Prospective Student FAQs

We understand that the process of joining an honors program can be intimidating, and at times confusing, so we have provided answers to some of the most common questions we receive below.

Don't see an answer to your question? Feel free to contact our office or give us a call at 704-687-7197 and our team will be happy to answer any further questions. 

Not necessarily, we always say that honors courses are different. Since honors programs set certain requirements for entry that limit participation to students who have already demonstrated academic success, the courses are not necessarily more difficult or more work. Honors courses, however, do expect students to be active agents in their learning, and they often are interdisciplinary, which require thinking both broadly and deeply about a topic.

In addition, with an average class size of just 15 students, honors classes allow students to have far more interaction with their professors and fellow students. In turn, this allows professors to design their classes to revolve around discussion and collaboration rather than lectures and tests. Many students prefer this format and do their best work in honors classes.

Most honors programs are accessible to transfer students and continuing UNC Charlotte students. Departmental honors programs tend to focus on the junior and senior year, so they are particularly accessible. Please see our list of honors programs here, and click on the link to the honors programs you are interested in. This will allow you to get more information about the program requirements and how to apply.

For most programs, there are no additional costs. Special presentations, guest speakers, social events, etc. are provided free of charge. On occasion, there may be special events such as a weekend enrichment trip, a social event, or a special meal that may involve additional costs, but the majority of these are optional.

At present not every field of study offers an honors option, but new honors programs are in development.  The Honors College goal is for students in every major to be able to do honors.  Please keep in mind that the University Honors Program is open to students pursuing any major, and provides similar benefits.  Honors programs are available in many colleges and departments. You can find the full listing on the Honors Programs page. 

Requirements for honors and merit scholars programs vary from program to program. To learn more about the requirements for each program review the list here.

You can apply to the Honors College in the NinerScholars Portal.  All applicants will be considered for the University Honors Program in the Honors College, which is open to students with any major.  Additionally, applicants will be considered for the Arts + Architecture Honors Program (AAHP), open to any students with a major in the College of Arts + Architecture, or the Business Honors Program (BHP), open to any students with a major in the College of Business.

"But, which honors program should I join?"

Well, 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.

It depends on the honors program, but the average size for an honors class is around 15 students compared to a university average of around 35.

Absolutely! You are always welcome to join more than one honors program. Whether you have majors in two different departments/colleges or you are a member of the University Honors Program looking to complete honors in your major as well, we highly encourage students to participate in dual honors. Participating in dual honors allows you to graduate with two forms of honors and can serve as a challenge and further enhancement your academic experience at UNC Charlotte.

Yes, honors housing is located in Levine Hall, which combines the residence hall and administrative offices for the Honors College and Levine Scholars Program.

There are many benefits to joining an honors program, including: 

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

While becoming a part of an honor society is a sign of academic achievement within your major and an outstanding opportunity, it does not provide you with honors in your major upon graduation. Only joining an honors program will allow you to graduate with honors. However, many students who are eligible to join honor societies within their major are also outstanding candidates for joining an honors program. We highly encourage you to take advantage of both.

Students entering UNC Charlotte with large numbers of AP credits or graduating from an Early College program are still considered incoming freshmen at UNC Charlotte even if their credits indicate that they are a sophomore or higher. As long as you are planning to attend UNC Charlotte for 6 or more semesters you are eligible to join the University Honors Program. If you are planning to attend for 4 or more semesters you are still eligible for the Business Honors Program or the Arts + Architecture Honors program. If you are planning to attend UNC Charlotte for 4 or fewer semesters, then several of UNC Charlotte's other 25 honors programs may be open to you depending on your major.

Changing majors is very common and the fear of changing your major should not be an impediment to joining an honors program. If you are a member of the University Honors Program, changing major will not be of any concern as the program is open to students of all majors. If you are a member of the Business Honors Program or the Arts + Architecture Honors Program, as long as you change your major within the college, then you are still eligible to be a member of that honors program. If you decide to change majors to another college then you can look into becoming a member of either the college's or department's honors program.

If you have more than one major, you may have an opportunity to participate in dual honors. Participating in dual honors would allow you to graduate with honors in both of your majors. If your majors are in two different colleges or two different departments within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences then you can join an honors program for each of your majors. If both of your majors are in the same college, for example the Belk College of Business, then you can join the college level honors program and you will automatically receive honors in both of your majors upon graduation. 

Not yet having decided on a major or wanting to change your major is not an impediment to joining an honors program. The University Honors Program is open to students of any major, including those who have not yet decided on one. In addition, once you have decided on a major it is possible to join other honors programs later in your college career. 

Honors is not about doing extra work, but is more about developing the whole student. Honors programs usually emphasize active learning, in which students take the initiative. They also emphasize research: every honors capstone must have a research component as well as written and oral components. The multi-year honors programs usually include community engagement of some kind, either service learning or internships.

No, in many cases joining an honors program will not add a significant burden to your courseload. In many programs, students will complete their honors capstone in an honors section of an already required course. In other cases joining an honors program may add a few additional classes, but honors Program Directors and academic advisors can help you to find the best way to fit them into your schedule.