Honors Program

This is an archived copy of the 2020-21 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://bulletin.ndsu.edu.

The Honors Program at North Dakota State University provides a signature experience for motivated students with exceptional academic potential. The program combines interdisciplinary coursework, an honors capstone project, experiential learning and leadership development.

The requirements for the Honors Program can be integrated into the curriculum of any major on campus. The program is not simply a harder version of an existing major. Honors students complete 16 credits designed to develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.


Students who complete the required 16 credits will receive a minor in honors. Students must complete 6 credits of required HON courses, 6 honors elective credits and 4 credits for the Honors capstone project.


  • Required Courses (6 Credits)
    • HON 151: Sapien Logic (3 Credits)
      • This course fulfills the Humanities and Cultural Diversity General Education requirements
    • HON 193: First Year Projects (1 Credit)
    • HON 251: Leadership Development (2 Credits)
      • This course fulfills the Wellness General Education requirement
  • Honors Electives (6 Credits; students can take any combination to reach 6 credits)
    • HON 340, 341, or 342: Colloquium in the Humanities, Social Sciences or Sciences (3 Credits)
      • These courses count for General Education requirements
    • Departmental course designed as an honors course with section(s) restricted to Honors students (3 Credits)
      • ART 380 – Drone Photography
    • HON 391: Honors Colloquium (3 Credits)
      • Course themes include: technology; sustainability; food; health; development; global communities; creativity; justice; education
    • Graduate level course: (3 Credits)
      • Submit proposal to take graduate course as a junior and complete the course as a senior
    • HON 396: Honors Field Experience (1-3 Credits)
      • Students can take on a leadership role in the program. Students can serve as mentors, public relations specialists, marketing specialists, etc.
    • Study Abroad (1-3 Credits)
      • Student who study abroad can use the credits for honors with approval
  • Honors Capstone Project (4 Credits)
    • HON 491: Introduction to the Honors Creative Project (1 Credit)
    • HON 489: Senior Thesis: Proposal Writing (2 credits)
    • Students must take at least 1 credit of independent study (HON 494) or research credit (xxx 393 or 493) in the department of the capstone advisor


Honors courses are small interactive classes of no more than twenty-five students. The classes promote student-centered discussion and the development of analytical and communications skills. All honors courses are designed specifically for the honors program and are not harder versions of other classes. First year honors courses introduce students to the unique atmosphere of the honors classroom as well as the student-centered design of the courses. After the first year, students have the opportunity to explore topics in greater depth in upper-division colloquia. In these upper-level courses students might find themselves discussing the politics of radicalism, the impact of science on society or even engaging in drone photography.


All students in the Honors program must complete the honors capstone project. The honors capstone project is the culmination of the Honors experience. Honors students will work with a faculty mentor to design and carry out the project. Students can complete a research thesis, online portfolio, experiential-based project, creative/performative project or an innovation project.

All projects should be conceptualized as a project that cannot be completed within the confines of one class or one semester. This means that the project should be sufficiently broad in scope and in-depth in analysis. Students can select one of five options for the Honors capstone project.


Experiential learning is geared toward achieving leadership skills. The leadership development curriculum is based on strengths-based leadership and developing the National Association of Colleges and Employers competencies for success in the workplace. In the Leadership Development course, honors students both develop leadership skills and prepare to become peer mentors for incoming freshmen honors students. Juniors and Seniors in the program can serve as peer mentors for first year honors students.

HON 151Sapien Logic3
HON 193Undergraduate Research1
HON 251Leadership Development2
HON 340Colloquium in the Humanities3
HON 341Colloquium in the Social Sciences3
HON 342Colloquium in the Sciences3
HON 396Field Experience1-15
HON 391Seminar (Colloquium in Global Communities)3
HON 391Seminar (Colloquium in Development)3
HON 391Seminar (Colloquium in Technology)3
HON 391Seminar (Colloquium in Health)3
HON 391Seminar (Colloquium in Sustainability)3
HON 391Seminar (Colloquium in Creativity)3
HON 391Seminar (Colloquium in Food)3
HON 391Seminar (Colloquium in Justice)3
HON 391Seminar (Colloquium in Education)3
HON 491Seminar1
HON 489Senior Thesis2
HON 494Individual Study1-5