Paul Knox, Dean
Tammy Guynn, Honors Operations Manager
Paul Heilker, Faculty Fellow for Curriculum Development
Amy Ingram, Honors Support Specialist
Alyssa Lentz, Honors Assistant
Stephanie Lewis, Honors Postdoctoral Associate
Christina McIntyre, Director of Major Scholarships
Russell Shrader, Director of Honors Admissions
Amber Smith, Director of Honors Teaching and Learning
Sara Vandyke, Director of Honors Academic Processes
The mission of the Honors College is to inspire and facilitate an extraordinary education for students of exceptional motivation and ability who seek to be active learners and who will apply their knowledge and skills to critical real-world problems. To this end, the Honors College provides opportunities and challenges founded on meaningful and sustained relationships with faculty, independent learning, undergraduate research, place-based and problem-focused experiences, and intellectual engagement in global contexts. Honors curricula are designed to maximize the disciplinary depth, transdisciplinary capabilities, and purpose-driven engagement that are the hallmarks of the Virginia Tech undergraduate student experience and the VT-Shaped Student.
The freshman and transfer applications to Virginia Tech automatically include consideration for admission to the Honors College and consideration for any relevant Honors College recruitment scholarships. The Honors College does not consider minimum test scores. We look holistically at an applicant's experiences and consider the quality of engagement over sheer quantity, self-awareness and reflection on involvement, and authenticity. Transfer students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.60 or better at their previous institution. Currently enrolled Virginia Tech students will receive an invitation to apply to the Honors College at the end of each fall or spring semester provided they have achieved a 3.60 or better cumulative GPA and have at least four (4) semesters remaining at Virginia Tech before they graduate.
Virginia Tech Honors College students work toward an Honors Laureate Diploma. This diploma offers two options: the first is self-directed by the student, the second maintains that flexibility, but focuses the honors credit options around a particular curricular area established in advance by the Honors College in collaboration with disciplinary departments.
The Four Elements of an Honors Education are the foundation of an Honors Laureate Diploma. The Elements are Honors College Curriculum, Disciplinary Depth, Transdisciplinary Capabilities, and Undergraduate Research & Guided Experiential Learning. All honors students must earn at least six credits in each of these four Elements. Upon graduation, students are required to complete no less than thirty total credits in the four elements; six of the credits can be of a student's choosing. Visit our website at http://www.honorscollege.vt.edu for more information.
An honors diploma appears on the Virginia Tech diploma as a special designation and is not a separate document.
Course of Study Planner & GPA
Submit a COSP by the end of the first semester for Honors approval and achieve a 3.60 or better cumulative GPA after two traditional semesters in Honors in order to enter the GPA flex period. Failure to submit a COSP requires maintaining a cumulative 3.60 after every semester until the planner is submitted and approved. To graduate in Honors, achieve a cumulative 3.30 or better GPA and complete honors diploma requirements.
Honors Diploma Progress
Complete at least six credits in each of the Four Elements of an Honors Education for a total of at least 30 honors credits. Earn credit at least once every twelve months and complete the yearly Progress Survey.
Take courses as A–F unless P/F is the only option.
A primary function of the Honors College is to support student efforts to individualize their education through a self-designed honors diploma that complements their departmental degree(s). Students can find support in several places: Honors College First-Year Seminars, the Honors Peer Advising Center, and the honors staff.
Honors College First-Year Seminars guide students through the process of planning their honors diploma as part of the required coursework. Students can collaborate with classmates and will receive individualized feedback on multiple drafts of their Honors College Course of Study Planner.
The Honors Peer Advising Center enables honors students to meet individually with trained Honors Peer Advisors to talk through processes and resources to solve Honors-related problems. The Honors Peer Advising Center also offers small-group workshops on topics of broad interest to honors students.
The honors staff also welcomes student appointments and walk-in visits. Each staff member has a distinct specialization with which they can assist students.
Furthermore, advising for major national scholarships, such as Rhodes and Marshall, is available through the Honors College for all Virginia Tech students.
