Graduation Process

The process for graduating with honors varies slightly by program with respect to classes and requirements. However, in every honors program there is some form of honors capstone project that students are required to complete to demonstrate the experience and knowledge they have gained during their collegiate career. These capstone projects involve extensive individual research, writing, and oral presentation. For many honors students, these capstones allow them to conduct an in-depth exploration of a topic they are passionate about and help prepare them for graduate school or the professional world. After completing their capstone, students are awarded honors distinction upon graduation, noted on the student's transcript. For the University Honors Program, this means graduating with University Honors. For all other programs, it means graduating with honors in the student's major or college. Some students in University Honors complete the honors capstone in their major and graduate with dual honors.

UNC Charlotte Graduation

Application to Candidacy

ALL honors students wishing to graduate with honors must complete the two-part process for the Honors Application to Candidacy.  **DegreeWorks will be updated once you complete the SECOND part of the Application to Candidacy Process.**

When should I start the honors capstone process?

Most honors programs require either a one or two semester progression of courses for their capstone; therefore, students should reference their program's website or ask their program director for more information. We encourage students to begin thinking about possible topics as well as possible faculty members who could advise on the topic as early as your sophomore year.


The Application to Candidacy process is usually initiated by the student (although in some cases the honors directors prefer to submit on the students behalf) and then is signed-off/approved by the following:

  • Thesis Advisor
  • First Reader
  • Second Reader (if applicable)
  • Honors Program Director(s)

STEPS FOR PART ONE (Deadline: Reading Day, semester BEFORE graduation)

  1. Complete form via DocuSign found here (see instructions below if needed)
  2. Upload your thesis/project proposal via DocuSign
    • Save the document as follows: Student Last Name, First Name - Honors Proposal
  3. Upload your layperson summary for your project via DocuSign
    • Save the document as follows:  Student Last Name, First Name - Layperson Summary  

STEPS FOR PART TWO (Deadline: Reading Day, semester OF graduation)

  1. Complete form via DocuSign found here (see instructions below if needed)
  2. Upload your completed thesis/project for your project via DocuSign
    • Save the document as follows:  Student Last Name, First Name - Thesis FINAL
  3. Upload an abstract for your project via DocuSign
    • Save the document as follows:  Student Last Name, First Name - Abstract  

Students are responsible for ensuring all documents are submitted successfully and on time. 

DEADLINES to declare candidacy for graduation

All forms must be COMPLETE with appropriate faculty signatures and submitted to the Honors College, following the specific instructions listed above, by the deadlines listed below.

PAGE 1 of Application to Candidacy form (including proposal & layperson summary

 Reading Day of the semester BEFORE graduating (i.e., SPRING/FALL prior to graduating)

PAGE 2 of Application to Candidacy form (including abstract & FINAL thesis/project for graduation)

Reading Day of the ACTUAL semester you are graduating (i.e., SPRING/FALL)


PLEASE NOTE: While these are the general deadlines to submit these forms, some honors programs may have earlier deadlines. We recommend you verify your program’s deadlines with your honors program advisor.


Other Helpful Documents:



We celebrate our students in many ways! All honors students receive a certificate denoting graduation with honors, in addition to recognition in the commencement program. All honors students also have the option to purchase a graduation stole from Shannon Zurell-Carey, the Honors College Office Administrator, to wear during commencement (please contact her directly). Additionally, some honors programs bestow medallions upon their graduates.