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What are the advantages of taking Honors courses?

Benefits of participating in the University of North Georgia (UNG) Honors Program include

  • small classes that emphasize discussion, analysis, and creativity over lecture
  • development of critical thinking and independent study skills
  • experience presenting original scholarly work at state and regional conferences
  • access to Honors scholarships and travel grants

The program is designed for students of high academic ability to take Honors versions of some of their core courses. Honors classes provide an excellent opportunity for gifted students to develop their scholarly skills and gain more in-depth understanding of their fields of interest. Moreover, this opportunity can be especially beneficial if you are looking to continue your academic program at another school in the future or want to be approved to join one of our competitive 4-year programs. Finally, Honors courses are often where students develop lifelong friendships with those who share their interests.

Will the workload be too heavy?

Freshmen in the Honors Program tend to produce GPAs around 3.50. Freshmen who have the grades and SATs to get in the program but choose not to join produce GPAs around 2.90. This difference is significant. Honors courses will challenge students--but they will stimulate them, as well. The readings, projects, and class discussions provide an enriched understanding of the course subject. The class generally favors discussion over lecture and critical analysis over memorization. Creativity and innovative thinking are encouraged. Along the same lines, Honors courses tend to favor depth over breadth; i.e., particular topics may be explored at greater length than in a typical survey course.

At the same time, Honors students receive more individual attention from their professors, helping them work more effectively. Honors students will have peer mentors to whom they can turn for help and advice. Most importantly, Honors students make friends with other dedicated students, and this atmosphere is the main reason students in the program are so successful when compared with students not in the program.

How will the Honors Program help me after graduation?

Honors students benefit from the advice from professional mentors. Honors designation on students’ degree and transcripts also demonstrate to prospective graduate schools and/or employers, and fellowship committees, students’ intellectual achievement, initiative and self-discipline. And Honors students will have the benefit of an enhanced learning program, a program which challenges students to develop their intellectual, analytical, and imaginative skills. Over half of our graduates over the last five years have gone on to professional or graduate programs (e.g., med school, law school, PA school, M.S. programs, and Ph.D. programs), with many others moving directly into their chosen careers (e.g., education, nursing).

How do I become an Honors student at UNG?


  • For first-semester freshmen, the minimum high school GPA is 3.5. For 2021, applicants will not be required to submit SAT scores. While not required, the scores can be submitted. Previous first-semester students have demonstrated that a typical honors student has a minimum SAT score of 1200.
  • Current college students who have a college GPA of at least 3.2 are eligible to apply.
  • Qualified Move On When Ready/Dual Enrollment students are welcome to take Honors courses, just as they would any other course at UNG, even if they do not plan on completing the program.

How do I register for Honors classes?

If you have been accepted, review the Honors classes available and develop your schedule. Then contact your Honors director to request registration in the classes you choose:

If I am in the program, do I take all Honors sections?

To be officially recognized as an Honors Program graduate at the end of their bachelor’s degree, students need to take eight Honors sections, two of which must be upper-division courses. The preferred strategy for fulfilling the upper-division requirement is to take Honors Research Methods during the sophomore or junior year and to complete the Honors Thesis by the end of their last semester. The total number of Honors sections you take will be no more than 20% of your classes.

To be officially recognized as an Honors Scholar at the end of their associate degree, students need to take four Honors sections.


How do I upgrade non-Honors sections?

Print the Honors Program Conversion Form and fill it out with the help of the instructor for the course. Within the first or second week of class, give the completed form to the Honors director on your campus. Typically, only 3000 and 4000-level classes can be upgraded, but there are exceptions.

If I am not in the Honors Program, may I still take an Honors section?

Yes, providing you obtain the permission of the instructor and the Honors director at your campus.

Do I have to major in a particular subject?

An Honors student may major in any subject offered at UNG.

No obligation exists in terms of where students live, but we offer housing for Honors students in a designated area of the UNG Suites on the Dahlonega Campus.

Do I get special access to facilities?

Yes. Using their ID cards, all students in the program on the Dahlonega Campus have 24/7 access to the Honors Lounge and Honors Library in Barnes Hall.

Is the Honors Program connected with national honor societies?

Like membership in recognized national honor societies, membership in the UNG Honors Program can enhance your resume. This membership tells potential employers that you have distinguished yourself among your peers.

However, while most honors societies require only a high GPA and/or high class rank (as well as a small fee) for membership, completion of the UNG Honors Program requires students to take 12-24 credit hours of Honors-designated coursework (including submission of a thesis project, for bachelor's students), serve the community each semester, and contribute to UNG as a leader.

Honor Societies

The Honors Program does not administrate any of the UNG honor society chapters. These organizations are each run as individual entities, by at least one UNG faculty advisor and one or more student officers.

There are a number of legitimate, discipline-specific honor societies, such as Sigma Tau Delta for English majors, Psi Chi for psychology majors, and Beta Beta Beta for biology majors. Usually, if you qualify for these, your campus chapter will invite you to join.

There are also several prestigious interdisciplinary honor societies, such as Phi Kappa Phi for bachelor's students and Phi Theta Kappa for associate's students. Again, if you qualify for membership, you should receive an invitation from your UNG chapter.

Caution: There are several commercial "honor societies" out there, the primary goal of which is to generate a profit. If you receive an email from inviting you to pay your membership fee and join the organization, please go to the UNG Connect page (OrgSync) and check to see if we run a chapter of the organization at UNG. If we don't, there is a good chance that fees submitted to join this organization would not be a good investment for you.

My question isn't covered here, now what do I do?

Please contact us with your question. We would love to add your question to our list!

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