Honors College students have two Honors residential community options: the Hillcrest Community of about 100 students in Hillcrest Hall and the Honors Residential Commons of about 320 students in East Ambler Johnston Hall. Both communities are multigenerational and multidisciplinary, housing first-year students to fifth-year seniors from all seven colleges at Virginia Tech.
Honors students are not required to live in an Honors residential community. Many students live off-campus or in other living-learning communities or residence halls.
There are opportunities for Honors students to become part of one of the Honors communities: Hillcrest Hall and the Honors Residential College (HRC).
The Hillcrest community is home to 101 students and is housed in Hillcrest Hall. The Honors Residential College is located in East Ambler Johnson Hall and is home to approximately 320 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 to be a University Honors student. Many honors students also reside in other Living Learning Communities offered throughout the University.
1004: TOPICS FIRST-YEAR HONORS SEM
A course for first-year University Honors students that is facilitated by students and faculty. Introduces students to the scope, nature, and requirements of University Honors and opportunities as a Virginia Tech student. First-year residents of Hillcrest Community and Honors Residential College required to participate. Optional for first-year non-house students. Fall semester only. Variable course content. May not be repeated. Pass/Fail only. (1H,1C)
1054: HONORS COLLEGE FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR
Introduction to the challenges, expectations, and opportunities in the Virginia Tech Honors College, including the philosophy of the VT-Shaped Student, the mission of the Honors College, creating an honors plan of study, working with student and faculty mentors, reflecting on personal development and wellness, and engaging with others across differences to form communities. Emphasis on personal, university, and local contexts and resources. Recommended for all first-year honors students; mandatory for first-year residents of honors living-learning communities. Pass/Fail Only. Pass/Fail only. (2H,2C)
1504: PGS PSTUDY ABROAD PRE-DEPARTURE SEMINAR
Orientation for Presidential Global Scholars (PGS) participants. Introduction to theories of culture and cross-cultural competence. Survey of Swiss culture, history, and politics. Introduction to PGS faculty and research interests. Identification of research questions and data sources in U.S. contexts. Critical travel and safety information. Pass/Fail Only. Pass/Fail only. (1H,1C)
1604: HONORS UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH PRACTICES
Best practices in undergraduate research for Honors College students, including generating introductory research questions, finding scholarly literature, organizing data, research ethics, collaborative research practices, reflective project management and problem-solving, and oral, written, and visual presentation of research findings. (3H,3C)
1984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.
2004: CAREERS IN MEDICINE
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)
2124: HONORS READING SEMINAR
Reading based sections in which small groups of students practice discussion, debate, and argumentation grounded in a topic or genre of reading of their group's choosing. Sophomore honors standing. Variable course content. Repeatable for up to six credits. Pass/Fail only. (1H,1C)
2504: TOPICS IN DISCOURSE AND GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP
Discovery, analysis, creation, and evaluation of written, spoken, and visual presentation of ideas in cross-cultural contexts. Special attention to the relationship of rhetoric to effective participation in academic, professional, and public/civic problem-solving. Course cannot be repeated for credit. Co: 2524, 2534, 4994, 2554, 2544. (3H,3C)
2524: TOPICS IN NATURAL SCIENCES AND GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP
Study of a specific branch of the natural sciences, especially as it intersects with public/civic controversies and problem-solving. Cross-cultural perspectives on the nature, purposes, and processes of scientific inquiry and knowledge. Course cannot be repeated for credit. Co: 2504, 2534, 4994, 2554, 2544. (3H,3C)
2534: TOPICS IN DESIGN, ARTS, AND GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP
Study and practice in the process, meaning, and value of creative design and the fine and performing arts. Examination of historical context and methods of representation in artifacts and performances. Visual literacy and design thinking as means of exploring, engaging with, and representing cross-cultural experiences and perspectives. Functions of design thinking in everday life. Course cannot be repeated for credit. Co: 2504, 2524, 4994, 2554, 2544. (3H,3C)
