COURSE OF STUDY
GRADUATING WITH UNIVERSITY HONORS:
To graduate “With University Honors,” students must complete 21 semester hours of Honors courses with a minimum gpa of 3.25. Three of those hours must be earned in the Honors 397/Honors Colloquium, and three must be earned by successfully completing an Honors 491/Honors Independent Study (or an equivalent course, usually numbered 497, in their particular discipline). Students graduating “With University Honors” will receive at commencement a medallion and a degree indicating that singular achievement. Each year, the University confers the Duane P. Myers Honors Award—named for FMU’s founding Honors director—upon an outstanding graduating senior.
Note that graduating “With University Honors” is different from Latin Honors, which indicates that the recipient has achieved a particular grade point average. Students who complete degree requirements with a gpa of 3.5 to 3.74 are granted a diploma cum laude (with praise). Those who complete degree requirements with a gpa of 3.75 to 3.89 are granted a diploma magna cum laude (with great praise). And those who complete degree requirements with a grade point average of 3.9 or higher are granted adiploma summa cum laude (with greatest praise). There are also several honors societies with which the University is affiliated, the most prestigious of which is Phi Kappa Phi. Others are associated with particular disciplines.
Incoming freshmen are eligible for FMU Honors if they have scored at least a combined 1100 on the math and verbal portions of the SAT, a cumulative score of 24 on the ACT, or if they have in some other way distinguished themselves as Honors-eligible. Excepting those students issued special invitations by course professors or the Director, all students—incoming freshmen, current students and transfer students—must submit an application and be accepted to FMU Honors before being allowed to register for Honors courses. Second semester freshmen must have earned a gpa of at least 3.0; all others must maintain a gpa of 3.25 to remain eligible.
FMU Honors students typically begin with a 1-hour University Life 100/Honors course, proceed through 100- and 200-level general education courses, and complete their Honors course of study with 300- and 400-level courses.
UNIVERSITY LIFE 100/HONORS (1 credit hour): In this course, students are introduced to skills and strategies that will enhance their study habits and ability to succeed in their degree programs and become familiar with the resources available to help solve academic, professional and personal problems. The four Honors sections of UL 100 will also incorporate a common text and/or activity and introduce students to FMU Honors policies.
HONORS 200/SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM (1 hour): This course is a discussion forum that asks students to prepare for, attend, and respond in writing to the weekly Science Symposium. It is offered spring and fall semesters and carries elective but not General Education or other credit, and is assessed as S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory). It may be taken twice for credit.
HONORS 201/HUMANTIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM (1 hour): this course asks students to meet once a week to discuss a recent art/cultural event such as plays, concerts, Humanities/Social Science lectures, etc., or to interview an area faculty artist/humanist/arts administrator. It is offered each fall semester and carries elective but not General Education or other credit, and is assessed as S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory). It may be taken twice for credit.
HONORS 202/BUSINESS LEADERSHIP SYMPOSIUM (1 hour): This course asks students to meet once a week with local civic or government leaders, entrepreneurs, university administrators/donors or other area leaders and/or to discuss such relevant topics as downtown development, taxation, philanthropy, etc. It is offered each spring semester and carries elective but not General Education or other credit, and is assessed as S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory). It may be taken twice for credit.
GENERAL EDUCATION COURSES (3 or 4 hours): because most Honors students take most of their Honors courses during their first two years of college, FMU Honors offers Honors sections of courses needed to fulfill General Education requirements. These will include, depending on the semester, Honors sections of Speech Communication 101, Business 150, Chemistry 150, English 200, Political Science 101, Mathematics 134—the basic staples of FMU's undergraduate curriculum. In addition to these, however, are Special Topics courses available only to Honors students and taught by faculty interested in innovation and indulging their appetites for challenging topics. These courses are:
- HONORS 250-9/SPECIAL TOPICS IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES (3 hours): Course topics may be interdisciplinary and cover innovative, non-traditional topics within the Social Sciences such as The Personal Presidency, Humor in Society, The Politics of Financial Crisis, Gender and Power, etc. These courses may be taken for General Education credit and as Social Sciences electives and may be applied as credit in applicable major with permission of chair or dean.
