You’re clearly way above average. You care about the world. You have a great GPA and exceptional test scores. You work hard. You’ve taken on formidable challenges and met them with merit. You’re creative, and think for yourself. You’ve already accomplished much in your intellectual life. You’ve done yourself proud, and proud you should be.
The Honors Program at the University of Detroit Mercy is looking for more than good students who are good at getting good grades. We’re looking for good students who possess an intense curiosity about the world and who are not adverse to risking their GPA for the sake of intellectual gratification.
If this challenge sends a thrill through the very middle of your being, then the Honors Program at UDM is the place for you—a place where you can enlarge your world and let your mind flourish. The Honors Program creates and supports an environment of academic adventure for students who want to study a variety of subjects intensively and be challenged by an exceptionally demanding curriculum.
But be warned: the classes in the UDM Honors Program are not like any of the Advanced Placement classes you might be taking right now. Honors classes are not just “harder” or “more” than regular classes—they are an exciting and qualitatively different intellectual experience. The Honors Program is dedicated to the delight of reflecting on great ideas and bringing creative projects to fruition. Honors education is not only about the what of learning; it’s about the joy of seeing the world through fresh eyes, again and again and again.
The UDM Honors Program: High academic achievement. An honors degree for your transcript. Public recognition at commencement. The satisfaction that you faced the challenge. And fresh eyes with which to see the world.
Every semester 7-12 Honors courses drawn mainly from the University Core Curriculum are offered under the “Honors” section of the online course schedule. Members use a Tracking Form to guide themselves through the Program:
Completion of eighteen (18) credit hour Honors curriculum
Successful defense of a Senior Honors Thesis Project.
Have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better.
Completion of 100 non-paid hours of volunteer compassionate service to society and/or individuals in need, as documented by the Leadership Development Institute.
The Five Ways to Earn Honors Credit:
1. The Honors Courses
An Honors course is one that assumes a higher level of scholarly ability, intellectual curiosity and academic motivation on the part of the students, and which seeks to present a significant challenge to these students by deeply exploring the most fundamental complexities of a topic or discipline through faculty innovation, an interactive classroom environment, the honing of advanced research skills, exploration outside the classroom and/or oral presentations. All Honors courses are capped at 20 students, and all are taught to the Honors level.
2. The Honors Option
Honors students may obtain Honors credit for any regular (non-Honors designated) 4000-level class by applying for an Honors Option with the instructor of that class, who will augment the student's coursework so that it reflects a higher degree of challenge expected by Honors students. Honors students have one (1) month from the start of a semester to file for an Honors Option, which is subject to approval by the Director of the Honors Program.
3. Directed Readings and Independent Study
Most colleges and departments in the University offer Directed Reading or Independent Study. These variable-credit 4000-level course options can count for an Honors Seminar (by filing for an Honors Option) or an Honors Senior Thesis or Project. Directed Readings or Independent Studies present unique opportunities to study one-on-one with a member of UDM's dedicated faculty. Guided by the student's interests, the student and faculty member decide on the content of the course and schedule meetings to their mutual convenience. These course options demand a very high degree of rigor and achievement on the part of the Honors student, but they also provide the richest possibilities for an intimate educational experience not available to students in larger university settings.
4. Senior Privilege
The University of Detroit Mercy offers graduate degrees in each of its seven Colleges. Honors students who have earned at least 110 undergraduate credit hours and a 3.25 cumulative GPA may be permitted to take a limited number of graduate-level credits (9), which can count towards credit for Honors Seminars. Qualified Honors students must obtain the approval of the director of the graduate program offering the course(s) to be taken, and register for these courses by filing both the Senior Privilege Authorization and Honors Option forms.
5. The Honors Program Study Abroad Option
The Program recognizes that study abroad is an invaluable learning experience. Honors students may apply for the Honors Study Abroad Option, which allows students to substitute one (1) course in a UDM-affiliated study abroad program for any (1) required Honors course. Honors students may only use the Honors Study Abroad Option once. For more details, see the Program website at www.udmercy.edu/honors or contact a co-director of the Program.
The Honors Community
The scholarly excellence of the Program is complimented by a vibrant Honors community. The Program is governed by Student Deans with the advice and consent of the membership, which meets once a month during each semester to discuss Program business. Honors students play an important role in course and faculty selection, and in the organizing of other Program activities such as trips to the theater, concerts, museums, and other events in the Detroit metro area. Every year the Program formally inducts its new members, and members stay in touch through a dedicated listserver. Those members who live on campus will find even more intellectual stimulation and camaraderie on the Honors floor in the dormitories (contact Residence Life at 313-993-1230 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information, please visit the UDM Honors Program website at: http://www.udmercy.edu/honors/about_scholarship.html