Jul 18, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Honors College


Jeff Vahlbusch, Dean

Admission to the Honors College requires the completion of a separate application. Admission is based on evidence of exceptional academic achievement and leadership, appreciation of creativity, commitment to service, and global awareness. The College accepts students prepared to embark on a curriculum that includes a series of specially designed courses and educational experiences that will prepare them for the best in post-baccalaureate opportunities. The University Honors curriculum meets the needs of high achieving students through Honors general education courses (small, cross-disciplinary courses, as well as introductory courses in many majors), international experiences, and a required Honors thesis/project. The College offers an introductory Freshman Honors Seminar and two additional interdisciplinary seminar courses. Classes are generally capped at twenty participants or less, and are conducted under the guidance of one or more faculty members who represent diverse academic areas. The courses are interdisciplinary in nature and are intended to exhibit ways in which two or more fields of study bear upon the subject matter. Honors faculty members are selected on the basis of demonstrated excellence in teaching and scholarship.

University Honors

The Honors College offers outstanding and highly-motivated students a special opportunity to broaden and enrich their academic experience by providing Honors courses that will lead to graduation with University Honors from the Honors College. Honors courses are offered through the Honors College (HON courses) and as departmental offerings in more than 35 majors. Most departmental honors courses at the lower division level are designed to fulfill general education or departmental curriculum requirements. Honors courses are frequently conducted as seminars in which students meet in small groups to discuss readings, exchange ideas, debate, and share results of individual study and research. The emphasis in Honors is on independent and creative thinking with a great deal of student participation expected. Support facilities, including classrooms, study rooms, and special programs are available to all Honors College students. In order to graduate with University Honors from the Honors College and have the designation on the final transcript, Honors students must complete the University Honors requirements by meeting the following criteria (for a total of at least 24 required semester hours in Honors):

  1. completing at least 9 semester hours of University Honors courses in at least two of the three major discipline areas (humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences) and one each from the three levels of HON 1515 , HON 2515 , and HON 3515  
  2. completing 9 additional semester hours of Honors courses from any area
  3. completing at least 3 semester hours of Honors courses in the major
  4. fulfilling the Honors College International Education requirement
  5. maintaining both a cumulative and Honors course GPA of 3.45 in the senior year and earning no less than a “B” (3.0 grade points) in each required Honors courses
  6. completing an Honors Thesis/Project (3 semester hours minimum), to be examined (defended) and approved by both an advisor in the student’s thesis/project area and a second reader from a different department.

Further information and application materials are available online at www.honors.appstate.edu. Within guidelines approved by the Honors College Academic Program Committee, students may enter into an Honors contract with an instructor and a department or program to complete a standard curriculum course and receive Honors credit. A grade of “B+” or higher is required for a non-honors course to count towards University Honors by contract, and all contracts must be approved in advance by the Honors College. Copies of the guidelines and Honors contract application materials may be obtained online or from the Honors office.

Departmental Honors

Several disciplines offer students the opportunity to graduate with departmental honors. Check for requirements and procedures in the catalog section of the specific departments and programs. Most departmental Honors programs will require at least 9 semester hours in departmental Honors courses, including a 3 semester hour Honors Thesis/Project. Students may take part in more than one departmental Honors program at a time; however, the requirements for both need to be met independently. Students may also pursue both University and their departmental Honors simultaneously. Admission to departmental Honors is usually offered by invitation only. Students interested in enrolling in departmental Honors should contact the departmental Honors director for admissions criteria and program requirements. Each department or program establishes its own criteria for admitting students into departmental Honors, subject to approval of the Honors Council.


This catalog reflects fall and spring semester offerings. Honors courses and contracts are typically not offered in the summer terms (except for travel courses). (For an explanation of the prefixes used in the following courses, see the listing of Course Prefixes.) Students are advised to check the Honors College website at www.honors.appstate.edu for more information on courses and instructors.