How to apply to the Honors College
The Honors College opens the door to the best of the Northern Arizona University experience. You’ll be surrounded by a community of like-minded, ambitious, and curious students; welcomed into conversations with groundbreaking scholars and innovative artists; and encouraged to pursue projects that genuinely excite you.
We know you’re ready to climb higher. Seize your opportunity today.
All applications to the Honors College received by 11/15 at 11:59pm are being considered for the Honors College Merit Scholarship for Fall 2024.
The essay prompts for Spring and Fall 2024 Applications for Admission are posted below. 2025 Admission prompts will be posted by 8/1/2024
All student applicants to the Honors College must:
- first be admitted to NAU
- have an NAU user ID and password
- have a unweighted HS Core GPA of 3.0 or higher (What is a HS Core GPA?)
- submit the following:
- online Honors Application (link at bottom of page)
- two Honors admissions essays (minimum and maximum word requirements for each essay)
- resume or list of activities and accomplishments
Please have your essay and resume ready to submit before clicking the application link below. Documents are accepted in .doc, .docx, and .pdf formats only.
A confirmation email will be sent to the NAU email included in the online application, and all future correspondence from Honors is directed to that email.
Please note that if you are interested in applying for Spring or Fall 2023 admission, our application is now closed. The 2024 Honors Application is available September 1. The essay prompts have changed for Spring and Fall 2024 admission. Please check back in July 2024 for our updated prompts For Fall 2025 Admission.
How we evaluate applications Accordion Closed
Admission to Honors is based on an evaluation of the student from a multitude of perspectives. We do take test scores and HS Core GPA into consideration for new freshmen (minimum transfer college or current NAU GPA required) if submitted, but that criteria is not exclusively used to admit to Honors. Honors applicants for Fall 2023 average 27 on the ACT and 1189 on the Math and Reading portions of the SAT, and a 3.81 HS Core GPA. Honors College applicants must have a 3.0 Core HS GPA.
Important dates Accordion Closed
We accept applications to the Honors College all year (Sept 1 ->August 15), but we strongly encourage you be admitted to Honors prior to February 1 if you would like to live on campus and in the Honors Campus Living Community (this date allows you to ensure room placement in the Honors College); and April 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. Our application closes each year on Aug 15.
Honors College Campus Living Accordion Closed
The Honors CLC is available on a space-available basis. Students who secure Honors College Admission will live in the Honors College Campus Living Community(CLC) until space is filled. Also note that application to Honors does not guarantee admission to Honors, nor is application to Honors considered for hall placement in the Honors CLC.
Admission to Honors does not guarantee placement in Honors College CLC, so please plan your campus living application submission accordingly. Applications are prioritized by date of application as space is limited.
Scholarship consideration Accordion Closed
Submitting an application for Honors on or before November 15, will consider you for one of our limited Honors Merit Scholarships for the following Spring or Fall enrollment term. Notification of this award will be made in late December. We will consider applications after this date on a “funds available” basis.
Your “essays” will be evaluated both on your content and ideas as well as on writing conventions such as thesis, supporting evidence, organization, grammar, spelling, parallel construction, style, and mechanics.
Prompts for Spring or Fall 2024 Honors College Admission Accordion Closed
Spring and Fall 2024 Admission prompts are NOW available through the links below. Prompts for the upcoming academic year 2024 should post here on or around August 10, 2023.
- Essay 1 instructions:The purpose of this essay is to give us a chance to see you think through a problem in writing, and like many problems you will encounter in college classes, this one has no single or simple right answer. A strong essay will have a main point—a thesis or argument—and will support that point through a discussion and analysis of examples and other kinds of evidence. A successful essay will also be concerned with exploring the complexity of an issue, and with recognizing and acknowledging the value of different perspectives. Finally, and in addition to seeing how you think through a problem, we will be looking at your command of basic academic writing conventions, including organization and paragraph structure, spelling, usage, style, and mechanics. Your response should be at least 500 and no more than 1000 words in length.Prompt: The authors of a recent essay on Honors education draw on the work of Peter Block for the following statement: “Prior conceptualizations of citizenship relied largely on basic forms of engagement, such as voting or volunteering. We refer to such behavior as civic engagement, the rudimentary duties of participation in a democratic society. The challenges of contemporary social problems, though, call for something beyond civic engagement: globally informed, sustained community engagement at the micro-level that strives to address root causes of problems and thereby create enduring change at the structural level. “This excerpt raises important questions—about the nature of citizenship, about the difference between civic duty and community engagement, and about the relative value of traditional forms of political participation and actions that are distinctly local but aimed at addressing global issues. Using the passage above as a springboard, write an essay that considers the relative importance of civic and “globally informed, sustained community engagement.” What is the role of rudimentary civic engagement in a democratic society? Think of, and discuss, two or three kinds of social problems that seem to require something more, and what might that kind of “globally informed, sustained community engagement” look like.
In developing your answer, you may want to discuss examples with which you are familiar. Try and think of 2-4 examples here, but please note that this is not a personal essay, so please do not compose your paper in the first person. In other words, do not use “I” statements. Look at examples of civic and community engagement as if you were viewing them from the outside.
- “Essay” 2:
Please write five sentences describing yourself, your life, and your experiences that, taken together, form an accurate view of who you are. Be creative! List more than 5 and we will only read and consider the first 5.Do not list information provided in your résumé. This is not a rehash of what you’ve already submitted telling us about yourself.These five sentences should be “little nuggets” of information that give us insight into who you are. It’s information that you couldn’t work/sneak into an essay or onto your résumé, but information you feel is really important in showing us just who you are, “where you come from.” The sentences should not simply reiterate information from your résumé, but they may enhance information mentioned on your résumé. Smart applicants will make good use of this opportunity and make each of the five sentences about something different. Think of these sentences as showing us aspects of who you are, including what you do, what you love, your favorite things, your deepest desires, your most grandiose dreams….. These are snapshots, not short stories, that give us a view of you and your unique perspective.
Respond to both prompts for consideration. Please have your Honors College Essays of Admission (prompts above) 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 who have a 3.0 HS Core GPA or higher. Essays should be submitted in .doc, .docx, or .pdf formats ONLY. Not submitting in one of these three formats will delay your admission decision. You are also asked to copy and paste your resume and essays into text boxes. Formatting will not be preserved in the text box, which is why we ask for an uploaded document. The evaluation of the essays and resume will not be affected by the appearance of the text box submission.
Please consider this an opportunity for you to describe yourself to us in ways beyond a record of your employment. This document should help us find answers to questions like:
- What things are you interested in?
- What student or community groups or organizations are you a member of?
- What do you do with your spare time? Do you play club/school sports? Do you volunteer? Where? How often?
- What leadership positions do you have?
Please note that we do deny student admission to Honors. Should you wish to have your application re-opened for a second review, we ask that you submit a new essay and a new resume along with a completed teacher evaluation (send teacher evaluation to email@example.com).
Other admissions policies
Transfer student requirements Accordion Closed
Incoming students to the Honors College are considered “transfer students” when they are transferring 24 or more semester credit hours (earned post-HS graduation) into NAU and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 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 Accordion Closed
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.
Reminder: to be eligible for admission as a current NAU student, you must have a cumulative Northern Arizona University grade point average of 3.30 or above.
Admission to Honors does not guarantee placement in Honors College CLC, so please plan your campus living application submission accordingly. Housing applications are prioritized by date of application as space is limited.
All applications to the Honors College received by 11/15/2023 at 11:59pm will be considered for the Honors College Merit Scholarship for Fall 2024 enrollment.