Honors Program

If you enjoy smart discussion, debate, exploration and collaboration, you might be a candidate for Northwestern’s Honors Program. In addition to opportunities like honors seminars and research, you’ll also take field trips to graduate programs and receive funding to take graduate exams (GRE, MCAT, LSAT) and apply to grad school.

Around 50 students are in NWC’s Honors Program. You can apply after completing your first semester at Northwestern, and if you complete the seminar and research requirements, you'll be designated an Honors Scholar at commencement.

Honors seminars are interdisciplinary courses on topics outside the traditional curriculum. Often they are team-taught by professors from different departments, and they can substitute for other general education requirements. Recent courses include:

Food Ethics
Blizzard Voices

Vulnerable Communities
Living in a Changed World
Films of Krzysztof Kieslowski
Followership: Leading Like Jesus
Religion and Society in Science Fiction

All Honors Program participants complete a self-styled research project under the direction of a mentoring professor. The project might lead to a research paper, lab report, literary composition or fine arts performance. Honors Program students have been published and presented at professional conferences—stand-out success that gets attention on a résumé.

Freshmen and transfer students with proven high academic achievement will be invited to register for a special honors section of the First-Year Seminar (FYS), which all new students take, usually during their first semester on campus. Similar in form and content to the regular FYS, the Honors FYS is taught exclusively by Northwestern professors who have been recognized for their teaching excellence and can serve as a stepping-stone toward possible acceptance into the college’s Honors Program.