With the founding of the College of Arts + Architecture in 2008, an Arts and Architecture Honors Program (AAHP) was established to provide enriched academic and extracurricular experiences for the College’s most exceptional, talented, and self-motivated undergraduate students. The AAHP is one of the first initiatives to formally bring students together from all units of the COA+A in both coursework and additional activities.

The AAHP furthers the CoA+A’s goals of providing creative leadership for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and greater Charlotte communities by encouraging and developing the full potential of its outstanding students. Through the AAHP, these students take an active and engaged role in their own education within an interdisciplinary learning environment built on the shared nature of the built, visual, and performing arts. Within the AAHP, students not only explore connections between thevarious artistic disciplines, but also between the arts and the community.

Upon successful completion of the AAHP’s requirements, students are recognized during the commencement ceremonies as graduating with honors and it is noted on the student’s official academic transcript.


The AAHP requires students take extra classes (many of which also meet general education and/or departmental requirements) and complete an honors thesis in their senior year.

Coursework: To graduate with Honors in Arts and Architecture, students must complete 17 hours of Honors coursework as follows:

  1. AAHP 2600 Arts and Architecture Honors Seminars (2 credits)
  2. Two other University honors courses from the following list (3 credits each):
    1. Honors ENGL 1103
    2. Honors LBST 1101-6 The Arts and Society (Dance, Film, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts, Interdisciplinary Arts), preferably not from the student’s own department
    3. Honors LBST 2102 Global and Intercultural Connections
    4. Honors LBST 2211 Ethical Issues in Personal, Professional & Public Life
    5. Honors LBST 2215 Citizenship
    6. HONR 3700 University Honors Topics
    7. HONR 3702 Seminar in Cultural Values & Social Issues
  3. Two AAHP 3001-6 Honors Seminars (Architecture, Dance, Music, Theatre, Art & Art History, or Interdisciplinary Arts), at least one of which is not from the student’s department (3 credits each); 
  4. AAHP 3900 Honors Thesis (3 credits).

Honors Thesis: As part of the requirements for graduation with Honors in Arts and Architecture, a student must complete an independent thesis project that combines a research agenda with appropriate exploratory practices for their discipline. 

Early in their penultimate semester, students who have completed or who are on track to successfully complete all the curricular requirements for the AAHP will form an Honors Thesis Committee. This Committee should include a primary advisor within the student’s department and at least one faculty member from outside their department. In consultation with their Advisor, each student will prepare a written thesis proposal and submit it to the AAHP Coordinator. All proposals will be forwarded to the University Honors Council for approval. Each student will be notified by the end of their penultimate semester if their project has been approved.

In his/her final semester, each honors student will register for AAHP 3900 Honors Thesis with his/her primary thesis advisor. Students will be responsible for organizing meetings and soliciting feedback from all committee members over the course of the semester. In keeping with the nature of the disciplines of the CoA+A, the final product of these theses may vary to include (but not be limited to) a written document, a performance, a concert, an exhibit, or equivalent form of presentation. In all cases, some written and graphic documentation of the ideas and process involved is required.

Each honors student will also be required to publicly present his/her thesis to share the findings with other students and faculty within the CoA+A as well as with the wider campus and Charlotte communities.

The Honors Thesis Committee will collectively determine the student’s grade at the end of that final semester. A student must receive a grade of “A” on his/her Honors Thesis to graduate with Honors in Arts and Architecture.


Small Class Size: Enrollment in all honors courses is limited to 15 students to promote discussion and interaction between students and faculty, and among the students themselves. Honors courses are open to participants within the various departmental, college, and university level honors programs at UNC Charlotte.

Focused Advising: AAHP students are encouraged to use the AAHP Coordinator as well as the faculty representative to the Arts and Architecture Honors Council from their department as an informal advisor familiar both with the curricular requirements of their major as well as with those of the AAHP.

Honors Housing: As part of the wider honors community at UNC Charlotte, AAHP students are eligible to live in the honors residence hall. Currently the third floor of Witherspoon Hall, one of the finest on campus, is reserved for honors students from across the University. Witherspoon has a computer lab and laundry facilities on the first floor, a kitchen on the second floor, and shared lounge areas on every floor. Students have the option to live in suites with two or four private bedrooms.

Extra-Curricular Activities: Enrichment activities and extra-curricular opportunities, such as special tours field trips, and social events, are organized for AAHP students. AAHP students are also encouraged to bring their own collective enrichment ideas to the AAHP Coordinator who will help to ensure that feasible proposals are successfully developed.