Honors Program

UNC Asheville’s Honors Program was founded in 1985 and provides a rich curriculum for motivated students who seek to understand themselves and make a difference in the world. Together, students, staff, and faculty create a community of dedicated and enthusiastic scholars who care for the well-being of all. Honors students have opportunities to:

  • participate in enriching co-curricular and extracurricular activities
  • forge strong relationships with outstanding professors
  • interact with distinguished campus visitors
  • travel in the United States and abroad

Engaged in scholarship, campus life, and the greater Asheville community, Honors students value education and strive to create a better society, one in which every life may flourish. If you are a self-motivated learner who understands the value of challenging classes and are willing to give your time and talents to a greater cause, you will find a fantastic community within the Honors Program.

For prospective students, there are no additional deadlines and no separate application is required to be considered for the Honors Program. Admissions counselors may nominate students based on the strength of their admission application. Our assessment considers the strength of the curriculum pursued, grades in core academic classes, writing, recommendations, and potential for impact in our community. Current UNC Asheville students have the opportunity to join the Honors Program after their first semester (see below).

How to Join the University Honors Program

Incoming, first-year students are admitted to the Honors Program at the same time that they are admitted to UNC Asheville. Admission to Honors is competitive, we only accept about 50 students per year. If you are applying to UNC Asheville and would like to be considered for admission to the Honors Program, please contact your UNC Asheville Admissions Counselor.

Transfer students can also be admitted to the Honors Program, and some 2-year schools have memoranda of understanding with the Director to transfer Honors credits. Transfer students should be aware that the full Honors course load leading to Distinction as a University Honors Scholar is difficult to complete in fewer than four years, so it is recommended that transfer students reach out to the Director of the Honors Program to plan out their curriculum. Transfer students often earn Recognition as an Honors Scholar, which has fewer credit hour requirements. Please see the Benefits page and the Requirements page for more information on these two paths.

Current UNC Asheville students may apply for admission to the Honors Program after their first semester at UNC Asheville. Students interested in applying should first schedule a quick advising meeting with the Director of the Honors Program to ensure that such a path will work for the student’s schedule. Applications can be requested from the Director, and are accepted on a rolling basis each semester.

For more information about the Honors Program, please contact honors@unca.edu.