Prospective Honors Students FAQs
What is the International Honors Program?
Lloyd International Honors College is a community of motivated, inquisitive students and faculty, where students benefit from a liberal arts curriculum while studying in a larger research university setting. Honors students pursue all majors at UNCG, and take uniquely themed Honors seminars that are taught by engaging faculty. Honors classes are capped at 25, which allows for collaborative, discussion-based teaching and learning.
The International Honors Program is geared towards motivated, high-achieving incoming first-year students and current UNCG students who have completed fewer than 30 hours, pursuing all majors. New first-year students take a 1-credit Honors Colloquium, which introduces them to the Honors experience and to UNCG, and a 3-credit 100-level Honors First-Year Seminar. (Current students substitute a 200-level seminar for the 100-level seminar.) In order to complete the requirements of the program, by graduation, students need to complete three additional 200-level International Honors seminars, achieve proficiency (the 204 level) of a second language, and study abroad, typically for a semester at one of UNCG's 100+ exchange partner institutions. Honors students in good standing receive a travel scholarship which helps offset the cost of plane fare. The International Honors Program is very flexible, and teaches students to think and read critically, to craft clear arguments, and to find their place in an increasingly interdependent world.
What are the requirements to get in to the International Honors Program?
Traditional incoming first-Year students are eligible to apply to the International Honors Program if you have a weighted high school GPA of at least 3.80 upon high school graduation, a combined SAT score (critical reading + mathematics) of at least 1270 (if taken after March 2016) or 1200 (if taken before March 2016), or an ACT composite score of at least 27. Admission is selective and dependent on several criteria, including, but not limited to, test scores, high school GPA, extracurricular involvement (including work experience), and the Honors essay on study abroad.
Transfer Students may apply for admission to the International Honors Program if you have a UNCG GPA of at least 3.3 (we accept applications for Fall entry only).
For more details, see: Information for Prospective Honors Students
Can I enroll in the International Honors Program after I've started taking classes at UNCG?
Yes. If your GPA is at least 3.30 at the end of your second semester at UNCG, you may apply for fall admission to the International Honors Program in the following academic year.
What's "international" about the International Honors College?
The International Honors Program is for students pursuing all majors who hope to better navigate an interdependent world. Most 100- and 200-level Honors courses are thematically concerned with literatures, cultures, and societies around the world. A cornerstone of the program is the International Experience—for which you study abroad for a semester or even an academic year through a UNCG exchange program. Honors students in good standing receive a travel grant for a semester-long program. Courses in International Honors emphasize finding your place in a complex, globalized world. Students pursuing International Honors also become proficient in a second language.
How does Honors in college differ from high school Honors?
Most of the differences between high school honors classes and a college or university Honors education stem from the distinction between quantity and quality. High school honors classes tend to be distinguished from non-honors classes by the greater amount of work that honors students are required to do, or the faster ("accelerated") speed at which they progress through their course work. Indeed, often when high school honors students first consider a college or university Honors education, they may feel some reluctance to take on what they believe will be extra work or little more than an accelerated version of an already-fast-paced college education.
But college Honors is not designed to be about more work or harder work. It is truly student-centered education. It is meant to provide you with an education that helps you develop your own ideas rather than simply having you feed back information. It is about discussing issues and encouraging innovation in an atmosphere of open exchange, where students' views are respected. Honors programs emphasize diverse perspectives, interdisciplinary course work, small classes, and greater interaction between students and professors. Honors education is about learning to think clearly, to write well, to argue thoughtfully. It is about developing your fullest intellectual potential.
Finally, students should bear in mind that the majority of their courses in college will not be Honors courses. They will be courses in their major or free electives.
Do I get to do a Senior Honors Thesis/Project?
Once you are well into your studies at UNCG and start taking classes in your major, you can do Honors in your major, which at UNCG is called Disciplinary Honors. As a student in the Disciplinary Honors Program you do an intensive research project in your major, which culminates in a significant piece of written work, piece of scientific research, or artistic project. You work closely with a professor in your major field, opening doors to graduate and professional study, not to mention recommendation letters from a faculty member who really knows you!
Does it cost anything extra to be a member of the Honors College?
New students admitted to International Honors are charged a $30 first-year Honors fee at the beginning of their first semester in Honors. Graduating seniors are charged a $30 graduation fee during their senior year. The graduation fee may not correspond to the semester of graduation but will be assessed only once in order to cover all costs of graduating with Honors. All charges are handled through the University Cashiers Office.
