in general. The pace is faster and more challenging, since students are surrounded by other students of the same caliber and, often, the same interests. Honors courses are designated by an "H" after the course number.
See the Schedule of Courses for details on offerings of Honors courses.
In some multi-section courses, one (or more) section may be designated as an Honors section. Like Honors courses, these classes are usually smaller than their non-Honors counterparts, move more briskly, and involve more classroom interaction.
See the Schedule of Courses for details on offerings of Honors sections.
Honors Options (H-Options) are available in most departments for students who would like to receive Honors credit in non-Honors courses. An H-Option involves a project which relates to the course material and is completed in addition to the normally required coursework. The H-Option project is formulated in consultation with the course instructor, usually during the first week of class. Some common H-Options include writing research papers, conducting laboratory research, making class presentations, or additional seminars for groups of H-Option students.
The quality of an H-Option project does not affect the grade assigned for a course; however, in some cases a minimum grade must be earned in a course before the Honors credit associated with the H-Option will be awarded. For details on H-Option availability and guidelines, see Honors Option Authorization and Honors Option Guidelines.
Because an important component of being an honors educated person is the ability to give back to the community using one's talents, all Honors College students also have the flexibility to complete a service-focused Honors Option which links their academic interest(s) to a service experience. Students may work individually or in groups and in all cases must register with the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement for the relevant semesters. As with other types of Honors Options, the Honors Option with a service focus will be approved by a faculty member(see form) or departmental honors adviser in the student's college and recorded on the Academic Progress Plan.
Examples of past H-Option projects are given in the "The Honors Option."
Well-selected graduate courses at the 500-, 800-, or 900-level can make excellent Honors-caliber substitutions for many 300- and 400-level courses. All suitably prepared Honors College members may enroll in most graduate courses, inside and outside their own colleges, with prior approval from their departmental Honors College advisers and from the instructors teaching the courses.
Browse through the MSU Course Descriptions for courses that might appeal to you, and be sure to try out your ideas on your Honors adviser(s) before you decide.