Honors Advisor Resources


  • Graduating with University Honors
    To graduate with University Honors, all students enrolled in the program must take a combination of the following:

    The exact number of credits and courses required varies by student category and catalogue year.

    • Honors Interdisciplinary Seminars, 3-credit courses which include HON 110 (First-Year Seminar) and HON 210, 211, or 212
    • Honors Enrichment Seminars, 1-credit courses which include HON 191, 121, 120, and 399
    • Honors University Studies courses, which are general education courses taught as honors sections (for example, honors BIO 201)
    • Honors electives, which can include a contract course, additional Honors University Studies, a semester of study abroad, a graduate class, etc.
    • Departmental Honors, or the honors thesis, which is a 6-credit, year-long project
  • Maintaining Honors Eligibility

    To maintain academic eligibility, students must:

    • Achieve an overall GPA of 3.30 at the completion of 27 credit hours at UNCW, and an overall GPA of 3.50 at the completion of 58 credit hours at UNCW.
    • 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 basic 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 (basic) studies course and earn no lower than a "C."
      • Students earning below a "C" in HON 210/211/212 or HON 120/121 must take additional seminars, respectively, and earn no lower than a "C."
    • Avoid completing more than 2 consecutive fall or spring semesters without taking an honors course (unless you have completed honors requirements). 
  • Coursework For Students Entering as First-Years

    For students who entered as first-semester, first-year students in Fall 2021 or later
    (Click for worksheet)

    Required courses:

    • HON 110 (3 credits)
    • 3 courses (9 credit hours) of Honors University Studies courses
      • **Early college students need only take 2 courses (6 hours) of Honors University Studies
    • 1 course (1 credit hour) of HON 120, 121, or 191 ("Interdisciplinary Honors Seminars")
    • 1 course (1 credit hour) of HON 399: A Thesis Preparation Course
    • 1 course (3 credit hours) of HON 210, 211, or 212
    • 3 credits of honors electives, which can include a contract course, additional Honors University Studies, a semester of study abroad, a graduate class, etc.
    • Departmental Honors, AKA honors thesis (6 credit hours)

    Total credits: 26 hours

    **Early college students who come to UNCW with an associate's degree or over 50 hours of college credit have a waiver for 3 credits of Honors University Studies requirements, also. Early college students must still complete HON 110 unless they have completed UNI 101 at UNCW prior. 


    For students who entered as first-semester, first-year students before Fall 2021
    (Click for worksheet)

    Required courses:

    • HON 110 (3 credits)
    • 3 courses (9 credit hours) of Honors University Studies courses
      • **Early college students need only take 2 courses (6 hours) of Honors University Studies
    • 2 courses (2 credit hours) of HON 120, 121, or 191
    • 1 course (3 credit hours) of HON 210, 211, or 212
    • 3 credits of honors electives, which can include a contract course, additional Honors University Studies, a semester of study abroad, a graduate class, etc.
    • Departmental Honors, AKA honors thesis (6 credit hours)

    Total credits: 26 hours

    **Early college students who come to UNCW with an associate's degree or over 50 hours of college credit have a waiver for 3 credits of Honors University Studies requirements, also. Early college students must still complete HON 110 unless they have completed UNI 101 at UNCW prior. 

  • Coursework For Students Entering as Transfers or After Their First Semester at UNCW

    Students who do not enter Honors as first-year students (e.g., transfer students, or students who apply to join the Honors College after completing UNI 101) have 6 credit hours waived. These students do NOT have to complete HON 110 (as they have either transferred in and don't need a freshman seminar class, OR they have already completed UNI 101, which fulfills the same requirement as HON 110). They also receive a waiver for 3 credit hours (~1 course) worth of Honors University Studies requirements.


    For students who entered as transfer students OR who applied to Honors after their first semester at UNCW, Fall 2021 or later
    (Click for worksheet)

    Required courses:

    • 2 courses (6 credit hours) of Honors University Studies courses
    • 1 course (1 credit hour) of HON 120, 121, or 191 ("Interdisciplinary Honors Seminars")
    • 1 course (1 credit hour) of HON 399: A Thesis Preparation Course
    • 1 course (3 credit hours) of HON 210, 211, or 212
    • 3 credits of honors electives, which can include a contract course, additional Honors University Studies, a semester of study abroad, a graduate class, etc.
    • Departmental Honors, AKA honors thesis (6 credit hours)

    Total credits: 20 hours 


    For students who entered as transfer students OR who applied to Honors after their first semester at UNCW, before Fall 2021
    (Click for worksheet)

    Required courses:

    • 2 courses (6 credit hours) of Honors University Studies courses
    • 2 courses (2 credit hours) of HON 120, 121, or 191 ("Interdisciplinary Honors Seminars")
    • 1 course (3 credit hours) of HON 210, 211, or 212
    • 3 credits of honors electives, which can include a contract course, additional Honors University Studies, a semester of study abroad, a graduate class, etc.
    • Departmental Honors, AKA honors thesis (6 credit hours)

    Total credits: 20 hours

  • Coursework For Bridge Honors Students

    In Fall 2021, Honors launched the Bridge Honors Program, specifically designed for transfer students. University Honors will still be an option for transfer students for whom it is a better fit.

