Honors Program

Frequently Asked Question

How do I join the Honors Program?

Students with exceptional academic records (minimum 3.5 GPA at the high school or transfer level) are automatically invited to join the Honors Program. If you are interested in joining Honors and have not been invited, please contact the Honors Program Director, Rebecca Nisetich, at rebecca.nisetich@maine.edu or 207-780-4189

Why should I join the Honors Program?

Taking part in the Honors Program allows you to challenge yourself beyond the conventional classroom. Honors classes are intentionally small to ensure individual attention from both your peers and professors. The small class sizes are ideal for discussion-based atmospheres that offer an alternative to the traditional classroom environment. The service-learning component of Honors classes combined with the interdisciplinary approach offers students the chance to learn outside of the classroom and utilize what they already know. What’s more, as a member of the Honors Program you have access to unique internship, scholarship, and study abroad opportunities as well as an exceptional community of like-minded students!

Are Honors classes hard?

Many students worry that Honors classes will be “hard” or that there will be more assignments. This is not true. What distinguishes Honors classes from more traditional classes is that students are expected to be more deeply engaged in the course materials. This engaged learning process is characterized by an interdisciplinary teaching approach that offers a hands-on and discussion-based forum for students. Attendance, preparation, and participation are important for every class.

What is the Honors Minor?

The Honors Minor is an interdisciplinary minor that requires students to take Honors versions of the USM Core Curriculum as well as several discipline-specific Honors courses. Total credit requirements for the Minor amount to one Honors class per semester. For more detailed Honors Minor requirements you are welcome to view our Honors Minor Checksheet. 

*In order to graduate with the Honors Minor students must maintain a 3.3 GPA in their undergraduate Honors courses.

How does Honors work with my major(s)?

The Honors curriculum is designed to complement all majors. Participation in the Honors program satisfies Core requirements and hosts students from many majors. Some majors have specific Core requirements so it is important to meet with an advisor to see how Honors fits with your academic plan.

Do honors students live in a separate dorm?

Honors students may choose to live in the Honors living-learning communities in Anderson Hall (First-Year) or Philippi Hall (Upperclassman). Please contact Residential Life for more details at usm.reslife@maine.edu or 207-780-5240.


Is the Honors Capstone Course a required course? 

Yes, the Honors Capstone Course (HON 415) is required in order to graduate with the Honors minor. Other capstone courses do not fulfill the Honors capstone requirement. 

The Honors Capstone Course provides students with extended opportunities to reflect on their learning at USM. In addition, students will have opportunities to consider how they will use their undergraduate education as participants in future academic, professional, and civic communities. The coursework culminates in public presentations of learning and growth for an audience composed of friends and family in the Honors community.