What are a few of the benefits of Honors education?

In the words of Dr. Sam Schuman (1942–2014) Honors is striving to “do undergraduate education as well as it can be done.” In the Honors College at App State, you’ll be an important member of a community of students, faculty, and staff from every college and major across campus collaborating in pursuit of great educational experiences inside and outside the classroom:  cooperating on cross-disciplinary learning, problem-solving, research, investigation; supporting and teaching each other; and building skills at the highest possible levels. All of this is effective and fascinating preparation for graduate study, professional school, and important employment.

In the Honors College, you’ll take a series of small, discussion-based, interdisciplinary Honors seminars that emphasize active and collaborative learning. You’ll receive mentoring and professional development support from Honors faculty and staff. Through work on your Honors College thesis or major culminating project—in collaboration with at least two faculty members--you will develop your independent and creative thinking skills and your abilities to design, carry out, and complete a complex and important project, typically, though not necessarily, in your major. And through our required international education experience, you’ll be able to live,  study, do research, or even intern or student-teach abroad, or—if you must stay in the States—you’ll learn what it takes, and what it means, to seek to understand people different from you.


Is there specific Honors housing? We are delighted that all incoming Honors College first-year students are required to live in the vibrant Honors College community in Cone Hall. Exceptions to this requirement can be made only if students have been accepted as members of another great App State residential learning community, such as Watauga Residential College or ACES. First-year Honors College students living in Cone Hall also need an Honors College roommate. Upper-class Honors College students are invited and encouraged, but not required, to live next door in Summit Hall.


How can I meet potential roommates as an incoming Honors College first-year students?

Many incoming Honors College first-year students meet their roommates at summer orientation, and, increasingly, through various social media  groups and subgroups, such as on their incoming class Facebook page through the Office of Admissions.


How do incoming first-year students apply to Honors?

We welcome applications to join the Honors College from all incoming first-year through the Common Application by November 1 at the very latest, and earlier if at all possible. Once you submit your Common App application to App State, you will be invited to open a MyMountaineer Portal. And there you will find check boxes to apply to the Honors College, for merit scholarship (including our Chancellor’s Scholarship!), and for other special programs. Application to the Honors College requires one extra application essay and two letters of recommendation, ideally from teachers who have recently taught you.

We evaluate your Honors College application holistically, looking most closely at your essays and letters of recommendation. Please write to teach us who you are, what you care most deeply about, what you are coming to university—and to the Honors College—to learn, develop, pursue, become. Seek in your essays (Common App, Honors College, and--if you apply--scholarship essays) to help us understand you intellectually, personally, and professionally, and to get us excited about working with you and supporting your development over the next 4 years.


How do current App State students and transfer students apply to Honors?

If you are a current App State 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 App State may also apply to the Honors College; click here for more information.

If you are an incoming first-year or transfer student with more than 45 college credits, you should consider applying for your departmental honors program. Click here for a list of departmental honors programs on campus. You can also explore our new “Upper Division” Honors College pathway designed specially for incoming students with over 45 credits. 


Is there funding or scholarship support for Honors?

An invitation to join the Honors College does not automatically give a 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 first-year students 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 research, especially Honors thesis research, conference presentations and conference travel, and international study opportunities. For information click here and email honors@appstate.edu.
  • Click here for additional 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, ideally for at least a semester, but our students may meet this requirement in various ways, including short-term faculty-led trips abroad, and through Honors College course work.

App State has a rich tradition of international education and of investment in global learning for students and for faculty. Click here for examples of the many international education opportunities offered at App State.


Is thesis required and what is it?

We are happy to say that, yes, an Honors “thesis” is required to complete the Honors College program of study and to graduate with University Honors. This thesis project can take many forms, depending on your major or discipline. A History or literature major might write a classic research essay with multiple scholarly sources. An Entrepreneurship student or Management student in the Walker College of Business might create a consummate business plan or campaign. A creative writing student might write a novel, or a volume of poetry. A Biology or Environmental Science major might conduct laboratory research and/or field work. Honors College theses always have a written component, but might have additional parts as well, such as a dance or musical performance, an art exhibition, or GIS (data driven) maps. Honors College students have often gone on to develop their projects further in graduate school. For examples of recent theses, click here.


What is the difference between University Honors and Departmental Honors?

University Honors is a four-year interdisciplinary program housed in the Honors College and requiring 24 credits of Honors courses and experiences, including the Honors College thesis. Departmental honors programs, in very many academic departments all across campus, are typically 9 credits in the student’s major, typically completed in the student’s final two years, including a departmental Honors thesis. Students in the Honors College may also pursue departmental honors. Click here for a list of departments that currently offer Honors programs.


How are Honors College graduates recognized?

Students graduating with University Honors are recognized at the end of each regular semester at a special Honors College graduation ceremony, and are each presented an Honors College gold medal. The conferring of University Honors will be noted on your transcript, and should be included with pride on your resumé and in application materials.


How can I learn more about the Honors College?

Please reach out via email to honors@appstate.edu, or, if you are on campus, drop by Appalachian Hall 285, to schedule a conversation with the dean of the Honors College and with Honors College students and staff.  You can learn more about the Honors College on campus tours and by visiting us during spring and fall Open House. We will be delighted to meet with you!


What if I need to exit from the Honors College?

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