Program Flexibility

Individualized Programs

Honors College members may fulfill University requirements in nonstandard ways that allow a program of study to be tailored to a student's individual interests and abilities. With the approval of an Honors College Academic Specialist/Adviser, members may choose from literally hundreds of course offerings to fulfill their general education requirements. With the approval of their Departmental Honors Advisers, they may meet the spirit of their college and major requirements using substitute courses not on the standard requirement lists. A substitution may take the form of a course which is more advanced than an introductory one, a course closely related to a required one but not on the standard list, or an Honors or graduate course which covers more than one standard listing.

Freedom from Course Restrictions

In most circumstances, Honors College members are not bound by course restrictions such as "juniors" or "majors only." In addition, an Honors College member may bypass listed prerequisites for a course provided the student has the background necessary to understand the course material.

Graduate Course Enrollment

Honors College members have the opportunity to enroll in graduate-level courses as part of their undergraduate degree program. Completion of a graduate-level course will count as one of the minimum eight Honors experiences required to graduate with HC notation (see Honors Experiences - Graduate Courses).

Enrollment Priority

Continuing Honors College members are allowed to enroll for classes on the first day of each enrollment period, before most other students. This privilege allows Honors students easy access to most courses, and members must use this opportunity for early access to schedule all of the courses they need or want. The priority is strictly a time advantage and does not allow Honors College members to enroll later in filled sections of courses either during the regular enrollment period or during the schedule adjustment period.

Honors Experiences

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.

Honors Courses 
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.

Honors Sections 
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

An Honors Option is more extensive or more advanced work than is required of all students in a regular course. The professor must approve the format, timeline, and scope of the project.

For more information on the Honors Option procedures and examples for students, please visit: http://honorscollege.msu.edu/honors-option

For more information on the Honors Option procedures and examples for faculty, please visit: http://honorscollege.msu.edu/offering-honors-work 

Graduate Courses 

Well-selected graduate courses at the 500-, 800-, or 900-level can make excellent Honors-caliber substitutions for many 300- and 400-level courses. Further, graduate courses can be completed within or outside the student's academic college. To enroll in a graduate course, an Honors College member should first consult the instructor, who can determine whether the student has the necessary preparation to take the course. The student then needs to arrange for an override into the course, either through the instructor or the departmental office that offers the course.

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