2544: TOPICS IN SOCIAL SCIENCE AND GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP
Study of the behavior and actions of individuals, groups, and institutions within larger social, economic, political, and geographic contexts, especially in cross-cultural settings. Special attention to social beliefs and actions as they influence public/civic controversies and problem- solving. Examination of the influence of value and beliefs on human behavior and social relationships. Course cannot be repeated for credit. Co: 2504, 2524, 4994, 2554, 2534. (3H,3C)
2554: TOPICS IN HUMANITIES AND GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP
Analysis and interpretation of texts and other artificats to understand ideas, values, and identities in cross-cultural contexts. Special attention to the functions of narrative and rhetoric in public/civic controversies and problem- solving. Situating local/regional texts and artifacts in global frameworks. Course cannot be repeated for credit. Co: 2504, 2524, 4994, 2544, 2534. (3H,3C)
2604: INTRODUCTION TO HONORS TRANSDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH
Introduction to transdisciplinary research (TDR) for Honors College students, including the differences among disciplinary, interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and transdisciplinary research; need and benefits of TDR; major figures and events in the history of TDR; characteristics of TDR design; ideal TDR prcoesses and their management; challenges of TDR; opportunities for TDR in the students' majors and professions. Students must complete at least 6 credits of study within their major prior to enrollment in UH 2604. (3H,3C)
2804: HONORS PORTFOLIO PRACTICES
Best practices in creating a portfolio, including creating an archive, generating criteria for selection, evaluating artifacts for possible inclusion, arranging artifacts in coherant structures, working productively with feedback, crating targeted deliverables, and reflecting on learning processes. Honors students only. Repeatable for up to two credits. Pass/Fail Only. Pass/Fail only. (1H,1C)
2974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.
2984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.
3004: TOPICS HONORS COLLOQUIA SERIES
Brings Honors students together with distinguished faculty on special topics of mutual interest. Varied, often interdisciplinary topics. Conversational and participatory. Sophomore honors standing. Variable course content. Repeatable for up to six credits. Variable credit course.
3014: TOPICS HONORS STDNT COLLOQUIUM
A course designed to draw together students with a very knowledgeable student facilitator on special topics of mutual interest under the guidance of a faculty co-facilitator. Some topics are broad and interdisciplinary while others explore a single topic in depth. Open to all Honors students. Sophomore Honors standing required. Variable course content. Repeatable for up to six credits. (3H,3C)
3204: HONORS SERVICE LEARNING
A two-part course. Part one: three hours a week working directly with community partners. Part two: a one-hour class to reflect on the service experience and discuss readings and other course materials that place the experiential learning into a theoretical context. Open to all Honors students. Variable course content. Repeatable for up to six credits. (1H,6L,3C)
3954: STUDY ABROAD
Honors Section. Variable credit course.
4004: HONORS TUTORIAL
Small, seminar-style course of one or a few students. Students explore a specific topic that is new to them with a faculty member who provides individual attention and is an expert in that established field. Open to all Honors students. Junior Honors standing. Variable course content. Repeatable for up to six credits. (1H,6L,3C)
4104: HONORS STUDENT TEACH PRACTICUM
For Honors students facilitating Honors courses that encourage and require student facilitation or mentorship responsibilities. Student Teaching Assistants and their sections are overseen by honors faculty or staff. Student Teaching Assistants meet weekly with a member of the honors staff in a class designed to prepare them for the facilitation experience and to monitor their progress. Open to all Honors students, subject to Program approval. Sophomore Honors standing required. Variable course content. Repeatable for up to six credits. Pass/Fail only. (1H,2L,2C)
4504: TOPICS IN HONORS DISCOVERY AND INNOVATION STUDIOS
Discovery and definition of critical, real-world problems. Transdisciplinary collaboration, design thinking, and experimentation. Reflective evaluation of individual and collective problem-solving efforts. Communication of solutions to diverse stakeholders. Pre: Junior Honors. Variable course content. Repeatable for up to 12 credits. (3H,3C)
4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.
4984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.
4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.