Shayne Cofer, Acting Director
Jon B. Hageman, Coordinator
Melissa Ramos, Administrative Assistant
Curriculum and Standards Board:
John Casey, Philosophy, Chair
Amina Chaudhri, Teacher Education
Amanda Dykema-Engblade, Psychology
Mateo Farzaneh, History
Ana Nieves, Art
Aaron Schirmer, Biology
Emina A. Stojković, Biology
Qiumei (Jane) Xu, Management and Marketing

Uniquely flexible for students in all fields of study and at almost every stage of degree progress, the University Honors Program (UHP) is open to eligible undergraduates who have a minimum of three academic terms left before graduating from NEIU. UHP students enjoy priority registration, small class sizes, and a stimulating curriculum that emphasizes research and creativity, and cultivates critical and independent thinking. A limited number of Merit Tuition Scholarships are awarded to students on the basis of academic merit and Honors course completion.

The University Honors Program consists of two independent tiers: The Honors Student University Core Curriculum (UCC) Program for freshmen and sophomores, and the Honors Scholar 300-level Program for juniors and seniors. Four unique Area Courses in the UCC program introduce Honors Students to the array of studies available at NEIU and demonstrate the interconnections between academic disciplines. At the 300 level, UHP Scholars tailor the curriculum to their academic major and interests. Requirements at the 300 level emphasize research and creative activities, and culminate in the completion of a two-semester Senior Project that builds professional and academic confidence, preparedness, and competitiveness. Study Abroad and international field experiences can partially fulfill 300-level UHP coursework. Successful completion of the Program results in Honors Student and Honors Scholar designations imprinted on transcript and/or diploma.

All UHP course numbers are prefixed by an initial “Z”, followed by a three-letter code designating the Honors Program (e.g., “ZHON”) or an academic department (such as “ZART” for an Honors Art course).

More detailed information on the NEIU Honors Program is available in the Honors Office, B-141, by phone at (773) 442-6044, or at our website: neiu.edu/academics/honors-program

Honors Student Program

Requirements for Admission:

Entering Freshmen: ‘High Pass’ on application essay and at least one of the following: ranked in top 10% of graduating high school class or minimum ACT score of 25; portfolio, if appropriate, of significant works demonstrating excellence in creative activities. Exceptional cases will be considered. Interested students with a GED are encouraged to apply.

Current NEIU/ Transfer Students: ‘High Pass’ on application essay. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in NEIU courses numbered 100 and above or in transferable courses.  Please let us know if you completed an Honors Program at a 2-year institution.

Up to six credits earned in a similar Honors Program may be considered for transfer into the NEIU Honors Program. Petition for transfer courses will be evaluated by the UHP Coordinator.

Retention Requirements for the Honors student Program:

Only courses passed with grades of ‘A’ or ‘B’ will fulfill UHP requirements; no Honors course may be taken more than twice.

Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 and UHP GPA of 3.0 must be maintained to stay in good UHP academic standing and be eligible to receive UHP scholarships and awards.

Students who do not meet these requirements will be placed on UHP academic probation for two consecutively enrolled terms; failure to reach the criteria after the probationary term may result in dismissal from the Honors Student Program.

Requirements for the Honors student Program:

The Honors Student Program requires completion of 15 credit hours of 100- and 200-level UCC Honors courses: each of four Honors Area Courses listed below and one Honors elective. All Honors courses will be designated by an initial Z, followed by a three-letter code designating the Honors Program (ZHON) or an academic department (in the case of electives).

ZHON-191Honors Introduction To The Arts3
ZHON-192Introduction To The Humanities3
ZHON-193Honors Introduction To The Social Sciences3
ZHON-194Honors Introduction To The Sciences3
Z- Honors elective3
Total Hours15

Students who successfully complete the Honors Student Program will have the designation “Honors Student” imprinted on their transcript.

