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Honors Credit Opportunities


Honors College students are not required to take any Honors (UH) courses or complete any way to earn honors credit in particular. Honors (UH) courses are optional and are innovative and unique opportunities to earn honors credit if the course topics appeal to you!

Before you explore Honors College (UH) Course opportunities, please review the note from Honors faculty below on the Honors College's philosophy of teaching and learning.

The Virginia Tech Honors College offers you exceptional learning opportunities, extraordinary courses, and experiences that are not available to students outside the college and its partnerships. These opportunities are quite challenging and require that you stretch yourself beyond what is asked of you in high school and many other university settings. As a VT Honors College student, you should be aware of the following Honors College (UH) Course expectations.

We expect the best from ourselves and our colleagues – and that includes you, our students. We invest heavily in and have high standards for our individual and collective work, and we expect you will do the same.

These standards mean you should expect to –

  • Participate as a highly motivated, independent, and reflective learner, who builds collaborative and transdisciplinary skills. You will need to make connections and apply yourself across disparate domains of knowledge and action. This process requires you to play an active role in your learning, work respectfully across disciplines and sectors, and seek connections within and between courses.
  • Push the boundaries of knowledge and engage with new and challenging ideas to drive innovation. This is difficult work and requires more effort than you might initially think. Indeed, it is often more challenging than you may encounter in your major. Full engagement means failure is inevitable at times, as is learning from failure for growth and improvement over time.
  • Engage in constructive feedback or critique with peers and faculty, enabling you to iterate and improve both current projects and future work. We care deeply about you, your ideas, and your work, and we engage accordingly. We express this care and respect through feedback and critique designed to push you beyond your current limitations and encourage improvement through iteration. No matter how strong your work is, continually ask yourself, “What have I not yet considered? How could I improve this?”. Unlike some of your past experiences with feedback, Honors courses often require you to apply feedback to a new version of the same project so that you can improve it over time.
  • Be a strong partner in your education, asking critical, informed, and well-considered questions that will clarify and foster our collective inquiry and innovation. Asking questions about course structures you may not understand, expectations for your performance, and interpretation of feedback is key to success.
  • Value our diversity, our rich differences in disciplinary training, scholarly experiences, and approaches to teaching. As our partners in this transdisciplinary effort, you will need to embrace this diversity as well, moving beyond a desire for single perspectives and simple answers.

While there are many other ways to earn honors credit, this guide reviews the following ways to earn honors course credit:


Honors (UH) Courses focus on critical real-world issues and allow motivated students to embrace hands-on learning across a variety of academic disciplines.⁠

UH 1404: Principles of Collaborative Discovery

This is a required course for all new (fall 2023 or later) Virginia Tech Honors students.

Dr. Lewis
Goodwin 190
CRN 20597
Tuesday (in-person) 5:00 - 6:15, Thursday (group assignments) 5:00 - 6:15

Class meets in person on Tuesdays; group assignments during Thursday class time. Do NOT enroll in another course or schedule any meetings during our Thursday class time.

Dr. Lewis
Goodwin 190
CRN 20598
Tuesday (group assigments) 5:00 - 6:15, Thursday (in-person) 5:00 - 6:15

Class meets in person on Thursdays; group assignments during Tuesday class time. Do NOT enroll in another course or schedule any meetings during our Thursday class time.

UH 1604: Introduction to Honors Quantitative and Qualitative Research Practices

Dr. Velez
Tuesday (in-person) 3:30 - 4:45, Thursday (asychronous online)
Squires 134
CRN 20341

Are you interested in engaging in research as an undergraduate, either independently or as part of a faculty project? Do you think you might be interested in a job as a researcher or in going to grad school?  Take UH 1604 to learn about critical practices in undergraduate quantitative and qualitative research including generating focused research questions, finding scholarly literature, organizing data, conducting ethical research, collaborative research practices, and identifying venues to present research findings. UH 1604 Research Practices focuses on critical practices in undergraduate quantitative and qualitative research, providing an introduction to best practices for application or as an entry-point to the series of research courses. Learn about other Honors students who have engaged in undergraduate research, and start making connections with faculty and peers that might lead to research opportunities in the future!

