The NAU Honors Distinction

 Student Studying in Expansion 

A Curriculum for Your Future

The Honors College at Northern Arizona University expands opportunities for students like you by diversifying its curricular and extra-curricular programming with the intent of promoting your achievement no matter what your major—all within the traditional four-year college window.

The Honors College curriculum ensures a richer, more fulfilling experience for high achieving students like yourself, no matter what your major. Dynamic faculty integrate Honors with departmental curricula, culminating in a year-long Honors Capstone Pathway experience.

Our curriculum helps you reach your goals through the Honors Capstone Pathway. This innovative, 8-credit hour sequence of courses prepares you for success in your pursuit of medical school, research, advanced degrees, creative endeavors, or anything in between. It’s your future. You choose how to get there.

Honors College Requirements 

The Honors College provides a path that helps fulfill your general education requirements and some of your major requirements. To graduate from the Honors College, you will need to complete the following requirements:

Honors students admitted for Fall 2017 or later click here for catalog and see Pathway information below.

Honors Capstone Pathway

Throughout your progression in Honors, you define your own pathway through your major and Honors. Individually tailored, pathways guide your scholarship while helping define your long-term goals. You will typically choose your pathway in your sophomore year (in HON 202) and define your capstone, choose your mentor, and write your capstone proposal during their junior year (in HON 303). Unlike most honors colleges, you may use a variety of options to complete your Honors capstone, including, independent study, internships, undergraduate research, or a more traditional thesis.

Our curriculum ensures you will gain the knowledge and skills that will prepare you for success—personally, academically, and professionally.

Choose a pathway that will help you achieve your goals:

  • Do you want to go to medical school? Follow the Health/Medical Pathway. 
  • Interested in starting a business? The Entrepreneurial Pathway is the right direction. 
  • Want to solve real-world problems? The Interdisciplinary Team-Based Pathway may be right for you. 
  • Thinking of attending a top-tier graduate school? Check out the Knowledge/Discovery Pathway. 
  • Dreaming of a career in the arts? The Creative Pathway will lead you on the right path.


Click to view the Honors Capstone Pathway flyer PDF.

The Honors Capstone Pathway include the following:

  • HON 202 – Engaging in Honors Scholarship: Explore research and careers, apply for scholarships, plan study abroad, and choose an Honors Capstone Pathway (1 unit).
  • HON 303 – Honors Advanced Scholarship: Select a mentor and define and write a proposal for your capstone (1 unit).
  • Honors Capstone Experience: Conduct research, create art, conduct an internship or other individually tailored options that will help you achieve your career goals (6 units).


 Honors students admitted prior to Fall 2017 complete the following: 

1. Complete the following Honors courses:

  • one Honors first year seminar in critical reading and writing (HON 190)
  • one Honors Topic Seminar HON 291(AHI), 292(CU), 293(SAS), or 294(SPW) 
  • one Honors Advanced Seminar HON 391(AHI), 392(CU), 393(SAS), or 394(SPW)
  • Honors Capstone Experience: HON 491C or 4XXH associated with a major capstone 

An additional 6-9 Honors units (e.g., ENV 101H, HON 240 etc.) are needed for a total of 21 Honors units


Students also complete the following:

  • one mathematics foundation course at the PreCalculus level or higher(MAT 125)
  • complete Calculus II(MAT 137) OR demonstrate proficiency in a second language through the first year (102 level)

4. Honors Pathways Requirement: Participate in five Honors Pathways experiences (non-credit programs or activities from an approved list) prior to graduation

5. Graduate with a 3.30 cumulative NAU GPA