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Honor Society FAQ

1. What is the difference between an honor society, departmental honors, and the University Honors Program?

An honor society is a student organization at a college, university, or secondary school that admits members based on academic merit and notable contributions to society.

Departmental honors is offered by your major department and allows you to earn your degree with departmental honors listed on your transcript. This will focus on courses related to your major, especially in your junior and senior year. For more information on the departmental honors program in your major, please refer to your major department.

The University Honors Program is a university wide program that offers three options, Lower Division Honors, Upper Division Honors, and University Honors. Each option is has different requirements associated with courses and projects and graduates from each program receive distinction on their degree from NIU. In addition, University Honors students enjoy benefits including the ability to live in the Honors House, the ability to apply for selected scholarships and fellowships, and the ability to utilize priority registration.

2. If I am in an Honor Society, does that mean I am in the University Honors Program?

No. Students wishing to be a part of the University Honors Program must fill out an application and must be enrolled in Honors classes.

3. If I am in the University Honors Program, does that mean I will graduate with departmental honors too?

No. Different departments have different requirements of their departmental honors students. However, usually there are many requirements that overlap between university and departmental honors requirements, so often students find that if they are enrolled in University Honors that the departmental honors requirements are quite manageable to complete.