Information on Honors Requirements and Expectations

May 2015 Honors grads Allie Larkin, Emily Lanier (Manly E. Wright valedictory awardee), and John Terrell

Honors courses are open to students formally admitted to the University Honors Program. Designed for talented and self-directed students, the Honors Program's curriculum complements the Liberal Arts Core and major curricula. Honors sections of LANG 120, Humanities Program courses, and other courses count toward Honors Program requirements to graduate with Distinction as a University Scholar or Recognition as an Honors Scholar. For more information on these acknowledgements and other Honors Program requirements, see the tabs below or contact the Honors Director, Patrick Bahls, at pbahls@unca.edu or the Honors account at honors@unca.edu.

Applying to the Honors Program

There are three means of admission to the Honors Program.

1. Entering as a first-year student in the first semester of college.

Many students apply for the Honors Program as high school seniors, upon their acceptance to UNC Asheville. The first round of applications is NOW OPEN, with applications due by midnight on Friday, March 2, 2018 (here is a link to the application). A second round of applications will be open from late April through the end of May. Applicants must also complete in-person or at-a-distance meetings with Honors faculty; more information will be made available to those who complete the online application. Please note that the Honors Program does not rely solely on traditional measures of academic achievement in high school (e.g., GPA or standardized test scores); rather, we seek students who distinguish themselves by a passion for authentic learning, willingness to take risks in a scholarly setting, and interest in applying their academic skills in a community context. If you care deeply about your studies, we encourage you to apply! For more information about the application process, please contact the Honors Director, Patrick Bahls, at pbahls@unca.edu or the Honors account at honors@unca.edu.

2. Entering after one or more semesters of study at UNC Asheville.

Students who have completed at least one semester of study at UNC Asheville may join the program provided they have a cumulative UNC Asheville GPA of 3.5 or higher and a letter of recommendation from a UNC Asheville instructor who can speak to the student's fitness for the Honors Program. Recommendation letters should be emailed directly to the Honors Director, Patrick Bahls, at pbahls@unca.edu and to the Honors account at honors@unca.edu. Note: typically continuing students are only admitted to the program between terms or during the first two weeks of a given term.

3. Entering as a transfer student upon acceptance to UNC Asheville.

Transfer students who wish to apply to the Honors Program must have an overall GPA of at least 3.5 and two letters of recommendation from instructors at the institution from which they are transferring. Recommendation letters from the instructors should be emailed directly to the Honors Director, Patrick Bahls, at pbahls@unca.edu and to the Honors account at honors@unca.eduNote: typically transfer students are only admitted to the program between terms or during the first two weeks of a given term.

Notes. The UNC Asheville Honors Program may grant Honors credit for honors coursework taken at other institutions, on a case-by-case basis. The Program also holds memoranda of understanding with several community colleges in North Carolina; these agreements help students obtain honors credit for courses taken in these colleges' honors programs. (See the accordion tab below for more information on these programs.) Please meet with the Honors Director about getting credit for honors coursework taken elsewhere than UNC Asheville.

Requirements to remain in good standing with the Honors Program

To remain in good standing with the Honors Program, students must meet the criteria listed below. Ordinarily, students not meeting these requirements will have one semester after falling below the standards to comply. In special cases, as indicated below, the Honors Program Director will regularly assess the standing of students who make significant progress toward compliance. Students who remain in noncompliance with no progress after one semester will be suspended from the program and will have to reapply for admission through the Honors Program office.

GPA

Students must maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.25. A student whose overall GPA falls below 3.25 will have one semester in which to raise the GPA to the minimum level. If after one semester, the GPA remains below 3.25, the student may request a waiver from the Honors Program Director to remain in the program. The Director, after consultation with the student’s instructors for the term in question, may grant such a waiver in extenuating circumstances.

Regular enrollment in Honors courses

Students must complete at least 3 hours of Honors credit every other semester. Students not meeting this criterion may request a waiver from the Honors Program Director to remain in the program. The Director may grant such a waiver in extenuating circumstances.

Requirements to graduate with Distinction as a University Scholar

1. Complete a minimum of 21 hours of credit in Honors courses.

Additionally, these 21 hours must include at least two 3 or 4-credit-hour Honors Special Topics seminars at the 300-level or higher, and an Honors section of LA 478. Readings in Honors courses and Honors Undergraduate Research may count toward the 21 hours, as can study abroad courses at the 300-level or higher. More information about getting credit for study abroad courses can be found in the tab below or by visiting the Honors office. 

2. Achieve an overall GPA of at leat 3.25 and a GPA for Honors courses of at least 3.5.

3. Successfully complete a service-learning project as part of the Honors section of LA 478. Centered on civic engagement and culminating in a service-learning experience, Honors LA 478 will bring together students from all disciplines for research, discussion, and group projects dealing with diversity, equity, and inclusion. Important registration information: Students wanting to enroll in Honors LA 478 must contact the Honors Program director no later than the end of pre-registration of the semester prior to the one in which the student plans to enroll in the course. Demand for Honors LA 478 is always high, and students are encouraged to plan far in advance.

Requirements to graduate with Recognition as an Honors Scholar

Beginning in Fall 2016, the UNC Asheville Honors Program will confer this new form of recognition on students who do not meet the rigorous conditions required for Distinction as a University Scholar but who still show sustained involvement with and contribution to the program. Unlike Distinction, Recognition as an Honors Scholar will not appear on a student’s official university transcript. Rather, students will receive a certificate acknowledging their achievements and the honor will be recorded officially in the Honors Program’s records.

To receive Recognition as an Honors Scholar, students must complete at least 12 hours of Honors coursework at UNC Asheville, which must include at least one 3- or 4-hour Honors Special Topics seminar and an Honors section of LA 478. They must also maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.25 and a GPA of at least 3.5 in Honors coursework.

For more information on Recognition, please contact the Honors Director, Patrick Bahls, at pbahls@unca.edu or the Honors account at honors@unca.edu.

Receiving Honors credit for honors courses taken elsewhere

If you have honors credits from an honors program or honors college at another institution of higher education before transferring to UNC Asheville, you may receive Honors credit at UNCA for this prior work. All such recognition of honors credit is handled on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Honors Director, Patrick Bahls, at pbahls@unca.edu for more information.

Note. The UNC Asheville Honors Program has signed formal memoranda of understanding with the following two-year colleges in North Carolina, guaranteeing recognition of a specific number of credits of honors coursework; please contact Patrick Bahls for more information on these agreements:

Receiving Honors credit for study abroad coursess

To receive Honors credit for study abroad courses:

Students must come to the Honors Program office before leaving for study abroad and have their names added to the Honors Study Abroad list. Students may receive up to 6 hours of Honors credit for one semester of study abroad coursework or 9 hours of Honors credit for a full year of study abroad, provided they take courses at the 300 level or above. Students may receive at most 4 hours of Honors Special Topics credit (HON 373 or HON 374).

To receive Honors credit, each student must write a reflective essay of three or more pages highlighting some of their experiences and describing ways in which they gained new insights into their selves and other world cultures. Photos from the study abroad experience should be included and formatted as JPEGs. These essays and photos must be submitted to the Honors Program Director and Assistant and are due before the end of the second week of classes after students return. The Honors Program may publish excerpts from student essays and students' photos on the Honors website.