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    May 29, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Honors College

Main College Office
Sage Hall, Room 257

Mailing address:
1155 Union Circle #310529
Denton, TX 76203-5017
Fax: 940-369-7370

Web site:

Glênisson de Oliveira, Dean

James Duban, Associate Dean for Research and National Scholarships

Eric Gruver, Associate Dean for Academics


The Honors College is dedicated to enriching the undergraduate academic experience for talented, motivated and well-prepared students. Honors membership is open to all qualified students, whatever their major. Upon joining the Honors College, students find that they are part of an exciting community of talented scholars pursuing academic and intellectual growth. The goal of the Honors College is to help these students build an excellent foundation, via research-based curricula, thereby preparing them to study at the graduate level, establish a career, and meet the demands of responsible citizenship.

The benefits of Honors College membership

Honors classes

Honors faculty and staff work to design, implement and support learning opportunities for students, both in and beyond the classroom. The primary benefit of honors membership is the right to enroll in honors classes, which are taught by faculty members with a strong commitment to undergraduate education. Honors classes offer a supportive environment conducive to intellectual growth. The small enrollment of honors classes opens up opportunities for active participation in learning, including projects, presentations and class discussions. In addition, most honors classes can be substituted for non-honors classes in the University Core Curriculum. Honors students also enjoy priority registration each semester.

Undergraduate research

Many honors students elect to participate in the undergraduate research track offered by the Honors College. Students may take courses to learn about research, develop their research projects, and write an honors thesis, all under the guidance of a faculty mentor in their major. Courses in the research track include HNRS 1500 - Introduction to Research: An Interdisciplinary Perspective ; HNRS 3500 - Honors Thesis Proposal Development ; and XXXX 4951, Honors College Capstone Thesis (or its departmental equivalent XXXX 4950), which may be taken in any department that offers an undergraduate major. Students in the research track have opportunities to present their research at regional and national conferences and may submit their work for publication in the Honors College online journal of undergraduate research, The Eagle Feather, or in other scholarly journals.

Special programming and housing

Honors members are invited to participate in many special programs sponsored by the college. These programs include opportunities to have lunch with a professor or dean, hear scholars discuss their work, take trips to local museums, and enjoy free tickets to concerts and other cultural events. Honors students are also eligible to live in Honors Hall. Honors freshmen may live in Rawlins Hall.

Honors College membership and participation

Honors College membership is open to every qualified student pursuing a baccalaureate degree at the University of North Texas, and membership is compatible with every undergraduate major and program. Honors is a flexible program that allows students to decide each semester on the combination of honors, non-honors and major classes that best suits their needs. Membership in the Honors College is secondary to membership in the college of the student’s major, and students in the Honors College can choose from two levels of participation and recognition.

Eligibility for membership

College freshmen

Admission to the Honors College is competitive and requires a separate application. To be eligible, freshmen must have a combined math and verbal SAT score of at least 1200 (ACT 27) and be in the top ranks of their high school graduating class, as evidenced by class standing and grade point average. An essay is a required part of the Honors College application. Students who are awarded the UNT Meritorious Scholarship qualify automatically for admission but must submit the completed application. Students whose scores and class rank are slightly below these standards may still apply for membership by submitting a portfolio of materials demonstrating their readiness for honors work. That portfolio may include a personal essay, a list of academic awards, writing samples and letters of recommendation.

Continuing UNT and transfer students

Continuing UNT students or students transferring to UNT from other institutions of higher learning are eligible to enroll in the Honors College on the basis of their GPA from already completed college work. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.35 qualifies continuing UNT and transfer students for membership in the Honors College, provided that at least one full-time semester of college work has already been completed. Students who will have 72 or more credits upon entering the Honors College are not eligible for membership.

Students transferring to UNT may apply up to 9 honors credits from another NCHC-member honors program or college toward the Honors Scholar or Distinguished Honors Scholar Award. For such courses to apply toward a UNT Honors College award, the grade earned must be B or better. The dean of the Honors College must approve all honors courses from other institutions to be applied toward a UNT Honors College award.

UNT students who join the Honors College after graduation from the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science may receive up to 9 honors credits for courses taken in TAMS toward the Honors Scholar or Distinguished Honors Scholar Award. For such courses to apply toward a UNT Honors College award, the grade earned must be a B or better. The dean of the Honors College must approve all TAMS courses to be applied toward a UNT Honors College award.

Programs for participation and recognition in the Honors College

Honors College Scholar Award

The Honors College Scholar Award requires students to complete 18 honors credit hours with a cumulative and Honors GPA of at least 3.25.  Students may use two Honors contracts and six hours of study abroad credit to fulfill a portion of the 18 required credit hours.  Students who complete the Honors College Scholar Award receive the Honors College medallion and have the accomplishment noted on their UNT transcript.

