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.
Spring and Fall 2021 admission to Honors
All student applicants to the Honors College for Spring 2020 and beyond must:
- 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
- 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 2021 admission, the essay prompts HAVE changed for that admission cycle. We have posted our new admission prompts for Spring and Fall 2021 below. The Honors College Application for 2021 admission will opened September 14, 2020. Fall 2020 admission is CLOSED. Fall 2022 Honors Application will be available on September 1, 2021.
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), but that criteria is not exclusively used to admit to Honors. Honors applicants for Fall 2020 average 27 on the ACT and 1234 on the Math and Reading portions of the SAT, and a 3.76 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 ->first day of class in Fall), 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 Residential College (RC) (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.
Honors Residential College admission policies Accordion Closed
The 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. Also note that application to Honors does not guarantee admission to Honors, nor is application to Honors considered for hall placement in the Honors Residential College. Please plan your on-campus housing application submission accordingly. Any questions about Housing in Honors should be directed to Housing and Residential Life.
Scholarship consideration Accordion Closed
Submitting an application for Honors on or before November 16, 2020 will consider you for one of our limited Honors Merit Scholarships for Fall 2021. Notification of this award will be made in late December 2020.
The length of your formal essays should be no fewer than 500 words each. Your essays should be structured like an essay for an academic class. They 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. 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.
Prompts for Spring or Fall 2021 Honors College Admission Accordion Closed
- One requirement for completing the NAU Honors College curriculum is to develop and complete a two-semester “Honors Capstone” experience. This Capstone can take many forms, and Honors students typically propose how they will fulfill this requirement in their Sophomore or Junior year. The Capstone is intended to be a culminating academic experience that represents a student’s academic and/or personal interests and/or goals and ambitions. What sort(s) of culminating academic experience(s) have you had in your life thus far? How has that experience “defined” you, and how has that continued to shape your own aspirations? How does it inform your interest in pursuing an Honors education at college?
- In her article, “The Problem with Being Perfect,” Olga Khazan describes the nature of perfectionism in the contemporary university classroom. She notes that there are three types of perfectionism: self-oriented, or a desire to be perfect; socially prescribed, or a desire to live up to others’ expectations; and other-oriented, or holding others to unrealistic standards. Khazan asserts that a focus on grades and tangible rewards is problematic and ultimately inhibits potential. Do you agree? Make an argument justifying or refuting this claim. Please use your own experiences and other sources to support your argument.
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 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 do deny student admission to Honors. Should you wish to have your application re-opened for a second review, please contact our office to re-open your application. We also ask that you submit a new essay and a new resume along with a completed teacher evaluation (send teacher evaluation to firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 3.5 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 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.