EARNING AN HONORS DIPLOMA
The original six diploma options will be available for students to entered the Honors College prior to Fall 2017. The Honors College asks you to think hard about how you will form your honors diploma with the various ways to earn credit. Seek variety; seek intensity; seek innovation; seek individualized experiences.
Honors Academic Requirements
Students who entered the Honors College prior to Fall 2017 are automatically in the GPA flex period. To graduate in Honors, achieve at least a cumulative 3.30 or better GPA and complete honors diploma requirements.
Honors Diploma Progress
Earn honors credit in two or more of the four categories of honors credit. Earn credit at least once every twelve months and complete the yearly Progress Survey.
You may count up to six credits from any one way to earn honors credit toward your honors diploma. After six credits, any additional credit will no longer count toward your honors diploma.
Take courses as A–F unless P/F is the only option.
For students who have brought their cumulative GPA back to 3.60 or better and wish to be reinstated to the Honors College.
Students who entered the Honors College prior to Fall 2017 will still have the option to work toward one of these six original honors diplomas.
Complete 18 honors credits.
Students are eligible for this diploma only if they transfer from another post-secondary institution; choose the accelerated undergraduate/graduate degree program; or, upon entering the Honors College, have five or fewer semesters until graduation.
Ways to Earn Honors Credit:
*Note: Some ways to earn honors credit do not appear on your Virginia Tech transcript as honors credit-bearing experiences or do not appear on your transcript at all. They are marked with an asterisk on this page. To earn honors credit for these ways, complete and submit a request for honors credit form. The forms are located in the Honors Forms section above.
UH 1604 Honors Undergraduate Research Practices
This course is an introduction to 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).
UH 2124 Honors Reading Seminar
These small, student-facilitated groups of Honors students meet once a week to discuss books of their choice, usually within a single topic or genre, supplemented by additional materials. Students must have sophomore academic standing (thirty academic credit hours or above) to register. Reading Seminar leaders earn two P/F honors credits. Students may participate in up to two Reading Seminars per semester. (1H, 1C). P/F only.
UH 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 processes 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).
Lower-Division Departmental Courses
These courses are taught within other departments on campus, not by the Honors College, and are at the 1xxxH or 2xxxH level (e.g. ENGL 1204H in the English Department). These courses are taught at an enhanced level or in unique ways. You must search for this credit opportunity through all the subjects listed on the Timetable of Classes.
Upper-Division Departmental Courses
These courses are taught within other departments on campus, not by the Honors College, and are at the 3xxxH or 4xxxH level (e.g. MKTG 3104H in the Marketing Department). These courses are taught at an enhanced level or in unique ways. You must search for this credit opportunity through all the subjects listed on the Timetable of Classes.
A 4000-level course outside of your major(s) or minor(s) earns honors credit. The course must be a free elective as reﬂected in a Degree Audit Report (DARS). Courses in any of your department(s), cross-listed courses, or courses counting as technical or restricted electives are ineligible.
UH 4504: Honors Discovery and Innovation Studios
This course will involve discovery and definition of critical, real-world problems within Virginia Tech’s Destination Areas and Strategic Growth Areas. The focus is on transdisciplinary collaboration, design thinking, and experimentation. The course encourages reflective evaluation of individual and collective problem-solving efforts as well as learning to communicate solutions to diverse stakeholders. Students must have junior academic standing (sixty academic credit hours or above) to register. Repeatable for up to twelve credits. (3H, 3C).
These courses may count toward both an honors diploma and an accelerated undergraduate/graduate Master’s degree.
Independent Study or Tutorial
A student designs a syllabus to explore a single topic with guidance from a professor. An independent study may include a regular meeting time and a reading list defined by the professor. Most students sign up for independent study through their college. The Honors College will match independent study credit that appears on your transcript. In accordance with University policy, the Honors College will recognize up to twelve combined honors credits of undergraduate research and independent study.
Undergraduate research is an opportunity to experience classroom concepts applied in a research setting. Most students sign up for undergraduate research through their college. The Honors College will match undergraduate research credit that appears on your transcript.
In accordance with University policy, the Honors College will recognize up to twelve combined honors credits of undergraduate research and independent study. If you perform undergraduate research that does not appear on your VT transcript, you may request that the experience be considered for honors credit using the Guided Experiential Learning form.
Need help getting started in undergraduate research? Visit the Office of Undergraduate Research website.
This agreement is a contract developed between a student and the instructor of a non-honors course stating that if the student goes beyond the established requirements of that course’s syllabus in mutually agreed upon ways, the instructor will award the student honors credit. The Faculty–Student Agreement Form is required for your honors file and includes more information.
This experience must appear on the Virginia Tech transcript. The Honors College will automatically match study abroad academic credit in honors credit when it appears on your transcript with the words “Study Abroad.” Students may count up to three credits per experience unless the transcript says otherwise and up to six credits via this way. If the experience appears on the transcript as something other than “Study Abroad,” please notify the Honors College to request that it be recognized toward your honors diploma. Normally, one fifteen-week semester = three honors credits, and one full academic year = six honors credits.
Professional development experiences must be formalized, like an internship, externship, or co-op. Students may earn up to three honors credits per experience unless the VT transcript says otherwise and up to six honors credits via professional development. The Guided Experiential Learning Form is required for your honors file and includes more information.
UH 3204 Honors Service Learning
This is a two-part course. Part one entails three hours a week working directly with community partners. Part two is a one-hour class used to reflect on the service experience and discuss readings and other course materials that place the experiential learning into a theoretical context. This course is open to all honors students. Repeatable for up to six credits. (1H, 6L, 3C). A–F only.
UH 4XXX Honors Peer Education Practicum
This course supports Honors Peer Educators and is mandatory while they teach UH 2124 Honors Reading Seminar. This course emphasizes discussion-based teaching; active, collaborative learning; and building student communities through development of personal teaching strengths and understanding of honors students’ characteristics and needs. Repeatable for up to six credits. (2H, 2C). P/F only.
*Partners in the Parks
Partners in the Parks is an outdoor experiential learning program that takes students from across the country into national parks for weeklong academic adventures. There are seven–ten projects every year that span the country from coast to coast with dates to fit students’ summer schedules and parks and activities to fit a wide variety of participants. The Guided Experiential Learning Form is required for your honors file and includes more information.
*Corps of Cadets Leadership Experiences
Cadets earn honors credit for Corps-specific leadership experiences. Students may count up to three credits per experience and up to six total credits via this way. The VTCC Leadership Experiences Form is required for your honors file and includes more information.