Jul 16, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalogue 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalogue Archived Catalogue

Honors Scholars College


Shawn C. Bingham, director; Eva M. Mehl, associate director; Nathan Grove, assistant director - CSURF

UNCW’s Honors Scholars College provides opportunities for undergraduates to engage in independent and creative scholarly activity. The Honors Scholars College directs the four-year honors curriculum and departmental honors, offers opportunities to develop a global perspective, supports undergraduate research for all UNCW graduates, and mentors UNCW students through the application process for national scholarships and fellowships.

The mission of the Honors Scholars College at the University of North Carolina Wilmington is to attract and retain academically talented students. The Honors Scholars College offers a powerful learning experience by encouraging curiosity, critical thinking, and independent work skills, and by developing a community of honors scholars on campus. The program is committed to offering opportunities to students as they pursue their academic passions in college. The vision of the program is to encourage and support life-long learning, including a global perspective.

Admission to Honors

Check with the Honors director for specific requirements and the application process at each level. Multiple points of entry into the Honors Scholars College are possible:

  • As entering freshman (based on high academic achievement in high school)
  • As second semester freshman or as sophomores (based on high academic achievement in freshman year, including transfer students)
  • As juniors/seniors in Departmental Honors (including transfer students)
  • As a transfer student (either in their first or second semester at UNCW)

Program Requirements for Graduation with University Honors

To graduate with University Honors, a student must:

  1. Complete at least 9 credit hours of university studies courses as honors sections*
  2. Complete 6 credits of “Interdisciplinary Honors Seminars” (HON 110 and one of the following: HON 210 or HON 211 or HON 212)*
  3. Complete one credit of “Honors Enrichment Seminar” (HON 120 or HON 121) or one credit of HON 191*
  4. Complete HON 399
  5. Complete three additional honors credits (additional honors seminars or university studies courses as honors sections, or honors contract course, or semester study abroad)
  6. Maintain academic eligibility: at the completion of 27 credit-hours at UNCW, an overall grade point average of 3.30 or better in all coursework is required. An overall grade point average of 3.50 or better must be established by the completion of 58 credit hours and maintained thereafter.
  7. Earn a minimum of a “C” (2.00) in all honors work (“B” (3.00) in 499 and honors contract courses) and have a 3.00 overall GPA in all honors curriculum coursework. If a student earns a grade below a “C” in an honors university studies course, the grade may count toward that student’s university studies requirements but not toward his or her honors requirements. If that student wishes to complete the honors requirements for University Honors, he or she must take an additional honors university studies course and earn no lower than a “C.” Students earning below a “C” in HON 210 (or HON 211 or HON 212) or HON 120 (or HON 121) must take additional seminars, respectively, and earn no lower than a “C.”
  8. Complete requirements for Departmental Honors (see below)
  *Note: transfer students and students entering after the fall of the freshman year must complete HON 210 (or HON 211 or HON 212 ); one credit hour of HON 120HON 121, or HON 191; at least six hours of honors university studies courses; HON 399; and three additional honors credits (additional honors seminars or university studies courses as honors sections, or honors contract course, or semester study abroad).

Program Requirements for Graduation with Bridge Honors (transfer students only)

To graduate with Honors, a transfer student must:

  1. Complete requirements for Departmental Honors (see below): an Honors research project (6 hours) in the student’s major (XXX 499)
  2. Complete 1-credit research course, either HON 399 or HON 191 
  3. Complete one of the following options for 5-6 additional credits:
    1. Students may take two (2) 3-credit courses: HON 210HON 211, or HON 212 
    2. Students may take one (1) 3-credit class (HON 210HON 211, or HON 212) AND two (2) 1-credit classes (HON 120HON 121, or HON 399)
    3. Students may complete 3 credits of high-impact practice approved by the Honors College AND one of the following options (other credit substitutions in this option may be granted by the Honors College):
      1. One (1) 3-credit class (HON 210HON 211, or HON 212)
      2. Two (2) 1-credit class (HON 120HON 121, or HON 399)
    4. Earn a minmum of a “C” (2.00) in all honors courses counted towards graduation with Bridge Honors, earn a minimum of a “B” in XXX 499, and have a 3.00 overall GPA in all honors curriculum coursework. Students earning below a “C” in HON 210HON 211HON 212HON 120HON 121HON 191, or HON 399  must take additional seminars, respectively, and earn no lower than a “C”.

Honors Courses

These courses are restricted to students formally enrolled in the Honors Program College or others admitted by permission of the Honors director after consultation with the course instructor.

