New Honors College will provide experiences that set Miami University apart


The new Honors College will be based on Miami's Western campus. McKee Hall, shown here, is one of the original Western Female Seminary buildings along with Peabody Hall. It is named for the school's second president Leila McKee (1888-1904), who transformed the school to become Western College for Women, a liberal arts college (photo by Scott Kissell).

Creating intensive learning and research experiences for the best students in Ohio, across the country and around the world, Miami will launch a transformed Honors College in fall 2021 – one of the key goals of its MiamiRISE strategic plan.

Each of about 400 students admitted to the Honors College every year will graduate having produced a publishable, professional-quality work and with an international study experience, said Zeb Baker, director of Miami’s University Honors Program. In Miami’s only residential college, students will live and study together in several residence halls and an academic building on the Western Campus. The program also will include more one-on-one interaction with faculty-in-residence.

“Miami’s enhanced Honors College will be a magnet for students who want an immersive, engaged experience filled with personalized interactions with distinguished faculty and customized learning and research opportunities,” Miami Provost Jason Osborne said. “Our MiamiRISE strategic plan challenges us to innovate and reimagine the Miami experience to remain a leader in serving our students both in out of the classroom. Our redesigned Honors College will be an inclusive environment that will empower these students to use their talents to make a real difference in the world.” 

The Honors College is one of the major proposals in Miami’s new strategic plan, called MiamiRISE, aimed at transforming Miami in an era of unprecedented volatility in higher education by opening new paths of innovation, excellence and discovery.

The new Honors College will join with the full-ride Presidential Fellows program launched in 2019 and a transformed Prodesse Scholars program (formerly called University Academic Scholars) that features an intensive one-year experience within an interdisciplinary area of study. Together, they will help differentiate Miami as an innovative and high-value option for talented students from Ohio and around the world.

Miami’s current University Honors program includes about 2,000 students, so the new Honors College will be more exclusive. Among the benefits for students are guaranteed admission to select graduate programs, stipends for study abroad, access to research funding and priority course registration.

“We see it as a real differentiator for Miami,” Baker said. “We will provide students with a distinctive and intensive research experience. We want students who are going to come in and really engage with ideas.”