EARNING AN HONORS LAUREATE DIPLOMA

Students choose between two diplomas. The main elements of each diploma are the same but students can individualize their honors education within those elements.

 

Honors Requirements and Expectations

The Course of Study Planner & GPA

The Course of Study Planner (COSP)

To demonstrate potential to earn an Honors Laureate Diploma, the Honors College expects that students receive approval on their COSP by the end of their first semester in Honors.

 

GPA

To demonstrate that students can meet the level of academic achievement we expect in Honors, students are required to achieve a 3.60 or better cumulative GPA after two traditional semesters in Honors. A 3.6 or better cumulative GPA from the semester at Virginia Tech immediately previous to entering the Honors College may count toward this requirement.

 

GPA Flex Period

Once students accomplish the above goals, they may enter the GPA Flex Period. The GPA Flex Period is a time in which the Honors College no longer monitors GPA. This gives students the freedom to take academic risks that can become some of their most educational experiences.

 

Graduation Requirement

Students in the GPA Flex Period must achieve a cumulative 3.30 or better GPA and complete honors diploma requirements. (Students who never receive COSP approval and never enter the GPA Flex Period are required to maintain a 3.60 cumulative GPA after every semester until the planner is approved or upon graduation.)

 

Honors Diploma Progress

Complete at least thirty honors credits. Elements Two, Three, and Four each require at least six honors credits. Earn honors credit at least once every twelve months and complete the yearly Progress Survey.

 

Grading Scale

Take courses as A–F unless P/F is the only option.

Honors Forms

For students who have brought their cumulative GPA back to 3.60 or better and wish to be reinstated to the Honors College.

HONORS LAUREATE DIPLOMA STRUCTURE

An Honors Laureate Diploma is composed of what we call the Four Elements of an Honors Education. Each Element is connected to specific ways to earn honors credit within that Element. To graduate with an Honors Laureate Diploma, students are required to complete at least 30 total honors credits. Elements Two, Three, and Four each require at least six honors credits.

Using the dropdowns below, explore the ways to earn honors credit available in each of the four elements:

  • + Honors College Curriculum

    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.

     

    > Learn More about Reading Seminars

     

    UH 2604 Introduction to Honors Transdisciplinary Research

    This course is an introduction to transdisciplinary research (TDR) for Honors College students. It will highlight the differences among disciplinary, interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and transdisciplinary research; need and benefits of TDR; history of TDR; characteristics of TDR design; ideal TDR processes and their management; challenges of TDR; and opportunities for TDR in the students’ majors and professions. (3H, 3C).

     

    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.

     

    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).

     

     

  • + Disciplinary Depth

    Plan at least 6 honors credits. Courses must be specifically listed on your primary major checksheet or approved to satisfy major requirements. Courses taken that meet CLE requirements only count if they are offered within your college.

     

    Departmental Honors Course

    The Honors College does not offer these courses, disciplinary departments do. These courses end with an “H” and are found in the course registration system within specific subjects. A departmental honors course is generally much smaller than non-honors sections of the same course and may be taught in unique ways.

     

    Faculty–Student Agreement (Faculty–Student Agreement Form required)

    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.

     

    Independent Study

    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.

     

    Graduate-Level Course

    These courses may count toward both an honors diploma and an accelerated undergraduate/graduate Master’s degree.

     

     

  • + Transdisciplinary Capabilities

    Plan at least 6 honors credits. Courses must not be listed on your major checksheet. Free electives for your primary major are permissible. Secondary major or in-minor courses are permissible.

     

    Departmental Honors Course

    The Honors College does not offer these courses, disciplinary departments do. These courses end with an “H” and are found in the course registration system within specific subjects. A departmental honors course is generally much smaller than non-honors sections of the same course and may be taught in unique ways.

     

    Faculty–Student Agreement (Faculty–Student Agreement Form required)

    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.

     

    Independent Study

    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.

     

    Graduate-Level Course

    These courses may count toward both an honors diploma and an accelerated undergraduate/graduate Master’s degree.

     

     

     

  • + Undergraduate Research & Guided Experiential Learning

    Plan at least six honors credits in this Element.

     

    Undergraduate Research

    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 will perform undergraduate research that will not appear on your VT transcript as “undergraduate research” or will not appear on your transcript at all, please request this credit using the Guided Experiential Learning form.

    Need help getting started in undergraduate research? Visit the Office of Undergraduate Research website.

     

     

    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.

     

    Professional Development (Guided Experiential Learning Form required)

    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. See the Guided Experiential Learning Form for more information.

     

    Study Abroad

    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.

     

    Partners in the Parks (Guided Experiential Learning form required)

    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. See the required Guided Experiential Learning form for more information.

     

     

    Corps of Cadets Leadership Experiences (VTCC Leadership Experiences Form required)

    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.

Two HONORS LAUREATE DIPLOMA options

Students must select one of the two options:

  • + Honors Laureate Diploma

    This diploma option allows students to fully customize how they earn 30 honors credits within the structure above.

  • + Honors Laureate Area-Directed Diploma (Checksheets Enclosed)

    This option is inspired by the Virginia Tech Destination Areas and will offer several different choices that have their own predetermined checksheets. Each checksheet follows the structure above. Students must choose from only one of the available checksheets.

     

    Checksheets:

     

    > Honors Laureate: Neuroscience, Medicine, and Culture

     

Virginia Tech Honors College, MC 0427

116 Hillcrest Hall

385 West Campus Drive

Blacksburg, VA 24061

 

Fax: (540) 231-4522

Phone: (540) 231-4591

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