During the freshman year, honors students take two year-long interdisciplinary courses: Great Books and Ideas and Twentieth Century/Contemporary Civilization.
Great Books and Ideas (HONP 100 and HONP 101) focuses on the writing of seminal thinkers from antiquity to the modern era. Twentieth Century/Contemporary Civilization (HONP 102 and HONP 103) concentrates on profound ideas and issues of our own time.
After their freshman year, students will select and take a minimum of four more single-semester honors courses in such subjects as Science, the Creative Process, and Fractals and Infinity. Several of these honors courses cover General Education requirements.
Throughout the undergraduate experience, the Honors Program emphasizes interdisciplinary studies in the belief that new insights and understanding are gained outside the artificial boundaries imposed by discrete subject areas. This approach creates a climate that fosters creativity and original thinking.
Required Course Details
Honors Sequence: Minimum eight courses
A. Required Honors Courses
- Honors Seminar in Great Books and Ideas Parts I and II
(HONP 100, HONP 101) Fulfills the C1 and C2 general education requirements in writing and literature – six semester hours
- Honors Seminar in Twentieth Century Civilization
(HONP 102) Fulfills the K1 general education requirement in Social Science – three semester hours
- Honors Seminar in Contemporary Civilization (Formerly Honors Seminar in Twentieth Century Civilization Part II)
B. Honors Electives (choose four):
- Honors Seminar in Fractals and Infinity
(HONP 104) Fulfills the general education requirement H, for Mathematics – three semester hours
- Honors Seminar in Science
(HONP 210) Fulfills the general education requirement I, for Natural/Physical Science Lab – four semester hours
(Students with required science courses in their majors may waive the Honors Seminar in Science)
- Honors Seminar in Computing
(HONP 112) Fulfills the general education requirement G, for Computer science – three semester hours
- Honors Seminar in Creative Process
(HONP 201) Fulfills the general education requirement D, for Fine and Performing Arts – three semester hours
- Honors Seminar in Contemporary American Issues
(HONP 202) – three semester hours
- Honors Seminar in Contemporary Issues in Science
(HONP 211) – three semester hours
- Honors Seminar in Ways of Knowing
(HONP 301) Fulfills the general education requirement F2 for Philosophy/Religion – three semester hours
- Honors Seminar in Research Methods
(HONP 302) Designed to support departmental honors work – three semester hours
Applicants to the Honors Program must meet at least two of the following criteria to be considered for admission:
- A high GPA and an exemplary academic record
- A record of success in challenging courses that are available at your high school or college
- Outstanding ability in the creative arts, a strong record of leadership, charitable work, or individual initiative, or other notable accomplishments
- A combined SAT score of at least 1250 or a combined ACT score of at least 26
The Honors Program application portal is closed for the 2022-2023 academic year. You can apply to MSU Honors beginning on October 1, 2023.
In addition to financial aid opportunities and the opportunity to apply for Honors scholarships (see below), Montclair State provides Honors students with a range of other benefits, including (but not limited to) these:
- Priority early registration for all courses, honors and otherwise
- A $60 per course book credit at the MSU Bookstore for each honors class you take
- The opportunity to live during your first year with other MSU Honors students in special honors housing at Dinallo Heights
- Receive personalized advisement on honors courses, preparation help for graduate school applications, and scholarship information from the Honors Program director throughout your time at Montclair State
- Gain credit for selected honors courses by studying abroad at universities around the world through MSU’s international programs
- Receive honors course credits for working on an independent research project with a faculty member in your major
- Enjoy extracurricular activities such as visiting museums, attending academic conferences, and the occasional free communal pizza
In recognition of their achievements and promise, Honors Program students are eligible for a range of scholarship opportunities available exclusively for them. They are invited to apply for these internal Honors Program scholarships scholarships each year. Here is just a partial listing of the awards:
Honors Program scholarships from the John and Irma Sheffman Scholarship Fund, the Mary A. Whaley Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Wilkins Foundation Scholarship Fund, the Vivian and Heinz Rosenbush Memorial Scholarship Fund, and others, in one-year awards ranging from $250 to $2500.
More than 30 of these scholarships are distributed to our students each year, and honors students may apply again after having received previous awards.
Other Scholarship Programs
MSU has several scholarship programs that are not associated with the Honors Program. You can find out about them here. Most prominent among these is the four-year Presidential Scholars Program, a merit scholarship program that you can find out about here. Presidential Scholarships are awarded to both in-state and out-of-state incoming students based on the strength of their regular MSU application; there is no separate application for Presidential Scholarships. While many honors students are also Presidential Scholars, the Presidential Scholars Program is separate and distinct from the Honors Program.
Our Students’ Achievements
Honors Program graduates become leaders in education, medicine, law, and business. They continue their education at prestigious institutions such as Harvard Law School, Columbia University’s School of Journalism, Yale University, and New York University. They pursue careers as filmmakers, art scholars, writers, musicians, activists, business leaders, researchers, and master teachers, to name only a few of the many professions of our Honors Program alumni.
Many of our students combine participation in the Honors Program with involvement in one of Montclair State’s pre-professional programs.
Some of our students pursue the Health Careers Program, which prepares highly motivated and academically capable students from financially and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity for admission to health professions schools (medical, dental, optometry, podiatry, osteopathic, and veterinary) and careers in the sciences and health.These students can earn a medical degree within eight years in their Combined BS/MD program. For information on application deadlines and other details, please contact the Health Careers Program.
Other pre-professional programs at Montclair State popular with our students include the Pre-Medical Program and the Pre-Law Studies Program.
Minimum Requirements for Graduating with Honors
In order to complete the Honors Program and graduate with honors at MSU, students in the Honors Program must finish their undergraduate degree with a minimum overall GPA of 3.2 and take at least eight honors courses (including the four required ones).