What is honors?

Many students think of honors as just an academic distinction, but it is so much more. Joining an honors program at UNC Charlotte will enrich your college experience through thought-provoking academic courses, unique undergraduate research opportunities, engaging events, and communities of liked-minded students. 

"When I entered the Honors in Education program I thought I would be adding another line item on my resume, but I am graduating with so much more. Through completing research in local elementary schools to writing my first thesis, and then publishing my thesis in a journal, I have been able to extend my passion for reading education and develop skills that I know will take me and my students far as I enter the classroom.”

- K. Paige Burchard (Cato College of Education Honors Program; Class of 2018)

Is being in honors harder?

Not necessarily,  although honors is certainly different.  In your honors courses you will be challenged to think about subjects in different ways. Honors is rarely about memorizing information for a test -- it is about analyzing the information and discussing it to gain a comprehensive understanding. Courses offered by the Honors College cover a wide variety of subjects and allow students to explore topics outside of their major, such as Consuming Southern Foodways, Criminal Minds, Art as Contemplative Practice, and many more. Joining a discinplinary honors program encourages students to delve deeper into their academic discipline and discover its nuances. Whether you plan to pursue a graduate education or enter the workforce, the inquiry and analysis skills gained in your honors experience will stay with you and help you to distinguish yourself far into the future.  

"Unlike my required coursework, where I could just study the book, make sure I really understood the material, and write an essay or answer the questions with a right or wrong answer, in honors classes it was about thinking through issues and ideas and there wasn’t a right or wrong answer. It really taught me to question things more and have a process for critical thinking. It didn’t take me long to adjust to that, but it was totally different and I loved it."

- Jennifer Paules (University Honors Program; Class of 2001)

What is the honors community?

The honors community at UNC Charlotte includes students, faculty, and staff. It is a dedicated and energetic group that provides new ideas, guidance, and constant encouragement. Many students cite the honors community as being one of the most impactful elements of their college career. We often say that the honors community can help make our large research university feel a bit smaller. 

"The biggest worry everyone comes to college with is whether or not they will be able to make friends. With the Honors College, it was near impossible to not make friends with all of the community service and social events. There was more to the Honors College community than that for me—not saying making friends wasn't great— but being surrounded by all of these wonderful people inspired me to push myself to achieve greatness."

-Ryan Croat (University Honors Program & Business Honors Program; Class of 2021)

Why should I join honors?

Beyond the enriching academic experience and honors community, there are also many other advantages to joining an honors program. While each honors program offers its students unique opportunities and experiences, there are some advantages provided to all honors students, including:

  • Priority for registration
  • Honors housing in Levine Hall
  • Dedicated study and meeting spaces after hours
  • Unique honors classes
  • Honors-specific scholarships
  • Advising for competitive awards and scholarships
  • Opportunities for undergraduate research
  • Honors College social and enrichment events
  • Honors distinction upon graduation

These are just a few of the many advantages of being part of an honors program!

"Joining honors is so much more than the work in the classroom. Living in the honors residence hall helped me build relationships with fellow honors students, and dedicated study spaces create a home for the honors community. With social events like our cookouts and academic events like our 'Popcorn & Professors' series, you’ll enjoy the whole honors experience.”

- Holden Derrick (Business Honors Program; Class of 2018)

So, how do I become a part of the Honors College?

At UNC Charlotte, the Honors College is the front door for all honors programs and high-achieving students. Students at UNC Charlotte can become a part of the Honors College by joining one or more of our 29 individual honors programs.  

"Which honors program should I join?"

That depends in part on your major and when you are trying to join. Certain programs are only open to freshmen and sophomores, while other programs are only open to juniors and seniors. So, when you want to join matters.

To find out more about the programs available to you, follow the links below based on your current status: new student (entering freshman), transfer student (student transferring from another college or university), or continuing student (current UNC Charlotte student). 


Entering Freshmen Transfer Students Continuing Students

Is it possible to join more than one honors program?

Absolutely! Whether you have majors in two different departments/colleges or you are a member of the University Honors Program looking to pursue honors in your major, we encourage students to consider dual honors. Participating in dual honors allows you to graduate with two types of honors distinction on your transcript and can serve as both a challenge and a further enhancement of your academic experience at UNC Charlotte. 

What should I do if I have more questions? 

If you have further questions about joining an honors program or which programs you are eligible for, feel free to contact our office online, by phone at 704-687-7197, or in person by dropping in at our offices in the administrative wing of Levine Hall. Students and staff are happy to answer your questions. 

Or you can come visit us during one of UNC Charlotte's Explore sessions!