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 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.
Beginning in Fall 2016, students whose schedules may not permit them to complete the rigorous requirements of Distinction may instead aim to earn Recognition as an Honors Scholar, a new award 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.
Some additional benefits of participation in the program are given below.
- Exclusive access to Honors courses, including interdisciplinary special topics seminars taught by faculty identified as excellent teachers by their students
- Small classes, limited to 15 students
- 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)
- Honors credit for study abroad
- Leadership opportunities in the Honors Program and across campus
- Social and academic events outside of the standard curriculum (including Honors yoga, trivia nights, and the student-led lecture series, Sparks)
- Support through small grants, given through the Honors Great Ideas Grants program