Honors Program

The Honors Program at Guilford College provides a supportive community for students who are committed to achieving academic excellence and have demonstrated the ability to excel. The Honors Program supports a vision of students as active, empowered agents of their own education, and also as vital contributors to our academic community. Through seminars, extra-curricular activities, and one-on-one collaboration with faculty members on coursework and research, the program provides students with opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills, to explore multiple disciplines for the love of learning, and to share the fruits of their investigations with others.

We forge this community of intellectual camaraderie through a sequence of 1-credit seminars or other academic milestones for each yearly cohort:

  • HON 100 in the first year;
  • a contracted course (scholarly research) in the second year;
  • HON 300 in the third year;
  • HON 400, as well as a thesis project done under the supervision of a faculty member, and culminating in a public presentation (and perhaps also a professional conference), in the fourth year.

In addition, students in the Honors Program are strongly encouraged to attend professional and undergraduate research conferences, study abroad, and complete internships. The Honors Program offers funding for which senior Honors students may apply; these “senior stipends” can be used for supporting the presentation of research or creative projects at conferences, applying to graduate programs or taking graduate exams like the GRE / LSAT / MCAT, etc, or for research expenses related to their senior thesis.

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Monthly meetings of the whole program, as well as social and academic events, provide another opportunity for Honors students to get to know each other. A faculty committee oversees and supports the activities of the program, while a student advisory council works to help design, promote and lead Honors and campus activities. The Honors Program is open to all full-time, degree-seeking, students majoring in any department or program of the College. Successful completion of the Honors Program is noted at graduation and on the student’s transcript.

Admission Process: Most students are admitted to the Honors Program as entering first-year students. Based on a combination of high school achievement, standardized test scores, writing samples and recommendations, students are invited to apply to the program. In addition, currently matriculated full-time students who have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher are invited to apply to the program in January. Transfer students with under 54 credits, or those coming from another Honors Program, are also invited to apply.

Guilford College, a founding member of the North Carolina Honors Association, participates in the National Collegiate Honors Council and Southern Regional Honors Council. Students, faculty members and administrators from the College regularly attend the conferences of all three organizations. 

Goals of the Program

  • Develop academic camaraderie
  • Foster intellectual curiosity
  • Engage in advanced research
  • Excel in coursework
  • Prepare for post-graduate study and life-long learning

Resources

Requirements

Honors Program students:
  • Attend seminar in their first, third, and fourth year
  • Participate in monthly meetings
  • Work with faculty members to develop specialized honors courses (contract course) in their sophomore year
  • Present their projects/research at the Guilford Undergraduate Symposium
  • Engage in internship or study abroad experiences
  • Complete a senior thesis project with a public presentation

Course Descriptions

HON 100. First Year Seminar
Credits: 1. This course is required of all first-year Honors Program students. It helps Honors Program students develop more focused work habits, explore research and learning opportunities on campus, and create a detailed “plan of study” for their next three years.

HON 300.  Junior Year Seminar
Credits: 1. This course is required of all junior-level Honors Program students. It prepares Honors Program students for their senior thesis project, helps them discern if graduate study or professional programs are right for them, and helps students identify and apply for internship opportunities.

HON 400.  Senior Year Seminar
Credits: 1. This course is required of all senior-level Honors Program students. The course ensures Honors Program students make regular progress on their senior thesis project, have support as they apply for graduate/professional programs or get ready to job-search, and prepares them for life after Guilford.

Contract Course/Specialized Honors Course

Instead of taking an honors seminar in the second year, a student selects a course he or she is already planning on taking and works with his or her professor to transform it into an honors course by developing a project that takes the content of the course to a deeper level, resulting in a tangible product that can be presented to others.

Resources

Senior Stipend

Each year of the Honors Program at Guilford College, students have the opportunity to earn $250 (up to a four year total of $1000) for use in the senior year to help purchase research materials, attend conferences, present research or consult collections elsewhere, and apply for graduate/professional programs. To gain valuable grant-writing skills, students must apply for Senior Stipends by writing a project proposal.

Resources

Leadership Development

Two students from each class, elected by their peers, will have the chance to participate on the Student Advisory Council and help plan academic and social events, articulate goals and visions for the Program each year, engage in appropriate fundraising, advise the Faculty Council on student ideas and engagement, and support recruitment and community building.

Admission Process

Most students are admitted to the Honors Program at Guilford College as entering first-year students. Based on standardized test scores, high school achievement, writing samples and recommendations, students are invited to apply to the Program. In addition, currently matriculated students who have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher as a full-time student in their first semester are invited to join the Program. Transfer students are welcome to apply if they have less than 56 credits and meet program criteria. The Program is open to all full-time, degree-seeking students majoring in all departments and programs of the College. Successful completion of the Honors Program is noted at graduation and on the student’s transcript. For more information, please contact Honors Program Director Heather Hayton at 336.316.2397.

Honors Theses