Honors Pathways

Below are the various Honors pathways you can choose to pursue once you have been accepted into The Honors College. Even though University Honors requirements are more general and can help you work towards achieving Highest Honors, you do not need to complete University Honors to follow the other Honors pathways. If you are wondering which Honors pathway best meets your needs and interests, please see the right-hand column under the listed pathway for our recommendations. For more information on the activities that meet the requirements listed, please see the Student Handbook

University Honors

University Honors is a great way for a student to get involved and introduced to EMU's campus and community.


  • 24 Honors credits (includes credits completed for Departmental Honors)
  • Complete 30 hours of community service
  • One Honors Experience in Leadership/Civic Engagement
  • One Honors Experience in Cultural/Intellectual areas
  • Attend three Star Lecture Series lectures in a single academic year (and submit a typed paper to The Honors College to receive credit for the lectures)
  • Attend one Undergraduate Research/Creative Project Workshop
  • Maintain a 3.3 cumulative GPA

Ideal for students who. . .

  • hope to gain credit while enriching their undergraduate experience
  • are passionate about community service and engagement
  • want to benefit from Honors small class sizes, access to advisors and scholarship opportunities
  • and more!

Departmental Honors

Once students declare their major, they may pursue Departmental Honors, which leads to distinction in their major or minor.


  • Attend the Undergraduate Research/Creative Project Workshop (required after completing 15 college credit hours and prior to completing sophomore year)
  • Meet with their Departmental Honors advisor
  • Complete this Intent to Pursue Departmental Honors form [PDF] and submit it to The Honors College
  • Complete 12-15 Honors credits within the major or minor (as designated on the Intent to Pursue Department Honors form)
  • Submit a Senior Thesis Proposal [PDF] (must be submitted no later than the semester prior to graduation)
  • Complete Senior Thesis or Creative Project (must be submitted no later than the first day of the month of graduation)
  • Maintain a 3.3 cumulative GPA

Be sure to meet with your Departmental Honors advisor for up-to-date information and other Departmental Honors requirements.

Ideal for students who. . .

  • are transfer students
  • joined Honors after completing most general education requirements
  • are seeking a challenge in their specific area(s) of study
  • desire the opportunity for hands on research experience
  • want to develop a more personal relationship with faculty in their department
  • are considering attending graduate school
  • Be sure to meet with a Departmental Honors advisor for up-to-date information and other Departmental Honors requirements.

Highest Honors

Highest Honors marks the most distinctive recognition of academic excellence in The Honors College. Completion of Highest Honors demonstrates a commitment to community, international awareness, service, and research.


  • 30 Honors credits (includes credits completed for University or Departmental Honors)
  • Complete Global Competency by studying abroad, demonstrating competency of a world language at second year level, OR an international internship
  • Complete 45 community service hours (including the 30 hours applied to University Honors)
  • Complete Senior Thesis [PDF] or Creative Project (must be submitted no later than the first day of the month of graduation)
  • Present at the Undergraduate Research Symposium or a similar professional conference
  • Maintain a 3.7 cumulative GPA

Ideal for students who. . .

  • plan to travel abroad or want to become proficient in a new language
  • are eager to be challenged academically beyond what is offered in the University Honors requirements
  • are highly dedicated to community engagement and leadership opportunities
  • want experience presenting at a conference
  • are planning to attend graduate school

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