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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

Application to the University Honors Program is by invitation. Incoming freshmen are invited to apply after they have been accepted to the University. All invitations are issued on a rolling basis throughout the University’s admissions process (typically mid-December through February). If you do not receive an invitation, but believe you are a strong candidate for the University Honors Program, you can contact the program and request an invitation to apply. Admission is competitive and based on evidence of motivation to pursue research and scholarship in the discipline, academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and our desire to maintain an Honors community that includes students from a diversity of academic disciplines. Current freshmen may also request an invitation to apply.  

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 http://www.ncsu.edu/honors/

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.

For thirty-five years, the USP has encouraged outstanding students to leave the safe harbor, to pursue their dreams, and to explore the beauty and the challenges of the world around them. How? Through opportunities to participate in the Scholars Forum, to enroll in special courses and to join the community of the Scholars Village.

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. Among our recent guests were:

  • Grenoldo Frazier, an award-winning musician, actor and composer of the gospel musical Mama I Want to Sing.
  • David Doubilet, the world's leading underwater photographer who has published over 70 stories for National Geographic magazine.
  • Shana Tucker, a "ChamberSoul" cellist, singer and songwriter whose music is a mix of pop, jazz and folk.
  • Shane Harris, an award-winning journalist, national security expert and author of the critically-acclaimed book The Watchers.
  • Lisa Jolley, a teacher of improv and Broadway performer who has starred inHairspray.

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.

SCHOLARS VILLAGE: Special activities, outstanding students, and a close-knit community make the Scholars Village a very special place to live. To learn more about the Scholars Village and how to apply, visit University Housing.

For more information concerning the USP, contact:
University Scholars Program
Box 7316, NC State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7316
phone: (919) 515-2353,
fax: (919) 515-7168;
e-mail: university_scholars@ncsu.edu or visit University Scholars Program website.