Dr. Bradley R. Newcomer, Dean
Dr. Philip L. Frana, Associate Dean
Phone: (540) 568-6953
Location: Hillcrest House
The Honors College seeks to meet the educational needs of talented, highly motivated students by offering increased opportunities for an enriched and challenging curriculum. It is administered by the deans of the Honors College and the Honors Faculty Fellows. Under the guidance of recognized teacher-scholars, this program offers students the opportunity to cultivate the habits of critical thinking, independent analysis and creative expression through classes and independent study. The program offers a setting in which students who share a similar enthusiasm for learning are brought together in intellectual fellowship and provides public recognition for superior academic achievement. The college consists of various modes of study.
Track One Honors Scholars
High-achieving high school seniors apply to enter the Honors College as Track One Honors Scholars. Track One Honors Scholars complete a total of 27 hours in honors, including six credit hours of honors courses in General Education , nine credit hours of electives in courses designated “Honors” or honors options, six credit hours in cross disciplinary honors seminars or colloquia and six credit hours of independent study, consisting of the senior honors project or honors capstone.
Track One Honors Scholars are expected to maintain at least a 3.25 grade point average. Designation as an honors scholar will appear on the student’s transcript and diploma after completing the requirements. If the student completes an honors senior capstone within their major field, the designation of graduation with distinction in the major field will also appear on the students transcript and diploma.
Track Two Honors Scholars
The Track Two Honors Scholars Program is open to first- and second-year students with at least a 3.50 grade point average. Students must also submit an application to the Honors College office. Once admitted into Track Two, students are expected to maintain at least a 3.25 grade point average. Students who complete the course requirements will graduate as Honors Scholars with recognition on the students’ transcript and diploma. If the student completes an honors senior capstone within their major field, the designation of graduation with distinction in the major field will also appear on the students transcript and diploma. Candidates for Track Two Honors complete at least 24 credit hours in honors, including a six-credit hour senior honors project or honors capstone, six credit hours in honors seminars and twelve credit hours of electives in honors courses.
Track One and Track Two Scholars Areas of Emphasis
Track One and Track Two Honors students may choose to fulfill their seminar requirements by selecting and completing a series of courses associated with an Area of Emphasis.
There are five emphasis themes offered:
- Global studies
Fulfillment of area of emphasis requirements involves the completion of three consecutive courses. Completion of the Area of Emphasis will appear as a special designation on the transcript.
Introductory courses are taken in the fall semester of the sophomore year. There is one introductory course offered for each Area of Emphasis. The primary goal of these courses is to introduce students to key skills associated with the area each serves while establishing a cohort of students with similar interests.
Experiential courses are taken in the spring semester of the sophomore year. Experiential courses come in two varieties: deepening and broadening. Deepening courses are restricted to students of one particular emphasis area and are intended to provide a more in-depth exploration of the skills/concepts introduced in the first seminar course. Broadening courses are open to students of more than one emphasis area. To maintain continuity throughout each area, students within an emphasis cohort will participate in meetings facilitated by the emphasis coordinator to discuss and reflect back on connections between their first and second semester experiences.
Practicum courses are taken in the fall semester of the junior year. These courses will be student driven and will hopefully manifest as an extension of the second semester experiences.
Track Three Honors Project
Students in their junior year who are not already in the Honors College but have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 are eligible to apply to enter the Honors College to pursue independent research leading to the completion of a six-credit honors project in their major field during their senior year. Students must submit an application to the Honors College office. Once admitted into Track Three, students are expected to maintain at least a 3.25 grade point average and complete their project with a passing grade. A degree with distinction in the major field is awarded to students completing this project while maintaining the required grade point average. Upon approval of the major academic unit and the Honors College, graduation with distinction in the major will appear on the students’ transcript and diploma.