Special Opportunities

Independent Study and Research 

The Honors Program encourages student participation in research projects and independent study opportunities. These options allow you to concentrate a considerable amount of time and effort in an area of particular interest to you, to develop intellectual relationships with members of the faculty and research staff, and to make more informed decisions about your Honors thesis and perhaps even your career goals. We encourage you to look for a research placement when you have had adequate preparation to make your participation useful to the project and interesting for you. Honors academic advisors will be happy to talk with you about strategies for finding a project and a mentor.

The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) is one avenue through which to find a research placement. Some departments (for example, chemistry and psychology) maintain lists of available research projects. Many of our students find research work by directly contacting faculty whose areas of specialization interest them.

Study Abroad and Off-Campus 

A year or semester spent studying abroad is an enriching experience and we urge all interested students to take advantage of foreign study. The University of Michigan sponsors study-abroad programs in universities in many parts of the world. You should check with the Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) for information about UM programs. You may also apply through another American college or university and have your credits transferred from that institution or you may apply directly to a foreign school.

Information about travel and study-abroad programs can be found at Center for Global and Intercultural Study (Chem Bldg), at the Overseas Opportunity Office of the International Center (603 East Madison), in the various area studies centers of the International Institute (Suite 2660, 1080 South University) and in departments that specialize in the languages and cultures of other areas of the world.

Some departments have special classes for Honors concentrators that normally are elected during the junior year. Because of these departmental opportunities and requirements, it is wise to begin planning a term or a year abroad as early as possible and to discuss your plans with an Honors concentration advisor in your department. Remember that there are alternatives to "junior year abroad" that may work out better for Honors concentrators.

We also encourage our students to take advantage of special courses offered in off-campus sites. The Biological Station located along Burt and Douglas Lakes in northern lower Michigan provides a field station experience in a research setting. For information, see the biology department entry in the Bulletin or inquire at the departmental office. The geological sciences department offers a summer field course at Camp Davis, the University's Rocky Mountain Field Station near Jackson, Wyoming. Information is available in the Bulletin and at the departmental office.

If you are interested in summer opportunities in your field, it is best to ask a concentration advisor in your department about programs that may be appropriate for you. You may, of course, apply to programs sponsored by any accredited, four-year American university or an accredited foreign institution.

The DeRoy Visiting Honors Professorship 

In 1981, the trustees of the Helen L. DeRoy Testamentary Foundation of Detroit established the Helen L. DeRoy Visiting Professorship in Honors to invite distinguished persons in business, government, labor, law, writing and various scholarly disciplines to teach seminars for Honors students. Usually at least one appointment is made each year. Since enrollment in seminar classes is limited, there is usually an application process for these classes. DeRoy professors, the topics of DeRoy seminars, the class schedule, and other details will be announced in the Honors on-line newsletter, Honorabilia, as soon as they are available.

The list of former DeRoy Professors includes leaders in many fields: the late Otto Graf, Honors Program Director for eighteen years; Dr. W. Michael Blumenthal, former Secretary of the Treasury and Chief Executive Officer of the Burroughs Corporation; Douglas Fraser, former President of the United Auto Workers; Leonard Woodcock, former Ambassador to the People's Republic of China and President of the UAW; Dr. Robert Hofstadter, Nobel laureate in physics; Galway Kinnell, poet and Samuel F. B. Morse Professor at New York University; Dr. Jerry Weisbach, former President of the Parke-Davis division of Warner Lambert; Dr. Judith Laikin Elkin, founding President of the Latin American Jewish Studies Association; the Rt. Hon. Edward Heath, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Dr. Frances Moore Lappé, author of the best-selling Diet for a Small Planet; writer Marge Piercy; Dr. Matina Horner, Executive Vice President of TIAA-CREF and President Emerita of Radcliffe College; Dr. C. Everett Koop, former U.S. Surgeon General; the Honorable Anatoly Sobchak, Mayor of St. Petersburg, Russia, and Professor at St. Petersburg State University; investigative journalist, Jessica Mitford; Sam Zell, Chairman of the Board of Equity Financial and Management Co.; Geza Jeszensky, 1990-1994 Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Hungary; Roger Wilkins, Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History and American Culture, George Mason University; Wes Jackson, President of the Land Institute; Donald Worster, Chairman of the Board of Directors, the Land Institute; Beth Nissen, CNN reporter; and Dr. Clinton Brooks of the National Security Agency.