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2012-2013 Undergraduate Course Catalog & Academic Policies

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University Honors Program

Terry Papillon, Director
Christina McIntyre, Associate Director
Russell B. Shrader, Assistant Director
Michael J. Stacy Blackwell, Assistant Director
Tammy Jo Guynn, Fiscal Office Manager
Amy Ingram, Administrative Assistant
Dan Thorp, Hillcrest Preceptor
Robert Stephens, Honors residential college, Principal
Heather Gumbert, Honors residential college, Associate Principal
Charles J. Dudley, Director Emeritus

For further information: 540-231-4591
Link: www.univhonors.vt.edu


University Honors Program

    In keeping with the university's commitment to provide educational opportunities consistent with the ability of the individual student, Virginia Tech invites a select group of students to enroll in Honors. University Honors provides a combination of special sections of regular courses, honors seminars and colloquia, tutorials, independent study, and undergraduate research. Honors courses enable students of superior academic talent to be challenged to their full intellectual capacity. The honors faculty includes Alumni Distinguished Professors, University Distinguished Professors, and members of the university's Academy of Teaching Excellence. University Honors represents a combination of study within departments and course work cutting across departmental lines. The program is designed both to broaden and deepen the student's intellectual life.


    Incoming freshmen are invited to apply for University Honors on the basis of their standardized test scores and high school records. Transfer students and continuing Virginia Tech students who achieve a GPA of 3.60 or greater are invited to apply. Students remain in the program on the basis of their continued high academic performance and the pursuit of one of five honors diplomas.

Course Selection

    Course selection is not necessarily tied to the student's major field of study.

    Lower division honors students may participate in honors reading groups, honors colloquia and honors sections of regular courses. Normally, honors sections of regular academic courses are offered in biology, political science, history, economics, chemistry, English, mathematics, and psychology. Occasionally, honors sections are offered in other subject areas as well.

Honors Diplomas

    An honors diploma is a designation to the undergraduate diploma. One University Honors diploma would not suffice at a University such as Virginia Tech. We have created five Honors options for the students eligible for Honors.

Degree Description
Commonwealth Scholar Considered to be a viable diploma option for transfer students entering University Honors late in their college career.
Scholar in Health Studies Created for students desiring to enter a career in a health related field gained in connection with the minor in Medicine and Society.
Honors Scholar The baseline diploma for Honors students who do not complete an Honors thesis.
In Honors For students desiring to enter graduate school or professional school immediately following graduation and are interested in undergraduate research. Thesis required.
Honors Baccalaureate The most rigorous diploma available to University Honors students. Designed to prepare students for graduate or professional school immediately following graduation. Thesis required.

Throughout the course of an Honors student’s career there are several benchmarks for obtaining the various diplomas. Following the freshman year, students declare their diploma intention. Progress towards the diploma is reported annually. As a senior, University Honors students order their honors diplomas.

Graduation Requirements

  • University Honors students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or higher.
  • University Honors students must meet all the requirements determined by the department of one major and college conferring the degree.
  • University Honors students must complete all expectations for one University Honors degree.

Honors Advising

    Each University Honors student is assigned a staff member in the Honors office for Honors advising once he/she has declared candidacy for a University Honors diploma.

    Additionally, departmental Honors Advisors work specifically with University Honors students. These departmental Honors Advisors act as an extension of the University Honors office to help students with exceptional advanced opportunities within their chosen field of study.

    Advising for major national scholarships like Rhodes, Marshall, and Fulbright Scholarships are available through University Honors for all Virginia Tech students.

Honors Communities

    There are opportunities for Honors students to become part of one of the Honors communities: Hillcrest hall and the Honors residential college.

    The Hillcrest community is home to 109 students and is housed in Hillcrest Hall. The Honors residential college is located in Ambler Johnson Hall and is home to 317 students along with Faculty Principals in residence. Both communities are composed of students from all majors and levels, freshmen through seniors.

    While students are encouraged to apply for the communities, Honors residence is not a requirement. Many Honors students also participate in Living Learning Communities offered throughout the University.

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

    This class is designed to help students thinking of a career in healthcare investigate some of the many professional tracts and careers available. Representatives from some of the professional schools and professionals will present different career paths that are available to students interested in health care. The class will also cover some of the issues in biomedical ethics, health policy, how to prepare for admission test (such as MCAT, DAT, etc.), how to finance professional school, and the "nuts and bolts" of the application process. (1H,1C)

    Variable credit course.

    Variable credit course.

    Variable credit course.

    Topics vary by semester, check Honors webpage for current and upcoming offerings. (2H,3C)

    Honors Section Variable credit course.

    Variable credit course.

    Variable credit course.

    Variable credit course.

    Variable credit course.

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Virginia Tech 2012-2013 Undergraduate Course Catalog and Academic Policies