Jul 20, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog | 2018-2019 
Undergraduate Catalog | 2018-2019 Previous Edition

Philosophy, Honors Program

What is Honors in Philosophy?

Philosophy majors may pursue Honors in Philosophy either in addition to or instead of University Honors. Honors in Philosophy includes a combination of GPA requirements, coursework, independent study, and a thesis project. Only students whose projects have been approved by both the department honors committee and the Honors Council may graduate with honors.

Why do Honors in Philosophy?

There are two main benefits: (1) credentials on one’s official transcript (“Graduation with Honors”), and (2) the more important benefit of scholarly growth.  Honors projects are basically practice for the more intensively researched, extensively written type of work students will need to do in graduate programs in philosophy and other humanities disciplines (such as literature, cultural studies, etc.).  They are also excellent opportunities to develop a stellar writing sample for graduate school applications.  Moreover, through intensive work with faculty, students will have the opportunity to both receive one-on-one mentorship (which often helps faculty write extra-detailed letters of recommendation).

Certification Requirements

Academic Standing

  • A declared Major in Philosophy
  • GPA of at least 3.5 in all PHIL courses counted toward the major
  • GPA of at least 3.5 for all departmental and University Honors Program courses submitted towards graduation with Honors
  • A grade of A in PHIL 3791  


  • One three-hour course chosen by the student from University Honors Program courses (while ideally this course should be in philosophy, it does not have to be)
  • PHIL 3791 - Honors Thesis  (3)


  • Students must compose a thesis committee consisting of three UNC Charlotte faculty. At least two of the members must be in the Department of Philosophy; the third may be from a relevant department or program (e.g., WGST if writing on gender, CHHS if writing on bioethics).
  • One member of the committee must be affiliated with the Honors College if and only if a student is also submitting the thesis to University Honors.
  • Students should select one member of the committee as the thesis director. The director must be a member of the Department of Philosophy.


  • Application for Admission To Candidacy Form
    • This form is the first thing students MUST complete and what gets them into the honors system.
    • There are two stages to this form; part one is completed when the student begins Honors coursework; part two is completed when the student proposes a thesis project.
  • Oral Thesis Defense
  • Once PHIL 3791  is completed and the written thesis is submitted to the thesis committee, the student orally defends the thesis before his or her committee, other faculty, and students. See Steps/Procedures for more details on the oral defense.

The honors notation will appear on a student’s official transcript.