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 23 credit hours of honors courses, maintaining an overall GPA of 3.25. Up to 10 of these credit hours may be applied toward general education requirements. Honors Seminars meet Global Learning requirements for students earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. Honors College Writing (HON 101/HON 102) and Honors First Year Experience (HON 113/HON 114) will be waived for students who have completed the corresponding ENGL 101/ENGL 102 and CU 101/CU 102 courses. Other Honors courses will count as free electives toward the completion of any degree program.

If it becomes impossible for a student to satisfy the minimum GPA or course requirements for an Honors College diploma, that student will be removed from the program. A student may also be removed from the program for violating the Academic Integrity Policy of the University

Minimum Requirements (23 credit hours)

HON 101 - Honors College Writing Credits: 3 hours
HON 102 - Honors Advanced College Writing Credits: 3 hours
HON 113 - Honors First Year Experience I Credits: 2 hours
HON 114 - Honors First Year Experience II 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 309 - Honors Service Learning Credits: 1/2 hour

Students take HON 309 two (2) times for a total of one (1) credit hour.

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 Alpha 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 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.

Beta Beta Beta
Chowan University is home to the Pi Upsilon chapter of Beta Beta Beta, a national honor society for students in the biological sciences. Regular membership in TriBeta is reserved for undergraduate students who demonstrate superior academic achievement in the biological sciences. TriBeta, founded in 1922, has more than 500 chapters throughout the nation. The purpose of the society is to encourage scholarly achievement and cultivate intellectual interest in the natural sciences. TriBeta offers members many opportunities to enrich their intellectual lives. In addition to activities with the local chapter, district and national conventions offer members a chance to share their interests with students and faculty from universities throughout the nation. 

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.

Kappa Pi
Kappa Pi Honorary Art Fraternity is the Honor Society for visual arts. To be eligible for induction into Kappa Pi, students must complete 12 semester hours of art courses with a 3.0 GPA in those courses on a 4.0 scale.

Phi Alpha Theta
Phi Alpha Theta is an American honor society for undergraduate and graduate students and professors of history. The society has over 350,000 members, with about 9,500 new members joining each year through 860 local chapters. Phi Alpha Theta was established on March 17, 1921 at the University of Arkansas by Professor Nels Cleven. Cleven had become convinced in his time at the university that a fraternity of scholars (which would accept men or women) was important for the study of history. He invited students to a meeting to form the society (then called the “University Historical Society”) on March 14, and the society was officially recognized on the 17th. In April, the decision was made for the society to be known by the Greek letters Phi Alpha Theta.

Phi Epsilon Kappa
The Eta Tau chapter of the Phi Epsilon Kappa was established at Chowan University with a special induction ceremony on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Phi Kappa Epsilon, founded in 1913, is a national professional fraternity for persons engaged in or pursuing careers in physical education, health, recreation, dance, human performance, exercise science, sports medicine and sport management. There are currently 68 active PEK chapters nationwide. At Chowan University, Phi Epsilon Kappa serves as a recognized honor society for Physical Education majors that achieve a 3.25 or better g.p.a. in at least 90 semester hours of course work. It is our intention that membership in Phi Epsilon Kappa will complement the existing SSPE Club and provide incentive for students to excel in both their academic and professional pursuits.

Pi Gamma Mu
Pi Gamma Mu is the oldest honor society in the social sciences. Its mission is to encourage and recognize superior scholarship in social science disciplines and to foster cooperation and social service among its members. Pi Gamma Mu serves the various social science disciplines which seek to understand and explain human behavior and social relationships as well as their related problems and issues. Currently, there are around 150 active chapters in the United States and overseas.

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.

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.

Sigma Zeta
Founded in 1935, Sigma Zeta is open to students who major in any of the Natural Sciences, Computer Science, or Mathematics and have completed at least 25 semester hours, including 15 semester hours in Natural Sciences, Computer Science, or Mathematics. Eligible students must attain at least a 3.0 grade point average in Science and Mathematics.

Theta Alpha Kappa
Theta Alpha Kappa was founded 1976 by the Religious Studies faculty of Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York for the purposes of honoring particularly excellent  students in the fields of theological and/or religious studies. The Society now hosts more than 250 active local chapters across the United States at public and private institutions both large and small. Theta Alpha Kappa is the only national honor society serving the needs of those involved in the study of religion and theology at both the baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate levels of higher education. The Alpha Lambda Eta chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa was chartered at Chowan University on September 20, 2012.

2015 Honor Society Inductees

The Brown Lady Academic Bowl

The 2015 Brown Lady Academic Bowl took place November 9-30. Students from each department participated in a quiz-bowl style tournament, challenging both their knowledge of their major and their broad academic knowledge. This event is sponsored by the Honors College Association and is well-attended by faculty, staff, and students. The Department of History claimed the title in the 2015 Brown Lady Academic Bowl, edging out the Department of Biology in a tight championship game with 6 lead changes. Congratulations to all students, faculty, and staff who participated in this fun event!



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