Student FAQ

  • 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. Seminars that afford the time to go deep and address fundamental questions on topics such as:
    • the influence of the ancient Greeks and Romans on the founders of the American republic
    • how business can be a force for environmental and social good
    • the controversial social implications of the biological sciences
  • Huddleston Hall: a campus homebase for Honors students. This historic building is currently being renovated, and will open in Fall 2023. It will house Honors offices and classrooms, as well as lots of comfortable spaces where students can gather, study, and feel at home.
  • Intellectual flexibility: The Honors curriculum allows students to choose between whether they’d like to complement the honors seminars with a deep dive into their major subject (departmental honors), or a broad jump outside of conventional course structures into research and other hands-on experiences (interdisciplinary honors). Honors students can also choose to take an upper-level course to fulfill a Discovery requirement using the Discovery Flex option.
  • Honors Exchange Program: 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.
  • The opportunity to complete an Honors thesis, an independent research project that you work on one-on-one with a faculty advisor.
  • Access to various Honors Scholarships, and financial support to attend and present research at regional and national conferences.
  • Coaching for national fellowships, as well as for several internal scholarly awards, including the REAP (research experience and apprenticeship program), open to high-performing first-years. 
  • Social and professional programming: Incoming students can join Enrichment Meet-Ups (EMUs) where they engage with each other and a current honors student mentor over the summer before they start. Once at UNH, Honors students are invited to join fellow students, staff, and professors for events that just about always include snacks.
  • Leadership opportunities: Students can serve on the Student Honors Advisory Board, acting as official Honors ambassadors, as well as offering valuable student feedback to the Honors Program. Students can also serve on our Honors Undergraduate Social Committee,  designing and implementing fun social events for the Honors community.
  • 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. Honors advisors steer every Honors student to high impact opportunities, including funded research, study away and abroad, special internships, and prestigious national fellowships, such as the Marshall, Truman, and Rhodes awards.
  • Optional Honors living: Hubbard Hall is a place where students work hard and build a strong community. A large lounge includes a piano, pool table, ping pong, sundry games, and, of course, comfy lounging! There’s also an indoor fireplace-conversation pit to cozy up to for formal and informal meetings at home in Hubbard. (Students live in Hubbard by choice, not by requirement.) In 2023, the Honors-preference dorm will move to Fairchild Hall.
  •  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.

Generally, no. There is no cost and no direct financial advantage to Honors Program membership. An exception is the Hamel Scholarship, which requires active participation in the Honors Program. Other merit scholarships (such as the Trustees', Chancellor's, and Presidential Scholarships) do not require Honors Program participation. 

The Honors Program manages a number of funds that distribute small scholarships annually. Students are invited to apply for these scholarships beginning in the Sophomore year. Learn More

If you are a new admit to UNH and have been offered Honors admission, we will assume that you are participating in the program unless you opt out. In May, we'll send an email to all new Honors admits asking you to confirm participation in the program. 

Yes, in some ways. Honors courses are designed to challenge motivated, high-achieving students. However, this doesn't necessarily mean more pages of reading or writing. Honors professors design courses to go into greater depth, allow students to follow their own interests, and find connections to the world outside the classroom. Students report that Honors courses challenge them to think more deeply and creatively, and that while they are sometimes difficult, the difficulty is outweighed by their interest in the courses. Grades in Honors courses tend to be at least as high as grades in other courses; taking Honors courses is not likely to harm your GPA.

  • 4 Honors Discovery courses (16 credits), including two Honors Seminars (which are discussion-based courses with no more than 20 students). These courses also fulfill University Discovery requirements.
  • Either Departmental Honors coursework (in keeping with your department's requirements) OR Interdisciplinary Honors
  • An Honors Thesis

Students who are not able to complete the Discovery portion of the Honors Program may pursue Departmental Honors alone, earning Departmental rather than University Honors.

No. You must complete your Honors requirements by the time you graduate, but there is no required schedule for completing Honors work. Most students take Discovery Honors courses in their first two years; Honors in Major and Interdisciplinary Honors work usually begins in the Junior year. You are welcome to take more than one Honors course in a semester.

Honors Symposium courses are a special kind of Honors Seminar. Each Honors Symposium is made up of multiple small seminars, united by a common theme: global health or racial justice, for instance. Each contributing seminar approaches the theme from a different angle, using the tools of a particular discipline. Several times during the semester, the seminars join together for a plenary session, in which the large group of students shares in a common academic experience. The Symposia combine the intimate, participatory format of the small seminar with a larger intellectual community in which perspectives are shared. Students are not required to take Honors Symposium courses, but they count toward both the Honors Seminar requirement and Discovery requirements. 

No, since most Honors courses fulfill general education/Discovery category requirements. That is, Honors classes are taken in place of rather than in addition to the normal course load.

You must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50 in order to graduate with a University Honors designation. Freshmen are required to have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 after the Spring semester. All other students must have a GPA of 3.5, which is checked each June. Students who fall below this mark may petition to extend their time in the program while they improve their grades. Students entering UNH before 2016 must meet a GPA threshold of 3.4.

Individual Honors-in-Major programs may set their own minimum cumulative GPA's. Please see departmental information.

Yes, we encourage students to study abroad! We offer a special honors exchange with University College at Utrecht in the Netherlands, where you can meet Honors requirements with the courses you take. Experience at other Study Abroad institutions can be counted toward Interdisciplinary Honors.  

Certainly. Many Honors students choose to complete more than one major or minor at UNH – in fact, significantly more than non-Honors students. Because Honors requirements are designed to overlap with Discovery and major/minor requirements, and because Honors students enjoy streamlining in Discovery requirements, it is not a problem to complete Honors as well as multiple majors and/or minors, though scheduling courses may become more difficult.