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Departmental Honors

Departmental honors provides an opportunity for students to challenge themselves academically by engaging in advanced individual scholarly activity in their major. It is designated as a 499 class in your major, and you work one-on-one with a faculty supervisor to undertake an honors project appropriate to the field.

This can be done over two or three semesters. The specific content of the project is determined by the student and faculty supervisor. Research studies are appropriate for all disciplines, but the project may consist of other types of scholarly activity appropriate to the academic discipline. In all cases, the result is a six credit senior thesis and an oral defense of the thesis.

Students who successfully complete the honors work and have at least a 3.2 (3.5 required in Film Studies and Nursing) GPA at the time of graduation on all college work attempted will graduate with Honors in their major. (Note: a 3.5 overall GPA is required for the university honors distinction.)

Please take a look at the Departmenal Honors Handbook (PDF).

Qualifications for Enrollment

Upperclassmen who qualify as candidates for departmental honors must perform outstanding scholarly work appropriate to the academic standards of the student's major in the form of a six-credit departmental honors project. A student who fulfills requirements for departmental honors will be acknowledged as having done so upon graduation.

A student who previously has not participated in the honors program may qualify as a candidate for departmental honors based on the student's grade-point average. Students with at least 74 semester hours credit who have a grade point average of 3.20 or better on all college work attempted, who have completed at least 30 semester hours of work with a 3.20 or better grade point average at UNCW, and who are recommended by the major department chair (or dean where appropriate) are eligible to enroll in coursework with a 499 designation which indicates the senior project in that discipline. Academic departments may require a higher grade point average for eligibility for Departmental Honors in their discipline. Film Studies and Nursing require 3.50 GPA, and Film Studies (Production) requires a successful "pitch" to the department.

Departments in each discipline determine appropriate preparatory academic experiences for Departmental Honors in that field.

Candidates for Departmental Honors may fulfill preparation for senior capstone work beginning in the junior year through one or more of the following:

  1. Directed Individual Study (DIS) courses which lay the groundwork for more advanced projects
  2. Departmental or interdisciplinary seminars and/or internships which encourage independent work in a variety of ways such as performance, research, and service
  3. Study Abroad and/or National Student Exchange
  4. Honors components of regular department courses: "Honors Contract" courses at the 300 or 400 level in which an honors student and his or her instructor enter into a contract which stipulates enhanced academic responsibilities for the student, such as presentations or papers. Successful performance in such classes would be identified by an "Honors" label on the course as it appears in the student's transcript.

The departmental honors project culminates in independent study under the supervision of a faculty member in the student's major field. This independent study must be completed in two three-credit hour semesters or three two-credit hour semesters. The results of the honors work are summarized in a paper and presented orally before an examining committee.

How to Enroll:

Come to the Honors College main office on the second floor of Randall Library after you have secured a tenure track professor who you will be working with on your project.

The first form that you will fill out is the Departmental Honors 1 form (DH1). This form can be filled out and left in the office when you visit. It is a duplicate form and cannot be filled out on the web.

Once your GPA and overall GPA as well as your hours are verified and they meet the requirements for enrollment and you are approved, your Departmental Honors 2 form is then sent to your supervising professor where you and that person will fill in that form and return it the Honors office no less than 5 class days before drop add of the semester in which you are enrolling. After the director of the Honors College signs the form, it is walked to the registrar where you are hand registered for the course.


Departmental Honors Resources
Departmental Honors Handbook (PDF) Complete resource and guidelines for students and faculty on completing the DH project
Digital Collection of Honors Project Papers archived in Randall Library

Searchable PDFs of all Honors Project Papers since 1965

Accessible from Randall Library

Departmental Honors-3 Form (PDF)

the final form needed to be filed for the 499 project (to be submitted at the end of the first semester of the project)
Withdraw from Departmental Honors 499 Instructors only may prepare this and forward for a student wishing to withrdraw from the course.
Interested in Departmental Honors? PowerPoint overview to help students more about Departmental Honors
Now that you are Enrolled in Departmental Honors PowerPoint overview to help students get started in Departmental Honors

Finishing Your Project Worksheet 2014-2015 (PDF)

Finishing Your Project Worksheet 2015-2016 (PDF)

dates and details for students finishing their projects
Finishing Your Project PowerPoint overview to help students finishing Departmental Honors
Thesis Title Page Template (DOC) proper formatting for the title page for the paper
How to Make and Print Your Poster instructions on how to make and have printed a research poster
Oral Defense Date and Medallion Ceremony Info Survey (READY FOR SPRING 2015) On-line survey required for each 499 student in their semester of graduation. This survey is used to generate the medallion booklet info (abstracts, titles) and to get your RSVP number for the medallion cermony. This is updated each semester and typically is opened 3 weeks before exams of that semester.
Honors Graduation EXIT Survey not ready for spring 2015 yet... On line exit survey required of each 499 student in their semester of graduation. In this survey, you upload a PDF of the final version of your paper and can upload your reflection as well. We also ask you about your post-graduation plans and how to keep in touch. This is updated each semester and typically is opened 3 weeks before exams of that semester.
Online Availability Form Please complete this form to indicate how you want people to be able to access your honors paper online- the default is to permanently restrict access to UNCW campus access only. You may opt to have the paper released more broadly. You must print and turn in this form to the Honors office and it requires both student and faculty supervisor signatures. Form is due when you turn in your final paper.

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