The Honors College

Welcome to the Honors College

The Honors College at Chowan University is designed to offer attractive and challenging opportunities for intellectual growth to well-prepared and highly motivated students. The college has both curricular and extracurricular components. The Honors College Committee will normally consider for acceptance into the program any freshman who enters college with at least a 3.25 high school grade point average and a 1100 or higher SAT score. Transfer students and Chowan rising sophomores must have earned at least a 3.50 GPA and a B in English composition.

Chowan honor students will complete the program requirements, which include honors-enriched courses. The emphasis in any course designated as honors is on teaching students to articulate an understanding of a given field, to relate that field of knowledge to others, to think independently, and to write and speak clearly and cogently. Honors classes are generally smaller than usual and provide opportunities for intensive class discussion and innovative teaching. Students who successfully complete the Honors College graduate with a special designation on their diplomas and transcripts. Members of the Honors College hold automatic membership in the Honors College Student Association.

The Provost issues a special invitation to these students to join the Honors College. 

Benefits of the Honors College

Honors students will enjoy many special benefits by being enrolled in the program. Some of these benefits are:

  • Intellectually challenging curriculum
  • Classes that encourage creative interaction
  • Dynamic professors interested in enriching students' academic experience
  • Strong support network among students and faculty in the program
  • Community service opportunities
  • Recognition of students' intellectual ability, vision, and commitment, which helps to open up possibilities for future study and employment
  • Participation in research conferences
  • Honors Study Center
  • Opportunities to publish original work
  • Extended borrowing privileges at Whitaker Library
  • Early registration for courses
  • Recognition at awards ceremonies
  • Invitations to special lectures and cultural events
  • Development of new and diverse friendships, a sense of accomplishment, and a wider perspective on issues and life itself
  • Honors designation on transcripts and diploma
  • Recognition at graduation
  • Membership in the Honors College Student Association

Requirements for Honors

To graduate from Chowan University with an Honors College diploma, students must complete twenty credit hours of honors courses and maintain an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher. Up to five of these credit hours may be applied toward general education or major field requirements. The remaining hours may count as free electives toward the completion of a degree program. The Honors Critical Thinking and Composition requirements will be waived for rising sophomores and transfer students who enter the program.

If an Honors College student's GPA drops below a 3.25, that student will be placed on a low GPA status alert. Failure to raise the GPA to at least 3.25 before graduation will prevent the student from receiving an Honors College diploma even if all required coursework has been completed.

Minimum Requirements (20 credit hours)

HON 101 - Honors Composition Credits: 3 hours
HON 112 - Critical Thinking Credits: 2 hours
HON 201 - Honors Seminar I Credits: 3 hours
HON 301 - Honors Seminar II Credits: 3 hours
HON 305 - Honors Cultural Enrichment Credits: 1/2 hour
Students take HON 305 four (4) times for a total of two (2) credit hours.
HON 308 - Honors Service Learning Credits: 3 hours
HON 401 - Honors Seminar III Credits: 3 hours
HON 495 - Honors Capstone Project Credits: 1 hour

Achieving Academic Honors

Chowan University recognizes academic honors through the Dean's Honors List, President's Honors List, Annual Awards Day, Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, honor societies and at graduation.

Dean's List and President's List

The President’s List and the Dean’s List are awarded every semester based upon the semester grade point average earned that semester. This recognition becomes part of the official record. The following grade point averages for a semester’s work entitle students, if they are full-time students, to honors at the completion of the semester.

The President’s List 3.80 - 4.00
The Dean’s List 3.25 – 3.79

Any grade below a C in a particular semester will disqualify a student from placement on any honors list in that semester. A grade of F or U in a non-credit course is considered less than C for these purposes. Only students enrolled in twelve (12) or more credit hours are eligible for placement on the President’s List or the Dean’s List.

Awards Day

Chowan University recognizes academic achievement and rewards students whose performance merits special attention. The Best All-Around Student, the Merit, and the Superior Citizenship awards recognize scholarship and participation in University activities. The Order of the Silver Feather is an honorary service fraternity, the purpose of which is to give recognition to those students who have been especially outstanding in their service to the campus community and whose loyalty to Chowan University has been extremely noteworthy. Awards are also made to outstanding students in many individual disciplines. The winners of these awards are selected by the faculty and staff of the University. As recognition of outstanding academic achievement and as a means to further encourage sound scholarship, the University awards an Honor Scholarship to each freshman, sophomore, and junior student who has attained the highest grade point average for the class. Commencement Marshals are also selected from those members of the junior class with the highest grade point average. The Senior Scholastic Award, which is announced at Commencement, is the most prestigious award the Chowan academic community bestows. This award is presented to that senior who has achieved the highest academic average in the graduating class.

