Honors Program

Two U N E students and a faculty member inject an unidentifiable marine animal with a syringe

The goal of our College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program is to enhance the undergraduate curriculum by providing high performing students with challenging classroom experiences and first-hand exposure to scholarship and research.

Honors students participate in intensive, disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses and may choose to work closely with a faculty member on high quality scholarship or research projects within their major field of study. 

Depending on the respective department, honors students might be required to complete a written thesis, oral presentation, and thesis defense. Upon fulfilling the honors criteria of the department and of the CAS Honors Program, “Honors” will be indicated on the graduating transcript.

There are two “tracks” in the Honors Program, a Research Honors option and a Scholastic Honors option. The Research option includes significant research, scholarship  or creative activity under the direction of a faculty member, as well as taking four Honors courses. The Scholastic option entails taking eight Honors courses but does not contain any research, thesis, or scholarship requirement.

Departments may have additional requirements; please consult your respective department's Honors guidelines.

Learn more about research opportunities in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Joining the Program

You can join the program and become an “Honors student” by maintaining a GPA of 3.50 or higher (see respective department honors guidelines), and by completing the Sophomore Honors Research Seminar, HONR180. You also need a faculty sponsor who signs the Honors application form, indicating their assessment that you are suitable for the program and likely to succeed. 

By submitting the Honors application form, you indicate that you qualify, state which track you are planning to take (scholastic or research), and commit to fulfilling all of the requirements to graduate with Honors.

Scholastic Honors Option

Completion of at least eight Honors courses with grades of “B” or better, together with an overall GPA of at least 3.50*, will result in granting of Honors at graduation.

These courses can be taken at any time during your career at UNE, although you are advised to take at least one course per semester. One of those Honors courses must be the Sophomore Honors Research Seminar, HONR180. Several departments offer Honors sections of courses. Honors students have priority to register for these courses. If additional seats are available non-Honors students with a GPA of at least 3.50, or by permission of the instructor, can enroll and will be expected to complete all of the work and meet the same standards as Honors students.

Honors courses will move at a faster pace; there will be higher expectations and a greater workload than non-Honors courses. Enrollment in all Honors courses is capped at 20 students. Departments may decide to require an additional capstone course, thesis, paper, or other work to fulfill the department's Honors criteria, or might decide not to offer this Scholastic Honors option. Please consult your department's Honors guidelines.

*: Departments may decide to require a higher GPA. Please consult with your department's faculty.

Research Honors Option

As a student in the Honors Research track you are required to complete a minimum of four honors level courses with grades of “B” or better, together with an overall GPA of at least 3.50* and to complete a research thesis. Two of those Honors courses must be the Sophomore Honors Research Seminar, HONR180, and the Senior Research Seminar. The details of the research project are outlined in the respective departments’ honors guidelines.

Departments are encouraged to require a thesis proposal and a public thesis defense. Additionally, honors students need to present their research at the Arts and Sciences Research Symposium, which is held at the end of the semester. Departments might decide to not offer this Research Honors option.

Please consult your department’s Honors guidelines. Upon completion of the thesis, a paper copy and an electronic copy (preferably as a pdf) must be submitted to the chair of the CAS Honors Committee.

*: Departments may decide to require a higher GPA. Please consult with your department's faculty.