UH 3204: Honors Service-Learning

Sustainability Living Laboratory
Dr. Budowle
Tuesdays, 3:30 - 6:20
Hillcrest 143
CRN 21522

By using the Virginia Tech campus and surrounding community as a “living laboratory,” students will learn about sustainability (i.e., climate action, energy, buildings, waste, food, and more) while contributing to meaningful change. Course activities include peer-facilitated discussion; reflection around change-making; field trips; and most centrally, a hands-on, team-based, semester-long project. The project-based approach supports students as professionals-in-training, partnering with campus and community mentors to complete real-world sustainability projects of clearly defined need for a deeply engaged approach to service. Students will leave this course with a framework for addressing pressing sustainability challenges in their own lives.

UH 3504: Honors Transdisciplinary Seminar

Cities and Design
Dr. Knox
Tuesday/Thursday, 12:30 - 1:45

Squires 134
CRN 21429

Cities have the capacity to foster economic, social, political, cultural and artistic innovation, and some cities have made distinctive contributions. This workshop will examine a variety of topics that may include, for example: Paris, Capital of Modernity,  The Cultural Economy, Design, and Consumption; Designscapes and City Branding; Museumization; Starchitecture; Fashion and Design Capitals: Milan, Paris, London, New York.

UH 4504: Honors Discovery and Innovation Studio

“No Blue, No Green": Real World Energy Projects

Prof. Ruiz-Geli
Tuesday/Thursday - 2:00 - 3:15

Hillcrest 143

CRN 21428

The Anthropocene Era is here, right now, showcasing the dark side of our CO2 footprint.  Students in this studio will choose a scenario among 13 options, including the Mediterranean’s overfishing, the Arctic’s melting, Amazonia’s Deforestation, Galapagos Islands' invasive tourism, the Congo’s loss of biodiversity, and Beijing’s air pollution.  The scenarios will be developed and presented using performance, video, policy, models, plans and sections, drawings, literature, music, engineering, and scientific formulas.  In addition, this course features close collaboration between the Honors College and the Piaggio Fast Forward robotics company.  Students will engage, research, design, and challenge Fast Forward with new solutions and applications for their technology as incorporated in their scenarios.  NO Blue - NO Green will enable students to propose conceptual solutions, scenarios, and  speculations for real global warming sites.

Watch the video below to learn how to find Honors courses in the VT course registration system. 

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Dr. Velez, Dr. Lewis, Prof. Williams, Dr. Hall
Squires 134, Honors College Studios

Honors-UAP SuperStudio asks you to work across disciplines and outside your comfort zones to form interest and problem areas, manage teams, and set the scope and goals of projects related to climate and community. In doing so, you will further develop synthesis, collaboration, and communication skills to help you explore your interests, develop portfolio or resume artifacts, and help you land a job. One former student noted: “I talked so much about my SuperStudio project in my interview that I can safely say it helped me land the job. My experience wouldn’t be the same without you!”

If you are interested, please join Honors SuperStudio this spring, now with the theme Climate & Community forming the basis for our shared problem exploration! SuperStudio comprises two co-requisite courses that meet Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and Wednesday mornings, for four credit hours that count for eight honors credits. All four course sections will meet at the same time and place to facilitate collaboration within and across the classes. We hope to see you there!

If you have questions, please contact Dr. Anne-Lise Velez at

Students will enroll in one of the following:

Dr. Velez

Tuesday/Thursday 2:00 - 3:15
CRN 20375

How do cultural conceptions of rights, public opinions, and environmental policy relate to each other and shape land use patterns? If this sounds interesting, sign up for the collaborative four-credit Honors-UAP SuperStudio [CRN 20375 UH 4504 + UH 4514]. In it, you will start synthesizing policy issues and theories for non-experts as you work in a multidisciplinary team to identify a climate-related topic on which to focus your semester project. At the end of the semester you will have a great project for your portfolio and great experience communicating to different audiences!

Prof. Williams

Tuesday/Thursday 2:00 - 3:15
CRN 20376

What is the future of learning and education? How will education evolve to include climate literacy? If you want to engage in this learning environment, join the collaborative four-credit Honors-UAP SuperStudio UH 4504, 3 credits and UH 4514, 1 credit (both required). In this course, you will examine learning in educational environments (Higher Education, and more). Students will synthesize educational best practices, theories, and issues in groups. By the end of the semester, you will work with a variety of students from multiple majors, analyze climate-related topics through critical reflection, and create a project for your portfolio or resume.