Graduate with Honors

Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Cum Laude are awarded for superior scholarship in work leading to the bachelor’s degree. These honors, based upon graduation grade point average, become part of the official record and are awarded upon graduation.

Summa Cum Laude  3.9 - 4.0
Magna Cum Laude 3.7 - 3.89
Cum Laude  3.5 - 3.69

A student who earns a grade below C at any point during his or her university career is ineligible for summa cum laude honors at commencement but may qualify for other honors.

Honor Societies

Honor societies at Chowan University exist to recognize and promote excellence in academic accomplishment. Whether individual societies service a broad spectrum of academic disciplines or only a single, specific, academic major, their overall purpose is to encourage and recognize students who have achieved a high level of academic competence. Membership is by invitation only. Honors societies at Chowan University include:

Alpha Chi
The North Carolina Phi Chapter of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society is an interdisciplinary honor society dedicated to academic excellence, outstanding character, and honor. The purpose of lpha Chi is to recognize scholarly merit and character qualities that contribute to the academic advancement of the entire student community. Its name derives from the first letters of the Greek words for truth and character. Membership is limited to the top ten percent of juniors and seniors at Chowan. Membership is only at the invitation of Chowan’s chapter. The Chowan chapter was established February 28, 1998.

Alpha Lambda Delta
Alpha Lambda Delta is a national honor society recognizing high academic achievement in the first year of college to encourage superior academic achievement among college and university freshmen, to promote intelligent living and a continued high standard of learning, and to assist students in recognizing and developing meaningful goals for their roles in society. Invitation to membership in Alpha Lambda Delta is made only to an academically elite group: those freshmen earning a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and achieving a position in the top twenty percent of the class. The Chowan chapter was established September 26, 2004. 

Alpha Theta Lambda
The Alpha-Theta-Lambda Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society promotes the study of history by encouraging research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. Phi Alpha Theta recognizes overall academic accomplishments as well as academic achievement in the study of history. Open to all majors, invitation to membership is limited to who have achieved a GPA of 3.1 in at least twelve semester hours in history, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better, and are in the top 35% of the class. The Chowan chapter was established February 28, 1997.

Alpha Phi Sigma
Alpha Phi Sigma is the nationally recognized honor society for students in the criminal justice sciences. The society recognizes student academic excellence. It is open only to students who have declared a criminal justice major or minor, have completed one-third of their total hours required for graduation at Chowan, maintained a minimum 3.0 overall grade point average and a 3.2 grade point average in criminal justice courses, are ranked in the top 35% of their class, and have completed a minimum of four courses in the criminal justice curriculum. The Chowan chapter was established November 4, 2000

Sigma Beta Delta
Sigma Beta Delta is an honor society for students of business, management, or administration. Invitation to lifetime membership and national recognition is open only to juniors and seniors who rank in the upper twenty percent of their class. Faculty members who are inducted as members manage the chapter. The Society’s principles focus on wisdom, honor, and the pursuit of meaningful aspirations, three guidelines important to success in academics and to leading a fulfilling personal and professional life distinguished by honorable service to humankind. The Chowan chapter was established April 26, 1995.

Sigma Tau Delta
The Sigma Tau Delta Honor Society’s central purpose is to confer distinction upon students of the English language and of literature. Membership is open by invitation to students with a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average in English, who rank at least in the highest thirty-five percent of their class, and who have completed at least three semesters of college work. Students who not English majors or minors but meet the rest of the criteria may be invited to become associate members. The Chowan chapter was established April 3, 1997.

Psi Chi
Psi Chi is the International Honor Society in Psychology, founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology. Membership is open to graduate and undergraduate students who are making the study of psychology one of their major interests, and who meet the minimum qualifications.

Beta Beta Beta
Beta Beta Beta is a national honor society for students who demonstrate superior academic achievement in the biological sciences. Qualifying students participate in activities with Chowan University’s local chapter, and may attend district and national conventions which offer members a chance to share their interests with students and faculty from universities throughout the nation. Members may also compete for awards and scholarships offered by the society. To become eligible for membership, students must complete at least 12 credit hours (three courses) in biology (one of which must be an upper level course) with a GPA of 3.0 in all biology courses.

Kappa Delta Pi
Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education is committed to recognizing excellence and fostering mutual cooperation, support, and professional growth for educational professionals. Founded in 1911, the Society’s membership now exceeds 55,000 individuals around the world, all of whom are involved in the field of education. To receive an invitation to membership, students must have completed at least 30 hours of college course work, with 12 hours of education courses completed or in progress, achieving a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or greater, and intend to continue academically and professionally in the field of education.


David Ballew, Ph.D.
Honors Seminar Coordinator
Danny Moore
Honors College Student Association Advisor
Thomas H. Whitaker