Honors Semesters

NCHC’s Honors Semesters Committee has generated more than twenty full Semesters that feature experiential learning through a combination of interrelated courses integrated by a focus on the specific setting of each project. Semesters are offered regularly to invite Honors students nationally into a learning experience away from their own campus to sites abroad and in the United States. Students earn transferable college credit as they combine field studies, research, internships, seminars, and a living-learning immersion that taps the resources of a Semester’s location as it builds a community of inquiry.

Past Honors Semesters have been in Washington, D.C., the Grand Canyon, New York City, El Paso, Appalachia, the Maine Coast, Iowa, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Greece, the Czech Republic, Spain, and the Southeast coast of the United States, on topics ranging from local culture to global concerns.

Past Honors Semesters


Grand Canyon Honors Semester
August 25-December 14

A life-changing learning experience in the high mountains of northern Arizona and the deep canyon country of the Colorado Plateau.

Northern Arizona University and the NCHC Honors Semesters Committee invite you to apply for the 2016 Grand Canyon Semester. The Grand Canyon Semester offers you the chance to investigate the landscape, cultures, and politics of the greater Grand Canyon region, while providing you with a life-changing learning experience in the high mountains of northern Arizona and the deep canyon country of the Colorado Plateau. You will meet students with a wide variety of interests and passions from across the United States and around the world.


Health without Borders - a Winterim in Peru
December 30, 2015 - January 20, 2016
Iquitos/Mazan/Madre Selva, Peru

Co-Sponsored by Florida International University and The National Collegiate Honors Council

6 upper division honors credits in health administration and delivery, biology, geography, ecology, urban studies, natural resources management, anthropology or sociology (all courses cross-listed in at least two disciplines). This cross-disciplinary study and immersion experience takes place in an area where urbanization, deforestation, resource exploitation, and global connections are growing rapidly. The consequent impacts on environment and human health, both locally and globally, invite original research. The city of Iquitos, one of two enormous markets bracketing the Amazon at either end of its flow; the native riverine communities still preserving their own language; and the biological station are unusual laboratories for site-specific inquiry.

$3,900 plus airfare and supplies. Air access significantly increased this year. Some scholarships ($500-$2,000) available.


Winterim: Living on the Edge of a Rainforest Frontier – the Peruvian Amazon
December 2011-January 2012

A joint offering of The Honors College at Florida International University and the National Collegiate Honors Council Semesters Committee, this winterim is a unique opportunity for students to engage in experiential learning that emphasizes independent research projects focused on the contrast between urban and rural areas of the Peruvian Amazon. An overview of the people and environment of the Amazon will provide students the necessary background to design and implement interdisciplinary projects during their stay in Iquitos, Peru (the major city of the western Amazon) and at the Madre Selva Biological Station (Orosa River).

Grand Canyon Honors Semester
August-December 2012

The Grand Canyon Honors Semester (GCS), the third to be co-sponsored by the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) and Northern Arizona University (NAU), will investigate the role of water in shaping the landscape, cultures, and politics of the Grand Canyon region. The Grand Canyon Semester is an integrated learning experience in the humanities and sciences. Students come to understand the environmental and social challenges confronting us in the 21st century through one of the earth’s most precious resources—water. Using an interdisciplinary approach, students experience water’s economic, political, artistic, ecological, social, and spiritual forces.

On back-country field trips, in classrooms and art galleries, around campfires, in traditional hogans, and floating down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, we confront the 21st-century global challenges of managing water in these diverse natural and cultural landscapes.