Academic Catalog

Academic Regulations

For complete information regarding academic rules and regulations of the university, students should consult the general information section of this bulletin. The following additions and amendments apply to the Irvin D. Reid Honors College.

Academic Advising

Advising for Honors requirements is available on a walk-in basis on select days and via e-mail. All students are encouraged to consult their undergraduate advisor in their prospective major department. See the Honors College Advising webpage for walk-in hours and other helpful information.

Accelerated Graduate Enrollment Program (‘AGRADE’)

Accelerated Graduate Enrollment: Some departments of the university permit academically superior majors to petition for admission into the college's ‘AGRADE’ program. ‘AGRADE’ procedures enable qualified seniors to enroll simultaneously in the undergraduate and graduate programs and apply a maximum of fifteen credits towards both a bachelor's and master's degree in the major field. Students electing ‘AGRADE’ programs may expect to complete the bachelor's and master's degrees in five years of full-time study.

An ‘AGRADE’ applicant may petition the Graduate Committee of the major department for acceptance into the program no earlier than the semester in which ninety credits are completed. Applicants must have an overall grade point average at the cum laude level and not less than a 3.6 grade point average in the major courses already completed. If the student's petition is accepted, the student's faculty advisor shall develop a graduate Plan of Work, specifying the ‘AGRADE’ courses to be included in subsequent semesters.

Credits earned through ‘AGRADE’ are considered Honors credits towards graduation with University and/or Departmental Honors. Students are asked to submit a copy of the approved ‘AGRADE’ plan of work to the Honors Advisor. Each ‘AGRADE’ class will be processed as an Honors Option and the notation added to the student's transcript.

Courses completed as part of an approved AGRADE plan of work may be applied as Honors credits towards Departmental and/or University Honors. To receive Honors credit via Honors Option, students must submit a copy of the approved plan of work with the Honors academic advisor.

For more details about the ‘AGRADE’ program, contact the chairperson of the major department.


Regularity in attendance and performance is necessary for success in college work. Attendance requirements will be announced by instructors at the beginning of each course.

Cheating and Plagiarism

The principle of honesty is recognized as fundamental to a scholarly community. Students are expected to honor this principle and instructors are expected to take appropriate action when instances of academic dishonesty are discovered. An instructor, on discovering such an instance, may give a failing grade on the assignment or for the course. The instructor has the responsibility of notifying the student of the alleged violation and the action being taken. Both the student and the instructor are entitled to academic due process in all such cases. Acts of dishonesty may lead to suspension or exclusion. Information on procedures is available in the Office of the Dean.

Extra Credits

Extra credits are credits taken in excess of the normal program load of eighteen credits. Students with 3.0 (or above) grade point averages may take more than eighteen credits when their proposed programs carry the approval of the Honors advisor.

Graduation with Academic Distinction

Graduation with distinction (Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Cum Laude) is determined by the college granting the student’s degree.

Normal Program Load

The requirements for graduation are based upon an average program of fifteen credits per semester for eight semesters. A normal program load should not exceed eighteen credits.

Because two hours of outside preparation are normally expected for each class hour, a fifteen credit program calls for approximately forty-five hours of class attendance and study per week. Students who undertake such a program should expect to give it their full time and energy. A few hours of employment a week may be safely added by capable students.


Low Grade Point Average: Honors students need a cumulative 3.30 or higher grade point average to maintain good standing in the Honors College. Honors academic status is assessed prior to fall pre-priority registration. A student may reapply to the Honors College once his/her cumulative grade point average is at 3.30 or above.

Grade Appeals Policy and Procedure

This policy applies to courses offered directly by the Honors College (e.g. HON 1000, HON 2000, HON 42XX-level seminars, etc.). Grade appeals for Honors sections of other courses should be resolved through the home department where those courses are offered. If in doubt, students should consult the Honors Advisor when initiating an appeal. Please consult the Honors Grade Appeal Policy and Procedure.

It is the instructor's prerogative to evaluate student work and assign grades in accordance with his or her academic and professional judgment.

Grounds for appeals are:

  1. the application of non-academic criteria in the grading process, as listed in the university's non-discrimination/affirmative action statute: race, color, sex (including gender identity), national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, familial status, marital status, height, weight, disability, or veteran status;
  2. sexual harassment or discrimination; or
  3. evaluation of student work by criteria not directly reflective of performance relative to course requirements.

Coursework Grades

Disputes over coursework grades should be addressed informally between the student and the course instructor. If the student and instructor cannot reach a mutually agreeable resolution, the matter should be referred to the Dean of the College, who will initiate appropriate procedures for resolution.

Final Grades

In those instances where a student disputes the final grade assigned, the following steps should be taken to appeal the grade in question.

Informal Review

The student should discuss the disputed grade with the instructor of the course. If the dispute is not resolved informally, the student may initiate a formal appeal.

