Honors Engaged


University Honors aims to provide students with the opportunity to grow as leaders and engaged community members and citizens, who successfully make the transition from the campus to the world.

To graduate with Full University Honors students are required to participate in four co-curricular experiences. To graduate with Associate University Honors, students are required to participate in two co-curricular experiences. Fill in the Honors Engaged Form for approval to earn co-curricular credit for your experiences.

Co-curricular experiences will likely fall into the six categories listed below. Each experience should be meaningful and sustained, and the exact parameters of these standards might vary by category. We encourage you to explore multiple categories below, but we value the development of expertise and depth as well as breadth. Three-credit hour experiences will earn one point towards Honors Engaged requirements, but non-credit bearing experiences count also.

We recognize that some experiences earn six-course credits per experience. In those cases, we will award up to two points to fulfill Honors Engaged requirements. In general, however, no more than two points will be awarded for the same type of experience. (E.g., You will earn one Honors Engaged point for a three-credit course Study Abroad and two points for two three-credit Study Abroad programs or one six-credit Study Abroad experience, but further Study Abroad experiences would not count for Honors Engaged points.) Certain experiences may fit into more than one category. University Honors will work with you to curate the best set of experiences to meet your goals.

If you are pursuing Engage PLUS transcript notation, please note that all Engage PLUS approved experiences count towards your University Honors program goals.

Career Related Work Experience

Internships, externships, and program-specific career development fit into this category. We highlight some opportunities here, but this is not an exhaustive list. 

  • University Honors facilitates an internship with DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership for Honors students as well as an externship in partnership with the NIU Alumni Association.
  • The AVID Tutor field experience model is open to students seeking professional educator licensure.
  • Educate U.S. – Urban Experience (open to College of Education students seeking professional educator licensure) provides teacher licensure candidates the opportunity to cultivate their views and broaden their perspective of education through an intensive weeklong classroom experience in partner school districts across the country.
  • Educate Local provides teacher licensure candidates the opportunity to gain experience and develop their perspective of education through volunteering, observing and participating in various campus, community and educational settings.
  • Educate Global is the NIU College of Education’s unique opportunity for hands-on multicultural teaching through which they partner with school districts from around the world to provide first-hand experiences with different cultures, international colleagues and a support system for both your teaching and your explorations of your host country.
  • Learn more about the Educate and Engage series offered through the College of Education
  • University Honors will also award one point for student teaching experiences. Completion of the Honors Engaged form is required.
  • IGNITE! connects students to local companies, start-ups and non-profit organizations for paid, professional positions during the academic year.  IGNITE! students work up to 20 hours a week for a minimum of $10 per hour with an IGNITE! company.

Campus Involvement

Dedicated involvement in some NIU recognized student clubs, honors societies, student government, co-curricular activities (e.g., Mock Trial), and other similar activities for a sustained amount of time (on average, about 60-80 hours) is recognized under this category.


Meaningful leadership roles recognized by NIU or, at times, off-campus are eligible for Honors Engaged points when they represent a sustained time commitment of approximately 60-80 hours. University Honors provides students with Honors-only opportunities to gain leadership experience, including the Honors Fellows program open to University Honors sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Check out other campus leadership positions, such as orientation leadercommunity advisor, and house leader.

Community Engaged Learning/Civic Engagement and Study Abroad

Honors Engaged values programs that give students the opportunity to apply curricular lessons to improve real-world problems in the community beyond the university. At times, these experiences are built into courses, while in other cases they are stand-alone experiences.

We encourage you to check out alternative spring break options. University Honors is co-sponsoring an alternative spring break with Habitat for Humanity of Kent County (March 8-14) for University Honors students.

Explore other rewarding opportunities and great ways to meet your co-curricular Honors requirements:

Undergraduate Research

NIU provides students with excellent opportunities to engage in undergraduate research in and out of the classroom. In this category, we recognize undergraduate research efforts and accomplishments that go beyond general course assignments and result in a major paper, performance, experiment, project or portfolio. Honors capstones, required for Full University Honors, count for one point.


There are opportunities to coordinate requirements in the College of Visual and Performing Arts with Honors Engaged. Solo performances, major exhibits, significant roles in productions, student-led artistic initiatives, original compositions and so forth can play a role in Honors Engaged.

Honors Engaged Form

Contact Us

University Honors Program 
Campus Life Building 110
DeKalb, IL 60115

Phone: 815-753-0694
Email: honors@niu.edu