- HONORS 260-9/SPECIAL TOPICS IN THE HUMANITIES (3 hours): Course topics may be interdisciplinary and cover innovative, non-traditional topics within the Humanities, such as The Brothers Grimm, American Outlaws, US History Through Fiction, Film Noir, Non-Classic Logic, Introduction to Existentialism, etc. These courses may be taken for General Education credit as Humanities electives and may be applied as credit in applicable major with permission of chair or dean.
- HONORS 270-9/SPECIAL TOPICS IN THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES (3 or 4 hours): Course topics may be interdisciplinary and cover innovative, non-traditional topics within the Behavioral Sciences, such as Psychology of Medicine, the Psychology of Corrections, Death and Dying, Psychology in the Cinema, etc. These courses may be taken for General Education credit as Behavioral Science electives and may be applied as credit in applicable major with permission of chair or dean.
- HONORS 280-289/ SPECIAL TOPICS IN THE NATURAL SCIENCES (3 or 4) Course topics may be interdisciplinary and cover innovative, non-traditional topics within the Natural Sciences, such as The Biology of Cancer, the Neurobiology of Crime, Sustainable Food, the History of Science, etc. These courses may be taken for General Education credit as Natural Science electives and may be applied as credit in applicable major with permission of chair or dean.
HONORS 350/THE MODEL UN EXPERIENCE (3 hours): This three-hour course provides a history of, and information on the workings of, the United Nations. Additionally, it prepares students for the National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference, held each year in New York City. Students who take this course will learn about the League of Nations and the origins of the United Nations, the policies of the country to which FMU is assigned for that particular year, the development of position papers, the importance of caucusing and diplomacy to achieve one’s goals, and the process of both writing a working paper and turning it into a resolution. Students will take quizzes, participate in in-class simulations, practice writing position and working papers, and demonstrate that they have prepared themselves for the NMUN conference. May be taken twice for credit.
HONORS 391/HONORS INDEPENDENT STUDY WORKSHOP (1 hour): (Prerequisite: Completion of 12 or more hours of Honors courses or permission of Honors Director) This course is optional for students planning to complete Honors 491/Honors Independent Study) the following semester. Students work with the Honors Director to decide on and plan for their Independent Study project, to select and begin work with their Study Director, and to prepare and submit an acceptable Proposal to the Honors Committee. Faculty from various disciplines will advise on research methodology and presentation. This course carries elective, but not general education, departmental, or school credit. It is Assessed as S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory) and may be taken for credit only once.
HONORS 397/HONORS COLLOQUIUM (3 hours): (Prerequisite: Completion of 12 or more hours of Honors courses or permission of Honors Director) This course eeals with special topics, selected each time the course is offered, from an interdisciplinary point of view. Its goal is to provide Honors students with the opportunity to examine subjects which do not fall completely within the province of any one department or school. It carries elective, but not departmental or school credit. It May be taken twice for credit. Grades below B do not count toward credit for the Honors degree, although they do count toward regular University degree requirements. Honors nursing majors may substitute Honors 397 Colloquium with an Honors or contract section of IPHC 500 Rural Health Care.
HONORS 491-499/HONORS INDEPENDENT STUDY (3) (Prerequisite: Completion of 12 or more hours of Honors courses or permission of Honors Director) This course is a semester-long research topic that allows the student to pursue independent academic work, normally in the area of major concentration, under the guidance of a faculty mentor. It typicallly takes the form of a senior research project or thesis. Topics must be approved by both the appropriate department chairman or dean and the Honors Committee. Projects are reviewed by three faculty members from two different disciplines. Grades below B do not count toward credit for the Honors degree, although they do count toward regular University degree requirements. May be taken a second time in a second discipline. 497 Special Studies (3) in various disciplines, PRS 499 Advanced Study (3), or Nursing 445 Guided Nursing Elective (3) may be taken for Honors credit, by special arrangement, in place of 491-499.
NOTES: An acceptable substitute for HNRS 397 is the successful completion of a semester in one of our official International Exchange Programs, earning a GPA of B or higher for that semester’s work. In such cases, the grade point average requirement for graduating “With University Honors” will be calculated out of 18 Honors credit hours rather than 21.
Students who successfully complete the Washington Semester Program may count three credit hours of POL 497-H WS, ENG 498-H WS, or PSY 310-H WS in place of 491-499. Grades below B do not count toward credit for the Honors degree, although they do count toward regular degree requirements.