Honors Courses

An Honors course is an academic credit hour course with an "Honors" designation. Most Honors courses parallel the Liberal Studies Program curriculum; therefore, they are not additional requirements needed to complete a degree program. Honors credits correspond to the number of hours for the course.

Honors courses differ from regular courses in that they are:

  • Smaller than regular courses (not exceeding 21 students);
  • Taught by specially selected faculty members who have been chosen in consultation with the dean, the director of Honors Advising, and department heads;
  • Discussion-based courses, where lecturing is avoided;
  • Courses designed with challenging, creative assignments that may lead to undergraduate research projects

For an idea of Honors courses offered, view the course offerings file in the Resources section on this page.

Honors Forum

The Honors Forum is a 1 credit hour University Transitions course that is required of ALL NEW Honors College students, and is a graduation requirement for The Honors Degree. The course is a hybrid, meeting for one hour per week during the fall semester in person and having weekly assignments that are online. In the course you will get to know many other Honors College students who you will live, work, and study alongside throughout your time at Western. Further, you will get to know our Honors Faculty and Staff and other important resource staff and faculty at Western Carolina University.

The Honors Forum provides an opportunity for new Honors College students to transition successfully to university life, to become engaged in the Honors College community, and to learn about resources that support The Honors Path: including Study Abroad, Undergraduate Research, Internships and Career Development, Leadership, and Community Service and Engagement.

The course provides the opportunity to participate in an active learning community that spans beyond the classroom and into the campus and community. Students will be involved with various aspects of the community in The Honors College, Western Carolina University, and the wider community. Through The Honors Path, we will help you become not just a successful college student but a successful college graduate! Your Honors Forum instructor is a mentor, a “go-to” person when you have questions, insecurities, indecisions, or other questions or difficulties; likewise, your instructor will work to be sure that you are well informed about opportunities for your own development throughout the course, will encourage you to be involved, and will take pride in your successes.

Students who are recipients of The CLE Honors Scholar scholarship are enrolled in a section of The Honors Forum taught by the Dean of The Honors College. This group of Scholars focuses on college writing, including an additional book assignment, and preparation for highly competitive national and international awards (i.e. Truman, Hertz, Marshall, Goldwater, etc.).  CLE Honors Scholars are required to complete this course in the fall semester; therefore, Scholars who enroll in a Summer Learning Community and take USI 101 in the summer will be required to repeat the course in the fall.

Students who have prior credit for a university transition course (general) as part of a community college or early college enrollment, or students who are transferring into WCU from another college where they took a university transition course or where they earned 30 or more credits at that university, may request permission to substitute The Honors Academy, a special alternative not-for-credit workshop series, in place of the USI 101 course requirement. Students who wish to join The Honors Academy, rather than enrolling in USI 101, must request permission using The Honors College Petition process. Petitions for this purpose can be submitted during the advising period and up until the Drop Date for the fall semester. Talk with your Honors Advisor about the petition process.

Honors students donating food for the Fall 2014 UCM food drive

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