Admissions FAQ

Below are the most common questions we receive from prospective students and their parents. You may have many of the same questions and our answers may help you to decide whether to apply for admission to the UHP.


Q. What is the University Honors Program?
A. The University Honors Program (UHP) is a highly selective program of great expectations designed to encourage and enable outstanding students to engage in the full range of opportunities that exist at a major research, land-grant university such as NC State. It is an opportunity for motivated students to craft for themselves a unique undergraduate education by engaging in innovative seminars that support the research focus by emphasizing inquiry and discovery, as well as the broader implication of new knowledge. Students also culminate their undergraduate careers with a significant capstone project under the guidance of a faculty member or other professional.


Q. Is admission to the UHP automatic, based upon SAT scores, high school GPA, and class rank?
A. No. There is a highly selective application process. Our entering group in the fall is expected to number 175. A panel of distinguished NC State faculty members, staff professionals, and UHP alumni review applications. Their decisions will be based upon your essay answers and activity list in the main NC State Admission Application and your answer to the essay question on the UHP application.


Q. What is the typical profile of a UHP student?
A. The typical UHP student will have an SAT score of >1300 (math and critical reading)/30 ACT or above, an unweighted high school GPA of 3.8 (4.5 weighted) and ranked in the top 5% of high school class. However, it is important to note that these are not strict cut-offs. Students below the typical numbers but with high motivation to pursue the goals of the program are competitive applicants. Conversely, students well above these numbers but whose applications do not indicate an interest in the goals of the program will not be competitive applicants.


Q. Is there a cost associated with participating in the University Scholars Program or University Honors Program? 
A. Yes, there is a participation fee for incoming students in the University Scholars Program (USP) and University Honors Program (UHP) to partially offset the cost of the programs beginning in Fall 2018.  As students’ progress through the respective programs, they will be charged a progressively lower fee, as outlined below.

Class                    Annual Fee

First Year             $400

Second Year        $350

Third Year            $300

Fourth Year         $250


Q. I would like to participate in the University Honors Program, but I am not able to pay the fee.  What can I do?
A. We seek talented students from all backgrounds. Students who are not able to pay the fee should email Sean Cassidy ( to request a fee waiver.  Please note that NC State must have a completed FAFSA form for any student who requests a fee waiver.


Q. How is the fee used?
A. The fee allows us to offer exceptional academic and enrichment experiences for our students. Specifically, the fee will be used to:

  • Increase the number of unique seminars (like the required HON seminars) taught each year, providing students with innovative interdisciplinary courses in a small classroom environment
  • Deliver field trips and other experiential learning opportunities
  • Bring exceptional speakers and performers to campus for the USP Forums
  • Support cultural programming opportunities for UHP and USP
  • Provide support for Study Abroad opportunities, especially for under-resourced UHP and USP Students
  • Support Undergraduate research activities, particularly Research Abroad opportunities
  • Support community service and engagement activities and grants
  • Enhance programming in the Honors and Scholars Living and Learning Village
  • Expand the range of opportunities designed for upperclassmen in the programs
  • Address additional areas of support essential for the University Honors and Scholars Programs


Q. I was invited to apply to the program in my second semester at State. How will the fee be assessed?
A. Students who join the program during their second semester (Spring) at NC State will begin participating in the program during the first semester (Fall) of their second year at the university. The fee will be assessed then.


Q. If I am admitted to the UHP do I have to change all of my course registrations to Honors courses?
A. No. Our students are required to take four special HON seminars (generally one per semester during their first two years), which feature inquiry-guided learning and cross-disciplinary approaches and are taught by some of the most innovative professors at NC State. In addition, UHP students must complete a six-hour capstone research/creative project in the junior or senior year.


Q. If I participate in the UHP do I have to take extra courses?
A. Generally not. Our HON seminars are designed to satisfy various General Education Program (GEP), so with careful planning, the seminars can add few, if any, extra courses to your curriculum. However, participating in Honors means that you are interested in doing something extra with your undergraduate education and this requires extra effort and sometimes time.


Q. How does the UHP “stimulate, support, and empower students to participate in the research and extension and engagement missions of NC State?”
A. It begins with the HON seminars: these are designed to help you to see how knowledge is generated, to think about the ethical, historical, and societal implications of new knowledge, and to think across disciplinary boundaries. It continues with workshops, advising sessions, and peer mentoring that emphasize exploring opportunities for learning outside the classroom. It involves special courses that enable you to earn credit for activities such as working with a faculty member on a project or with a local museum to create educational materials for a new exhibit. All UHP students culminate their undergraduate careers with a two-semester capstone project where they work with a faculty member or other campus professional to pursue an independent project in their discipline.


Q. Is the UHP the only way to have an Honors experience at NC State?
A. No. The University Scholars Program (USP) ( emphasizes enrichment activities and leadership development and has a curricular requirement involving enrollment in Honors sections. In addition, there are Honors Programs at the college and departmental level (see college/departmental websites), which generally issue their invitations to students in their sophomore or junior years. The UHP also considers applications from students who have excelled in their first semester and their first year at NC State. Many UHP students are also in one or more of the college or departmental honors programs. However, students must choose between the UHP and the USP-they cannot be in both.


Q. I received an invitation to apply to the University Scholars Program.  What should I do?
A. Carefully review the materials and websites for both the University Honors Program and the University Scholars Program. Students may apply to both programs. Please note that students admitted to both programs may only accept one of the invitations.


Q. Is there a special residence hall for UHP students?
A. Yes. Students in the UHP may apply to live in the Honors and Scholars Village, a community of both University Honors Program and University Scholars Program students who reside in The Quad (Becton, Bagwell, and Berry Residence Halls) on East Campus. The Honors and Scholars Village is a dynamic living and learning community that enhances the intellectual exploration and personal development of its residents. The Honors and Scholars Village is a collaborative effort between the University Honors Program, University Scholars Program and University Housing. The community offers students a wide range of educational and social opportunities that ease the transition to college life and help students make connections with their peers, faculty, professional staff and the world around them.


Q. If I decide to apply, when will I know if I am accepted into the UHP?
A. Students selected to participate in the UHP will be notified by April 1, 2019.


Q. Does admission to the UHP mean I receive a scholarship?
A. Unfortunately, no. The UHP does not have any scholarship funds to disburse. Please note that the receipt of any of the university merit scholarships does not imply admission to the UHP.

Q. How do I know if the UHP is for me?
A. Consider carefully whether or not the goals of the UHP are consistent with your personal goals for your undergraduate education. You should consider your interest in a program whose focus is research and scholarship in your discipline and your ability to fulfill the basic program requirements (four 3-credit hours HON seminars and a two-semester, 6-credit hour Capstone Research project) in the context of your academic plan of study. The UHP is for you if you seek a challenge, if you are excited by the opportunity to craft a unique educational experience that draws on the full resources of our university, if you are open to the idea that the most powerful learning occurs outside the classroom, and if you want to participate in a program of great expectations.