Archives and Special Collections
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Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note


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Title:University Honors Program records
Dates:1981-2006 (bulk 1997-2005)
Call Number:A88

Historical Note

The University Honors Program was established on a University-wide basis in the fall of 1986 in order to attract and retain the brightest students to Northeastern University. As early as 1984-85, the idea of a University-wide Honors program was discussed by a Committee of Deans. Several honors programs already existed in some of the colleges, but they did not reflect a uniform standard and the number of students in these honors programs was fewer than 250. The all-University Honors Program established in 1987 serves the needs of academically gifted students through advanced courses, advisement, and special activities. The program grew in size, from 400 in 1989 to 1,200 in 1992.

The academic component of the Honors Program consists of separate honors sections of existing courses, honors adjuncts (a one semester-hour attachment to a class in which honors students meet outside of class with the professor for additional discussion and projects), and honors seminars, geared towards sophomore and middler honors students. Students receive the Honors Course Distinction after completing six honors courses, including one honors seminar. To receive the College Honors Project Distinction (upon completion of the project) or the University Honors Program Distinction (upon completion of the project and six semester honors courses), students complete a Junior/Senior Honors Project within their department. These projects encourage students to undertake research on a topic of their choice, which might not be covered in a course. In the College of Business Administration and the College of Computer and Information Science, specific honors courses satisfy the Honors Project requirement. In other colleges, such as the College of Arts and Sciences and the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, the project takes the form of a research thesis or creative project.

To foster a sense of community among students in the Honors Program, they have access to cultural events, conferences, internships and other opportunities. In the past, these cultural events have included trips to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Ballet, and theater performances. In addition, the Honors Program office has a computer lab and lounge for students, and Kennedy Hall is designated as an honors dormitory for freshmen. To provide additional support, specific scholarships are available to Honors students. The Carl S. Ell Presidential Scholarship Program, established in 1987, annually awards full tuition to 12 or more incoming freshman who have shown academic promise. The Ralph J. Bunche Scholars Program awards full tuition for freshman year and half tuition grants for the remaining years to academically gifted African American students. Since 1993, the Matthews Undergraduate Award has provided funding for two or three students working on independent research projects for their Junior/Senior Honors Project.

Feldscher, Karen. Northeastern University-The Curry Years: Smaller But Better, 1989-1996. (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2000). (LD4011.N22 F45 2000)

Frederick, Antoinette. Northeastern University- Coming of Age: The Ryder Years, 1975-1989. (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1995). (LD4011.N22 F732 1995)

University Honors Program website., accessed July 8, 2005; July 14, 2005.