why honors?

The Honors College prepares students for a lifetime of success by building such critical skills as understanding diverse points-of-view, communication and collaboration, information evaluation, and innovative thinking–so they can spearhead the next generation of achievement.

Alma, 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.


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, 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.  

Office of National Scholarships and Awards

Nationally competitive scholarships are funded by sources independent of NKU.  Criteria for the scholarships vary, but the newly created Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships and Opportunities will host a series of workshops this fall to provide more information about the many scholarship opportunities for students.


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. 



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