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"Honors has allowed me to open up my mind, challenge myself and make amazing friends" ~ Katie Dorman, Earth Sciences '18

Katie won the UNC Fall 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium with her work on water quality of the Cache la Poudre River, and was accepted into the National Conference of Undergraduate Research. She went on to win the Big Thompson Watershed Forum Environmental Scholarship based on her Honors Thesis work.

Katie Dorman 2018

The University of Northern Colorado Upper Division Honors Program develops a scholarly community of creative problem solvers in order to cultivate responsible citizen scholars through an enriched curriculum that supports self-driven, independent learners and promotes contributions to the disciplinary discourse.

The Upper Division Honors Program is designed for students who are entering into their junior year, although may be started in the senior year as long as all of the credit hours can still be completed in time for graduation. Students who are accepted into Upper Division Honors will choose one of three curricular paths:


Research Path – Students complete an Honors research thesis either in their selected discipline, or may complete an interdisciplinary thesis.
Creative Path – Students complete a creative works project at an honors level appropriate to their discipline. Creative projects may include those in art, music, creative writing, graphic arts, dance or theatre.
Applied Path – Students complete an Honors independent applied project that results in an actual implemented program, event, curricular method, initiative, business plan, non-profit endeavor, or other approved projects that fall “outside the box.”


Students completing the Upper Division Honors receive recognition at commencement and on their diploma.

Below are some Honors Theses by students through a variety of disciplines!

Virginia Poe; Walking in Moonlight: A study of the Werewolf People

All too often, creative fiction is not seen as a serious type of study, despite the versatility and immense potential of the form. However, one can take a vast amount of research in a variety of different areas, compile it, and use the juxtaposition to discover new insights about various fields involved. Writing an ethnography on werewolves incorporates a variety of research about werewolves (which reveals a little about their cultures), genetics (since these werewolves will have a genetic basis for their difference from humanity), and anthropology (since the ethnography serves as a perfect way to start thinking about culture), as well as other topics. In turn, the reader can glean knowledge about some of the research involved, and the information will be more memorable.

A.M. Fletcher; Living Dead in the United States: Felon Disenfranchisement and White Privilege

The purpose of this study is to re-examine the policy of felon disenfranchisement through an analysis of its historical lineage from the Jim Crow Era to the contemporary era of Black Lives Matter and identify the influence of White Privilege in its development. Review of previous research indicates a racial bias in the early implementation of felon disenfranchisement intended to prevent Blacks from exercising the right to vote as well as identifies racial motivations behind the use of the policy until present day.  The United States has a history of trying to bar Black people from voting.[1]  Disenfranchisement prevents the exercise of full citizenship for felons and ex-felons in the United States.  Primary and secondary sources that address the history of felon disenfranchisement will be interpreted through the lens of critical race theory to identify White Privilege in the development of felon disenfranchisement. This study provides a revised way of thinking on historical race relations in the United States and of the racially disproportionate disenfranchisement of Black United States citizens. This research indicates explicit and passive racial bias in the policy of felon disenfranchisement throughout its historical lineage.  It further defines the impact of White Privilege in the policy of felon disenfranchisement.

Carly Renee Browning; Interactions between O-benzyl-N-(9’-acridinyl)-hydroxylamines and Calf Thymus DNA: An evaluation of nontraditional thermal denaturation

Cancer is commonly treated with chemotherapy using therapeutic agents to inhibit cellular functions and divisions. These therapeutic agents are typically intercalating drugs, which bind to DNA rendering it nonfunctional. Intercalating therapeutic agents have poor selectivity and typically break apart into toxic metabolites under physiological conditions resulting in unwanted side effects. A main goal of research has been to discover and evaluate new therapeutic agents to find more effective treatments with lesser side effects. Groups of interest, the 9-acridinyl hydroxylamines, were evaluated and produced nontraditional thermal denaturation curves. Three variously substituted products with a) R1,2,3=H; b) R1,3=H, R2=NO2; c)R1,2=H, R3=OCH3 were synthesized to examine electron donating or withdrawing effects on intercalation, and thermal denaturation of calf thymus DNA.