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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Prospective Honors Students       Current Honors Students

Prospective Honors Students FAQs


Are Honors classes better than "regular classes?"

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 coursework, 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.



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.



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, the other Honors program in the Honors College. 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 Cashier’s 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 several exclusive scholarships, working closely with Financial Aid and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to make our selections. Scholarships are available to incoming freshmen as well as current students in both International and Disciplinary Honors. Some examples of the scholarships available to students are:

  • The prestigious Reynolds Scholarship to 8 first-year students admitted to International Honors who hail from North Carolina.
  • The Lena Anne Gordon International Honors College Scholarship Scholarship is awarded to out-of-state first-year students admitted to Lloyd International Honors College.
  • The Lichtin Family Scholarship is awarded to a rising junior and a rising senior in either International Honors or Disciplinary Honors.
Honors students, like all UNCG students, may be eligible for the merit scholarships awarded by Admissions, as well as other sources of funding through 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 UNCG students who have earned at least 40 college credits and a 3.3 GPA. Disciplinary Honors 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 Advisor.



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 North Spencer Hall. The Hall provides space for nearly 200 International Honors College students, from freshmen to seniors, combining modern convenience with distinctive historic design. Amenities include renovated bathrooms and laundry rooms, a classroom, office space for residence hall and Honors advising staff, and a spacious parlor that serves as a hub for Honors student activities. The Honors Collaborative at South Spencer Hall joined North Spencer and Gray Hall in Fall 2015 as a living space for Honors College students and is home to approximately 100 students. The Honors Collaborative is designed to bring together Honors students and non-Honors students seeking an atmosphere conducive both to study and camaraderie. Honors students wishing to live with non-Honors roommates are encouraged to select South Spencer Hall. The Hall is attached to North Spencer and both offer similar room amenities. It has a parlor on the first floor, a large game room with television on the lower level, and offices for Honors College staff.

For sophomore, junior, and senior Honors students, Gray Hall, on the newly renovated Quad, 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.



What are the benefits of living in Honors housing?

Students in the Honors College have the same program requirements and opportunities, regardless of place of residence. Additionally, all events and 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 and make great friends studying various majors all while benefitting from on-site Honors advising and a classroom in the hall.



Do I have to live in Honors housing?

Students entering the International Honors Program who choose to live on campus are expected to live in Honors Housing. Honors students living in Honors Residences do participate in a living-learning community with other Honors students, with classes in the residence, and on-site advising and programming designed specifically for them. However, the Honors College is happy to accommodate a select number of students who may wish to participate in a Residential College while also being a member of the Honors College. Please talk with an academic advisor about this option.



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 Disciplinary Honors students to get Honors credit for a non-Honors course by enhancing that non-Honors course. They generally cannot be used to fulfill requirements in the International Honors Program. For instructions see the Contract Course Form for the current semester.



Do I have to be an Honors student to take Honors courses?

All courses carrying the HSS prefix are closed Honors courses, available only to Honors College students.



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. However, if you reside in North Spencer Honors Residence Hall, you are expected to take at least one Honors course each year; additionally, students applying for the Travel Grant must take an Honors course in the semester prior to or the semester of their application.



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, Japanese, Latin, 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. Students may also place out of their language requirements via AP courses or transfer courses.



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 proficiency.



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 arrange to learn another language through a variety of instructional methods online or in person. You can also engage in language study while completing your international experience at one of UNCG's partner institutions. 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. See specific program requirements here.
Courses used to satisfy requirements in the Disciplinary Honors Program cannot be used to satisfy requirements in the International Honors Program.

How do I graduate with International Honors?

To graduate with International Honors, you must possess a UNCG GPA of 3.30 or higher at graduation, and meet the following requirements:

    To complete International Honors, you must possess a UNCG GPA of 3.30 or higher at graduation, and meet the following requirements:
  • Have taken 13 semester hours of Honors coursework with grades of B (3.0) or higher as follows:
    1. HSS 198: Honors Colloquium I (1 s.h.). To be taken in the student's first academic semester after being admitted to Lloyd International Honors College.
    2. 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.
    3. 9 additional semester hours of Honors coursework (usually at the 200-Level or higher)
  • 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 American Sign Language are currently permitted. This requirement may be fulfilled by any combination of coursework, placement tests, and appropriate evidence of mastery through other documentation. Course work completed abroad is permitted.
  • An approved international experience. To document this experience, students must register for the zero credit course HSS 299: Honors International Experience (graded on a pass/no pass basis) in the semester after which they participate in their international experience.
  • Courses used to satisfy requirements in the Disciplinary Honors Program cannot be used to satisfy requirements in the International Honors Program.


How do I graduate with Full University 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.



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