Planning for the HNR 200 Requirement

General Overview

Honors advisor Meg Marshall

The HNR 200 requirement aims to help Honors students build practical knowledge and skills in community engagement, leadership, and cultural understanding—attributes that characterize strong job and grad-school applicants as well as fully engaged citizens. The requirement may be satisfied in 1-, 2-, or 3-credit increments, and it need not be completed in a single semester or year. Students propose an HNR 200 activity prior to registration and, over the course of the enrolled semester, complete a series of assigned Blackboard reflections in order to earn HNR 200 credit. Students may also earn HNR 200 credit by completing other (non-HNR) university courses that achieve the goals of HNR 200; some of these are listed below, and students are welcome to propose others.

With the exception of Nursing majors (explained below), all students must submit a brief proposal indicating how they wish to satisfy their HNR 200 requirement. Proposals are due April 1 for activities to be completed in Spring/Summer or Fall, and November 1 for activities to be completed in Winter.

Make a Difference Day

Three Options

  1. You may propose one of the pre-approved activities listed below and register for HNR 200, either as a one-, two-, or three-credit course. All students need a total of three credits prior to graduation.
  2. You may propose to use a pre-approved course substitution for HNR 200. All Community-Based Learning (CBL) courses satisfy the requirement. All Study Abroad courses satisfy the requirement. See below for more examples.
  3. You may propose an activity or course that you believe satisfies the requirement, in part or in full. We are open to your suggestions! Note: Unless specifically geared toward service or community engagement, professional internships generally do not satisfy the requirement.

If you select Option #3 and want to propose an activity or course, we strongly encourage you to discuss your ideas with an Honors advisor prior to submitting your proposal.

Design Thinking workshop

Pre-Approved 1-credit Activities

1-credit activities (repeatable for credit):

  • Serve as officer of a registered GVSU student organization. Examples from recent Honors students include the Anthropology Club, Beta Alpha Psi, the Book Club, Campus Ministry, Delta Tau Delta, Delta Zeta, Euphoria A Capella, the Future Alumni Association, Habitat for Humanity, Kappa Kappa Psi, Move 2 the Beat, the National Student Speech Language Association, the Panhellenic Association, the Pre-Med Club, the Quidditch Club, the Social Innovation Club, Student Senate, the Taekwondo Club, and the Women’s Water Polo Club. Students who serve as Student Senate representatives (not just officers) may also earn one credit per semester.
  • Serve as a leader or officer in an Honors College student group, such as the Diversity Task Force, the Mentor Council, or the Honors Student Council.
  • Perform a significant role in a community service activity, such as mentoring at English Language Skills Conversation Partners, volunteering at the Grandville Transition Program for Young Adults, serving on the board of Out on the Lakeshore, coaching a high school sports team, or working as an Emergency Medical Technician.
  • Serve as a Resident Assistant (RA) for GVSU Housing.
  • Perform a significant role in a GVSU office or department, such as Admissions, the ACES Peer Education Program, Black Excellence Orientation, Campus Recreation, Laker Familia, or the Writing Center.

Pre-Approved 3-credit Activities

  • Study Abroad/Away: all credit-bearing study abroad or study away activities satisfy this requirement. In consultation with an Honors advisor, students may also count an additional 3 credits of study abroad/away elsewhere in the Honors curriculum.
  • Serve as HNR 201 teaching assistant, which requires weekly attendance in class and regular attendance at campus and community events, plus leading small-group discussions.
  • Participate for a full academic year in the Cook Leadership Academy or the Design Thinking Academy—students may register for 2 credits one semester and 1 credit the other semester.


Variable-credit Activities:

These depend on the number of hours involved:

  • Supervise a science or research lab, under the supervision of a GVSU faculty member
  • Serve as a teaching assistant for a GVSU faculty member

Generally speaking, each academic credit requires at least 3 hours per week, or 45 hours per semester.

Pre-approved Course Substitutions

These non-HNR courses are pre-approved as satisfying the HNR 200 requirement:

  • CBL courses: Any GVSU course with the Community Based Learning (CBL) designation satisfies the HNR 200 requirement. To learn more about CBL courses please visit the CBL website. You can search Self-Service Banner by using the advanced search option and then choosing Community Based Learning (CBL) from the attribute drop down menu. Once you find a course that you are able to take please submit the proposal indicating the CBL course you want to use as a substitution. 
  • IDS 350: Civil Discourse. This interdisciplinary course is offered each year by the current Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professor of Civil Discourse.
  • WRT 306: Seminar for New Tutors. This 1-credit course prepares students to be an effective consultant in the GVSU Writing Center.
  • The Community Health Nursing (CHN) portions of NUR 317, NUR 367, and NUR 417, which are required of all Nursing majors. Note: HNR 200 credit is automatic for all Nursing majors who complete these courses. No proposal is needed.

Study Abroad

Propose your own course or activity!

Students are encouraged to propose other non-HNR courses or campus/community activities that they feel may meet the objectives of the HNR 200 requirement.

Catalog Description: Students actively engage their surrounding communities in ways that promote listening to and understanding cultural differences, working with shared communal concerns, and promoting the importance of mutual understanding.