Honors Scholars Program

Students may enter the Honors Scholar program in one of two ways:

  1. successful completion of Honors Student Program and declaration of an academic major; or
  2. declaration of an academic major, Junior standing, cumulative GPA of 3.5, and a ‘high pass’ on the Scholar-level application essay.

Students applying via the second option above will be asked to respond to an essay question that will allow them to demonstrate their critical thinking and writing skills.

Requirements for the Honors scholar Program:

The Honors Scholar Program requires completion of 15 credit hours at the 300 level: 9 credit hours of electives (such as courses adapted from the major or minor for UHP credit, Study Abroad or international field experience, or ZHON-375: Honors Colloquium: World Perspectives), and 6 credit hours of work toward a two-semester UHP Senior Project (ZHON-360-Honors Seminar in Research and Creative Processes and ZHON-395-Honors Thesis Hours/Creative Project, or approved discipline-specific equivalents). See below for additional information on adapting courses for UHP credit and on the Senior Project requirement.

3 UHP electives at the 300 level (adapted major/minor courses, Study Abroad or international field experience, or ZHON-375)9
ZHON-360Honors Seminar In Research & Creative Processes3
ZHON-395Honors Thesis/ Creative Project3
Total Hours15

Retention Requirements for the Honors scholar Program:

Only courses passed with grades of ‘A’ or ‘B’ will fulfill UHP requirements; no Honors course may be taken more than twice.

The student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 and UHP GPA of 3.0 to stay in good UHP academic standing and be eligible to receive UHP scholarships and awards.

Students who do not meet these requirements will be placed on Honors Program academic probation for two consecutively enrolled terms; failure to reach the criteria after the probationary term may result in dismissal from the Honors Scholar Program.

Students who successfully complete the Honors Scholar Program will have the designation “Honors Scholar” imprinted on their transcript and diploma upon graduation.

Adapted Courses:

Students at the Honors Scholar level will apply to adapt non-Honors courses for Honors credit. In this way, courses in the student’s major can fulfill UHP requirements. Student and faculty member must discuss this option in advance, complete the UHP Adapted Course Application, and submit it for approval by the UHP Coordinator prior to the start of the semester in which the course will be taken. Additional guidelines regarding this process are available from the Honors Program Office, B-141.

UHP Senior Project

All UHP Scholars must complete a UHP Senior Project, a research-based thesis or creative work (depending on the scholar’s major) that represents outstanding undergraduate achievement in their field(s) and the culmination of the Honors Scholar curriculum. To be eligible for enrollment in ZHON-395-Honors Thesis Hours/Creative Project, scholars must successfully complete ZHON-360 (or equivalent) with an approved project proposal that includes abstract, literature review, and initial write-up of the inquiry/project. They must also have the support of a faculty member in their field who is familiar with the project proposal and willing to serve as thesis/creative project advisor. For additional information and guidelines, scholars can obtain a current copy of the UHP Senior Project Manual and other related documents from the UHP Office, B-141.

For general questions regarding the NEIU Honors Program, please contact the Honors Office: (773) 442-6044.

ZHON-191. Honors Introduction To The Arts. 3 Hours.

This course provides a stimulating introduction to the performing and fine arts. The course is structured around four modules covering the performing and fine arts offered at NEIU: visual arts, music, dance, and theater. The modules, while complete in themselves, will draw connections between the fine arts and explore the differences that make each of the fine arts unique. This course counts for General Education credit in the Fine Arts area.

ZHON-192. Introduction To The Humanities. 3 Hours.

This lively introduction to the humanities at NEIU and to humanistic discourse in general is a discussion-oriented core course in the Honors Program. It is structured around a series of thought-provoking questions that will allow for the investigation of multiple methods of inquiry employed in the humanities. Various topics will be explored from the perspectives of English, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Linguistics, Philosophy, Communication and Women's Studies. Students will learn essential academic skills while exploring how these disciplines are both distinctive and in conversation with one another, sharing concerns common to the humanities in general. This course count for General Education credit in the Humanities area.