Advanced Honors College Scholar Award (transfer students only)

Designed specifically for transfer students matriculating to UNT with a substantial number of credit hours, The Advanced Honors College Scholar Award requires these students to complete the following: two Honors courses, HNRS 3500 , and an Honors thesis in any department course numbered 4950/4951.  Students may use one Honors contract as well as a study abroad course at UNT to satisfy the two Honors courses. The student must maintain a cumulative and Honors GPA of at least 3.5. Students who complete the Advanced Honors College Scholar Award receive the Honors College medallion and have the accomplishment noted on their UNT transcript.

Distinguished Honors College Scholar Award

The highest recognition available to students through the Honors College is the Distinguished Honors College Scholar Award. For this award, the student must complete the following: 21 honors credits, including HNRS 3500  and an Honors thesis in any department course numbered 4950/4951. Students must also maintain a cumulative and Honors GPA of at least 3.5. Students may use two Honors contracts and six hours of study abroad credit at UNT to satisfy part of their 21-hour requirement.  Students who complete the Distinguished Honors College Scholar Award receive the Honors College medallion and have the accomplishment noted on their UNT transcript.

Honors College Engagement Recognition

This recognition is for students who are particularly active in attending Honors College events and/or campus activities, accumulating a minimum of 100 hours during their time at UNT.  These students can receive the Honors College Engagement Recognition in addition to an Honors College award.

If you have any questions regarding the Honors College Distinctions or what Catalog year you fall under, please contact Honors College Academic Advising in Sage 229.

Departmental Honors

Any department or undergraduate degree program at UNT may elect to participate in Departmental Honors. Students should contact the department, the degree program office or the Honors College to find out whether a particular department participates in Departmental Honors.

Students in good standing in the Honors College may pursue Departmental Honors in the department or program of their major. To graduate with Departmental Honors, a student must

  1. successfully complete at least 18 honors credits, including at least 9 honors credits in the major department. At least 6 of the 9 credit hours toward the departmental award must be at the 3000 or 4000 level;
  2. complete the honors thesis (or an approved substitute) in the major department or program, or in the capstone course within the major or HNRS 4000 , or in the Honors College capstone course; and
  3. have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

All honors courses to be counted for departmental honors must be taken at UNT and be completed with a grade of B or higher. Up to two successfully completed honors contracts may be applied to Departmental Honors. Requirements for graduating with Departmental Honors are established by the Honors College. Details and additional information may be obtained from the Honors College.

Recordkeeping for Departmental Honors is handled by the Honors College. Students earning Departmental Honors will be recognized at commencement by the Honors College and the department or program in which they earn Honors.

Honors courses

Specific objectives have been adopted for honors courses, including the following.

  1. Honors courses emphasize development of analytical and evaluative skills through readings from primary sources, journal articles and other supplementary materials.
  2. Honors courses encourage students to engage in high-level thinking and learning through activities such as intensive discussion; writing in small, collaborative learning settings; and research papers and projects.
  3. Honors courses promote independent thinking by making students accountable for important aspects of their learning.
  4. Honors courses place material in a conceptual context that illustrates the importance of that material and its relationship to other knowledge.
  5. Honors courses provide enhanced opportunities for students to develop research skills and produce independent, original research or creative products as part of the course requirements.
  6. Honors courses include innovative approaches to course content and teaching, allowing honors courses to serve as campuswide prototypes.

Honors classes at the 1000 and 2000 levels are reserved for members of the Honors College. Students who are not members of the Honors College but have junior status and a GPA of at least 3.5 may request enrollment in honors classes at the 3000 and 4000 levels if space is available after honors students register. The honors academic counselor can assist with enrollment.

Honors courses that meet University Core Curriculum requirements


National Student Exchange

Diana Dunklau, Campus Coordinator

An undergraduate student at the University of North Texas may apply to spend a term/semester or a year on exchange at one of nearly 200 colleges and universities that are members of the National Student Exchange, a consortium that provides for students within the United States and Canada what study-abroad programs offer on an international scale. Through NSE a student can travel and live at another university site, take courses that are not offered at UNT, assess an out-of-state institution for future graduate study, and enjoy a part of the United States that is quite different from Texas.

UNT’s membership in the National Student Exchange makes it possible for a UNT student to attend another NSE member institution at the same cost as attending UNT, or at the in-state tuition rate of the other university. The student remains enrolled at UNT, with all the advantages of continuous enrollment. Through NSE coordinators on the two campuses, the tasks of advising, registering for classes and securing housing can be worked out to provide the student with a smooth exchange experience. UNT students may apply for financial aid on our campus for the term(s)/semester(s) they will be on exchange.

Students must be enrolled full time at UNT for two consecutive long terms/semesters prior to exchange, including the term/semester in which they apply; they must also have a minimum cumulative UNT GPA of at least 2.5 at the time of application, and when the exchange actually takes place. All aspects of the application process must be completed by February 15, prior to the academic year in which the student wishes to go on exchange. Since exchanges are limited, an exchange through NSE is a privilege for which the student must be selected.

Students who are interested in learning more about an exchange through NSE should contact the campus coordinator to learn the procedures of applying and qualifying. Interested students may also consult the NSE web site at and/or call 940-565-3305 to make an appointment with UNT’s campus coordinator.