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Honors Course Opportunities Guide


HONORS COURSE 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. These opportunities are quite challenging and require you stretch yourself beyond what is asked of you in high school and 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 collective work, and we expect you will do the same.
  • We will push the boundaries of knowledge and engage with new and challenging ideas in order to drive innovation. This is difficult work and requires more effort than you might initially think, and often more challenging work than you may encounter in your major.
  • An honors education will require you to be a highly motivated, independent, and reflective learner, someone capable of making connections and applying yourself across disparate domains of knowledge and action. This process is individualized and requires you to play an active role in your learning.
  • We care deeply about you, your ideas, and your work, and we engage accordingly. This care and respect is often expressed 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 this be improved?”.  
  • We expect that you will be strong partners in your education, asking critical, informed, and well-considered questions that will clarify and foster our collective inquiry and innovation.
  • We value our diversity, our rich differences in disciplinary training, scholarly experiences, and approaches to teaching. As our partners in this transdisciplinary enterprise, you will do well 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

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 1604: Introduction to Honors Research Practices

Dr. Velez and Dr. Lewis
Tuesdays 3:30 - 4:45, Thursdays (out-of-class work), 3:30 – 4:45 PM
Squires 134
CRN 20255

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 3614: Data Collection and Analysis for Honors Research

Dr. Lewis and Dr. Velez
Tuesday (out-of-class work), Thursday (in-person), 3:30 – 4:45 PM
Squires 134

CRN 20297

More and more, we are asked to critically evaluate and understand complex data and statistics. But what do all of those numbers really mean? How do we distinguish between information that is enlightening and information that is misleading? In UH 3614 you will learn how to work with multiple types of data, collect and manage data, evaluate the work of others, and communicate evidence-based conclusions to general audiences. After taking this course, you will have a data visualization sample for your professional portfolio and be prepared to work with and talk about data in an area that interests you.

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

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DEPARTMENTAL HONORS COURSES

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

ECON 2026H: Honors Principles of Economics

ENGE 2524H: Exploring Service Learning Through STEM/STEAM Educational Outreach

ENGL 3684H: Literature and the Law

ENGL 3734H: Community Writing

ENG L3744H: Writing Cntr Theory & Practice

HNFE 2014H: Nutrition Across the Life Span

ISC 1106H: Intregrated Science I

ISC 2106H: Intregrated Science II

MATH 2114H: Introduction to Linear Algebra

MATH 2204H: Intro Multivariable Calculus

MATH 2214H: Intro Diff Equations

MATH 2406H: Math in Computational Context

MKTG 3104H: Marketing Management

MUS 3614H: History of Electronic Music

MUS 4014H: Topics Adv Electroacoustic Res

 

 

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

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HONORS READING SEMINARS

If you have a particularly busy semester planned — or are new to the Honors College — UH 2124: Honors Reading Seminars count in Element One: Honors Core and 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.

HONORS SUPERSTUDIO

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

Do you want to explore complex problems, ask questions in new ways, and come up with approaches to problems that are not possible using information from a single discipline? a single disciplinary lens? Are you interested in the opportunity to work with and learn from multiple faculty in one course? Are you interested in relationships between climate change and community equity issues? Between community and sustainability? Between policy decisions and future economies?

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. We hope to see you there!

The Honors College SuperStudio provides students with instruction and practice in the transdisciplinary and massively-collaborative skills they will need to employ as professionals and citizens to address critical 21st century issues. All four course sections will meet at the same time and place to facilitate collaboration within and across the classes.



If you have questions, please contact Dr. Anne-Lise Velez at aknox@vt.edu.

Students will enroll in one of the following:

 
Dr. Velez
Squires 134
TR 2:00 - 3:15
CRN 20310

How do culture, public opinions, and environmental policy relate to each other? 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 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!


Dr. Underwood & Prof. Williams

Squires 134
TR 2:00 - 3:15

CRN 20309



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
Squires 134

TR 2:00 - 3:15
CRN 20308

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 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-related issue that you can add to your professional portfolio.

Dr. Hall

Squires 134
TR 2:00 - 3:15


CRN 20184



What is the future of work? Robots, artificial intelligence, blockchains, the Internet of Things, quantum computing, and driverless cars are no longer futuristic visions. They are with us today and are already reshaping every sector of the global economy, raising fundamental questions about how humans will live and work. If you want to explore employment in a sustainable future, please join the collaborative four-credit Honors-UAP Superstudio [CRN & UAP 4914 + UH 4514]. In this course, you will learn how different forms of employment are being reshaped/replaced by technology and what this means for society and your future careers. 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 strengths/competencies into an impactful portfolio product.

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

All students will ALSO enroll in UH4514: Honors SuperStudio, a required corequisite.

Instruction team: Hall, Lewis, Underwood, Velez, Williams

Squires 134
Wednesday, 11:15 AM – 12:05 PM
CRN 20311

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. 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!”

FACULTY-STUDENT AGREEMENT (FSA)

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. (Review more information about the Credit Tracker below.) 

CANVAS HONORS CREDIT TRACKER

The Credit Tracker serves as the platform through which you will consistently request all of your honors credit once you have completed it. As a result, it is where you can keep track of how many and what type of honors credit you currently have. All Honors students have been given access to the Credit Tracker in Canvas.

Review the Canvas Honors Credit Tracker Guide


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.