Honors Program


The University Honors Program (UHP), established by the Academic Senate in 1983, recognizes the achievements and capabilities of outstanding students. The program enriches undergraduate education by offering a personal, intensive approach to learning through small classes of 20 or fewer students and individualized collaborations with faculty.

There are various categories of Honors recognition awarded at graduation. The four-year University Honors curriculum is comprised of Discovery Honors courses plus either Departmental or Interdisciplinary Honors experiences. Departmental Honors is a two-year curriculum of enriched work in an academic department, and can be pursued either as a part of the University Honors Program or on its own. Interdisciplinary Honors is made up of three high-impact experiences plus a thesis. No award is given for completion of Discovery Honors courses alone; either Departmental Honors or Interdisciplinary Honors work is required to graduate with University Honors.


The Office of Admissions identifies a number of qualified incoming first-year students to be admitted to the Honors Program. In addition, first-years whose grades are in the top 10% of their year in each college are invited to join the program in January. Students may also petition to join the program if they have a GPA of at least 3.5. Admission to Departmental Honors is determined by each department; many require no invitation or application.

Required courses and experiences

  1. Discovery Honors courses (16 credits)
    1. One course must be an Honors Inquiry Seminar, with the course number 444.
    2. [For students entering in or after Fall 2016 only] One course must be an Honors Symposium, with the course number 440.
    3. At most one course may be a "self-designated Honors course," in which students create their own Honors course in collaboration with a faculty member.
  2. Departmental Honors OR Interdisciplinary Honors
    1. Departmental Honors requirements differ by major.
    2. Interdisciplinary Honors requires three approved high-impact experiences.
  3. Honors Thesis of at least 4 credits
    1. Students must register for an Honors Thesis course of at least 4 credits supervised by a faculty member.
    2. A grade of B or better is required for the Honors Thesis.

Registering for Honors Discovery Courses

Honors courses can be found on the course schedule by selecting the attributes "Honors Courses" and "All Discovery Courses." Enrollment in these courses is restricted to members of the University Honors Program. Students who are not members of the University Honors Program, but who wish to take an Honors course, may email  honors.program@unh.edu to request permission.

Departmental Honors

Currently, there are more than 50 different departments from all five of the University's undergraduate schools and colleges offering departmental honors programs. Academic work for Departmental Honors usually requires a minimum of 16 credits, at least four of which will be devoted to a senior thesis project. Students should familiarize themselves with their department's requirements and should meet with their departmental honors liaison.

Interdisciplinary Honors

Students entering in the Fall of 2016 or later have a second option for completing University Honors. In lieu of completing Departmental Honors, they may complete three approved high-impact experiences as well as a thesis. Interdisciplinary Honors recognizes students who seek academic experiences that extend beyond their course curricula. At least one experience must be interdisciplinary. An interdisciplinary experience is defined as one that requires the use of two or more disciplines in order to produce a specifically interdisciplinary product or understanding. In other words, the interdisciplinary experience allows for new ideas, questions, products, or solutions that would be unlikely to emerge within a single discipline. Examples of such experiences can be found on the UHP website.

 Approved high-impact experiences that count toward Interdisciplinary Honors include:

  • Study abroad in a UNH managed, exchange, or approved program of at least 8 weeks
  • Completing the application process for a major national fellowship
  • An IROP, SURF, or other approved research experience
  • Named co-authorship on a publication in a peer-reviewed journal
  • A presentation at a regional or national academic conference
  • A Social Innovation Summer Internship
  • Study away at the Washington Center or Semester in the City
  • Participation in the McNair Scholars Program (multiple high-impact experiences may be completed within the program)
  • Other approved high-impact experience (by petition)

Students should consult with Honors Program advisers before the beginning of Junior year to decide which track they will pursue.

GPA minimum

Honors Program members entering before the Fall of 2017 must maintain a GPA of 3.0 in the Freshman year and 3.4 thereafter. Members entering in or after the Fall of 2017 must maintain a GPA of 3.2 in the Freshman year and 3.5 thereafter. Students who do not reach the required GPA by the end of each academic year will be notified and offered an opportunity to petition to remain in the program. Students must meet the required GPA in order to graduate with University Honors.

For more information, contact the University Honors Program, email honors.program@unh.edu, (603) 862-3928. The Honors Program is located in Conant Hall, Suite 115.