Departmental Honors Program

SD Departmental Honors Program

The purpose of the honors program is to give students an opportunity to deepen and broaden their knowledge of sustainable development, and to complete an independent scholarly project under the mentorship of a faculty advisor. The departmental honors program may be right for you if:

  • you want to explore the breadth of sustainable development and dive deeper in one focus area,
  • you are interested in pursuing an independent research project that allows you to go into greater depth than the typical term paper,
  • you are considering graduate school and want to try out advanced scholarly work, and
  • you want to have more agency with the direction of your learning.

Below are the basic details on program requirements, eligibility and the admissions process. To learn more, particularly about requirements and the thesis process, view the Sustainable Development Departmental Honors Handbook.


  • Complete 12 hours of honors credit. Three of these credits will be earned by completing SD 4510 (Honors Thesis).
  • Complete an honors thesis under the guidance of an SD faculty advisor.
  • Earn a grade of "B" or higher in all of their honors classes (i.e., not an average grade of "B").
  • Earn a cumulative (average) GPA of at least 3.5 in all SD classes.

Eligibility: Students should typically apply for entry into the department honors program during their sophomore year or early in their junior year. To apply, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 in all coursework and the endorsement of their faculty advisor. 

Admissions Process: Interested students should discuss the honors program with their advisors and, if they decide that the honors program is exciting and appropriate, complete a departmental honors application form online


Previous Honors Students
Access their theses on NC Docks here

  • Devyn Barron (2020). Nuclear Extractivism Among the Diné: Slow Violence, Changing Landscapes and Sovereignty
  • Abbey Huber (2020). "We're All Going To Die": Discourses Of Planetary Crisis And The Formation Of Collective Imaginaries
  • Lauren Burrows (2019). "A Spiritual Heritage": Change And Continuity In Ancestrally Based Authority Over Land In Northern Ghana
  • Alexander Luke (2019). Identification And Design Of Sustainability Improvements To Poultry Production
  • Sarah Barnes (2019). The Separation From Nature: Implications On Human Well-Being And The Future Of Our Planet
  • Chloe Fishman (2019). Climate Art As Disruption: Making Space For Transformation
  • Clare Milburn (2018). "¡La soja mata!": The slow violence of soy in Paraguay
  • Sydney Blume (2018). Creative Resistance And Utopian Subjectivities: Zapatista Autonomy As Discourse, Power, And Practice
  • Natalie Wilmschen (2018). Choreographing Climate Justice: A Phenomenological Study Of Using Dance To Communicate The Human Dimensions Of Climate Change
  • Charlie Mize (2016). Plant Inventory Of Random Sites At The Appalachian State Sustainable Development Teaching And Research Farm Forest