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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.

Prof. Jones
Goodwin 190
CRN 90296
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 (5:00 - 6:15).

Prof. Henshaw
Goodwin 190
CRN 90297
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 Tuesday class time (5:00 - 6:15).

UH 2604: Intermediate Honors Quantitative and Qualitative Research Practices

Dr. Lewis
Tuesday (in-person) 3:30 - 4:45, Thursday (asychronous online)
Squires 134
CRN 90310
Dr. Lewis
Tuesday (asychronous online) 3:30 - 4:45, Thursday (in-person)
Squires 134
CRN 90657

Understanding what research is and how to identify it opens the door for making connections between different fields. Emerging areas of research often fit at the intersection of multiple fields and require understanding of practices in more than one discipline. In this course, you will survey critical practices in quantitative and qualitative research designed to tackle complex problems, including approaches to identifying stakeholders for a research study, collaborating across disciplines, proposing approaches to address informed research questions, managing research teams, and using posters to present proposed research studies. This is the second in the four-course research practices series.

UH 3204: Honors Service-Learning

Sustainability Living Laboratory
Dr. Budowle

Wednesdays, 4:00 - 6:50
Hillcrest 143
CRN 90317

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

America's Lost Buildings
Dr. Knox
Tuesday/Thursday, 12:30 - 1:45

Squires 134
CRN 90318

This course will uncover the history of American cities through a mixture of "lost" buildings of different kinds and from different periods - each one illuminating a different dimension of urban history. We can learn a lot from the life and death of these buildings. They reflected the imperatives of economic, social, cultural and political forces at particular times and stages of America’s development. The circumstances of their demise are particularly instructive, often reflecting the "creative destruction" of disinvestment from obsolescent buildings, freeing up land and capital for new and more profitable investments. And more often than not the obsolescence is not physical but technological, economic, social, or political. This covers a broad range of circumstances, including disruptive technologies, structural economic change, disruptive policies, legal constraints, and the way that different districts slide in or out of fashion through changes in housing markets.

UH 3504: Honors Transdisciplinary Seminar

Creativity as a Transdiscipline

Dr. Heilker

Monday/Wednesday, 12:30 - 1:45

Hillcrest 143
CRN 90654

Creativity – creative thinking and the processes that support such thinking – is critical to innovation in every field of endeavor. But contrary to popular belief, creativity is not something we are born with nor a gift that only some people possess. Rather, creativity is a worldview and set of accompanying practices, a discipline that anyone can acquire and employ.  This course will explore human creativity from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, including evolutionary theory, genetics, human development, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, sociology, urban studies, organizational settings, education, and aesthetics.  Students will also research the nature of creativity in their disciplinary majors or expected workplaces.  Finally, students will examine their own processes and practices of doing creative work.

UH 4504: Honors Discovery and Innovation Studio

No Blue, No Green
Prof. Ruiz-Geli


CRN 90652

The Anthropocene Era is here, right now, showcasing the dark side of our CO2 footprint. Students will become activists by addressing and focusing research on the scenario of Venice, Italy.  The challenges in Venice are an increase in water pollution, loss of biodiversity, impact of tourism, and risk of rapid urbanization, and these actions together threaten the ecosystem of the Italian Laguna and the fragile wetlands.  Students will engage with smart materials from leading industries like Vector Foiltec, USM, Iguzzini and Piaggio Fast Forward to develop new solutions, disruptive innovations, and new applications to be incorporated in Venice scenario.  Students will present their research creatively using performance, video, models, plans and sections, sketches, literature, music, data from the lab, advance engineering, and scientific formulas.  NO Blue - NO Green Studio will enable students to work together as a team from multiple disciplines, focus on one shared goal, speculate about alternative futures, and fight global warming.

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

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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 our environment, broadly conceived. 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, now with the fall theme Making our Environment 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. 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 90653

How do cultural conceptions of rights, public opinions, and environmental policy relate to each other and shape land use patterns and cultural patterns of interaction? If this sounds interesting, sign up for the collaborative four-credit Honors-UAP SuperStudio [CRN & UH 4504 + UH 4514]. In it, you will start synthesizing policy issues and relevant sociocultural changes 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 at least one great project for your portfolio and great experience communicating to different audiences.

Prof. Ruiz-Geli and Prof. Jones
Tuesday/Thursday 2:00 - 3:15
CRN 90651

A pioneering course in disruptive innovation, co-created by a seasoned industrial designer and an innovative architect, is dedicated to bridging diverse disciplines, from graphic design to fashion, and from stage design to landscape architecture. If this sounds interesting, sign up for the collaborative four-credit Honors-UAP SuperStudio [CRN & UH 4504 + UH 4514]. Rooted in a rich blend of practical experience and theoretical exploration, it places a strong emphasis on sustainability and ethical design practices. The course celebrates the transformative power of design to catalyze change, encouraging students to transcend traditional boundaries and embark on a journey of discovery and creativity. This prepares students to make a significant impact as future professionals.

Dr. Budowle
Tuesday/Thursday 2:00 - 3:15
CRN 90650

How do we approach complex environmental, social, and economic challenges at multiple scales—globally, at the community-level, and in our own professional and personal lives? If this sounds interesting, sign up for the collaborative four-credit Honors-UAP SuperStudio [CRN & UH 4504 + UH 4514]. Students will articulate and critically reflect on their own assumptions, values, worldviews, and hopes for just and sustainable futures. We will then explore foundational concepts in sustainability and environmental justice through the lens of a cultural anthropologist who uses community-based participatory and transdisciplinary approaches.

Students will ALSO enroll in:

Dr. Velez
Wednesday 11:15 - 12:05
Squires 134
CRN 90660

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.

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 1055H: Honors General Chem for Majors - CRN 82844
CHEM 1056H: Honors General Chem for Majors- CRN 82851
HNFE 2014H: Nutrition Across the Life Span - CRN 86300
MATH 2114H: Introduction to Linear Algebra - CRN 87157
MATH 2204H: Intro Multivariable Calculus - CRN 87183
MATH 2214H: Intro Diff Equations - CRN 87200
MATH 2405H: Math in Computational Context - CRN 87201         

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.