Design challenge

Incoming Student Information

Congratulations on your acceptance to the Thorson First-Year Honors Experience! If you were accepted to Thorson but do not see HNRS 105 on your fall semester schedule, email as soon as possible to inquire about space in the program. We can only guarantee a spot in Thorson for accepted students who submitted their Acceptance Agreement by May 1st, 2021.


We know you have many questions about what to expect this year and how to prepare for fall semester. If you haven’t checked out our FAQ videos yet, have a look at those to learn more about the Thorson experience and the IDEAS class! As the start of term approaches, keep an eye on this page and — most importantly! — your email account for useful information and updates. You can always email with questions; please allow one week response time over the summer.

What materials do I need for the start of class?

If you’ve lost track of the Materials List from the Thorson Acceptance Agreement, you can get a copy here! Please read it carefully and email us if you have any questions or concerns. Download the PDF here: Materials List 2021-22

Am I enrolled in the right classes for fall semester?

As Fall 2021 schedules become available, please double-check that you are enrolled correctly. You should have HNRS 105 (Innovation and Discovery in Engineering, Arts, and Sciences) on Mondays (50 minutes) and Wednesdays and Fridays (90 minutes). Equally important: you should NOT be enrolled in either EDNS 151 or HASS 100. These courses are equivalent to the HNRS 105 + HNRS 115 course series (fall and spring IDEAS); students who complete the Thorson First-Year Honors Experience do not need to take them.

If you have concerns about your schedule, email right away.

My schedule says "NR" instead of a classroom number for IDEAS. What do I do?

Your schedule should list CK 140 or CK 150 as the classroom for all three days of HNRS 105 (Mon/Wed/Fri). If “NR” (“no room”) appears in place of the classroom location for any day, please email right away to get the correct classroom location.

Where can I view the Syllabus and more about the IDEAS class?

Our course Canvas site will be available during the week before the start of class in August. Don’t worry – there is no summer reading or advance preparation to do before then! Just set aside some time to familiarize yourself with the Canvas site a day or two before classes begin.

If you’d like to learn more about what to expect from the IDEAS class, check out our FAQs page and mark your calendar for one of our summer Q&A webinars (info below).

What is a typical day/week like for a Thorson student? What is the IDEAS class like?

Head over to our FAQs page to see video clips from our Winter 2020 prospective student webinar that address these questions!

What is the Thorson House Cup? Am I still part of the Thorson community if I don't live in the Honors Explore TLC?

To answer the second question first – yes, 100%! Every student in Thorson – past, present, and future – is part of the Thorson community, as well as the Honors community more broadly. The Honors Explore TLC is one way to be involved, but we will host numerous events each semester for all Thorson students to experience. These range from low-key movie and game nights to more involved excursions off campus. We’ll announce upcoming events in the IDEAS class and in our weekly email newsletter.

The Thorson House Cup is another way to engage in the Thorson community, via a friendly competition that helps you meet more students outside of your IDEAS class section. You’ll be sorted into a “House” at the start of fall, and will work with your housemates to earn points and compete for prizes!

What is the Summer Q&A Webinar?

The Thorson FYHE Director hosted two online Q&A sessions for incoming students prior to the start of classes. These were fully optional opportunities to meet the director and some of the teaching assistants, ask questions about what to expect this year, and get to know some of your future classmates. 

If you missed these events, not to worry! We’ve updated this page with the most frequently asked questions from each event, and you can always email if you have questions or concerns not addressed here.

What are the honors opportunities after Thorson?

The Thorson First-Year Honors Experience is your introduction to the Honors and Scholars community at Mines, but it is independent of the other UHSP offerings. You are not required to pursue any other UHSP pathways after Thorson, nor are you automatically accepted. But you may be interested in one or more of these options, and it’s never too early to start learning more about them! We provide time in class for ambassadors from other programs to present and answer questions, and we’ll be sure to draw your attention to info sessions, application deadlines, and other important notifications from UHSP and other Mines experiences we think you’d enjoy. Many of our Teaching Assistants and even some of our faculty are involved in other areas of UHSP, so don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone in IDEAS if you have questions!