Dr. Lewis

Tuesday/Thursday 2:00 - 3:15
CRN 20377

How do we know if the social change we asked for is actually happening? Follow the numbers! Sign up for the collaborative four-credit Honors-UAP SuperStudio [CRN 20377 UH 4504 + UH 4514] to explore how various forms of data allow us to predict the future of climate and community. In this course, you will learn how to find and synthesize data, trends, and information from multiple sources to determine to what degree, if any, policy changes approach the intended goal. By the end of the semester, you will have practiced developing an evidence-based strategy to address a climate or community-related issue that you can add to your professional portfolio.

Dr. Hall

Tuesday/Thursday 2:00 - 3:15
CRN 20268

How has the rise of inequality, environmental crises, and social discontent reshaped economic thinking? If you want to explore how new economic thinking could transform our national and local economies, please join the collaborative four-credit Honors-UAP SuperStudio [UAP 4914 + UH 4514]. In this course, you will examine how emerging economic ideas such as Community Wealth Building, Degrowth, Doughnut Economics, and Inclusive Capitalism hold the potential to radically rethink the structure and purpose of the economy from the ground up. By the end of the semester, you will develop a climate-related project with an interdisciplinary team of students that allows you to translate your new economic understandings into an impactful portfolio product.

SPIA majors only. Students from other majors should contact Dr. Nikki Lewis if they are interested in enrolling.

Students will ALSO enroll in:

Dr. Lewis
Wednesday 11:15 - 12:05
Squires 134
CRN 20378

Instruction team: Hall, Lewis, Velez, Williams

In this course, you will further develop the teamwork, collaboration, synthesis, and communication skills that will help you land a job.  By the end of the semester, you will work with a variety of students from multiple majors, analyze climate and community-related topics through critical reflection, and create a project for your portfolio or resume.


If you have a particularly busy semester planned — or are new to the Honors College — UH 2124: Honors Reading Seminars offer an enjoyable, low-pressure way to earn honors credit. We have several offered throughout the week focused on a variety of fun and interesting topics to explore!

Honors Reading Seminars are small, discussion-based classes in which students read about and explore topics of interest; practice critical reading, thinking, and communication skills; and build community with other Honors students. Reading seminars are taught by the Honors Peer Educator who proposes the seminar topic. Classes meet for 50 minutes, once a week, and earn participants 1 Honors credit. Grading is Pass/Fail only.

Reading seminar topics will be announced later in the semester once the Peer Educator application process is complete.

Questions? Please reach out to Dr. Paul Heilker.


Departmental Honors Courses are offered through Virginia Tech's many different academic departments. These courses end with an “H” and are found in the course registration system within specific subjects (for example, MATH 2114H is an honors section of "Introduction to Linear Algebra".) A Departmental Honors Course is generally much smaller than non-honors sections of the same course and may be taught in unique ways.

CHEM 3616H: Honors Physical Chemistry
ENGL 3684H: Literature and the Law
ENGL 3734H: Community Writing
ENGL 3744H: Writing Cntr Theory & Practice
HNFE 2014H: Nutrition Across the Life Span
HNFE 2014H: Nutrition Across the Life Span
ISC 1106H: Integrated Science I
ISC 1106H: Integrated Science I
ISC 2106H: Integrated Science II
ISC 2106H: Integrated Science II
MATH 2114H: Introduction to Linear Algebra
MATH 2204H: Intro Multivariable Calculus
MATH 2214H: Intro Diff Equations
MATH 2406H: Math in Computational Context
MATH 2406H: Math in Computational Context
MKTG 3104H: Marketing Management
MUS 3164H: History of Electronic Music

Watch the video below to learn how to find Departmental Honors Courses in the VT course registration system. 

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Looking for a way to earn honors credit that doesn’t mean adding courses to your schedule? Consider completing a Faculty-Student Agreement (FSA)  for a course you’re already taking! Review the FSA Guide here.

An FSA Form is required by the end of the third week of a fall or spring term in order to pursue an FSA. Find the form and more information about this process in the FSA assignments in the Canvas Honors Credit Tracker. 

Have questions about honors credit or need help planning your Honors Laureate Diploma?

Set up an appointment with the Honors Peer Advising Center (HPAC)!

Learn more about Honors academic requirements and all of the ways to earn Honors credit here.