Honors College
Oak View Hall, Room 210
509 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4452
(248) 370-4450
Fax: (248) 370-4479


Course Requirements

In addition to achieving a minimum GPA of 3.50 to graduate from The Honors College, students must take at least three Honors College core courses in three different general education field categories (HC 2010, 2020, 2040-2080). Beginning in Fall 2008 all incoming freshmen will be required to take HC 1000. This First Year Experience course is designed to build community and to provide an education in areas fundamental to the making of a bright, curious, engaged student, ready to undertake the challenges and responsibilities of an academically prepared Honors College student.

Students may take more than three core courses, in which case the additional courses will count toward satisfying the overall university general education requirements. Students should take at least one core course during their freshman year. It is expected that course requirements will be met by the end of their junior (third) year. 

Suggested First Semester Classes
  • HC 1000 Freshman Colloquium (required)
  • Rhetoric 1050 or Rhetoric 1060 (depending on placement)
  • A foreign language (level of the course will depend on results of placement exam)
These three classes constitute full time enrollment, however, a course of your choosing, perhaps an introductory course in your departmental major may be added. For example, if a Biology major, we recommend an introductory course in Biology or Chemistry.

Note: It is very important that you take the foreign-language placement exam before attending orientation (unless you will begin a new language). The Honors College requires that you complete the second-year (2150) level or demonstrate second-year language proficiency. 

Foreign Language Requirement

Honors College students must complete a foreign language requirement. This is done by choosing one of the four Honors College language track options (see HC Foreign Language Policy)

Students choosing track 1, 2 or 3 are encouraged to take the online foreign language placement test to determine where to begin. It is possible to meet some of the requirements by demonstrating proficiency on the placement exam. Foreign language courses are offered by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and are not restricted to Honors College students. (see Department of Modern Languages and Literatures for specific languages offered) 

Community Service

Honors College students must complete a community service requirement. These experiences (one sustained project, for a minimum of 10 hours, during one semester or over the summer) allow students the opportunity to work within and get to know their community and its needs, and to advance their learning experientially. They also provide Honors College students with key opportunities to develop and enhance their leadership abilities.

Students entering prior to fall 2016: Must complete one ten-hour project

Student entering fall 2016 onwards: Must complete one ten- hour project per year.

Good Standing

Students must maintain good standing in The Honors College at all times and update their online Good Standing Report annually. For details see the Good Standing Guidelines.

Honors Thesis

Honors College students must produce an Honors Thesis (independent project). Every student must undertake a work of substantial scholarly or creative achievement. Most often, this activity is carried out in the student's major area of study, e.g., biology, English, economics, business, engineering. The student, together with a faculty sponsor/mentor, develops a proposal of the project, submits it to The Honors College Council for approval, and carries out the work.

There is wide latitude regarding the nature of the projects, since it is recognized that substantial differences exist across disciplines. The end result is a written thesis – however, it could include a creative performance, dance recital, engineering project, or another type of creative activity. The proposal must be approved by the mentor and The Honors College Council.

Students should begin thinking about the thesis during their freshman and sophomore years, complete the Thesis Preparation (HC3900) course the year before graduation and submit their research proposal at the end of the course. Thesis deadlines are outlined in the thesis package and below. Hard copies will be available in the Honors College office.

The proposal has a title and a narrative describing the nature and scope of the project, along with the rationale, methodology and goals. The Honors College Council must review and approve the proposal.

The thesis should be at least 20 pages (double-spaced, typewritten) and should contain a bibliographic style appropriate to the discipline in which the study is conducted. There should be clear evidence that the paper far exceeds a simple report, and is more than the result of a classroom assignment. It must exhibit originality, critical analysis and creative thinking.
The Thesis Forms  (procedures, proposal, model cover page, team work page, etc.), Mentor Procedures page, Mentor Approval Form and the License to Publish on the HC website form are available here and on Moodle (when you take HC 390). For additional questions regarding HC 390 (The Thesis Prep Course) and writing the thesis, check the Thesis FAQ's document.

Thesis Deadlines:
For students graduating in Fall:
  • September 15th- Final Thesis submitted to Mentor for revisions
  • October 15th - Final Revised Thesis (including checklist) submitted to the Honors College
For Students Graduating in Spring:
  • January 15th- Final Thesis submitted to Mentor for revisions
  • February 15th - Final Revised Thesis (including checklist) submitted to the Honors College
For Students Graduating in Summer I:
  • February 15th- Final Thesis submitted to Mentor for revisions
  • March 15th - Final Revised Thesis (including checklist) submitted to the Honors College
For students graduating in Summer II:
  • May 15th - Final Thesis submitted to Mentor for revisions
  • June 15th - Final Revised Thesis (including checklist) submitted to the Honors College
Thesis Research Grant

The Honors College Research and Travel Grant is available to students seeking financial support to complete the research portion of their thesis. The application must be submitted with the thesis proposal. Applicants may request up to $1,500 toward research expenses including travel, *equipment, supplies, printing, etc. The Thesis Grant Application is available online or in The Honors College Office.
*(All equipment purchased with Oakland University funds remains the property of the university).