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The SVSU Honors Program comprises curricular and extra-curricular programs and activities for the academically talented student. The Honors Program allows students to pursue their major and minor degree work, while providing enriched academic experiences in Honors courses, seminars, research projects, and social activities. Faculty who teach Honors courses and seminars are specifically chosen because of their interest in students, their experience as teachers, their research and their expertise in designing courses for the theme designated each year. Honors students are frequently selected for additional awards at the University and generally go on to graduate school. Recent graduates have gone on to Georgetown and Purdue Universities, for example, to pursue law and doctoral degrees.

The Honors Program is a competitive program that selects 80 incoming freshman students a year.  An honors designation is the most universally recognized sign of academic distinction achieved in higher education. Graduate schools and employers alike know that honors students have proven their academic abilities in a rigorous program, culminating in a final research project in their academic discipline.  The Honors Program allows students to pursue their major and minor degree work, while providing enriched academic experiences in Honors courses, seminars, research projects and social activities.

An Honors Program experience is your opportunity to:

  • Engage in independent scholarly or creative work
  • Work directly with faculty advisors in the program
  • Distinguish yourself amongst your peers
  • Learn more about what motivates you and interests you

Additionally, the SVSU Honors Program offers:

  • Specially designed courses in a liberal-arts-based curriculum  your first two years
  • Priority registration (advanced class standing registration) your first two years
  • The opportunity to receive a $1,500 travel scholarship
  • The opportunity to live in “Honors Housing,” a community of strong academic students with diverse interests (optional)
  • Potential funding for research projects, based on application
  • The experience of working closely with faculty in research, creative work, and proposal writing

Application criteria:

  • Graduating high school senior
    • Minimum 3.70 cumulative high school GPA & a minimum 1310 SAT or 28 ACT
    • Be ranked #1 or #2 in your high school graduating class & a minimum 1160 SAT or 25 ACT
  • Be admitted to the university

To apply for the Honors Program:

  • Submit your application for admission to the University to the SVSU Office of Admissions
  • Once admitted to the university, qualified students will automatically be sent an invitation to apply for the Honors Program
  • Selection is competitive


Students who have completed their baccalaureate degrees in Honors at SVSU will have become critical thinkers, problem solvers who have had an undergraduate background in inquiry-based education. They will be active learners and critical thinkers, who will bring these skills to their professional and personal lives. Teachers and students are encouraged to take risks in the classroom, to move away from traditional lecture/notes processes to more student involvement and initiative. Teachers are encouraged to experiment with course design and to collaborate with other teachers/scholars in the university. Honors courses are expected to broaden the contours of the classroom, while always maintaining the highest of standards.

Honors students are encouraged to take advantage of all that SVSU's Honors Program has to offer, both academically and socially. Students have the opportunity to travel with the Honors Program to local events, Honors conferences, and cultural events. Honors also encourages community and university involvement and is proud to say that Honors students often hold key positions in student government and other campus organizations. Honors students have the opportunity to work closely with their professors in mentoring relationships. All of these experiences combine to equip our Honors graduates for the challenges of graduate school.

Recent Honors Thesis Work

Valerie J. Adams (2015)
Perceptions of Body Weight and Nutritional Practices among Male and Female Division II Collegiate Athletes: Investigation and Intervention
Rebecca Schlaff, Advisor

Elizabeth J. Addy (2016)
What Does the U.S.-E.U. Safe Harbor Agreement Mean to the United States?
Elizabeth Pierce, Advisor

Scott L. Baughan (2015)
Analysis of the Effects of the Induction of Exogenous p16Ink4a on Immortal Human Tissue Cultures
Bing Yang, Advisor

Eric Becker (2013)
A Curriculum for French Phonics: Color Coded Vowels
Julie Foss, Advisor

Mara Berton (2012)
Managing the World Stage: Understanding the Practice of Intercultural Stage Management
Steven Erickson, Advisor

Nicole Berwick (2013)
Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Africa: A Comparative analysis of Rwanda and Mozambique
Julie Keil, Advisor

Alexander J. Cole (2015)
Guerrilla Marketing and the Family Business
Mazen Jaber, Advisor

Lauren E. Delzeith (2014)
Unofficial Propaganda through Film
John Baesler, Advisor

Shannon Duby  (2013)
DNA Fingerprinting of Dreissena polymorpha in Michigan
David Stanton, Advisor

Taylor H. Fisher (2016)
Benefits of Undergraduate Involvement in Moot Programs
Julie Keil, Advisor

Marissa Geyer  (2013)
Indigent Effort for Indigent Defendants: Michigan's Disregard of the Right to Effective Counsel
Joseph Jaksa, Advisor

Ashley Giordano  (2012)
Besides the Lorax, Who Else Speaks for the Trees?: Children's Films and the Environmental Politics of Suburbanization
Erik Trump, Advisor

Dylan Hellus  (2013)
Saginaw Valley State University and the City of Saginaw: Forming New Ties for the Future
John Kaczynski, Advisor

Jazmyne M. Jacobs (2016)
The Role of Play in Supporting Mathematical Understanding in Kindergarten
Colleen D'Arcy, Advisor

Shaya Jewani  (2013)
Does Bilinguality Significantly Impact a Student's Intellectual Capabilities and Academic Achievements Compared to Monolinguality
Kylie Goggins, Advisor

Katarina L. Keel (2016)
Soil Additives Effect on Phosphate Adsorption Strength and Capacity
David Karpovich, Advisor

Jordan Killop  (2013)
A Study of Isoprene Synthase: The Key to Cellular Relief from Toxic MEP and MVA Precursors in E. coli?
Tami Sivy, Advisor

Nancy Qwynne Lackey  (2012)
Face to Face with Jaws: A Case Study on the Effectiveness of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust's Ecotourism Operation
Jesse Donahue, Advisor

Colleen E. McClure (2015)
Peer Evaluations in Team Projects: What a Major Disconnect Between Students and Business Instructors
Gary L. Clark, Advisor

Kyle Rexer  (2013)
The Role of Trait Anxiety and the Impact of Stereotype Threat on Student Perceptions of Study
Gerald Peterson, Advisor

Brett Stacer  (2012)
The Influence of Variable Shelters on Agonism in the Crayfish, Orconectes rusticus
Arthur Martin III, Advisor

Christina J. Swain (2016)
Delivery Room Management of the Preterm Infant: Simulation Development and Evaluation for Baccalaureate Nursing Students
Sally Decker, Advisor

Allison N. Tubbs  (2014)
The Healthcare System of Nepal
Marcia Shannon, C.S., M.S.N., Advisor

Daniel Weller  (2013)
Contactless Resistivity Via an LC Oscillator
Matthew Vannette, Advisor

Matthew Wolf  (2013)
Urine as a Signal of Dominance, Orconectes rusticus
Arthur Martin III, Advisor

Melissa Zager (2014)
The City You Don't See: The Reality of Urbex in the Midwest
Tom Canale, Advisor

Contact Us
(989) 964-4317(989) 964-4317

Honors Program Chair

Dr. Elizabeth Rich

Honors Program Assistant

Ann Garcia


Science East 164