Honors and Scholars Programs

University Honors Program

The University Honors Program (UHP) is a highly selective academic program that seeks to provide a transformative liberal learning experience which empowers students to critically engage meaningful problems in the world.  Students in the program directly participate in the knowledge-building and creative activities of the NC State faculty and are encouraged and enabled to craft for themselves a unique undergraduate education that draws on the full range of opportunities that exist at a major research, land-grant university such as NC State.


University Honors Program Admission

Admission to the UHP is not automatic. Students are required to complete a separate application. The UHP application is electronic and is housed in WolfPAW. Students have to be admitted to NC State to apply to the University Honors Program. The UHP stops the invitation to apply process in early to mid-March. Prospective students can obtain an application one of two ways:

  • Any student that has been accepted to NC State and meets two of the following three academic criteria will automatically be sent an invitation to apply:
    • 1350 SAT (Critical Reading and Math only) or 30 ACT Composite
    • 4.75 weighted GPA or 3.8 unweighted GPA
    • Rank in the top 5% of graduating high school class
  • Additional criteria is utilized to encourage diversity and inclusion per the University’s strategic plan. Interested and motivated students who do not meet the criteria for the automatic invite are encouraged to contact the program at university_honors@ncsu.edu to obtain the admission application. Students have to be admitted to NC State to request the application and the application has to be requested prior to application request deadline (early/ mid-March).

Admission to the UHP is based on the assessment of your potential for exceptional academic work and understanding of research and scholarship. Primarily this is done by evidence of creativity, initiative, and aspirations for academic excellence as described on your UHP application. Secondarily, the UHP considers SAT/ACT scores, high school grades, rigor of courses taken in high school, class rank (when available). 

University Honors Program Requirements

The curricular core of the UHP is the HON seminars, which are small, thought-intensive, graduate-style, interdisciplinary courses designed to expose students to how multiple disciplines approach and try to solve problems. University Honors Program students are required to take a minimum of 12 credit hours of HON seminars (generally one per semester in their first two years).  These seminars are taught by some of the most innovative professors at NC State. The UHP also offers experiential learning courses that enable them 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. The other major curricular dimension of the UHP is the Capstone project, which is a 6-credit-hour, 2 semester long independent research project, conducted under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The Capstone is the culmination of a student's NC State and University Honors Program experience because it is the process through which students truly move from being knowledge consumers to knowledge producers. The Capstone requires that a student articulate a problem or issue of interest and then use the tools and methods of their discipline in order to make a new discovery. 

The Honors Village

The Honors Village is a collaborative partnership between the University Honors Program and University Housing. The mission of the Honors Village is to create a community of young scholars which is engaged in the societal issues, provides opportunities for growth, and is grounded in critical scholarship. The Honors Village advances the UHP's mission of engaged learning and research in the discipline through creating opportunities for students to become curious, informed, and critically-minded.  The community boasts representation from all Colleges and all academic years (Freshman through Senior) and is home to NC State's longest standing Scholar in Residence Program. The Honors Village is located in the historic renovated Quad residence halls on East Campus. 

In Addition

The Honors experience at NC State includes Honors programs located in the colleges and departments. Students are invited to participate in these programs at various times, depending upon the specific program (generally the second semester of the sophomore year or first semester of the junior year). Many of the students in the University Honors Program are also participants in one or more of the college or departmental Honors programs.

For more information about the UHP, contact:

University Honors Program, Division of Academic and Student Affairs
Campus Box 8610, Raleigh, NC 27695-8610
Phone: 919-513-4078   Fax: 919-513-4392                                                                                                
Email: university_honors@ncsu.edu or visit honors.dasa.ncsu.edu

University Scholars Program

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." --Mark Twain.

The University Scholars Program introduces a community of high-achieving students to the visual and performing arts, encourages them to consider issues drawn from the sciences and politics, challenges them to excel academically and inspires them to explore and engage through international and outdoor education programs. Through these experiences, University Scholars are encouraged to connect their educational goals to their passions, to become active citizens, and to embrace the challenges of a rapidly evolving world.

SCHOLARS FORUM: University Scholars enroll in the Scholars Forum for three semesters. The Forum features musical and theatrical performances, addresses by major public figures, authors and scientists, and debates and discussions of significant public policy issues. Scholars Forum guests have included:

  • Dr. Mark Plotkin, ethnobotanist and author of the Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice
  • Broadway performer and comedian Lisa Jolley
  • Musician and USP graduate Kyler England
  • NASA astronaut and USP graduate Christina Hammock
  • Environmentalist and CNN Hero of the Year Chad Pregracke
  • Aerial performance group BANDALOOP, and
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning science author Deborah Blum. 

The Scholars Forum also offers an extraordinary range of cultural, educational and outdoor opportunities, all provided free through the program. Take part in special tours of NC State's Nuclear Reactor, the Duke Lemur Center, or Piedmont Biofuels; participate in canoeing and hiking trips; and attend local theatre, music and dance performances and museum exhibitions. Students choose what they wish to do, and the options are amazing!

SPECIAL COURSES: University Scholars have the opportunity to enroll in honors sections of academic courses that are taught by the very best faculty at NC State.

OUTDOOR & CULTURAL EXPLORATIONS: With day, weekend and weeklong trips, our Outdoor Explorations program offers University Scholars opportunities to explore the natural world, get to know their peers, and engage in personal reflection. Cultural Explorations include a Fall Break trip to New York City, Spring Break trips overseas, and summer study abroad programs in Florence, Italy and Oxford, England.

HONORS & SCHOLARS VILLAGE: The University Honors and Scholars Program currently have a residential component in Becton, Bagwell, and Berry Halls (the "Quad") on East Campus. This is a new initiative beginning in the Fall of 2018.  The Honors & Scholars Village connects first-year students in a shared experience that helps build community and shape residents’ understanding of campus and the University Honors and Scholars Programs. Each semester Honors & Scholars Village residents participate in a variety of activities and events prepared by Village Fellows and Resident Advisors.  This programming complements the University Honors & Scholars Programs, promotes exploration, and builds community.

For more information concerning the USP, contact:
University Scholars Program
Box 7316, NC State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7316
phone: (919) 515-2353
e-mail: university_scholars@ncsu.edu or visit University Scholars Program website.