Honors Program

Students with strong intellectual interests and the commitment to pursue those interests in a rigorous and challenging environment are great candidates for the Movement Science Honors Program. The program offers qualified students advanced coursework and independent research opportunities in exercise physiology, biomechanics, and motor control and development.

How to Apply

Qualified incoming movement science students will be invited to enter the Honors Program. These invitations are based on evidence of exceptional scholarly ability and motivation. Admission decisions will be based on the following:

  1. High school GPA (suitably adjusted for the difficulty of work elected - typically above 3.8)
  2. Class standing
  3. National test scores (SAT of 1200 or above, ACT composite of 32)
  4. Counselor/teacher recommendations
  5. Admissions essay 

First-year movement science students who are interested in joining the Honors Program may apply to be considered. Only those students with a GPA of 3.5 in at least one full semester comprised of content-based, challenging classes will be admitted to the second year level of the Honors Program.
Second-year movement science students may apply to begin the Honors Program as juniors. Only those students with distinguished academic performance (cumulative GPA of 3.5 in a minimum of 50 credit hours, including completion of MOVESCI 250 or equivalent, ENGLISH 225, and all core pre-requisite courses both inside and outside Kinesiology) will be considered for admission.
The U-M School of Kinesiology is committed to achieving an Honors student body characterized by ethnic and racial diversity as well as gender balance.

Coursework and Research

Honors students are expected to pursue a rigorous and diversified course of study. Students must complete the regular movement science curriculum as well as advanced coursework, independent study, and the successful completion of an honors thesis, completed during the senior year. Students must maintain a 3.5 GPA throughout the program. Each April, a subcommittee of movement science faculty will review each student’s academic record and recommend continuation or termination. The program will be administered by the associate dean for research.

The Honors program requires students to take the Honors sections of some movement science core courses, and to complete independent research experiences, culminating in a senior honors thesis. Each requirement is described below.

Honors Sections. Students complete the honors sections of MOVESCI 320, 330, and 340 by the end of junior year. To receive honors credit, students will complete a special project connected to the course as well as the regular course requirements. In consultation with the faculty instructor, such special projects may, for example, take the form of a literature review or class presentation. Honors students in the same class may work together on a project approved by the faculty instructor. Honors students will fill out a contract with the faculty instructor stating precisely the scope of the honors work. In situations where a student elects to take a core course in his/her second year and has not yet been accepted into the Honors Program, the student must make arrangements with the appropriate faculty member to complete the honors requirement of the core course.

Honors Independent Study and Honors Research Proposal. Students must complete a minimum of six credits of independent study with a research focus by the end of the junior year. Up to three independent credits obtained prior to a student’s junior year can be counted. Honors independent research study experiences typically involve supervised and directed participation in the laboratory of a movement science faculty member. In many cases, these independent research study experiences assist the student in identifying a research mentor and help lay the groundwork for the senior honors thesis. Honors students will fill out an independent study contract form (Qualtrics form) with a faculty member stating the nature of the research experience.

A thesis proposal must be submitted to the sponsoring faculty member by the end of winter semester of student’s junior year. The proposal should include a rationale for the project, the specific questions to be answered or hypotheses to be tested, the methods to be used, the potential results of the student’s proposed research, and a bibliography. The proposal must include the signature of the faculty mentor indicating support of the proposal. It is highly recommended that students arrange to start doing honors thesis research during the spring and/or summer semesters between their junior and senior years. Typically, financial support will be sought from the faculty mentor. In some instances, some financial support may be available from other sources.

Senior Honors Thesis - MOVESCI 490-491 (5 credits). The honors thesis is due three weeks before the end of the winter semester. In March of each academic year, students will make oral presentations of their thesis work in a school-wide forum, to be arranged with their thesis advisors. While there is no set length requirement, the honors thesis is expected to reflect a rigorous and in-depth analysis of a specific problem in movement science requiring a sustained period of investigation but appropriate for study at the honors undergraduate level. The goal of the honors thesis is to generate new and relevant information that may lead to an abstract submission to a national conference, form the basis for a peer-reviewed manuscript, or provide pilot work for graduate studies.