Departmental Honors

Departmental honors offers students the opportunity to undertake in-depth, challenging work in their fields of study. The program emphasizes student-led, individualized curricula and encourages the formation of working relationships between students and faculty.

Departmental honors is open to any UNH student with a qualifying GPA. Students in the University Honors Program must complete Departmental Honors in order to graduate with an Honors distinction, but it is not necessary to be a member of the UHP to pursue Departmental Honors.

Most students begin Departmental Honors in their junior year. In general, courses eligible for Departmental Honors designation are numbered 600 and above.


To earn Honors in Major in any of the NREN Majors (CEP, ECS*, EREC, ESCI*, FOR, WCB* ), a student must meet the following minimum criteria:
* Note additional information and specifications below for some majors

  • Register intent to complete Honors in Major via the UNH Honors Program webpage
  • Maintain an overall, cumulative GPA of 3.4 or greater
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.4 or greater in courses required for the NREN major
  • Complete 16 credits of upper-level Major Requirements (600- or 700-level courses) with Honors designation including 4 Honors Thesis credits (see below) and excluding Discovery courses and general electives.
    • 12 credits traditional Honors-in-Major coursework (600- or 700-level) These courses must have been officially granted Honors designation
    • 4 credits Honors Thesis (NR 799 or *ESCI 799H), Senior Year
      • Honors Thesis credits do count towards the 16 required Honors credits
      • Honors Thesis credits (NR 799, ESCI 799H) must be taken in the Senior Year (over the course of 1-2 semesters)
      • *ECS & WCB Majors must register for Honors Thesis credits (4 credits total) during both semesters of the Senior Year
      • Prior to enrolling in NR 799, the student must obtain permission from their Honors Thesis Faculty Mentor and must meet with the staff coordinator in 114 James Hall.
  • A written Honors Thesis – it is recommended that the student uploads their completed Honors Thesis to the UNH Honors Scholars’ Repository
  • A public presentation of the Honors Thesis workan oral presentation is recommended ( e.g., URC, departmental seminar, conference presentation)

Adding Honors Designation to Major Courses (600- & 700-level)

Any 600- or 700-level course required for the NREN major can be designated as an Honors course, as long as the student obtains the consent of the course instructor.

  • In order to justify the Honors designation, the instructor will likely implement additional assignments such as extra reading or writing assignments, laboratory or field experiences, or classroom presentations. In some cases, students taking a major course with Honors designation will be held to a higher standard for existing course assessments. The details of the Honors requirements must be discussed and described on the Honors in Major Course Designation form (see below for details).
  • In order to receive Honors in Major credit for a major co urse with Honors designation , the student must earn a grade of B or better.

Honors Thesis

  • Thesis work must be completed during the Senior Year ( *for ECS and WCB Majors, the Honors Thesis must span 2 consecutive semester s of 1-4 credits each semester)
  • The student is responsible for identifying a Faculty Mentor to supervise their Honors Thesis work (in an area related to their NREN Major). The student must meet with potential faculty mentors(s) to discuss possible projects and expectations – it is strongly recommended that the student confirm s their faculty mentor and begins planning their thesis project by the end of the first semester of their Junior Year.
    Before beginning work on the Honors Thesis, the student and faculty mentor must complete a Senior Thesis Student - Sponsor Agreement Form ( aka, ‘Thesis Sponsorship Form’) , which must be signed and filed with the NREN Honors in Major Liaison, & a copy must be filed with the Honors Program.
    Tenured and non-tenured faculty can serve as faculty mentors for Honors Theses. (If a non-TT faculty member plans to serve as the sole thesis mentor, the UHP requires a letter of approval from the Department Chair to the Director of the Honors Program).
  • The student s hould expect to spend 2-3 hours per week for each credit of Honors Thesis.
  • Students will receive a grade for the Honors Thesis course – NR 799, or ESCI 799H (students receive a grade for each semester they are registered for Honors Thesis credits).
  • A grade of B or better in the Honors Thesis course (e.g ., NR 799) is required for successful completion of Honors in Major.
  • A written thesis (uploaded to Scholars ’ Repository) and a public presentation ( e.g., URC, departmental seminar, regional/national meeting) of the thesis work are expected for successful completion of Honors in Major.

The Honors in Major Liaison for all NREN Majors is Dr. Rem Moll.

The Honors-in-Major liaison can answer faculty and student questions about Honors in Major, and must sign Honors in Major Course Designation, Student - Sponsor Agreement, & Certification of Completion forms:

  • Honors in Major Course Designation form – This form must be completed, signed by the student, instructor, & HIM Liaison , and submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the end of add/drop period for any 600- or 700-level major course that a student wishes to take with Honors designation.
  • Senior Thesis Student - Sponsor Agreement Form – This form must be completed before the student begins work on the Honors Thesis. It must be signed and filed by the Honors in Major Liaison (and a copy must be sent to the Honors Program Office).
  • Honors in Major Certification of Completion form – By mid-semester (of their final semester), the student must complete this form, bring it to the Honors in Major Liaison for review & signature, and submit the signed form to the Honors Program office.

In cases of substandard GPA or when Honors designation must be added/removed from a course after add/drop period , submit a Petition for Academic Variance.

Students who are not in the University Honors Program can complete the requirements for Honors-in-Major as a stand-alone honor.

Honors-in-Major is a requirement for UNH undergrads in the University Honors Program .

University Honors Program (UHP)

  • Students are admitted to the University Honors Program by invitation.
  • Students in the UHP must have an overall GPA of 3.4 + at graduation.
  • Students in the UHP must fulfill both HONORS DISCOVERY and either INTERDISCIPLINARY HONORS or HONORS-in-MAJOR requirements:
    • Honors Discovery 16 credits from 4 Honors Discovery/elective courses (usually, 400- & 500-level)
    • Interdisciplinary Honors or Honors-in-Major Interdisciplinary Honors is a relatively new option (new for students entering UNH in Fall 2016), and it is an unlikely option for NREN undergraduates. Interdisciplinary Honors is only available to students in the University Honors Program.