Honors and Scholars

The University Honors Program

At its core, the University Honors Program (UHP) is an academic program which centers on NC State’s mission and institutional strengths in discovery-, inquiry-, and creativity-based learning. Students in the UHP are those who wish to have their educational experience catalyzed through direct participation in undergraduate research and scholarship. The UHP is designed to prepare excellent students for admission to and success within graduate and professional schools, for excellent jobs in their chosen field of study, and to position students for major national scholarships and fellowships.

The UHP is designed around the HON seminars and requires a significant capstone research or artistic/creative experience in their discipline that focuses on the creation or expansion of new knowledge. The HON seminars are designed to promote the importance of discovery, inquiry and creativity in small, interdisciplinary, discussion-based classes. Regardless of the course topic, students will come to understand both the history and consequences (ethical dilemmas, social and political changes, and the like) of discoveries, inventions, new art forms, new ideas, and books. Honors students are required to complete a total of 18 credit hours: 12 hours of HON seminars and, in consultation with a faculty mentor, a 6 hour capstone project.

The University Scholars Program

The University Scholars Program (USP) is a program that provides personal, professional, and leadership development for outstanding students. The program enriches the undergraduate experience through a series of carefully designed experiences that introduce students to the visual and performing arts, encourage them to consider contemporary issues drawn from the sciences and politics, offer them opportunities to connect their academic and career goals, and challenge them to be leaders in and active contributors to our society.

USP students enroll in the Scholars Forum [HSS 110/111] for three semesters. This 0 credit hour course features lectures, performances and presentations by accomplished speakers and performers. It is complemented by free tickets and transportation to cultural events on our campus and in the community, dinner conversations with NC State Faculty and USP alumni, “outdoor adventures” that offer students the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills, and educational field trips throughout the region. Scholars are expected to complete 15 hours of approved coursework (H-credits) by the time they graduate (in addition to the three semesters of Forum) while maintaining an overall GPA of 3.25.

Is there an associated fee for the program?

Yes, there is a participation fee for incoming students in the University Honors Program (UHP) andUniversity Scholars Program (USP) 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

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 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

I would like to participate in the University Honors Program or University Scholars Program, but I am not able to pay the fee.  What can I do?

We seek talented students from all backgrounds. Students who are not able to pay the fee should email Sean Cassidy, University Scholars and Honors Programs Director (smcassid@ncsu.edu), to request a fee waiver.  Please note that NC State must have a completed FAFSA form for any student who requests a fee waiver. All fee waiver requests for the 2018-19 academic year must be received by 5 PM on June 22, 2018.

Choosing between Honors and Scholars

Both the UHP and the USP work with high-achieving students across NC State to catalyze their education in significant ways. There is no “right program” but there is often a “right fit” in the context of a student’s individual interests and educational expectations.

To allow the USP and the UHP to serve as many students as possible, students are required to choose one program. In addition, choosing one program helps ensure that students are not overloaded by the requirements associated with each program.

Incoming students may elect to join the USP while waiting on an admissions decision after filling out their UHP application. Once notified of admittance into the UHP, students must decide which program to enroll in and must communicate their decision to both programs.