Information for Future Students

Welcome to the University Honors Program!

joe and nicole
Nicole Ayres and Joe Palmer
at one of our many open house events

Whether you have recently joined the University Honors Program or have simply chosen to explore what it has to offer, we think you have made a wise decision. The University Honors Program plays a very special role in our lives; and we are convinced it will make your college education truly spectacular.

The University Honors Program’s motto is: Tradition, Excellence, Community. These words help us to convey how being a University Honors student will make a real difference in your NIU experience.

Tradition: For over 40 years, the University Honors Program has been a leader in academic success at NIU. Our alumni, who extend across every imaginable major and profession, include some of NIU’s best and brightest. These accomplished graduates remember fondly the freshmen retreat, the small classes taught by talented professors, and the many great events and opportunities offered each year to Honors students. We invite you to become a part of this rich tradition and share our passion for a University Honors experience that is making a real difference in our lives, just as it has for many others before us.

Excellence: The University Honors Program is dedicated to supporting and enriching the college experience of students who are committed to pursuing excellence in their academic and personal lives. This commitment includes providing great courses with excellent professors, expecting students to do their very best work, encouraging students to broaden their intellectual horizons, and ensuring excellent students have a special, well-rounded educational experience in and beyond the classroom. We know firsthand how this challenging environment filled with countless opportunities enriches our time at NIU

Community: We strive maintain a welcoming atmosphere of collective productivity, fellowship, and enjoyment. For some students, this sense of community emerges through small, interactive classes, the Peer-Mentor Program, or the highly supportive University Honors staff. For others, community comes from participating in SOUPer Wednesdays, the Honors Student Association, and a range of social activities. For others, community is associated with living and learning with fellow Honors students in NIU’s newest residence hall or working together on special service projects. And, yes, some Honors students are engaged in all these ways! Being a member of the University Honors community is where our lives as students shine the most!

There are new tools and resources on this website to introduce you to the University Honors Program. We also encourage you to visit the University Honors Program website on a regular basis for additional information, deadlines, and more! 

If you have any questions about the University Honors student experience, we hope you will contact us. We aim to be both a guide and a resource as you transition to NIU.


University Honors Program Student Representatives

Nicole Ayres and Joe Palmer

Telephone: 815-753-0694

*Review our Top 10 Reasons to Join the University Honors Program!

Honors Resources

Freshman Retreat


More about University Honors

New Residence Hall Video