    >> Learn more about the Bridge Honors vs. University Honors

    For transfer students who enroll in the new Honors Bridge Program in Fall 2021 or later
    (Click for worksheet)

    • 1 course (1 credit hour) of HON 399: A Thesis Preparation Course OR HON 191: Intro to Research and Discovery
    • Departmental Honors, AKA Honors thesis (6 credit hours)
    • 5-6 credit hours of Honors seminars, from these options:
      • Option 1: Two courses of HON 210/211/212 (6 credit hours)
      • Option 2: One course of HON 210/211/212 (3 credit hours) AND two courses of HON 120/121 (2 credit hours)
      • Option 3: One approved high-impact practice (contract class, graduate course, approved internship, study abroad, etc.)
      • AND one of the following:
        • One course of HON 210/211/212 (3 credits)
        • Two courses of HON 120/121 (2 credits)

    Total credits: 12-13 hours

  • Honors Course Descriptions

    Honors University Studies:

    The Honors Scholars College offers various sections of honors university studies sections to assist students in working toward their university studies requirements. Students entering the program as fall semester freshmen must take a total of 12 hours (about 4 courses) of honors university studies sections. The specific honors sections of university studies courses change every semester to meet a wide array of requirements in different subjects. Please refer to the online schedule on the honors website for the specific courses offered each semester.

    Honors Interdisciplinary & Enrichment Seminars:

    A major focus of the honors curriculum is the seminar. Seminars cut across traditional boundaries of academic disciplines, offering students the opportunity to explore issues in depth. In general, honors seminars focus on a specific topic of inquiry. They typically involve students in both in-class and out-of-class activities that enrich their learning experiences. Students typically take an honors seminar in each of their first four semesters— for example, HON 110 in first semester freshman year; HON 210/211/212 in first semester sophomore year, and HON 120/121 in spring semester of both freshman and sophomore years. However, HON 120/121 and HON 210/211/212 sections are offered both fall and spring semesters to accommodate student class scheduling. These seminars are regular credit courses and count toward graduation, as well as toward the grade point average.

    List of Honors Classes

    Honors University Studies

    Honors Interdisciplinary
    & Enrichment Seminars

    • Have departmental course headings—ex., CHM 101, BIO 201, ENG 103, HST 105
    • Always have a course section in the 300s
    • COM 101-002 is a standard Public Speaking class
    • COM 101-300 is the Honors version of Public Speaking
    • Count toward your University Studies requirements—you would have to take them anyway, but you can take them through Honors
    • Almost always 3 credit hours (or 4 with a lab)
    • Examples…
    • Honors Intro to Computer Science (CSC 101-300)
    • Honors Intro to Psychology (PSY 105-300)
    • Honors Great Books of World Religions (PAR 125-300)
    • Courses offered as Honors sections vary each semester
    • Have Honors course headings—ex., HON 120, HON 110, HON 210
    • Cut across traditional boundaries of academic discipline and allow students to explore issues in-depth
    • Can be 1 or 3 credit hours
    • Do not count toward your University Studies requirements
    • Count toward credit hours for graduation (general electives)
    • Examples…
    • HON 120: Medical Humanities
    • HON 210: Brazilian Music in Beat and Cultural Movements
    • HON 212: Writing in Action across Cultures
    • HON 211, HON 212, and HON 121 contain a beyond-the-classroom component (ex. A study abroad trip or service-learning project in the community)
  • Course Descriptions of Honors Seminars

    HON 110 Honors First Year Interdisciplinary Seminar (3 credit hours)

    The Honors version of UNI 101: First Year Seminar, which Introduces the honors student to the college experience by direct involvement in research, service and leadership activities.

    • Required for all Honors students entering as first-years.
    • Satisfies University Studies I: Foundations/First Year Seminar.
    • Partially satisfies University Studies IV: Building Competencies/Information Literacy.

    HON 120 Honors Enrichment Seminar (1 credit hour)

    Students study a specialty topic and participate in a variety of related enrichment activities on the campus and in the community.

    • May be repeated under different subtitles.
    • 2 units of HON 120/121 are required for all Honors students.
    • Examples: Happiness Advantage, Avante-Gard in Performance, Medical Humanities

    HON 121 Honors Enrichment Seminar: Explorations Beyond the Classroom (1 credit hour)

    Students study a specialty topic and participate in a variety of related enrichment activities outside the classroom.

