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University Honors Program

Dr. Charles J. Dudley, Director
Barbara S. Cowles, Associate Director
George Simmons, Pre-Med Advisor
Russell B. Shrader, Assistant Director
Michelle Wooddell, Office Manager
Tammy Jo Craft, Secretary
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 3.50 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 degrees.

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.

    Upper division honors students also are eligible for these options, as well as, honors undergraduate research, honors tutorials, honors agreements, graduate courses.

Honors Degree

    An honors degree is a designation to the undergraduate degree. One University Honors degree would not suffice at a University such as Virginia Tech. We have created five Honors options for the students eligible for Honors. They are of increasing difficulty in requirements. Students must declare which degree they seek at the beginning of the second year, and while they can change, most do not.

Degree Description
Commonwealth Scholar Considered to be a viable degree option for transfer students entering University Honors late in their college career and having earned 60 credit hours.
Scholar in Health Studies Created for students desiring to enter a career in a health related field or seeking admission into a professional medical school; gained in connection with the minor in Medicine and Society.
Honors Scholar Designed for students majoring in a field that generally leads directly to the career field following graduation (i.e. Education, Tourism & Hospitality Management, Forestry).
In Honors For students desiring to enter graduate school or professional school immediately following graduation and interested in undergraduate research.
Honors Baccalaureate The most rigorous degree available to University Honors students. Designed to prepare students for graduate or professional school immediately following graduation.
Combined Bachelors/Masters For talented students wishing to move directly to graduate work in their chosen field at Virginia Tech.

Throughout the course of an Honors student’s career there are several benchmarks for obtaining the various degrees. Following the freshman year, students declare their degree intention. Declaring candidacy occurs in the junior year. As a senior, University Honors students order their honors degrees.

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 degree.

    Additional Honors Advisors in each major department work specifically with University Honors students. These 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.

    Advising for professional programs in medicine and dentistry is available through University Honors. Interested students must complete requirements of that program. See the following link: http://www.univhonors.vt.edu/premed/

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Virginia Tech 2006-2007 Undergraduate Course Catalog and Academic Policies