Undergraduate Honors Program (HES 386)

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Health and Exercise Science majors who are interested in obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree with Honors in Health and Exercise Science may apply to the HES Honors Research Program. This program has two primary objectives: 1) to provide students with the opportunity to complete directed study and research with a faculty mentor, and 2) to work with fellow HES Honors students in a group setting to examine research methods and ethics in research and to learn from each other’s research projects and experiences. Successful completion of this project allows the student to graduate With Honors.

Why Should I Participate in the Honors Program?

There are many benefits to participating in the Honors Program. You will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a faculty mentor in his/her area of research expertise. With your mentor, you will conduct an in-depth literature review and develop a research question. Through the process of designing an independent study to address your research question, you will develop critical thinking skills and learn to present your ideas in an organized and insightful manner. Graduating with Honors will demonstrate to future employers and advisors your commitment to the field, as well as your ability to conduct advanced research and writing projects. In addition, working with a faculty mentor will allow him/her to get to know you better, which will ultimately help him/her to write a more comprehensive letter of recommendation

How do I participate in the Honors Program?

Students should make plans to participate in the Honors Program during spring semester of their junior year. Finals week is the deadline for all applications
This involves the following steps:

  1. Determine whether or not you meet the requirements for admission in the Honors Program (these are listed below).
  2. Approach faculty members who are conducting research in areas that you are interested in and you should discuss the possibility of having him/her serve as your research mentor.
  3. Set-up an appointment with the Honors Program coordinator (Dr. Shannon Mihalko). At that time, you will be asked to complete an application for the Honors Program.

Minimum Requirements for Admission

  1. Acceptance by the Honors screening committee who will evaluate academic competence and personal qualities (these include, but are not limited to: leadership, professional involvement, professional goals, and integrity)
  2. Having completed all junior requirements for Health and Exercise Science
  3. An overall GPA of 3.20
  4. An HES GPA of 3.40

Minimum Requirements for Graduation with Honors

  1. Maintenance of professional and personal qualities
  2. An overall GPA of 3.2 at the time of graduation
  3. A GPA of 3.4 for all Health and Exercise Science courses at the time of graduation
  4. Participation in weekly Honors Seminars your Senior year (see Dr. Mihalko for details)
  5. Successful completion of a senior research project May 1. This will include both an oral presentation and a written report. A 10-min oral presentation will be made to faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduate students explaining the purpose of the research, methods, results, and a short discussion of the findings. The written report will be approximately 8 to 12 pages in length and will be written in article format following APA guidelines. Individual faculty mentors and the program coordinator will provide guidance in the development of the research topic, the oral presentation, and the written report.


Honors applications may be found on the HES website.
Applications must be submitted by the end of final exam week .

Download Honors Program Application Form >>

Upon acceptance, students will register for 2 credit hours of HES 384: Research in Human Populations during the Fall semester of their senior year.
Students will register for 2 credit hours of HES 386 Honors Research during their final semester.