To set NIU students up for success, the University Honors Program has created several guaranteed admission agreements with programs on campus. This means that all NIU Honors students who meet certain qualifications are guaranteed to be accepted into these listed programs at NIU. Additionally, Honors is reimbursing the $60 graduate school application fee as long as students put in an application through MyScholarships for any program that Honors currently partners with.
Honors Director Todd Gilson is continuing to have discussions with several offices on campus to grow the number of departments and programs that are able to offer guaranteed admission agreements to Honors students. “Honors can not only serve students as a way to enhance their experience as an undergraduate at NIU but can be a vehicle for seamlessly advancing into graduate studies,” he said.
The newest agreement that Honors formed is with the College of Law. Under this agreement, Honors students who have completed three-quarters of the undergraduate curriculum – including all general education and major requirements – and who achieve a minimum LSAT score equal to the median of last year’s matriculating class are eligible to begin their first year of law school and use those credits to complete their senior year of undergraduate studies. By doing so, students can shave an entire year off their studies and graduate with both a bachelor’s and J.D. degree in six years, instead of the traditional seven.
“The law school’s 3+3 program is one of the great benefits of attending a research university like ours. NIU students who participate in it save substantial time and money, and get a headstart on their careers as lawyers,” said Marc Falkoff, associate dean at the College of Law.
This past fall, to help launch and promote this advantage for Honors students, an Open House was held where students could come in and speak with all the participating departments about their programs to really get a feel for what is offered at NIU. The Honors Program plans to resume this event every fall as they continue to add more programs and new students each year. While programs like this may be directly applicable for juniors or seniors, all Honors students are welcome and encouraged to attend. Honors also plans to start more promotional efforts in the spring through their digital weekly updates and social media utilizing videos and infographics about each individual graduate program.