Medallion Ceremony 2017

Departmental honors provides an opportunity for students to challenge themselves academically by engaging in advanced individual scholarly activity in their major. It is designated as a 499 class in a student's major, and the student works one-on-one with a faculty supervisor to undertake an honors project appropriate to the field.

Any student with a 3.2 or higher GPA is eligible to complete a departmental honors project, whether or not they have completed the rest of the university honors curriculum

Departmental honors may be completed over two or three semesters. The specific content of the project is determined by the student and faculty supervisor. Research studies are appropriate for all disciplines, but the project may consist of other types of scholarly or creative activity appropriate to the academic discipline. In all cases, the result is a six-credit senior thesis and an oral defense of the thesis.

Students who successfully complete the honors work and have at least a 3.2 (3.5 required in Film Studies and Nursing) GPA at the time of graduation on all college work attempted will graduate with honors in their major. (Note: a 3.5 overall GPA is required for the university honors distinction.)

HON 499: Interdisciplinary Honors is also an option for students who would like to pursue interdisciplinary theses combining theory and practice from multiple academic disciplines. Learn more about interdisciplinary honors here.

Departmental Honors Handbook

499 Honors Cafe! Click here for more info.

Qualifications for Enrollment

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 and earned hours.

The qualifications are:

  • 74 semester hours of credit 
  • At least 30 of those credit hours completed at UNCW
  • A grade point average of 3.2 or higher for all college work and for all work at UNCW
  • Approval from the major department chair

Students who meet these requirements 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. Film Studies and Nursing require 3.50 GPA, and Film Studies (Production) requires a successful "pitch" to the department. Creative Writing requires a 3.75 GPA or good standing in the four-year university honors curriculum.

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, and service
  3. Study abroad and/or National Student Exchange
  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 would be identified by an "honors" label 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.

HON 499: Interdisciplinary Honors Project is available. For information about conducting a departmental honors project outside the major, please click here.

How to Enroll

Come to the Honors College main office on the second floor of Randall Library after you have secured a tenure-track professor whom you will be working with on your project.

The first form that you will fill out is the Departmental Honors 1 form (DH1). This form can be filled out and left in the office when you visit. 

Once your GPA and overall GPA as well as your hours are verified and they meet the requirements for enrollment and you are approved, Honors will send you the Departmental Honors 2 (DH2) form. You must complete this form alongside your supervising faculty member and return it to the Honors Office no fewer than 5 class days before drop/add of the semester in which you are enrolling. After the director of the Honors College signs the form, Honors will send the form to the Registrar, who will manually register you for the course. (You will not need to add the course yourself in SeaNet.)

Departmental Honors Resources
Departmental Honors Handbook (PDF) Guidelines for students and faculty related to completing the DH project
Digital Collection of Honors Project Papers archived in Randall Library

Searchable PDFs of all Honors Project Papers since 1965

Accessible from Randall Library

Departmental Honors-3 Form (PDF)

The final form to be filed for the 499 project (to be submitted at the end of the first semester of the project)
Withdraw from Departmental Honors 499 Instructors only may prepare this and forward for a student wishing to withdraw from the course.
Interested in Departmental Honors? PowerPoint Overview to help students learn more about Departmental Honors
Now that you are Enrolled in Departmental Honors PowerPoint Overview to help currently enrolled DH students get started

Finishing your Project Worksheet 2018-2019 (PDF)

Dates and details for students finishing their projects
Finishing Your Project PowerPoint Overview for students in the last semester of Departmental Honors

499 Honors Cafes

These are workshops to help you make the most of your 499 experience!

Thesis Title Page Template (DOC) Proper formatting for the title page for the paper. If you are doing HON 499 (Interdisciplinary), contact Dr. Bingham for formatting
How to Make and Print Your Poster Instructions on how to make a research poster and have it printed
Oral Defense Date and Medallion Ceremony Info Survey (Coming Soon) Online survey required of each 499 student in the semester of when 499 is completed or they are graduating. This survey is used to generate the medallion booklet info (abstracts, titles) and to get your RSVP number for the medallion ceremony. You also indicate your oral defense date and time.

Honors Graduation EXIT Survey - Spring graduates please complete!

Online exit survey required of each 499 student in their semester of graduation. In this survey, you upload a PDF of the final version of your paper and can upload your reflection as well. We also ask you about your post-graduation plans and how to keep in touch. This is updated each semester and typically is opened 3 weeks before exams of that semester.
Online Availability Form Please complete this form to indicate how you want people to be able to access your honors paper online- the default is to permanently restrict access to UNCW campus access only. You may opt to have the paper released more broadly. You must print and turn in this form to the Honors office and it requires both student and faculty supervisor signatures. Form is due when you turn in your final paper.
Honors Project required reflection GUIDELINES

Final Reflective Paper: All honors students must turn in the final reflective paper after the project is completed. This is due by the time the bound copies of the final honors paper are turned in to the Honors Office.

These are the Exploration Beyond the Classroom prompts for EBC credit.

You upload it as a PDF via the Honors Exit Survey (see above).
Are you a UNCW Undergraduate Research Scholar?

UNCW Undergraduate Research Scholars- info and application

See all UNCW Undergraduate Research Scholars here!

Are you an Honors Global Citizen? We offer the Honors Global Citizen Recognition to honors students who demonstrate active engagement with global issues, foreign language competency, and study abroad.