Do I Have to Take a Language Placement Test When I Come to UNCG?
It is very strongly recommended that you take the language placement test for the language you studied in high school if at all possible and even if you don't believe you will test well. It only takes a little time and helps provide information about the options you will have for completing the language requirement. Taking a language placement test does not mean that you must continue study in that language.
Does the Honors College give out any scholarships?
The Honors College awards eight Reynolds Scholarships, a prestigious, merit-based scholarship for freshmen who are also residents of North Carolina.
The Honors College collaborates with the Office of Undergraduate Admission and the Office of Financial Aid on selecting students for UNCG's merit-based scholarships. Applicants to Honors who meet the criteria for consideration are highly encouraged to submit an application for those awards. For information about the UNCG Scholars Program, and other scholarship funding, go to Financial Aid.
Which program is better for me: International Honors or Disciplinary Honors?
International Honors is ideally suited for first-year students that have yet to fulfill General Education requirements. Disciplinary Honors is for current students only, and is designed as an academic enhancement in your major, so once you begin registering for classes in your major, please set up an appointment to speak with an Honors Academic Adviser.
Is there an Honors residence hall?
Yes! In fact, there are three residence halls dedicated to Honors students. Incoming first-year students are encouraged to live in the Honors Residence at North Spencer Hall. The Hall provides an extraordinary, newly renovated space for International Honors College student activities on campus, combining modern convenience with distinctive historic design. Amenities include living space for nearly 200 Honors students, renovated bathrooms and laundry rooms, a classroom, office space for residence hall and Honors advising staff, and a beautiful, well-appointed Common Room that serves as a hub for Honors student activities. First year Honors students who are hoping to live with a roommate who is not in the Honors College may consider the Honors Collaborative in South Spencer Hall. Connected to North Spencer, South Spencer provides access to Honors advising, programming, and opportunities to Honors and non-Honors students in a collaborative, supportive environment.
The third hall, on the newly renovated Quad, opened as Honors College residential space in fall 2013. For sophomore, junior, and senior Honors students, The Honors Residence at Gray Hall provides a rich environment, including specialized advising, for Honors students who are doing research in their majors, involved in the local community, and connecting Greensboro to the world.
How does the International Honors Program change if I live in the Honors Residence Hall?
All students in the Honors College have the same program requirements, regardless of place of residence. Additionally, all events & activities that are specifically sponsored by the Honors College are open to all Honors students, no matter where they live. That said, our students say that living in Honors housing has helped them develop good study habits, make great friends studying everything under the sun, all while benefitting from on-site Honors advising and a classroom in the hall.
For more information, see our Housing page.
Can I participate in Honors and be in a Living-Learning Community?
For many incoming first-year Honors students, actively participating in Honors and living in North Spencer will provide you with a rich variety of experiences both in and out of the classroom. While Honors students may choose to participate in other Living-Learning Community opportunities, Honors students who choose to live on campus must live in either North or South Spencer for their first academic year. Being part of a living-learning community does require you to take certain classes and meet certain obligations outside of class, which are in addition to your Honors obligations. If you are interested in pursuing Honors while participating in another program, please contact the Honors College office to discuss the class scheduling issues with an Honors adviser (email@example.com).
Current Honors Students FAQs
How do I officially notify the Honors College of my International Experience?
You need to follow the directions for an International Experience, which can be found here.
What's an Honors Contract Course?
An Honors Contract Course is a way for Honors students to get Honors credit for a non-Honors course by enhancing that non-Honors course. Honors Contract Courses can be used to help fulfill requirements in the Disciplinary Honors Program. They generally cannot be used to fulfill requirements in the International Honors Program.
Do I have to be an Honors student to take Honors courses?
Preference for enrollment in Honors courses is made for students enrolled in the International Honors Program or the Disciplinary Honors Program. If, at the time of registration for classes, however, you possess a UNCG GPA of at least 3.30, you may enroll in a Disciplinary Honors course if you meet all other course prerequisites. Disciplinary Honors courses normally are offered at the 300-level or higher. This registration opportunity does not apply to International Honors program courses, which generally are offered at the 100- and 200 level and carry general education markers. All courses carrying the HSS prefix are closed Honors courses, available only to Honors College International Honors Program students or to other LIHC students by permission of the Dean. If you are a qualified non-honors student seeking enrollment in a disciplinary honors course, you will need to fill out a drop/add form and bring it to the Honors Office. After verifying your eligibility, you may be admitted to the course if space is available.
