What are the benefits of Honors?

In the Honors College at Appalachian, you’ll be part of an intellectual community of students interested in research, cross-disciplinary learning, and preparing for graduate or professional school. You’ll take a series of small, discussion-based, interdisciplinary Honors seminars that emphasize active, collaborative learning. You’ll receive mentoring and professional development support from Honors faculty and staff. Through the process of researching and writing your University Honors thesis, you’ll also receive guidance and support in your scholarship/creative work. Through our required international education experience, you’ll have the opportunity to study, do research, or even intern/student teach in a new place. The Honors College will guide you as you develop your independent and creative thinking skills, sense of global engagement, and personal integrity: becoming a leader of the future.


Is there specific Honors housing? Do I have to live there?

All incoming Honors College freshmen are required to live in Cone Hall. The only exceptions will be if students are living in another residential learning community, such as Watauga Residential College or ACES. Freshmen living in Cone Hall are required to have an Honors roommate. Upper class Honors College students are eligible (but not required) to live in Summit Hall.

How can I meet potential roommates as an incoming Honors freshmen?

Many incoming Honors College freshmen meet their roommates at orientation. Students are welcome to create a sub group in their incoming class facebook page through the Office of Admissions.

How do incoming freshmen apply to Honors?

If you are an incoming freshman, apply to Appalachian by November 15. If you meet our baseline for test scores and high school GPA, you’ll be invited to apply to the Honors College. We admit students holistically, looking most closely at your essays and letters of recommendation. We’re looking for independent and creative thinkers, students who are interested in research, and students who potentially plan to go to graduate/professional school — your GPA and test scores are only part of who you are.


How do current ASU students and transfer students apply to Honors?

If you are a current ASU student with 45 or fewer credits and meet the GPA requirement, you may apply to the Honors College. Click here for specific requirements and how to apply.

Transfer students who have already been accepted to Appalachian may apply to the Honors College; click here for more information.

If you are a current or transfer student with more than 45 college credits, you might consider applying for your departmental honors program. Click here for a list of departmental honors programs on campus.


Is there funding or scholarship support for Honors?

Admission to the Honors College does not automatically give the student a scholarship, but we do have several funding opportunities for Honors students.

  • Chancellor’s Scholarship: a four-year scholarship covering tuition and fees. The Chancellor’s Scholarship is the most academically competitive, merit-based scholarship at Appalachian. It is currently awarded to ten incoming freshmen per year. Click here for more information.
  • International Education Scholarships: these provide limited support  for students studying abroad. Go to the Office of International Education and Development (OIED) for information on how to apply.
  • The Honors College has some internal funding to support thesis research, conference presentations, and international study. For information click here and email honors@appstate.edu.
  • Click here for scholarship opportunities through the Office of Admissions.


Is study abroad required?

The Honors College requires an international education experience. We encourage students to study abroad for a semester, but students may meet this requirement in various ways, including faculty-led trips abroad.

Appalachian has a rich tradition of international education and an investment in global learning. Click here for examples of the many international education opportunities offered at Appalachian.


Is thesis required and what is it?

Yes, a thesis is required to graduate with University Honors. This project can take multiple forms, from a longer essay to a creative endeavor, depending on your major or discipline. Honors students at Appalachian have performed ethnographic fieldwork, conducted scientific research in a lab, designed healthcare facilities, and examined original documents in archives as part of their research process. Honors theses always have a written component, but might have additional components as well, such as a dance or musical performance, an art exhibition, or GIS (data driven) maps. Honors students have often gone on to develop their projects further in graduate school. For examples of recent theses, click here to see recent thesis examples.


What is the difference between University Honors and departmental honors?

University Honors is a four-year interdisciplinary program housed in the Honors College and comprised of 24 credits. Departmental honors programs are typically 9 credits in the student’s major, completed in the student’s final two years. Students in the Honors College may also pursue departmental honors, if available. Departmental honors programs are especially suited for transfer students, who otherwise would not be able to complete the 24 credits required for University Honors. Click here for a list of departments and programs that currently offer honors.


How are Honors College graduates recognized?

Students graduating with University Honors are recognized at an Honors College graduation ceremony, and are endowed with medals and (for the Honors Vanguard) special cords. The conferring of University Honors will be noted on your transcript for employers and graduate admissions committees.


How will graduating with honors help me?

You’ll become skilled in research at an advanced level; develop a unique, independent research project from start to finish; develop close relationships with faculty; and develop a cohort of other Honors students with whom you’ll form an intellectual and social community on campus.  You’ll also produce an honors thesis that you can market to prospective employers and graduate school admissions committees.


How are Honors courses different from non-honors courses?

Your Honors seminars are truly cross-disciplinary courses not generally offered by regular academic departments. As you’d expect, they’re more rigorous than a non-honors course. In addition, Honors courses emphasize discussion-based learning and are smaller than many non-honors courses.

How can I learn more about the Honors College?

You can learn more about the Honors College on campus tours and by visiting us during Spring and Fall Open House. You can also email honors@appstate.edu to schedule meeting with Honors College staff and to meet with members of our student Vanguard.


What if I want to drop Honors?

A student may request to be uncoded as an Honors College student at any time. Click here if you are currently an Honors student and would like to request removal from the Honors College.