UNC Charlotte Academic Policy: Honors Programs

I. Executive Summary

This policy describes the Honors programs offered at UNC Charlotte and outlines the requirements for being recognized as an Honors student.

II. Policy Statement


The purpose of honors programs at the UNC 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 instructional and 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 honors faculty and examining committee, and in adherence with the standards formulated 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. Students may participate in, and receive credit for, honors programs for which they qualify and to which they have been accepted.
  3. 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.
  4. An honors capstone thesis/project in a college or departmental honors may count for the capstone in University Honors or Business Honors and the student may graduate with dual honors; an honors capstone may not count for three honors programs.
  5. To qualify for graduation with honors recognition a student must, at a minimum:
    1. be in good academic standing;
    2. have at least a 3.20 G.P.A. for all honors courses in their honors program;
    3. receive the grade of “A” for at least 3 hours of honors capstone in that honors program (with the exception noted in #4 above);
    4. produce a substantial inquiry-based capstone under the supervision of a research faculty advisor, with the assistance of one or more faculty readers, that includes the guidelines and expectations established in “Honors Capstone Thesis/Project Components, Guidelines, and Options.” This may be an individual or group effort as long as each candidate’s research contribution is distinct and can be assessed individually. Where appropriate, a university or public audience may be invited.
    5. receive the recommendation of their honors program(s) committee(s).
      Individual honors programs may institute additional or more rigorous requirements.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 the instructor after consultation with the program director.
  8. The grading scale and credit system for honors courses shall be identical to that used for all other undergraduate courses.

Honors Council

  1. The Honors Council, as a standing committee of the faculty, reports to the Faculty Council and is governed by the Standing Rules of the Faculty. It reviews and makes recommendations on matters of Honors education and policy. Additionally, it serves as the faculty advisory body to the Dean of the Honors College. The Council will meet at least once monthly during the academic year.
  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 member is appointed by the Dean of the Honors College. The Honors College shall maintain the “Honors Faculty Roster” and oversee the administration of nomination and renewal of Honors Faculty membership. The Honors Council members are elected by and from the Honors faculty included in the Roster. The Dean and Associate Dean of the Honors College serve on the Council as ex-officio members.
  3. Representatives to the Honors Council shall elect their own chair annually.
  4. The functions of the Honors Council shall be as follows:
    1. to receive, evaluate, and approve all proposals for the establishment of or changes to honors programs before they are implemented;
    2. to review honors programming, policy, and learning outcomes in order to ensure that high standards and an alertness to opportunity for improvement are maintained at UNC Charlotte, and to make recommendations where necessary;
    3. to serve as the faculty advisory body to the Dean and Associate Dean of the Honors College;
    4. to evaluate the performance of the Dean and Associate Dean of the Honors College annually.


  1. Each college, department, or other unit offering honors programs shall designate and maintain an Honors Committee. That committee shall include a faculty member designated as the program coordinator/director.
  2. The functions of Honors Committees shall be as follows:
    1. to admit students to the honors program and to determine their continuation in or removal from the program;
    2. to recommend to the Honors College that students be admitted to candidacy for graduation with honors recognition through the Application to Candidacy process;
    3. to examine, or to appoint a subcommittee to examine, the candidate’s honors capstone;
    4. to recommend to the Honors College that the candidate, upon successful completion of the honors capstone and any other requirements of the honors program, be graduated with honors recognition;
    5. to submit to the Honors Council recommended changes in the honors programs.


The Honors College coordinates and sustains honors education at UNC Charlotte. It administers the University Honors Program, the Albert and Martin Scholars programs, the Freeman and Johnson scholarships and the Honors College scholarships, providing academic and co-curricular honors programming for all honors students. The College also offers support to the Honors Council, the Honors Faculty, and the Directors of honors programs. Furthermore, it provides competitive fellowships advising to all honors or honors-qualified undergraduates.

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]
  • Revised: April 19, 2018 [Approved by Faculty Council; changes include bringing the supervisory role of the Honors Council in line with that of other Standing Committees of the Faculty Council, defining the Honors College; and updating the honors graduation requirements]
  • Revised: January 27, 2022 [Defined dual honors option, changed reporting structure for Executive Director, changed title of Executive Director to Dean]
  • Revised: October 26, 2023 [Updated guidelines, expectations and language for the honors capstone and added Associate Dean review responsibility. Removed pre-health professions advising]

VI. Related Policies, Procedures and Resources

VII. Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where is this policy referenced?
    The policy is published on the Academic Policies & Procedures webpage of the Provost website.
  • 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 and reports to the Faculty Council. The Honors Council advises the Dean of the Honors College who reports to the Provost.