Skip to main content

Honors College

why honors?

Honors at NKU is different. Honors is an opportunity for students to make the most of their college experience. As an Honors student, you will take discussion-based classes on a variety of unique topics while being guided through research and exploratory-based projects that interest you! We develop our programs to meet the needs of individual students by working with students to create a curriculum they are passionate about. Honors is simply a way for you to go beyond the general classroom experience, and learn in a supportive environment dedicated to your success.
“Take those classes that are a little outside of your comfort zone, they're the best experiences.” - Katie (Criminal Justice and Psychology, Class of 2023).

Student and Alumni Spotlight 


This month, we highlight one of our most recent graduates, Katie Clough, B.S. Neuroscience.

Katie has been involved in the Honors College since her first day on campus. We asked her to speak about her experience in honors and this is what she had to say:

"Starting in August I will be attending the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in their Biological Biomedical Sciences Program pursuing a PhD in toxicology. None of this would be possible without the incredible mentors and experiences I’ve had at NKU."

Read more about Katie's journey with the Honors College, here.


honors innovates

The Honors College is a place for innovation and creativity. We are constantly seeking to launch new initiatives that contribute to student success and empower students across campus. 
Alma O

Alma Onate ('16)

Alma Onate, a chemistry major who has minors in biology and honors, moved to the U.S. from Mexico when her younger sister, Sandra, was diagnosed with glaucoma at a young age. Sandra, who is now a freshman chemistry major at NKU, had multiple surgeries on both of her eyes over the years. Those surgeries led to a financial burden that caused Alma’s parents to lose their home last year—right in the middle of Alma’s toughest semester on campus.


Isaiah Kelly ('20)

Isaiah Kelly, a media informatics major is making strides and opening doors left and right. He’s used the tools NKU has provided him to create his own shoe business and, in the process, competed in and won a prestigious entrepreneurship award.

Parker C

Parker Kain ('19)

Parker Kain found his home in the Honors College at NKU. “The Honors College was a way for me to step out of my usual comfort areas and explore topics I wouldn’t get to talk about in other classes.”
In fact, Parker stepped out of his comfort zone during his sophomore year when he took a class that partnered with local businesses.


Emily Marsala ('16)

Emily Marsala, a Cincinnati native and 2016 Northern Kentucky University graduate, designed the Wendy’s cups not long after being hired by Saatchi & Saatchi X—a marketing network whose parent office resides in Arkansas. Marsala’s blue and red illustrations change with each drink size, but all of them promote the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a nonprofit charity dedicated to finding homes for children in foster care.


The Honors College is more than just an academic program. It’s a community of learners and leaders interested in pursuing their passions and challenging themselves. There are several opportunities available to Honors students to inspire them to engage in the world around them and grow as leaders and global citizens. See below for some of our campus partners.  

Institute for Student Research & Creative Activity (ISRCA) 

The Institute for Student Research & Creative Activity (ISRCA) engages, supports, enhances and acknowledges the involvement of students and their faculty mentors in research, scholarship and creative activities throughout campus. ISRCA assists in growing the number and breadth of research, scholarship and creative activity opportunities for all NKU students.


Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement

Scripps builds connections between campus and community, with an emphasis on developing stewardship and citizenship. We work to create an ecosystem of engagement, in which opportunities and experiences are not isolated but part of a learning environment that unites the classroom and the real world.


Office of Education Abroad

Education Abroad provides students with academically rigorous, culturally immersive programs that offer the opportunity for personal growth, academic achievement, and a competitive edge in our increasingly global society. We strive to offer not only affordable programs, but scholarship opportunities to help fund your experience. 


NKU Founder's Hall in Spring with trees blooming