May 30, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog | 2022-2023 
Undergraduate Catalog | 2022-2023 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 College 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).

Admission Requirements

  • A declared Major in Philosophy
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5 in all philosophy courses counting toward the major is preferred, but exceptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis for students with extenuating circumstances
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5 for all departmental and Honors College courses submitted towards graduation with honors

Course Requirements

  • (3)
  • One 3 credit hour course chosen by the student from Honors College courses (while ideally this course should be in philosophy, it does not have to be)

Certification Requirements

  • 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.
  • Complete the Application to Candidacy process for graduating with honors, as directed by the Honors College.  There are two stages to this:
    • Part one is completed when the student proposes a thesis project
    • Part two is completed when the student successfully completes the 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.