Honors Program Benefits

Honors students who complete at least 21 hours of courses in the Honors Program (including at least two Honors Special Topics seminars and an Honors section of LA 478) and maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.25 and a GPA of at least 3.5 in Honors coursework may graduate with Distinction as a University Honors Scholar. Students who graduate with Distinction are recognized in the Commencement program and on their university transcripts. It is a mark of excellence valued by both employers and graduate schools.

Graduates earning Distinction as a University Honors Scholar are eligible to wear the Honors Stole at Commencement, a white stole with the University Seal.

Transfer students or students whose schedules may not permit them to complete the rigorous requirements of Distinction may instead aim to earn Recognition as an Honors Scholar, granted to students completing at least 12 hours of Honors coursework, which must include at least one Honors Special Topics seminar and an Honors Section of LA 478, while maintaining the same GPAs required for Distinction. Recognition as an Honors Scholar will not be designated on the student’s transcript, but will be honored with a certificate and awards reception.

Graduates earning Recognition as an Honors Scholar are eligible to wear the Honors Cord at Commencement, a dark green cord.

See the Honors Program Requirements page for details.

Some additional benefits of participation in the program are given below.

  • Exclusive access to Honors courses, including interdisciplinary special topics seminars taught by award winning faculty identified as excellent teachers by their students
  • Small classes, limited to 15 students
  • Tailored student support from the Director of the Honors Program and the Honors Program Assistant
  • Unique opportunities for student/faculty engagement
  • A tight-knit community of self-motivated learners
  • Honors sections of LA 178, LANG 120, HUM 124, HUM 214, HUM 324, and LA 478
  • Service-learning opportunities on campus and in the greater Asheville community
  • Self-directed study and independent study courses (including Readings in Honors and Undergraduate Research in Honors)
  • Earn honors credit while studying abroad
  • Leadership opportunities in the Student Honors Advisory Committee and across campus
  • Social and academic events outside of the standard curriculum (including Honors yoga, trivia nights, and SPARKS, the student-led lecture series)
  • Support through small grants, given through the Honors Great Ideas Grants program
  • Awards for graduating seniors

Leadership Opportunity: The Student Honors Advisory Committee

The Student Honors Advisory Committee (SHAC) consists of elected officers and plans activities and events for the Honors Program. Email shac@unca.edu with questions, suggestions, or ideas.