Formal Appeal Procedure

Within 30 calendar days following official notification of final grades for the term in which the disputed grade was awarded, and when the informal review fails to resolve the dispute, the student shall submit a written appeal detailing his/her objection, along with supporting documentation in writing, to the instructor. The instructor should respond in writing within 10 work days.

Matters not resolved at the instructor level may be appealed to the Dean's Office. A written appeal should be filed by the student within 10 work days following receipt of the instructor's written response. A file folder containing the course syllabus from the semester in which the student took the course, plus the student's letter, the instructor's letter, and the student's written rationale explaining why the Dean's Office should reconsider this appeal, should be sent to the Dean's Office. The student should forward to the instructor of the course a copy of the written appeal. Where appropriate, the Dean's Office may consult with a Grade Appeals Committee for advice in grade disputes. Students shall be notified in writing of the Dean's Office decision within 30 work days of receiving the request. The Dean's Office decision shall be the final decision at the college level.

University Level Academic Appeals Procedure

Following the Dean's final response, a student may request a formal review by the Provost.

Such requests are subject to the University Academic Appeal Procedure and must be submitted in writing, with a copy sent to the Dean of the College, within thirty (30) calendar days of the postmark on the Dean's final determination.

Irvin D. Reid Honors College Grade Appeal Procedure, revised March 31, 2015


Special Programs

President's Scholars

The President’s Scholarship was established to attract National Merit Scholarship Finalists to Wayne State University.  These highly talented students join the Honors College as President’s Scholars and take part in the President’s Scholars Seminar.  The President’s Scholars receive our most prestigious merit scholarship at WSU; they also receive funding to study abroad at some point during their undergraduate studies.  Our goal is for this group of students to establish a community on campus that excels academically, socially and civically.  In order to be invited to join the President’s Scholars, students must first become National Merit Scholarship Finalists and accept their invitation to join the Irvin D. Reid Honors College. More information about the President's Award is available here.

Wayne Med Direct

Wayne Med Direct is a program within the Irvin D. Reid Honors College that is a unique B.S./B.A. to M.D. program that admits 10 students each year to Wayne State University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and creates a pipeline for admission to Wayne State's School of Medicine. It emphasizes mentoring and training to help scholars become leaders in the medical community, determined to reduce urban health disparities in their communities. During undergraduate studies, Wayne Med-Direct scholars have the opportunity to engage in patient care and research. They learn about health disparities by becoming a part of the School of Medicine community, leading to Wayne State's M.D. program. More information about Wayne Med Direct is available here.

Other Curricular Opportunities

Detroit Fellows Tutoring Project

Detroit Fellows earn two to four Honors credits while teaching reading skills to Detroit Public School students in kindergarten through fourth grade. This is a special opportunity for Honors College students and is open to all majors. On an hours-per-week basis Detroit Fellows work three hours (earning two credits), five hours (earning three credits) or seven hours (earning four credits) at a designated school. Tutors work during regularly scheduled school hours: 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Detroit Fellows receive training and participate in a weekly seminar to discuss various tutoring techniques. Writing assignments reflective of this experience and an end-of-semester evaluation are also required.

Emerging Scholars Program (ESP)

Wayne State University's Emerging Scholars Program is a special Honors-level calculus and pre-calculus program designed to support students who want and/or need to excel in mathematics and who are willing to do the work required for such success. It is available to students in MAT 1800 (pre-calculus), MAT 2010 and MAT 2020. Honors credits are awarded for MAT 2010 and/or MAT 2020.

Any student who hopes to pursue a degree in science, engineering, medicine, mathematics or math education is strongly urged to take his or her math courses within ESP. Students enroll in designated sections of MAT 1800, MAT 2010 and MAT 2020, taught by specially trained faculty members. They also attend a two-hour workshop, twice a week, where they work together in groups on challenging problems, gaining a deeper understanding of the mathematics involved.

Honors Student Association (HSA)

The Honors Student Association (HSA) provides networking experiences for students from various academic disciplines throughout WSU. The organization also serves to provide Honors students with the opportunity to become involved in diverse social, academic, and service activities. The Honors Student Association has eight executive board members; the positions include: president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, two public relations officers, and two webmasters. Elections for executive board positions are held annually at the end of winter semester.

The faculty advisor for HSA is Dr. Beth Fowler, Senior Lecturer for the Honors College.

Study Abroad

The Honors College, in partnership with the Office for Study Abroad, provides a number of opportunities for study and travel. The college encourages these learning experiences as ways for students to acquire broader perspectives and more deeply felt education than is often possible in the classroom. Study/travel options may be linked to the Junior/Senior seminar (HON 4260) and may meet the Global Learning (GL) University requirement. Some programs include service assignments and fulfill the Honors College field learning (HON 3000) requirement. Past study trip destinations have included Belize, France, South Africa, Ghana and China.

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