Both the University Honors Program (UHP) and disciplinary Honors programs (e.g. CALS or English Honors) are academic programs which center on NC State’s mission and institutional strengths in discovery-, inquiry- and creativity-based learning. Both have a curricular core which consists of a set of required courses and a capstone or thesis which must be completed at the end of a student’s undergraduate experience. Both require a minimum GPA for eligibility and completion. The difference between the two is one of scope and context.
In addition to empowering students to engage in the knowledge-building and creative activities of the NC State faculty, the UHP adds the goal of helping students gain a critical context toward their disciplinary research. UHP students will develop the habits of mind necessary to identify problems, explore issues, and debate ideas that reflect ways of knowing across multiple disciplinary perspectives. The context of a UHP student’s research activities will therefore be characterized by innovation, divergent thinking, risk-taking and integration. Additionally, the UHP students will become critically aware of the implications of their university education in order to contribute as academic leaders in all facets of university life.
These additional components are one of the reasons why the UHP targets entering freshman and students within their first year at NC State, while disciplinary Honors programs typically accept students after their sophomore year, when they are beginning to focus within the context of their major.
Choosing between the UHP and a disciplinary Honors program
Students don’t have to choose between the University Honors Program and a disciplinary Honors Program. The UHP works in partnership with the colleges and academic departments to ensure there is not unnecessary redundancy in a student’s plan of study. To learn more about how a specific disciplinary Honors program will interact with UHP requirements, students should contact their Honors advisor.