ZHON-193. Honors Introduction To The Social Sciences. 3 Hours.

This spirited introduction to the social sciences at NEIU, and to the behavioral and social sciences in general, is a discussion-oriented core course in the Honors Program. It is structured around a series of thought-provoking readings and inter-related topics that will investigate multiple methods of inquiry employed in the social sciences. These themes and approaches will be explored from the perspectives of Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Justice Studies, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. Students will learn essential academic skills while gaining insight into how various disciplines connect with one another and inform various dimensions of interpersonal life. This course counts for General Education credit in the Social/ Behavioral Sciences area.

ZHON-194. Honors Introduction To The Sciences. 3 Hours.

This course provides a stimulating introduction to a set of topics that are at the forefront of research in the natural sciences. The course is structured around a series of modules each covering a topic that is among the most significant in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, and Physics. The modules, while complete in themselves, will draw connections between scientific disciplines, and will explore how advance in one field have facilitated breakthroughs in other fields of science. The integration of computation into the course provides a strong link to the disciplines of Mathematics and Computer Science as well. This course counts for General Education credit in the Natural Sciences.

ZHON-360. Honors Seminar In Research & Creative Processes. 3 Hours.

How do scientists test a hypothesis? What approach directs a jazz pianist's creative process? What form does analysis take in English or Educational Leadership or Archaeology? This practice-oriented seminar explores how research is conducted in a variety of academic areas. Students will examine methodologies and gain experience synthesizing literature and analyzing findings as they build the components of an Honors Thesis/Creative Activities Proposal. Faculty guests will offer perspectives on their own research/creative processes. Discussions and class assignments will lead students progressively toward developing a polished proposal in their own major field of study. Course themes will vary.

ZHON-375. Honors Colloquium: World Perspectives. 3 Hours.

Specialized and intensive investigation of topics in broadly defined areas of current interest: reading, discussions, guest lectures.

ZHON-395. Honors Thesis/ Creative Project. 3 Hours.

The Honors Thesis or Creative Project represents the culmination of your participation in the Honors Program. After completing an approved proposal, Honors Scholars register for ZHON-395 with their thesis/creative project faculty advisor and work one-on-one with him/her to conduct and complete the thesis/ creative project. Honors Scholar and faculty advisor continue to participate in regular meetings with others going through same process. ZHON-395 students strongly encouraged to present their work at the NEIU Student Research and Creative Activities Symposium or similar venue.
Prerequisite: ZHON-360 minimum grade of C.

ZHON-3951. Honors Thesis/ Creative Project Hours. 1 Hour.

The NEIU Honors Program supports department-specific thesis options. Honors Scholars may conduct their Honors thesis/ creative project through departmental credit hours or by enrolling in ZHON-395. If the departmental thesis/creative project credits add up to less than 3, the student may use ZHON-3951-3 credits to bring the total number of Honors thesis/ creative project credits up to 3. See thesis advisor to determine if department has its own credit hours for senior thesis or creative project.

ZHON-3952. Honors Thesis/ Creative Project Hours. 2 Hours.

The NEIU Honors Program supports department-specific thesis options. Honors Scholars may conduct their Honors thesis/ creative project through departmental credit hours or by enrolling in ZHON-395. If the departmental thesis/creative project credits add up to less than 3, the student may use ZHON-3951-3 credits to bring the total number of Honors thesis/ creative project credits up to 3. See thesis advisor to determine if department has its own credit hours for senior thesis or creative project.

ZHON-3953. Honors Thesis/ Creative Project Hours. 3 Hours.

The NEIU Honors Program supports department-specific thesis options. Honors Scholars may conduct their Honors thesis/ creative project through departmental credit hours or by enrolling in ZHON-395. If the departmental thesis/creative project credits add up to less than 3, the student may use ZHON-3951-3 credits to bring the total number of Honors thesis/ creative project credits up to 3. See thesis advisor to determine if department has its own credit hours for senior thesis or creative project.