UNC Charlotte Academic Policy: Honors Programs

I. Introduction

There is no Introduction for this policy.

II. Policy Statement


The purpose of honors programs at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte shall be to identify the creative, imaginative, and/or exceptional student, and to encourage and recognize the development of each student's potential.  Honors programs emphasize UNC Charlotte's mission as an urban research university and provide undergraduate research experiences for honors students.  Honors programs shall be adaptable and open to all students who can justify participation.


On recommendation of the proper instructional faculty and examining committee, and certification by the Honors Council, the honors candidate shall be graduated with Honors in ________________ (e.g., Chemistry).  Recognition of such distinction shall be given during the commencement ceremonies and shall be noted on the student's permanent record.


1.    Honors coursework may be undertaken as early as the first semester of the freshman year.

2.    To qualify for graduation with honors recognition, the student must be admitted formally to honors candidacy through the Application to Candidacy process no later than the semester prior to the semester of the honors capstone project/thesis.

3.    To qualify for graduation with honors recognition a student must, at a minimum:

a.       be in good academic standing;

b.       have at least a 3.20 G.P.A. for all honors courses in their honors program(s);

c.       receive the grade of "A" for at least 3 hours of honors capstone project/thesis in that honors program(s);

d.       Honors capstone projects/theses should include the required elements stated in “Redesign of Honors Education Vision 2013: Curriculum and Programming” document, as follows: a “written product, public oral and visual presentation, research/inquiry based including research faculty as advisors/readers”;

e.       receive the recommendation of their honors program(s) committee(s).

Individual honors programs may institute additional or more rigorous requirements.

4.    The withdrawal policy for honors courses shall be the same as the withdrawal policy for other University courses.  A student may at any time withdraw from an honors program without penalty.

5.     Students who are honors-qualified but not currently in an honors program shall be permitted to enroll in and receive credit for individual honors courses, with permission of instructor in consultation with the program director.

6.     Grades in honors courses shall use the same grading scale as in other University courses.

7.     The credit system for honors courses shall be identical to that used for all other undergraduate courses.

8.     Honors students may use the Student Academic Petition process for special requests in the same way as any other student at UNC Charlotte.

Honors Council

1.       The Honors Council, as a standing committee of the faculty, reports to the University Faculty Council and is governed by the Standing Rules of the Faculty. It serves as the faculty advisory body to the Executive Director of the Honors College.  It reviews honors curriculum and program proposals submitted for approval.

2.       The Council consists of 11 members (one is a student), as outlined in the document, “Structure and Election Process for the Honors Council.” Faculty members are elected as representatives (at-large or of each college) of the Honors Faculty as defined in the document “Honors Faculty Definition and Criteria.” The honors student is appointed by the Executive Director of the Honors College. The Honors College shall maintain the list of faculty called the “Honors Faculty Roster” and oversee the administration of nomination and renewal of Honors Faculty membership, by and from which the Honors Council members are elected.

3.       Representatives to the Honors Council shall elect their own chair annually.

4.       The functions of the Honors Council shall be as follows:

a.       to receive, evaluate, and approve all proposals for the establishment of honors programs;

b.       to study programs here and elsewhere in order to ensure that high standards and an alertness to opportunity for improvement be maintained at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte;

c.       to advise the Executive Director of the Honors College on policy;

d.       to recommend to the Executive Director of the Honors College amendments to this document;

e.       to serve as the faculty advisory body to the Executive Director of the Honors College.


1.       Each college or department, or other unit offering honors programs shall designate and maintain an Honors Committee.  That committee should include a faculty member designated as the program coordinator/director.

2.       The functions of Honors Committees shall be as follows:

a.       to admit students to the honors program and to determine their continuation in or removal from the program;

b.       to recommend to the Honors College, through the Application to Candidacy process, the student be admitted to candidacy for graduation with honors recognition;

c.       to examine, or to appoint a subcommittee to examine, the candidate's capstone project/thesis;

d.       to recommend to the Honors College that the candidate, upon successful completion of the honors capstone project/thesis and any other requirements of the honors program, be graduated with honors recognition;

e.       to submit to the Honors Council recommended changes in the honors programs.

III. Definitions

There are no definitions related to this policy.

IV. Policy/Procedure Contact(s)

V. History

  • Approved: April 17, 1975
  • Revised: 1981
  • Revised: 2003
  • Revised: September 26, 2013 [University Honors Council renamed Honors Council by Faculty Council]
  • Revised: February 5, 2015 [To reflect changes to related policies approved by Faculty Council at its September 26, 2013 meeting]
  • Revised: January 14, 2016 [Changed language to accommodate new Academic Standing policy]

VI. Related Policies, Procedures and Resources

VII. Frequently Asked Questions

Which students are covered under this policy? 
This policy applies to all undergraduate students at UNC Charlotte. 

What is the reporting structure for Honors Council? 
The Honors Council is a standing committee of the Faculty but advises the Executive Director of the Honors College who reports to the Office of the Provost.