Why Honors?

Why Honors?
Male student in science lab



A magnet for high-achieving, ambitious and motivated students.

The  Hamel Honors and Scholars College is an incubator for new forms of teaching, learning and research. Get ready to experience possibility in every direction.


Benefits of participating in the Honors College include:

The Honors curriculum encourages students to chart their own course toward an Honors degree. With the help of Honors advisors, students choose from a broad menu of courses and high-impact experiences to find the opportunities that best fit their interests and goals. Honors students can also choose to take an upper-level course to fulfill a Discovery requirement using the Discovery Flexoption.

Small, discussion-based honors seminars led by UNH’s most esteemed faculty. Honors students frequently list these seminars as their most meaningful experiences at UNH. These seminars also fulfill UNH Discovery requirements, so they don't add to student courseloads.

In addition to exclusive access to Honors courses, Honors students are able to sign up for all of their UNH courses at the beginning of each registration period.

Incoming students can take advantage of Honors Outdoor Orientation Trips (HOOT), where they will spend three days and two nights engaging with a small group of Honors peers, starting to form relationships, and challenging themselves (enjoyably!) in nature. All Honors students participate in Gateway experiences, from book clubs to volunteer opportunities, that are designed to help new students connect with the Honors community. Workshops and events throughout the year introduce Honors students to resources and networks at UNH and beyond.

With comfortable spaces for gathering together or working alone, as well as classrooms, advising offices, and event spaces, Huddleston is an Honors student’s campus homebase. Honors students can reserve large and small spaces for almost any purpose: study groups; student organization meetings; social gatherings… This is your place!

Honors students can choose to live in the Honors Residential Learning Community in  Fairchild Hall, which also hosts the International Connections theme. Huddleston Hall is right next door, creating an Honors neighborhood with lots of options for places to gather, work, and relax.

Located in a medieval city half an hour from Amsterdam, Utrecht University is one of the most important research institutions in Europe. Our exchange program is with University College Utrecht, comprised of 700 international Honors students, where classes (taught in English) take the form of intensive discussions--and count for UNH honors credit. Learn more

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Honors students have the opportunity to complete an Honors thesis, an independent research project that allows you to work one-on-one with a faculty mentor. The Honors thesis helps you deepen your knowledge, hone your research skills, and demonstrate your abilities to future employers or graduate and professional schools


New Hampshire residents who apply Early Action to UNH have the opportunity to apply for the Hamel Scholarship. While at UNH, Honors students can apply for various Honors Scholarships, and financial support to attend and present research at regional and national conferences.

Individual coaching for national fellowships, as well as for several internal scholarly awards, including the Research Experience and Apprenticeship Program, open to high-performing first-years. 

The Honors Undergraduate Social Committee designs and implements social events for the Honors community, as well as representing the Honors student body. Students are also invited to apply for opportunities like the Honors Sustainability Fellows and the Honors Inclusion and Accessibility Fellows. Each of these groups works to improve the Honors College from a specific perspective.

Honors advising: Honors advisors are here to help students build their 4-year plan in a way that helps them achieve their goals. Honors advisors can be of particular use when you want to look beyond your major; many of our students have double majors and/or multiple minors.

Close connections with professors, classmates, and mentors, including peer-mentors. Due to small class sizes and project-based learning, Honors professors often become advisors, while classmates become lifelong friends.

Honors diploma and transcript: Upon graduation, students who successfully complete Honors requirements will have the designation added to their UNH diploma and transcript.