Honors in Major


Honors-in-Major for the HDFS Department offers students the opportunity to undertake an in-depth study of issues related to the health and well-being of individuals and families. The program emphasizes student-led, individualized curricula, and encourages the formation of working relationships between students and faculty. 

Honors-in-Major can be pursued without participating in the University Honors Program or completing Discovery Honors requirements. To learn more about University Honors, visit the University Honor Program website. Students, however, must still complete all HDFS requirements for their concentration.

Students interested in pursuing an Honor-in-Major need to schedule a meeting with the Honor’s Program Liaison,
Dr. Kimberly Nesbitt (kimberly_nesbitt@unh.edu). While applications must be submitted before the end of the Spring semester of the Junior year, students are encouraged to apply early to allow maximum flexibility in completing program requirements.

GPA Requirements for Honors in Major

Honor-in-Major for HDFS is open to all undergraduates in all department concentrations; however, students are required to maintain an overall grade-point average of 3.5 and a 3.5 grade-point average in the major. 

Honors-in Major Courses

Students must successfully complete 12 credits of honors in HDFS at the 600 level or above. Of those 12 credits, only 4 credits may be at the 600 level while 8 credits must be at the 700 level. Students must designate each course as an honor in collaboration with the course instructor and by completing the Honor Designation form

High-Impact Senior Experience

In addition to completing 12 credits of honors coursework, students must also successfully complete one high-impact experience to receive honors-in-major. High-impact experiences include completion of (1) advanced research engagement, (2) a senior internship program, or (3) a senior honor’s thesis. 

  • Advanced Research Engagement - Advanced research engagement is a sustained research partnership with a faculty member in the HDFS Department. A student must complete at least 3 semesters as a research assistant working on the faculty member’s projects. Students may volunteer or receive credit (HDFS 695, INCO 590, or INCO 790) for their participation, but must take on a leadership role within the research lab. Demonstrations of leadership include but are not limited to a Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research award or fellowship or co-authoring a publication or research conference presentation. Meeting the requirements of advanced research engagement must be confirmed by the faculty advisor.
  • Senior Internship - Students must successfully complete one of the two senior internships provided by the HDFS Department. The internship allows students to apply knowledge from their academic studies in a supervised environment while gaining experience that is directly relevant to their career goals. Only students in the Child Development concentration may apply for the department’s Early Childhood Education Teaching Preparation Internship Program. Students in the Child Development, Family Support, or Lifespan Development concentrations may choose to complete the department’s Family Internship. Both programs are a full-academic-year senior experience. Students apply for internships during their junior year. More information on the internships, including course requirements and expectations on the HDFS Department’s Internship website
  • Senior Honors Thesis - Students must receive approval from a faculty advisor with expertise in their area of interest before this option is granted.  Students pursuing the thesis option must successfully complete four credits of HDFS 799 – Senior Honors Thesis. HDFS 799 is a two-credit course that is taken pass/fail over both semesters of the student’s senior year. As part of the thesis process, honors candidates must present a proposal to their faculty advisors that includes active student participation in original research. Once their research is completed, honors students must present their findings at a seminar and submit a written thesis to their faculty advisor.

Learn more about Honors-in-Major:

Honors-in-Major Guidelines 
Honors-in-Major Application 
Register with the Honors College
Designating a Course as Honors
Departmental Research Interests

Contact Information

For more information, contact Dr. Kimberly Nesbitt, Honors Program Liaison, at 603-862-2159 or via e-mail at kimberly_nesbitt@unh.edu.