Skip to main content

Honors and Awards

Graduation With Honors

College of Arts and Sciences requirements

Students must have a 3.3 overall grade point average to begin an honors project and must maintain the 3.3 average through the completion of their senior year.

B.A./B.S. Mathematics additional requirements

A student interested in pursuing a degree with Honors should meet before the senior year with the Departmental Honors Advisor to discuss a plan for fulfilling the requirements for a degree with Honors. The candidate must have a 3.5 grade point average in mathematics courses to begin an honors project and must maintain the 3.5 average through the completion of the senior year.

The candidate will take six advanced courses approved by the Departmental Honors Advisor and will either:

  1. complete and report satisfactorily on an independent Honors project; or
  2. pass an oral examination over five of these courses approved by the Honors advisor.

The Honors project is conducted in association with a Departmental faculty member on a topic approved by the Departmental Honors Advisor, Hans Christianson []); the final report on the project includes both a written description and an oral presentation before a committee of three faculty (including the project advisor). The committee will then report to the Departmental Honors Advisor, who, in conjunction with a subcommittee of the Undergraduate Committee, will make the final recommendation on awarding a degree with Honors or Highest Honors.

Recent Honors Projects

Winners of the Archibald Henderson Medal, The Alfred Brauer Prize, and Major William B. Cain Award


The William Lowell Putnam Competition is held annually on the first Saturday of December with morning and afternoon sessions. The Department provides lunch between sessions. Our students usually score well above the national average, and have finished as high as tenth in the nation.  In the last three years our teams have ranked 13th, 17th, and 13th place.

The Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Contest is offered on the last Saturday morning in October and makes cash awards for the highest scores in the mid-Atlantic region. UNC students have often won these awards.

The Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) is a yearly team competition run by the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications, emphasizing creative solutions to real-world problems. Teams choose from a continuous and a discrete problem and are expected to formulate a solution and write a paper in a few days. Of the solutions judged “Outstanding” in the MCM, two are chosen to receive the SIAM Award (from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics), one for each problem.