    • May include travel or field site experience as a component.
    • 2 units of HON 120/121 are required for all Honors students. (1 credit may be replaced by HON 191)
    • May be repeated under different subtitles.
    • Satisfies University Studies V: Explorations Beyond the Classroom.
    • Examples: The Story of Wilmington through Archives and Museums, Introduction to Coastal Ecology, Cultures of the Mediterranean

    HON 191 Introduction to Research and Discovery (1 credit hour)

    Designed for first- and second-year students who want to jump-start their engagement in research and scholarly work in their likely major area. HON 191 is open to all UNCW students and is typically offered in the spring semester. The focus of the class is to refine library and other research-related skills, develop a resume, seek out faculty who may become mentors, and interview juniors and seniors engaged in undergraduate research already.

    • Effective Spring 2020 and onward, HON 191 may be substituted for one of the HON 120/121 requirements for students.

    HON 210 Honors Topical Interdisciplinary Seminar (3 credit hours)

    An in-depth investigation of a special topic using the approaches of several disciplines; may be team-taught. Topics and approaches vary.

    • Examples: Biotechnology and Society, HIV/AIDS in Culture, Consumer Culture and Shopping Society
    • May be repeated under different subtitles.

    HON 211 Topical Interdisciplinary Honors Seminar: Living in Our Diverse Nation (3 credit hours)

    An in-depth investigation of a special topic related to the theme “Living in Our Diverse Nation” using the approaches of several disciplines; may be team-taught. Topics and approaches vary.

    • May be repeated under different subtitles.
    • Satisfies University Studies II: Approaches and Perspectives/Living in Our Diverse Nation.

    HON 212 Topical Interdisciplinary Honors Seminar: Living in a Global Society (3 credit hours)

    An in-depth investigation of a special topic related to the theme “Living in a Global Society” using the approaches of several disciplines; may be team-taught. Topics and approaches vary.

    • Examples: Writing in Action Across Cultures
    • May be repeated under different subtitles.
    • Satisfies University Studies II: Approaches and Perspectives/Living in a Global Society.

    Male students laugh while sitting beside one another in a lecture hall.

  • Honors Contract Courses

    Honors Contracts are another type of honors teaching experience. In this class, the professor and the honors scholar student make a contract (similar to a DIS proposal) to add honors-level experience(s) to an ongoing course, so that the student does "honors level work" in the class (but only that student does the work and receives the honors credit).

    What do students do for Honors Contracts?

    Completing an honors contract may mean that the student engages in additional reading--such as primary sources--with additional or different types of papers for the class. For example, the student might add a critique/analysis to a general class paper, or significantly expand the depth and length of a paper that is already part of the classwork. Or the student may learn a particular section of material well enough to make a special presentation to the class. Other examples include: synthesis of additional compounds and research report (Chemistry); community service focused on the topic of the class (Nursing); create promotional materials (newsletter and calendar); reflective journaling; literature reviews; interview projects; etc. The idea is to engage the student more deeply in the topic of the class, develop applications, and expect mastery of specific material.

    How is credit earned for contract courses?

    The student must earn at least a B (3.0) to receive honors level credit for the course (designated as such on the transcript). 300 or 400 level classes in the student's major or minor are eligible for honors-level contracts. This can be a very unique learning experience to explore a particular content area in depth.

    Each semester, before the end of add/drop, a student must submit the Honors Contract Course Form on InfoReady (see link in table above). The student is expected to initiate a discussion with the instructor and agree upon a set of assignment(s) for the contract independently. Then, the student should submit the form, and the instructor will sign off.

    The designation of "honors-level work" will not appear in Seanet or on a student's transcript until the class is completed. After the end of grading each semester, the Honors College will contact instructors directly to ask whether students successfully completed their honors-level work and earned a B or better. At that point, Honors will ask the Registrar to add the words "honors level work" to the class on the student's transcript.

    What requirements do honors contract courses fulfill?

    Typically, honors contract courses fulfill the "3 extra hours of Honors credit" category of Honors College requirements (see requirement worksheets above). In some cases, honors contract courses may be approved to substitute for Honors University Studies requirements, in a case where students enter the Honors College with a significant number of University Studies courses already fulfilled by AP and transfer credit.

    Each student may complete up to 2 contract courses. Students wishing to take more than 2 contract courses should contact the Honors College Director, Dr. Shawn Bingham.

  • Departmental Honors

    Departmental Honors at UNCW provides the opportunity for juniors and seniors to engage in an individual scholarly project in the major. The honors project or honors thesis involves independent study under the supervision of a faculty member in the student's major field for six (6) total credit hours.

