Comparison to Other Honors Programs

In comparison to other honors programs featured in the Peterson’s Guide to Honors Program (The Official Guide of the National Collegiate Honors Council) the UM-Flint program stands among the most rigorous and demanding programs at state universities.

  • We are in the highest ten percent of programs in terms of standards based on gpa and test scores. More than 90% of programs have lower admission requirements, and less rigorous requirements for remaining in the program.
  • The funded off-campus study section of the program is unique among state schools, providing a special opportunity not included in any of the programs in Peterson’s guide to honors programs.
  • The senior thesis is far more rigorous and demanding than in all of the other programs surveyed. We require a 40 to 60 page research thesis, with a thesis committee of readers, a reader from outside the students’ department, and a formal thesis defense. Most programs require a short senior paper.
  • Many of our senior theses present original research which is presented at conferences, and may be published. Original research is not a requirement, however, the rigorous requirements of the program encourage such original work. Again, even the Honors Programs at Yale and Harvard have no funded off-campus experience, and no formal thesis --simply a paper completed in senior year.
  • We have far better retention than most programs, even though our requirements are more demanding. Most programs retain at most 1/3 of the students, losing 60% to 80% and more of the students starting out in the program. For example, one program director from a Michigan university told us at a meeting of Honors Council Directors that they begin with 80 and frequently have only one student graduating from the program. Our results are generally at least 30% retention, and often as high as fifty per cent. With our new emphasis on advising and support, we feel that retention is improving over past records as well.
  • The structuring of our program, and the integration with the departmental honors program rivals the best programs in the country. Our program is competitive with programs from private schools, but at a far lower cost.
  • We have a far more rigorous screening of applicants than ninety per cent of programs across the country, since we include an interview, writing sample, and a higher level of scores than other programs.


    Source: Peterson’s Honors Programs: The Official Guide of the National Collegiate Honors Council1997 and 2003 edition.

If we rate our program according to the criteria for excellence in an honors program set forth by the National Collegiate Honors Council, we meet or surpass thirteen requirements.