VCU Honors College

For faculty

School/departmental honors programs

School and departmental honors programs provide honors students the opportunity to continue their honors education throughout their undergraduate careers. They also allow honors students to take honors courses in their majors. School and departmental honors programs are administered by coordinators from the schools and departments within which they reside. The programs must maintain standards consistent with those of The Honors College. This ensures that students who are eligible to graduate with honors in a discipline are also eligible to graduate with university honors and provides access for all honor students to those resources available through The Honors College.

Selection of courses within school and departmental honors programs is left to the discretion of each school/department, but each program must include a minimum of 12 course credits. Students successfully completing these requirements will receive recognition of their accomplishments on their transcripts.

Frequently asked questions about the honors programs

How do school and departmental honors programs and The Honors College work together?
In fall 2008, The Honors College implemented a core curriculum. Most students will complete the honors core within their first two years at the university. Their remaining two years should focus on fulfilling honors-level courses in their major to achieve honors in discipline.

Does my department have to create honors in discipline?
Departments have the option of participating. The aim of the school and departmental honors programs is to improve the educational experience of successful students and to provide consistency in the requirements to graduate with honors across the university.

My department does not have enough majors to sustain honors courses. What options are available?
Your department could offer courses that include a breakout session for honor students. The enriched course content is at the discretion of the faculty and often consists of discussions and work based on material covered in the lecture class. Honors students may also use honors contracts to earn honors credit for non-honors classes and may also enroll in an honors independent study course (HONR 492) to earn honors credit for working with a faculty member in their department/school.

Do school and departmental honors requirements have to be approved by the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee?
Yes, requirements must be approved by the UUCC. The Honors College will support departments that seek approval. It is the responsibility of each department to follow the approved curriculum process required by their school or college before submitting a proposal to the UUCC.