Honors sections of university studies courses: Each semester several honors sections of university studies courses will be offered on a rotating basis. These sections are usually restricted to 20 students to allow for enhanced student-faculty interaction and discussion.

Honors Seminars: Three kinds of honors seminars are offered each year. HON 110 is a team-taught, three-hour interdisciplinary course designed to introduce all freshman honors students to the college experience by direct involvement in research, service, and leadership activities. This course may not be repeated for additional credit. HON 120 and HON 121 are one-hour enrichment seminars that require student participation in a variety of campus visual/performing/cultural events, lectures, or research activities. HON 210HON 211, and HON 212 are three-hour interdisciplinary seminars that offer in-depth investigations of a special topic using the approaches of several disciplines. These courses may be repeated under different subtitles. For a listing of these seminars, see the Course Descriptions section of this catalogue.

Departmental Honors

Upperclassmen who qualify as candidates for Departmental Honors must perform outstanding scholarly work appropriate to the academic standards of the student’s major in the form of a six-credit Departmental Honors project. A student who fulfills requirements for Departmental Honors will be acknowledged as having done so upon graduation.

A student who previously has not participated in the honors program may qualify as a candidate for Departmental Honors based on the student’s grade-point average. Students with at least 74 semester hours credit who have a grade point average of 3.20 or better on all college work attempted, who have completed at least 30 semester hours of work with a 3.20 or better grade point average at UNCW, and who are recommended by the major department chair (or dean where appropriate) are eligible to enroll in coursework with a 499 designation which indicates the senior project in that discipline. Academic departments may require a higher grade point average for eligibility for Departmental Honors in their discipline.

Departments in each discipline determine appropriate preparatory academic experiences for Departmental Honors in that field. Candidates for Departmental Honors may fulfill preparation for senior capstone work beginning in the junior year through one or more of the following:

  1. Directed Individual Study (DIS) courses which lay the groundwork for more advanced projects;
  2. Departmental or interdisciplinary seminars and/or internships which encourage independent work in a variety of ways such as performance, research, service;
  3. Study Abroad; or
  4. Honors components of regular department courses: “Honors Contract” courses at the 300 or 400 level in which an honors student and his or her instructor enter into a contract, which stipulates enhanced academic responsibilities for the student, such as presentations or papers. Successful performance in such classes is identified by the label “Honors Level Work” on the course as it appears in the student’s transcript.

The Departmental Honors project culminates in independent study under the supervision of a faculty member in the student’s major field. This independent study must be completed in two three-credit hour semesters or three two-credit hour semesters. The results of the honors work are summarized in a paper and presented orally before an examining committee.

If a student must withdraw from the Departmental Honors Project (499), the faculty supervisor must notify the director of the Honors Scholars Program as soon as possible and indicate the reason for the withdrawal. In consultation with the honors director, the faculty supervisor may recommend that the student receive partial credit (0-3 hours total) for the honors work completed in the form of Directed Individual Study (491).

Honors Global Citizen Recognition

The Honors Global Citizen Recognition is an option for students completing University or Departmental Honors that encourages students to make global discoveries on campus and abroad. To qualify for this distinction, students must:

  • Maintain the required honors GPA on all college work attempted in the United States or abroad.
  • Develop and complete an honors project (499) that shows active engagement with global issues, such as an increased awareness of international issues, understanding of global interdependence, or demonstration of global citizenship. Proposals must be reviewed by the Office of International Programs and Honors Scholars Program, and application is done through the Departmental Honors application process described on the Honors website.
  • Earn at least 6 student credit hours in a UNCW-approved education abroad program.
  • Complete at least the 202 level, or equivalent, of a foreign language with a C or better grade.
  • Complete at least one HON seminar with global content. These classes may be selected from an approved list maintained on the Honors website.
  • Complete nine additional hours of 3-credit hour courses with global content with a C or better in each. These classes may be selected from courses approved for the International Studies major or minor, or from the university studies courses approved for global content. At least two disciplinary areas must be represented.

Co-Curricular Activities

Students will be offered opportunities and incentives to participate in co-curricular activities such as field trips, campus events, study abroad and community events.

Cornerstone Hall

Cornerstone Hall is a living-learning environment for students enrolled in UNCW’s Honors Program. Cornerstone Hall features a dynamic student population with members committed to student leadership, scholarship, and service. In order to participate in the Honors Program and reside in Cornerstone Hall, residents must meet the following qualifications: (1) be enrolled in the Honors Program at UNCW; (2) be a full-time student each semester; (3) be in good standing with the university’s student judicial program; and (4) be an active member of the community. Honors housing is also available in some other residence halls and interested students should contact the Honors Program.