No matter their format or discipline, Honors classes all involve close engagement between instructor and students. Honors students are actively involved in the learning process as they develop advanced communication, leadership, and thinking skills.
While our academic program is designed to emphasize our first-year focus on wellness and writing, each semester we offer a variety of classes that are unique to Honors along with Honors sections of existing university courses. Students can also convert a non-Honors section to an Honors course through a contractual arrangement with the instructor, or design an independent study! We have courses for everyone—engineers, artists and students of humanities and social sciences.
Active Honors Courses
See what classes are now open for Honors students!
See previously listed courses for Honors students
The Honors Independent study (HONR 492) provides an opportunity for students to learn more about a specific topic of interest that is not included among existing VCU course offerings. Study is conducted under the guidance of a VCU faculty mentor who assists in planning and implementing the course of study. The independent study topic should be selected in consultation with the student's academic advisor to ensure that the proposed course of study is relevant to that student's educational goals.
HONR Independent Study Steps:
- Consult with your Honors advisor about the process to avoid any complications.
- Identify a topic to explore independently and research faculty members who might be a good fit for your goals.
- You will reach out to the faculty member and request that they serve as your faculty mentor. Remember to use professional etiquette and come prepared to your meeting with your professor. You want to inform them about the process and demonstrate why this opportunity will further your own ambitions and academic goals. Note: The faculty member is under no obligation to agree to serve as your mentor.
- You will want to design your proposal around pursuing your own interest questions. This is a great opportunity to do your own research, so take advantage of it.
- Read through the Independent Study Instruction Guide (rev 2/19), or view the HONR Independent Study audio tutorial.
- Fill out the Honors Independent Study Proposal Form (linked below).
Independent Study Policies and Notes:
- HONR 492 is a one- to four-credit hour option. The credit hours will be determined by the Senior Associate Dean of the Honors College.
- Honors students may accumulate up to nine credit hours of HONR 492 credit.
- The proposal must be approved by the Honors College Senior Associate Dean prior to the first day of classes for the given semester.
The role of the faculty mentor is to guide the student in the study of the topic, meeting with the student to discuss progress, working with the student’s Honors advisor as needed to develop criteria for evaluating the student’s work, and communicating the grade for the course to the Honors Senior Associate Dean.
The faculty mentor must agree to be available to the student throughout the duration of the course.
Independent Study Contract Example:
If you have any questions, please contact Senior Associate Dean in the Honors College Jacqueline Smith-Mason. Ph.D.
The Honors College Internship (HONR 493) offers an opportunity for students to engage in experiential learning. It is designed to provide students with real-world experience in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. The internship is conducted under the guidance of an employer who assists in planning and implementing the internship, along with the approval of the Senior Associate Dean of the Honors College. The internship should be selected in consultation with the student's academic advisor to ensure that the proposed internship is relevant to that student's educational goals.
Pre-Approved internships listed on Handshake
- Start by reviewing the corresponding Handshake instructions on how to find the opportunities online.
- The internship post, description, and application portal can all be found on Handshake.
- Once you have applied and are accepted, contact Senior Associate Dean in the Honors College Jacqueline Smith-Mason, Ph.D. to discuss whether or not to submit the HONR 493 form and apply the internship towards Honors credit.
Pre-Approved Internships do not require a written proposal.
- If you apply and are accepted for an external internship on your own, you may be eligible to apply it towards HONR 493 credit.
- Once you have been accepted for your internship, contact the Coordinator of Academic Affairs, , to discuss the requirements for the written proposal and internship.
- Write your proposal and submit it through the HONR 493 form.
- Fulfill all obligations for your internship as listed in the instruction guide.
Internship Policies and Notes
- The number of internship credit hours for a single HONR 493 course may range from one to three credits. The number of credits is determined by the student’s advisor and the Dean of the Honors College. Any single internship course may not exceed three credit hours.
- Honors students may not register for more than six total credits of HONR 493.
- HONR 493 is a Pass/Fail course and does (will) not count as a Course of Intention.
- HONR 493 is restricted to Junior- and Senior-level status. The Honors College Senior Associate Dean will determine the grade for the course based on the evaluation criteria stated in the internship proposal.
- Review the HONR 493: Internship audio tutorial for a step-by-step guide on the internship application process.
- For pre-approved internships, the HONR 493 Internship Form must be submitted by August 1 for fall term, January 1 for spring term, and May 1 for summer term.
- For external internships, the HONR 493 Internship Form must be submitted along with the corresponding proposal by August 1 for fall term, January 1 for spring term, and May 1 for summer term.
If you are interested in applying for any of these approved internship opportunities, please e-mail the Senior Associate Dean, Jacqueline Smith-Mason, Ph.D.