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Honors Majors

What's Entailed in an Honors Major?

Honors majors are open to every student in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; students are not required to participate in the Honors Program in their first two years to apply for an Honors major in their department. Every student admitted to an Honors majorn is thereby admitted to the Honors Program; the student's records are transferred to the Honors office (1330 Mason), and the student is put into an Honors email group at the start of the next term (students may request to be added earlier, if they wish). All Honors students, including those who entered through the major, come to the Honors office for all general advising, Academic Board and enrollment issues, and graduation paperwork.

Each department establishes its own application procedure and requirements for the Honors major. However, please note that the Executive Committee of LSA raised the minimum GPA requirement. All students who entered the Honors Program in or after the Fall of 2004, or who entered an Honors major during or after Fall 2006, must have an overall cumulative GPA of at least 3.4 by the end of the academic career in order to graduate with any level of Honors.

Who Can Declare an Honors Major?

Students must be admitted to the Honors majorn through the departmental procedure (whatever that is) before declaring an Honors major. Students may, and frequently do, declare a major in a department before being admitted to the Honors major; if they do so, when they are admitted to the Honors major, they fill out a new declaration form.

There is a check-off box on the Major Declaration Form, located below the "Major" blank, to indicate that the student has been admitted to an Honors major. This form is filled out in the department in a joint meeting between the student and the Honors major advisor. New Honors major will need to have a sub-plan of HONORS entered in M-Pathways for their Honors major; this should be done by the department's plan change maintainer.

We'd like to meet all students who have been admitted to and declared Honors major, to welcome them, especially those who have not been in the Honors Program before, introduce them to Honors academic advisors, and tell them how to apply to graduate with Honors. Forms for all academic issues, including Honors graduation, are different from those for mainstream LSA students, and are available in our office or on our web site.

Steps for an Honors Major Releases

A new procedure for online submission of major and minor releases has recently been announced.  You will find the link to the release form in the "Contents" menu of the online student file.  When you submit a release for an Honors Major or if you indicate that the release if for an Honors concentration, it will automatically be directed to the Honors Program unless the student is also in the Residential College.  The RC processes all of its own graduation work. 

When filling out a Relase From:

  1. Fill out the Release Form clearly and make sure to list current elections if they are required for the concentration.
  2. Always be sure to check students’ major GPA. If there are any departmental major GPA requirements beyond the overall 2.0 (e.g. minimum GPA for prerequisites or for any particular major courses), they must be stipulated in the LSA Bulletin.
  3. Be careful when choosing majors. Make sure the student is not using majorStep courses for the area distribution plan, minors, etc.
  4.  Remind students that they must also apply on-line for graduation through Wolverine Access.

The Honors Academic Auditor is Jacquelyn Turkovich (jacqzac@umich.edu). Use this address to send changes to the release form for individual students or to ask questions. This address can also be given to students who have questions about their audits.

 Deadline to submit graduation paperwork: Please encourage your students to apply for graduation early, preferably by the last day of classes in the term prior to their last term. Receiving the degree audit early will inform students of outstanding graduation requirements well before the drop/add deadline in the final semester, allowing them plenty of time to work out their final schedule and assure they will meet their requirements for graduation.

Deferring graduation: If you know an Honors student who is deferring graduation, please refer him/her to Jacquelyn Turkovich to update his/her paperwork.

Tips for Writing Exceptions

Tips for Writing Exceptions in the Electronic File:

Whenever possible, please use the available drop-down menu to select the student's major (unless the student has not yet declared), rather than typing in the major. This will generate the official number of the student's major (it will look something like "4050ABLSA History BA"). If you do have to enter the major manually, please indicate whether the student is pursuing the BA, BS, or BSChem as this makes a difference to the person entering the exception.

The exceptions window doesn't offer much room to write a long narrative, and is really just the place to post the details about the exception being granted. Please be sure your entry includes the following:

  1. Name/description of the requirement (e.g. "Two courses in pre-1830 literature;" "Modern Algebra" "Chinese Second Year Language")
  2. The course that will count, (e.g. "STDABRD 486;" "MATH 513") or the reason the requirement is being waived or changed ("Waived due to Placement Exam")
  3. The term, credit hours, and grade (if course already completed) associated with the course being permitted (e.g. "STDABRD 486 in W06, 4 hrs, A-"). This is especially important for Study Abroad courses!
  4. If students typically can only fulfill the requirement using one or two courses, include the number of the course that usually fills the requiremen: E.g. "Biology Prerequisites: EEB 320 instead of BIOLOGY 162"

Please note:If you run out of room when writing an exception, please find a way to shorten your description. Adding a second entry makes it more difficult for others to determine whether one or two exceptions have been granted. The explanation behind the exception belongs in the “contact notes” portion of the E-File, not in the Exception entry box. For example, the contact notes might read:

Susan did a Study Abroad in Paris this past winter semester and took a course on Parisian History which I am allowing to count for her European History Requirement.

And the related exception might read:

One course in European History: STDABRD 342.005, W06, 4 hrs, B+ is approved to meet this requirement.

Extra Credit: The R.O. has created outlines for each major which specify the specific group and line numbers that each major requirement has been assigned. If you have one and you feel comfortable doing so, you can use it to specify the line numbers that you wish the exception to be made.

e.g. , to count a class for pre-1830 literature for English Majors, the exception might look like this:

"Transfer credit course ENGLISH 301X in F06 approved for pre- 1830 requirement (RG 713, RQ 1942, LN 0020)."

Exception outlines can be requested from the Office of the Registrar or via your department's student services staff and are available on the R.O. website.

Who Can I Contact With Questions?

Honors Student Services Contacts

Call 734-764-6274, or email:

  • Jeri Preston (pjeri@umich.edu) - Exceptions, Files, Declarations/Plan Changes, Add/Drops
  • Jacquelyn Turkovich (jacqzac@umich.edu) - Graduation, Audits, Academic Board Petitions