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For Interested Students

If you’re considering writing an honors thesis but don’t know where to begin, we recommend you take at look at these resources:

 SON Honors Program Guidelines in Student Handbook
 Writing Center’s Honors Thesis Handout
Honors abstracts and posters by SON graduates

What is the honors program?

The honors program is a way for motivated students to undertake additional studies in an area of interest under the advisement of a faculty member. The student completes an honors project and graduates with a diploma and transcript that states“With Honors” or “With Highest Honors.” The UNC-CH University Honors Office determines official university policies and makes the final award of honors on your diploma; however specific School of Nursing (SON) policies are developed and approved by the faculty.

Am I eligible to participate?

Students who are eligible and interested in participating are cleared by the SON registrar. You must have earned a 3.3 cumulative university grade point average. Students must also have earned a GPA of 3.4 in all required upper division nursing courses.

When/How do I apply if I want to participate?

Information seminars are held for interested students each semester. The decision to participate is usually made prior to or at the beginning of the last two semesters of study, though other timing is possible. Honors involves two semesters of work. Once you have decided to participate, you should see the SON Registrar, in the Office of Student Affairs to register for N691H in the first semester, and N692H in the second semester.

In addition, the Intent to Participate Form must be completed and signed by the student’s advisor. The form contains a brief statement of what you tentatively plan to do for your project. This form should submitted via Sakai within the first two weeks of your enrollment in N691H. Complete information is available on the course Sakai site.

How do I choose an advisor?

Your advisor is a faculty member you may have worked closely with in the past or one who shares an interest in the topic you wish to develop. If you are not sure whom to ask, you have several resources:

  • Review previous honors abstracts on the website
  • Talk with Beverly Foster, Honors Program Coordinator, who will help refer you based on your area of interest
  • Ask friends and other faculty members for suggestions
  • Visit this page to explore SON faculty areas of concentration.
  • You will need to approach the faculty member and talk about your ideas. If faculty need more information about honors program requirements, you can refer them to the website. Once the faculty member agrees to be your advisor, have them sign your Intent to Participate Form.
What is the advisor’s responsibility?

The advisor will guide you through the development and completion of your project. This process involves regular office meetings and feedback to guide and evaluate your work. Grades for N691H/N692H are assigned by the advisor, and determination of satisfactory completion of the project and/or highest honors recommendations will be his/her responsibility in collaboration with the Honors Program Coordinator. A Learning Contract must be completed for both N691H and N692H, and filed with the Honors Program Coordinator.

When do I complete the honors work?

Honors work is begun and completed in the last two semesters of study in the SON. Typically, the first semester is used for deciding on a topic & advisor, gathering materials & data and seeking Institutional Review Board approval where required. The second semester is usually used to complete the final project and prepare for the presentations. At the presentation, scheduled at the end of the semester, honors students present their work to peers, faculty, family and friends in a poster presentation format. Any additional awards are noted/given out at that time, and refreshments may be served.

See the undergraduate program website for important due dates. Watch email and bulletin board postings for final date confirmations.

What additional awards am I eligible for?

Highest Honors is awarded to students who have completed exceptional work at a level beyond the usual high expectations. The student’s work must be nominated by his/her advisor to the Honors Program Coordinator by the posted deadline. Projects submitted for highest honors will be reviewed blind by a panel of undergraduate faculty familiar with the Honors process but not currently advising a student. Evaluation criteria used are that the paper demonstrates evidence of independent, creative, abstract, analytical and critical thinking at the highest level. Recommendations of the review panel are final.

Other awards may be available, including monetary awards to support the Honors projects. The Honors Program Coordinator will notify you of any other opportunities for awards.

Do I have to write a research paper?

University requirements state that “Senior Honors Thesis students must complete an original and substantial research, performance or creative project under the direct supervision of a faculty member”. Your project can be whatever you and your advisor agree is an acceptable project to meet the criteria, approved by the Honors Program Coordinator. You can browse through honors projects completed in May 2014 and beyond in the CDR or review SON abstracts here. All honors projects submitted prior to May 2014 are archived in the North Carolina Collection at Wilson Library. School of Nursing guidelines require that the project “show evidence of independent, creative, abstract, analytical, and critical thinking.”

What do I have to do if I am writing a research paper?

University and SON guidelines for research projects are available in the Student Handbook under “Research Regulations and Policies.”

Where can I get help with research, writing and presentation skills?

Please see resources available below.

Who/Where can I get help with statistical analysis of my data?

Honors students needing help with research data and statistics beyond what their adviser can provide should contact the Honors Program Coordinator for referral to possible resources within the SON Research Support Center.

What Websites are available for honor participants?
  1. The Carolina Digital Repository
  2. University Honors Office
  3. Office of Academic Affairs
  4. Undergraduate Research Office
  5. Writing Center 
What are the guidelines for the Honors presentation?

Honors students will present their work through poster presentations scheduled near the time of graduation. Students will be available by their poster presentation to explain their work and respond to questions. Web-based resources will provide assistance with the production of the poster presentations.

Does Honors completion meet the SON undergraduate elective requirement?


Who can I talk to if I have questions?

Dr. Beverly Foster, Honors Program Coordinator, will be able to answer your questions about honors. Dr. Foster’s office is located in Room 506 of Carrington Hall; the phone number is 919-966-4995. Email is useful for quick questions. Dr. Foster can be reached at