Do I have to take an Honors course every semester to remain in the Honors College?
No. As long as you maintain a 3.30 cumulative UNCG GPA, you will be an active member of the Honors College. Only in the first semester of the International Honors program are you required to take the Honors Colloquium (1 credit hour) and a First-Year Honors Seminar (3 credit hours). Other than this exception, each semester, you may take as many or as few Honors courses as you wish. If you reside in North Spencer Honors Residence Hall, you are expected to take at least one Honors course each year.
What if I don't complete all the requirements for either the International Honors Program or the Disciplinary Honors Program?
Students who complete the requirements for either of our Honors programs are recognized on their transcript, at the Honors Banquet, and at graduation for their achievement. Students who do not complete those requirements are not penalized but are not recognized.
What Languages Does UNCG offer through the 204 Level?
UNCG currently offers language instruction through the 204 level in Ancient Greek, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. American Sign Language also currently fulfills this requirement.
Can I Place Out of My Language Requirement?
Yes. By taking the appropriate placement test, you may be able to place out of some or all of the courses necessary to fulfill the language requirement.
When should I start taking language courses at UNCG?
Unless you are already fluent in a language other than English or plan on fulfilling the language requirement while studying abroad, you should plan on taking language courses as soon as possible and preferably beginning in your first semester at UNCG. The sooner you begin studying a language, the sooner you can achieve fluency.
Can I study a language that is not taught at UNCG?
Yes. Studying a language not taught at UNCG may present additional challenges in getting the training to reach a "204" level of language. You can also engage in language study while completing your international experience at one of UNCG's partner institutions. Among the languages you could study are Estonian, Polish, Swedish, and Finnish. To explore the possibility of studying a language not taught at UNCG, you are strongly encouraged to talk to the Honors College office as soon as possible. Please note that you will need to document your proficiency with a letter of certification from a professor at an accredited US college or university.
I am already proficient in a language other than English. Do I have to take courses to fulfill this requirement?
No. An acceptable level of proficiency is the ability to read a newspaper or magazine without a dictionary and understand approximately 80% of what is read and approximately 60% of the spoken word. If you are already proficient in a language other than English, you can document that ability without having to take courses. If your high school courses were taught in a language other than English, you may document your proficiency with a high school transcript. If you are fluent in a language taught at UNCG, you can document that proficiency through a placement test or an interview with a faculty member. If you are proficiency in a language not taught at UNCG, you can document that proficiency by submitting a letter of certification from a professor at any accredited US college or university documenting proficiency. For help with this process, contact the Honors College office.
If I study a language abroad, do I need to take four semesters?
Not necessarily. Acceptable proficiency requires the ability to read a newspaper or magazine without a dictionary and understand approximately 80% of what is read and approximately 60% of the spoken word. If you believe you have that level of proficiency, you can document it by taking a placement test or participating in an interview with a UNCG faculty member. If you are proficient in a language not taught at UNCG, you can document that fluency by submitting a letter of certification from a professor at any accredited US college or university. For help with this, contact the Honors College office.
How do I graduate with Honors?
Students who have completed all requirements for International Honors by graduation shall be awarded International Honors. Students who complete both the International Honors Program and the Disciplinary Honors Program are awarded Full University Honors for their sustained Honors work throughout their time as undergraduate students.
How do I graduate with Disciplinary Honors?
Requirements vary by major. Details are on the LIHC web site. Students who complete both International Honors and Disciplinary Honors are awarded Full University Honors.
To graduate with International Honors, you must possess a UNCG GPA of 3.30 or higher at graduation, and meet the following requirements:
- Have taken 14 semester hours of Honors course work with grades of B (3.0) or higher as follows:
- HSS 198: Honors Colloquium I (1 s.h.). To be taken in the student's first full academic year after being admitted to Lloyd International Honors College.
- A 100-Level Honors Seminar (3 s. h.) To be taken in the student's first fall semester after being admitted to Lloyd International Honors College.
- 9 additional semester hours of Honors course work.
- Mastery of a language other than the student's native language at a level associated with 204-level language courses taught at UNCG. Ancient languages and sign languages are permitted. This requirement may be fulfilled by any combination of course work, placement tests, and appropriate evidence of mastery through other documentation. Course work completed abroad is permitted.
- An approved international experience. Students reflect on and share their experience with other UNCG students in the semester following the completion of their international experience. To document this process, students must register for the zero credit course HSS 299: Honors International Experience (graded on a pass/no pass basis) in the semester in which they engage in the above work.