    Learn more in the Departmental Honors Website.

    • Can be completed by anyone, not just Honors College students, as long as they have a 3.2 GPA
    • A 3.5 GPA is required for Honors College students
    • Two 3-credit hour semesters or three 2-credit hour semesters in the major (ex. CHM 499)
    • Final paper (thesis) and oral exam/presentation
    • Students typically complete the project during their senior year, but anyone may begin the project at the completion of 74 credit hours
    • Directed Individual Study (491 or 291) is helpful to prepare students for departmental honors
    • For projects outside a student's academic discipline, the Honors Interdisciplinary Project (HON 499) is an option
    • Satisfies University Studies Explorations Beyond the Classroom and Writing Intensive requirements
  • Other Ways to Earn Honors Credit

    There are additional ways to earn honors credit toward the total hours required for honors.

    • Additional HON seminars
    • Additional honors sections of University Studies classes
    • HON 191
    • Study abroad semester or year
    • National Student Exchange
    • Honors sections of upper-level (non-University Studies) courses
    • Honors contract classes in the major or minor
    • 400/500 cross-listed courses if graduate level requirements are completed
    • Graduate-level coursework
    • An additional honors project in second major

    Students pose in front of a colorful mural while on an Honors trip to London.

  • Other Advising Resources

    As registration approaches through the semester, Honors may create additional opportunities for advising--drop-in hours, peer advising, etc.

    We typically have two peer advisors in Honors--upperclassmen students who have weekly hours dedicated to helping other Honors students. As of Fall 2021, we will have a Visiting Advisor position dedicated full-time to assisting with advising. 

    Click here to learn about current Honors advising resources 

  • Student Progression Through Honors

    Below is a sample 4-year plan for a student who joins Honors as a first-year. (Just a sample. Their journey may look significantly different.) 

    Four Years in Honors Sample Schedule

    Four Years in Honors

    Classes to Take

    Co-Curricular Activities
    Questions to ask and things to consider

     1

     

    HON 110

    2-3 Honors University Studies classes

    1-2 HON 120/121 classes

    HON 191

    3 cultural activities

    2 service activities

    Getting involved in student organizations

    Exploring majors and fields of study

    Meeting frequently with academic advisor

    Consider applying to FYRE

     2

     

    1-2 more Honors University Studies classes (4 total)

    1-2 HON 120/121 classes

    HON 210/212

     

     Study abroad?

    Consider leadership positions in student organizations

    Apply to national fellowships/scholarships

    Attend a thesis defense or Scholars Café session

    3

     

    3 extra hours in Honors

    Any HON seminars not yet complete

    Study abroad?

    Consider leadership positions in student organizations

    Apply to national fellowships/scholarships

    Consider starting 499 early (spring of junior year)

    Attend a thesis defense or Scholars Café session

    Consider internships and research experience

    Consider conducting a Directed Individual Study

    4

     

    499 (Departmental Honors)

     

    Attend a thesis defense or 499 Workshop session

    Consider internships and research experience

  • Honors and DegreeWorks

    One important thing to note, and to stress to students, is that DegreeWorks does not play well with the honors curriculum—it does not always correctly note or track honors coursework.

    When coursework does not show up correctly on students’ degree audits, a manual request must be sent to subwaiver@uncw.edu to correct it. If you, as an advisor, are confident in what kind of change needs to be made (e.g., get an honors contracted class to count for the “3 extra hours” of honors requirements), you are free to reach out directly to subwaiver@uncw.edu and ask that those changes be made (please copy kroushln@uncw.edu). Otherwise, you or your student may reach out to Nikki Kroushl to initiate the DegreeWorks substitution.

  • Honors and Starfish

    Many of you already use Starfish to leave notes about your meetings with advisees. Honors will be pivoting to rely heavily on Starfish as well. 

    When you meet with an Honors advisee, please record the following (if applicable) in an advising note:

    • Which honors classes a student will take next semester (and if they won't take any, how do they plan to make up for that later on?)
    • Student's current progress toward honors requirements (e.g., "Sarah has taken 1 HON US course and an HON 120 so far")
    • Note any general concerns
    • Note any GPA concerns (student falling below 3.5 if a sophomore or below 3.3 if a freshman)
    • If a student talks to you about the potential of dropping Honors, please jot down their main reason (e.g., too much work, not enough classes in business, whatever)
    • Any other information you may deem relevant
  • University College's Toolbox

    The University College has an exhaustive set of resources and policy documents. These cover info about academic standing (including policies and procedures for academic probation/dismissal), policies and procedures (everything from course repeats to academic dishonesty to grade appeals), all kinds of advising-related forms, and many other resources. This is a truly incredible site that answers almost every non-Honors-specific advising question you can imagine. 

    View UC's Toolbox