What is a cohort?
When you join the Honors College (in 2018 and beyond), you will be placed in a small working group for certain first-year activities. This initial cohort exists only in your first year. Later, as you approach your capstone project, you will self-select into a similarly small working cohort formed around that project.

What is a capstone?
Honors College students who join Honors in Fall 2018 and beyond will work in small groups to develop and complete a project that addresses a need you have identified through your community-based experiential learning. Your self-selected working cohort will collaborate to complete a final, required 4-credit capstone project that finds innovative ways to improve a community. Capstones will be presented in a celebratory formal event in the final spring semester.

What is a course of intention?
This term describes selections you make intentionally when choosing upper-level courses for nine required credits after the freshman year. Courses of intention may include Honors topics courses (HONR 398), Honors modules (HONR 399) and other upper-level courses approved by the Honors College. These courses help inform the senior capstone.

How do I earn engagement points?
Engagement points can be earned in the following four areas through a wide variety of activities, some of which are part of your curriculum requirements.

  • Academic Enhancement: The cornerstone of Honors is an appreciation of a multitude of academic disciplines and interests. In order to cultivate and encourage participation across disciplines, students will have opportunities to attend events and experiences that deepen their academic understanding of topics both within and outside of their course of study. Possibilities include Berglund Seminar/Diverse Conversations, the VCU Study Abroad Fair and VCU Common Book events.
  • Community Engagement: Critical to the development of community within the Honors College, these opportunities encourage students to give back to the Honors College and share their Honors experiences with others. Points are earned in this area by HONR 170 participation beyond the classroom, HONR 171 participation, and any volunteer activity tied to an Honors-sponsored community-service event.
  • Leadership and Development: Acknowledging that much work to develop oneself is done outside the classroom setting, leadership and development experiences include career development events, National Scholarship Office information sessions, applying for a national award or service in an on-campus leadership position.
  • Research and Inquiry: Honors students will contribute to the creation and sharing of knowledge through research, performances and presentations. You might participate in the Honors Summer Undergraduate Research Program, give a poetry reading or attend an academic conference.

What should I do if I don’t think I can meet the requirements to graduate with University Honors?
Although we strive to make the Honors curriculum accessible, we realize that on rare occasions, earning University Honors may not be feasible. In these instances, the first step is to meet with an Honors advisor to ensure that all options have been explored, including creative alternatives to earning Honors credit. Once all options have been explored, your Honors advisor may refer you to the Associate Director of Academic Affairs for review. The decision not to pursue University Honors should not be made hastily.