How to apply to the Honors College

Spring and Fall 2019 Admission to Honors ONLY

Fall and Spring 2019 Honors Admission processes and application will be changing.  We hope to have the new online application in place in early October. Stay tuned!

PLEASE NOTE that our Admission Essay prompts have changed for 2019, and are listed below. They will not change when the new application comes online in October.

Should you be interested in applying for Fall 2018 admission, please contact  for prompts and information about submitting an application.  

ALL student applicants to the Honors College for Spring 2019 and beyond must submit an on-line Honors Application, a resume or list of activities and accomplishments, AND a two Honors Essays of Admission. In order to complete the on-line Honors application, you must first have 1) been admitted to NAU and 2) have your NAU user ID and password. Also, please have your essays and resume ready to submit BEFORE clicking the "Apply to Honors on-line" link below. Documents are accepted in .doc, .docx, and .pdf formats ONLY. A confirmation email is sent to the email you included in the on-line application, and all future correspondence from Honors is directed to that email until you arrive on campus. 

Admission to Honors is based on an evaluation of the student from a multitude of perspectives. We do take test scores and HS GPA into consideration for new freshmen (minimum transfer college or current NAU GPA required--see below), but that criteria is not exclusively used to admit to Honors. Honors applicants for Fall 2017 average 27 on the ACT and 1182 on the Math and Reading portions of the SAT, and a 3.7 HS Core GPA. There is no deadline to apply to Honors, but we strongly encourage submitting application materials prior to March 1 if you would like to request to live on campus in our new Honors College (this date allows us to review and process your application for Honors in enough time in advance of room placement); and May 1 is our priority date to ensure enrollment in our first year Honors seminar. Admission to Honors will continue through the Summer on a space available basis. The new Honors RC is available on a space-available basis. If you wish to live in Honors RC, please secure Honors College Admission in advance of these dates above. For Fall 2018, the Honors College housing filled in  June. Also note that application to Honors does not guarantee admission to Honors, nor is application to Honors considered for priority to request on-campus housing in the Honors College. Please plan your on-campus housing application submission accordingly.  

Submitting an application for Honors on or before November 13, 2018 will consider you for one of our limited Honors Merit Scholarships for Fall 2019. Awards have been made for Fall 2018. Notification of this award is made in late December 2018. 

Please respond to essay #1 AND  #2 for consideration of admission into Northern Arizona University’s Honors College. PLEASE NOTE these prompts are ONLY for FALL and Spring 2019 Admission. 

The length of each of your formal Honors admission essays  should be no fewer than 500 words each. Your essays should be structured like an essay for an academic class. It will be evaluated both on your content and ideas as well as on writing conventions such as a central argument, supporting evidence, organization, grammar, spelling, parallel construction, style, mechanics, etc. That said, think outside the box as you consider your response. Don’t follow the expected path; don’t tell us what you think we WANT to hear. Express yourself. Submit BOTH essays in ONE attached document.

1)    Briefly describe a current local, national or international event that has affected your education and its personal and academic significance. In addition, how has your understanding of, or relationship to, that event prepared you for a University Honors education? Be sure to address what you expect to contribute to your Honors education and how you see yourself growing (maturing?) from an Honors education.

2)    For Fall 2018, Honors College students read the novel, Station Eleven, by Emily St. John-Mandel. The text deals with civilization after a mysterious virus wipes out 90% of humanity. For your essay, imagine such a collapsed world and society. What would you miss most in a collapsed world? The novel mentions cars, air conditioning, can openers, the safety of one’s home, the light in a refrigerator, etc. Can you even imagine a time in the future when items such as these may actually have disappeared or become obsolete? What such items would you find essential to have in such a world? What items would not serve a purpose? Be sure to think beyond cell phones, computers, and other such technology when developing your arguments. Describe and defend your response. 

(This prompt is a "stand-alone" prompt in that you are NOT expected nor required to READ the text, Station Eleven in order to craft your argument and support. If you feel you need more info on the story, you can find numerous study guides on-line. We are NOT expecting nor requiring essays to include in depth analysis or summaries of the text. Do not over think the prompt or your response to it--we want to see your ideas, not how well you relate them to specific ideas in the text. We provided you with enough of a summary that you should be able to articulate your response).

A note on our expectations of your  resume: Please consider this an opportunity for you to describe yourself to us in ways BEYOND a record of your employment. What things are you interested in? What makes you tick? What student or community groups or organizations are you a member of? What do you do with your spare time? Did you play club/school sports? Do you volunteer? Where? How often? What LEADERSHIP positions do you have?

Please note that we may request additional information from you to gain a better understanding of you as a student. While test scores, GPAs, and writing samples give us a good picture of applicants' potential, we occasionally need some additional perspective on your abilities. We'll communicate with you if we need a letter of recommendation from someone familiar with your academic abilities prior to an admission decision. 

 Transfer student requirements 

Incoming students to the Honors College are considered "transfer students" when they are transferring 30 or more semester credit hours (earned post-HS graduation) into NAU and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or above. Transfer students must submit an application, resume, and essay for consideration. Transfer transcripts MUST be on file at NAU for consideration.

Current student requirements

If you are not admitted for new or transfer admission, you may apply for the Honors College  after completing 12 credit hours of letter-graded coursework at Northern Arizona University. Current NAU students must submit an application, resume, and essay for consideration. The coursework to be considered for admission must count toward liberal studies and/or toward major or minor requirements.

To be eligible for admission, you must have a cumulative Northern Arizona University grade point average of 3.30 or above.


Please have your 2019 Honors College Essay of Admission (prompt above--for 2018 admissions contact and resume ready to submit BEFORE clicking the "Apply to Honors on-line" link below. This link is only accessible to prospective Honors students who have first been admitted to NAU. Essays should be submitted in .doc, .docx, or .pdf formats ONLY. Not submitting in one of these three formats WILL delay your admission decision. 

Please be sure to attach BOTH essays as ONE document.


Click link below to submit an application.  

Apply to Honors on-line!