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University Honors and Scholars Program Announces Unification, Name Change

NC State’s highest-achieving students will now be housed in a single program. 

Copper wolf statues in Wolf Plaza on a sunny day

Starting in fall 2022, NC State’s University Honors and University Scholars programs will unite under one name: the University Honors Program. Additionally, the Honors and Scholars Village will become the Honors Village.

The incoming Class of 2026 will be the first to participate in the new combined program. For the past two years, faculty and staff have studied best practices from peer institutions and vetted changes with current students, campus stakeholders and alumni of each program. 

The new program retains elements of the traditional NC State honors experience. University Honors students will enroll in innovative Honors seminars such as Shakespeare and Leadership, Emotion and Reason and The Creative Process in Science. The Honors Forum will offer them access to addresses by major public figures, authors and scientists, musical and theatrical performances, and debates and discussions of significant public policy issues. The Honors Village will welcome students from all of NC State’s colleges to a dynamic living and learning community. The program will also provide new opportunities, including courses focused on undergraduate research, alumni and professional development programming, and a Teamwork and Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research minor.

Current students enrolled in either the University Honors or University Scholars program will stay in the program they initially joined and fulfill its requirements, but they will also have the opportunity to explore new options through the updated curriculum. Likewise, alumni will still recognize and be able to provide support for all of the experiences and opportunities they enjoyed.

Sean Cassidy, director of the Honors and Scholars Program and the new University Honors Program, said the unification helps market the program to incoming students and provides more academic enrichment opportunities for current students.

“The creation of a single program builds on decades of success and allows us to offer a comprehensive, engaging and flexible program,” he said. “[This will] invite students to shape their honors experience through interdisciplinary courses, enrichment and experiential learning opportunities, undergraduate research, professional development activities, and programs that encourage them to explore the state, nation and world.”

Aerial view of the Honors Village

“Students will no longer have to choose between two amazing programs, but will have a program that intentionally integrates academic and co-curricular experiences,” added Holly Hurlburt, assistant dean and director of academic enrichment programming. “In addition, we’ve maintained the academic and experiential rigor of both programs while making requirements more flexible, so students can complete the Honors program and their majors, minors and other curricular/co-curricular activities that allow for the best NC State experience.”

Thousands of NC State students have benefited from the University Honors and University Scholars programs over the last several decades. The University Scholars Program was originally developed to provide an enriched academic and co-curricular experience. It was created in the 1970s through a partnership between the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Division of Student Affairs. The program later expanded to serve students in all of NC State’s colleges. Meanwhile, the University Honors Program was founded in 2000 at the direction of then-Provost Kermit Hall. The program stressed academic excellence through honors coursework and undergraduate research. 

Each program has provided a breadth and depth of unique educational experiences that engage academically-motivated students in transformative experiential learning throughout their college careers. Its students excel in leadership, research, service and global engagement. You will find them presenting their cutting-edge work at national research conferences, exploring the arts as actors and stagehands in University Theatre performances, giving their time to great causes like the Feed the Pack Pantry, and exploring the world around them through the cultural or outdoor explorations programs.Learn more about the unification and the new University Honors Program here: