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About University Honors

Scholarly Excellence

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University Honors students work closely with outstanding faculty members who are committed to their academic, personal and professional success. Over their first three years, students take a one-credit First-Year Honors Seminar and six Honors courses drawn from the University’s Core Curriculum. This structure allows Honors students to take required classes together, learning and bonding through classroom discussion and projects. Current Honors courses include Academic Writing, Introduction to Philosophy, Elements of Political Thought, Ethics and Diverse Voices in Literature. In their junior and senior years, UHP students write an Honors Thesis in the discipline of their choice under the guidance and mentorship of a faculty thesis advisor. Writing an Honors thesis is excellent preparation for graduate and professional school and all career paths and is rated as a High Impact Practice by the National Survey of Student Engagement.

Community

The scholarly excellence of the University Honors Program is complemented by a vibrant Honors community. From Movie & Pizza Nights in the Gardella Honors House to off-campus group service projects to the plentiful cultural offerings of the Detroit metro area (film, theater, dinners, the opera, the symphony, the DIA, Tigers games, even curling), you will immerse yourself in this intimate community and make friends for life. All members of the University Honors Program have the privilege of using the Gardella Honors House for studying and socializing.

Service

Students in the University Honors Program perform 125 hours or more of community-engaged service over their four years in the program. Engaging in service allows students to positively contribute to our city, region, and world; to grow as citizens and neighbors; and to clarify their own sense of purpose and vocation. Students may fulfill the service requirement through service-learning courses within the University, service undertaken by UHP as a group, and service performed individually or in small groups on or off-campus.

Leadership

All UHP students are members of the Honors Leadership Council, which plays an active role in planning the program. The council meets regularly throughout the academic year to help plan social events, lectures, forums and film nights. Honors students are also members of the Emerging Leaders Program at Detroit Mercy. This co-curricular program offers students the opportunity to explore their leadership potential and abilities through involvement in programs, events and activities that include learning, leadership, spirituality and service on and off campus. As part of their involvement in ELP, Honors students will have the opportunity to achieve either the leadership pin or medallion during the Detroit Mercy academic career. One of the requirements for the leadership pin is 125 hours of service, which students will fulfill as part of their participation in the University Honors Program. The leadership medallion requires an additional 125 hours of service, in addition to the other requirements listed on the ELP checklist.

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    Honors Curriculum

    University Honors students work closely with outstanding faculty members who are committed to their academic, personal and professional success. Over their first three years, students take a one-credit First-Year Honors Seminar and six Honors courses drawn from the University’s Core Curriculum. This structure allows Honors students to take required classes together, learning and bonding through classroom discussion and projects. Current Honors courses include Academic Writing, Introduction to Philosophy, Elements of Political Thought, Ethics, and Diverse Voices in Literature. In their junior and senior years, UHP students write an Honors Thesis in the discipline of their choice under the guidance and mentorship of a faculty thesis advisor. Writing an Honors thesis is excellent preparation for graduate and professional school and all career paths and is rated as a High Impact Practice by the National Survey of Student Engagement.

    Graduation Requirements:

    Members of the University Honors Program will graduate with Honors if they have earned a 3.3 cumulative GPA and fulfilled the requirements of the program:

    1. Completion of the 19-credit Honors Curriculum
      • First-Year Honors Seminar (HON 1000) (1 credit in students’ first semester)
      • Six Honors courses (18 credits—one course per semester for the first three academic years). All of these courses fulfill requirements for the University’s Core Curriculum.
    2. Honors Thesis
      • Three credit hours devoted to writing an Honors Thesis under the guidance of a faculty advisor (1 credit in each of students’ final three semesters)
      • Successful defense of an Honors Thesis
    3. Fulfillment of 125 hours total of community-engaged service
      • These hours will be documented by the Institute for Leadership and Service.
      • Along with participating in events affiliated with the Emerging Leaders Program, including select meetings of the University Honors Council, these service hours will earn students a Leadership Pin, which will be presented upon their graduation.

    Honors Recognition

    Members of the University Honors Program who maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.3 and complete all of the graduation requirements for the program will:

    • Have “Honors” printed on their diplomas
    • Receive the University Honors Program certificate
    • Wear golden Honors cords at Commencement
    • Receive transcripts that bear the Honors designation

    Latin Honors

    University Honors students will graduate with Latin Honors if they have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Students will be awarded cum laude honors with a GPA of 3.5 or higher, magna cum laude honors with a GPA of 3.7 or higher, and summa cum laude honors with a GPA of 3.9 or higher.

    Requirement for Continuing in the Honors Program

    Students are required to maintain an overall 3.3 GPA for ongoing membership in the University Honors Program and demonstrate that they are progressing toward the fulfillment of the program’s requirements. If a student’s overall GPA falls below the minimum requirement, she or he will be put on UHP probation and have one semester to raise the GPA back to the required level. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program.

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    Study Abroad Option

    The University Honors Program recognizes the value of study abroad and encourages students to participate when possible. Living and working with people from other cultures is an invaluable learning experience for any college student, particularly given the increasingly global nature of business, science, art and politics.

    Honors students can substitute one approved study abroad course for one required Honors course at University of Detroit Mercy. University of Detroit Mercy offers several study abroad programs in places like Australia, Brazil, Cuba, China, El Salvador, England, Greece, Italy, Mexico and Poland. Interested students should consult with the departments sponsoring these programs for more information and contact the University Honors Program directors to request a course substitution for an approved study abroad course.

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