Current First Semester and Rising Sophomore UNCW Applicants

We encourage students who are currently at UNCW to apply to the Honors College. Fill out the online application and be sure to select the appropriate status for your year in school. (Please note: You must be logged into your UNCW Outlook account in the browser you use to access the form. If you are having issues viewing the form, try logging into and then re-opening the link.)

You must establish a GPA before we can make a decision about your application, so if you are a first-semester first-year student, we cannot act on your application until grades are posted in December. You may apply earlier, but we cannot respond to your application before then. If you are a rising sophomore, try to apply by the end of the spring semester for entry the fall of your sophomore year.

The online application must be completed once it is started. You cannot save and return to the application. 


  • Please describe your engagement and involvement as a college student thus far. You may include jobs, internships, study abroad experiences, student organizations, community service, research, or anything else you deem relevant.
  • Five years from now, you're looking back at your college career. What do you hope to have accomplished? What story will you write about yourself in the semesters to come?
  • What else should we know about you? (Feel free to be creative.)

Best Practices for Applying to Honors as a Current Student

  • Honors students must have a GPA of at least 3.3 when they have completed 27 credit hours at UNCW. After completing 58 credit hours, that GPA must be at least 3.5. Please consider your GPA when making the decision to apply to Honors.
  • Because University Honors requires 23 hours of coursework (including several University Studies courses), applying to the Honors College is only advisable for first-years and sophomores and/or students with at least 2-3 University Studies requirements left to complete. We want to set you up for success and it is unlikely for us to accept students outside this criteria. If you are not a first-year or rising sophomore, if you have completed more than 40 credit hours before applying, or if you have fewer than 2 University Studies courses left to complete, please mention in your application how you plan to account for that obstacle in your completion of honors requirements.
    • If you are a rising junior or senior, or you have completed all of your University Studies requirements, you may not have time to complete all of the requirements to graduate with full University Honors. However, if you have a GPA of at least 3.2, you may consider completing a 6-credit-hour independent Departmental Honors project during your senior year to graduate with honors in your major.  

Honors Application for Current UNCW First-Years and Sophomores

When will a decision be rendered if I apply to Honors?

Decisions will be made at the end of each semester, within two weeks of the final grading deadline. Applicants can expect decisions in late May (if application is sent during the spring semester) or early January (if application is sent during the fall semester) or early August (if application is sent during the summer).

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am accepted, will I have to move into honors housing?

No, you will stay in your current housing. You will just receive access to honors courses, programs, registration, etc.

What are honors courses like?

Honors class sizes are relatively small. In 2018-2019, the average size of HON classes was 17 students, with classes ranging from 5 to 20 students. This helps you develop close interactions with the faculty from your very first semester. Many are also interdisciplinary, giving students the opportunity to approach a topic from several different angles. Click here to see a listing of current Honors courses.

How many extra classes will I have to take?

Students who enter the Honors College after their first semester must take: 

  • (2) Honors University Studies courses (e.g. Honors ENG 103)
  • (2) HON 120 courses (1-credit-hour interdisciplinary seminar)
  • (1) HON 210 course (3-credit-hour interdisciplinary seminar)
  • 3 credit hours of honors electives
  • 6 credit hours of 499 in the major (e.g. BIO 499, SOC 499, EEL 499)

This is a total of 20 credit hours. However, 6 of those credit hours will overlap with your University Studies requirements--meaning they are classes you would have had to take anyway. Additionally, the 499 class may count as an upper-level elective in your major, further increasing the overlap.  

Click here for a worksheet that breaks down course requirements for transfer students and students who enter Honors after arriving at UNCW. 

Where is the office of the Honors College located?

We are located in Randall Library on the second floor, Suite 2006. Our mailing address is:

Honors College, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403-5958

Paper Application

A paper application is available in cases where a student may not have reliable Internet access or prefers the paper copy due to disability or other reasons. 

Please contact us at 910-962-2929 or if you need a paper application.