Participating in Honors Studies

Pair of Honors Students at the PTK Induction Ceremony

Honors Courses & Contracts

One important component of the Honors program is Honors Coursework.  These Honors courses are opportunities for students to engage in meaningful research that informs their academic interests and to grow as both a student and scholar.

Students who complete 12 hours of honors credit, graduate as Honors Program Graduates.  Students who complete less than 12 hours of credit, graduate as Honors Program Participants.

Each semester, Honors students complete one Honors designated course or one Honors contracted course.

Honors Designated Courses

These are courses specifically designated as an "Honors course."  Each semester, the Honors program offers specific Honors courses in disciplines such as English, Government, Philosophy, Humanities, and History.

Honors Contract Courses

Students who are not taking an Honors-designated course will complete an "Honors contract" in one course of their choosing.  These contracted courses are opportunities for students to investigate interesting and relevant projects on topics developed in conjunction with NCTC faculty. At the end of the semester, all Honors students share their projects as part of the Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Honors Studies Partnered with Care Highway

Honors Events

Throughout the academic year, Honors students have many opportunities to attend cultural, academic, and enrichment events. Honors students are encouraged to attend at least 2 events each semester. Below are some of the events we have held or attended in the past.

Monthly lunches at local restaurants with guests from Texas Woman's University, the University of North Texas, Texas Tech, Care Highway International, Be the Match, and the NCTC Foundation Office.

Cultural and academic excursions to the Dallas Museum of Art, Sixth Floor Museum, State Fair of Texas, Denton Community Theater, the University of North Texas Opera, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, local movie theaters, the University of Texas in Austin, and the State Capitol for Community College Day.

Faculty Lecture Events on topics such as the influence of modern art in Star Wars, nutrition and space exploration, the history of Halloween, and vampire mythology.

Student presentation for the Undergraduate Research Symposium

Undergraduate Research Symposium

At the end of every semester, Honors students share their research over a specific topic as part of the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Students present their posters to other students, faculty and staff.

The symposium is open to all students on any campus conducting research in any discipline.

Why Students Participate: Academic research is a social activity that should be shared with others. The symposium offers a great opportunity for students to share their research and to develop important skills such as oral communication and presentation abilities.

Honors students include their participation in the Undergraduate Research Symposium on their resumes, as well as when applying for scholarships and transfer applications. Cash prizes are awarded each semester for the best research and best poster on each campus.

How to Participate: If you are interested, visit Jill Swarner in 502B on the Gainesville campus or by email at about joining the Honors Program or presenting your research.

Leadership and Service

Honors students are required to complete a minimum of 5 hours of service each semester.  Often times, students are already doing some service but we encourage Honors students to use this opportunity as a way to meet professionals in their fields and make connections in the community. 

In the past, students have held Breast Cancer Awareness campaigns, raised funds for non-profit organizations such as Care Highway and the Community for Permanent Supported Housing, and volunteered at shelters and foodbanks.  Students can also volunteer in leadership roles in PTK or the Honors program.

Honors students can also combine their service with causes that they are already connected to and passionate about.  Likewise, we encourage students to find a way to connect their service to their Honors contract work (Honors students have written reports and offered freelance writing for nonprofits as part of their Honors contract and community service).

Go out into your community and do good work!  Get creative!  Meet new friends!  Make a difference in your community!