Frequently Asked Questions

About

The mission of the Virginia Tech Honors College is to inspire and facilitate an extraordinary undergraduate education for students of exceptional motivation with a variety of life experiences. Honors students seek to be active learners and strive to apply their knowledge and skills to tackling critical real-world problems. To this end, the Honors College provides opportunities and presents challenges that foster meaningful and sustained relationships with faculty, independent learning, undergraduate research engagement, place-based and problem-focused experiences, and intellectual engagement in global contexts. Our academic and professional requirements maximize the disciplinary depth, transdisciplinary capabilities, inclusive perspectives, and purpose-driven engagement that are the hallmarks of the VT-Shaped student experience.

  1. An inclusive and active intellectual community
  2. Access to opportunities unique to the Honors College: experiential learning grants; courses focused on transdisciplinary collaboration, design thinking, and experimentation; and access to a world-class education abroad experience: Presidential Global Scholars
  3. Distinctive professional development programming
  4. Support from highly-trained honors students in the Honors Peer Advising Center (HPAC)
  5. Multigenerational and multidisciplinary honors residential communities, the Hillcrest Honors Community and Honors Residential Commons (HRC)
  6. Encouragement and training to pursue undergraduate research and independent study
  7. To break away from the check-list mindset and be inspired to individualize your education
  8. To build meaningful and sustained collegial relationships with the faculty that most inspire you both inside and outside of the classroom
  9. To get involved: train to be a Peer Advisor in the Honors Peer Advising Center, become a Peer Educator of an Honors course, or serve on the Honors Student Council to collaborate with the Dean of the Honors College
  10. To make an impact in your communities at Virginia Tech and beyond

Our academic position within Virginia Tech makes us unique in that we do not have a required curriculum. Instead, we offer many different ways a student can earn honors credit toward the completion of an honors diploma. Our honors diploma options provide an opportunity for a student to fully customize their honors experience based on their own goals for enriching and enhancing their Virginia Tech degree regardless of their major.

While the Honors College does partner with top-ranked faculty to offer exciting interdisciplinary collaboration courses and honors-specific sections of departmental courses, our goal is not to prescribe or replace the excellent offerings within major programs or general education at Virginia Tech. Instead, we support students in their efforts to explore within and beyond their major through undergraduate research, independent study, education abroad, and other opportunities that cannot be found in a traditional classroom.

Virginia Tech Honors College students work toward an Honors Laureate Diploma. Students have the option to select a focus area for their Honors Laureate diploma as inspired by the Virginia Tech Destination Areas. This is an additional opportunity to individualize and enhance an Honors Laureate diploma and is not a requirement.

The Four Elements of an Honors Education are the foundation of an Honors Laureate Diploma. The Elements are Honors College Curriculum, Disciplinary Depth, Transdisciplinary Capabilities, and Undergraduate Research & Guided Experiential Learning. There are particular ways to earn honors credit within each of the Elements. Students must complete at least thirty honors credits. Elements Two, Three, and Four each require at least six honors credits. Please see the Earning an Honors Laureate Diploma page for more information.

An honors diploma appears on the Virginia Tech diploma as “Honors Laureate” and is not a separate document.

There are several honors academic requirements and expectations. Please see the Earning an Honors Laureate Diploma page for more information.

Admission

As an incoming first-year student or transfer student:
A first-year or transfer student applicant to Virginia Tech will indicate on their Virginia Tech Undergraduate Admissions application if they wish to be considered for admission to the Honors College. The Honors College will consider an applicant for any relevant Honors College recruitment scholarships on the basis of the Virginia Tech application. There is no separate deadline to be considered for the Honors College. Students transferring from another post-secondary institution must have a cumulative GPA of 3.60 or better to be eligible.

As a current Virginia Tech student:
A current Virginia Tech student may apply to the Honors College at the end of every fall and spring semester provided they have a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or better. The application is available on our website.

First-year and transfer students admitted to Virginia Tech who meet the criteria for admission to the Honors College will receive a separate Honors College decision notification soon after the Virginia Tech admissions decision.

Current Virginia Tech students accepted into the Honors College will receive their decision via regular mail within several weeks after the submission of their application.

Yes. A current Virginia Tech student may apply to the Honors College at the end of every fall and spring semester provided they have a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or better. The application is available on our website.

Curriculum

No, but planning early on how you will earn the thirty required honors credits for the Honors Laureate Diploma is still very important. There are many ways to earn honors credit other than a traditional honors course. The Honors College asks students to earn honors credit at least once every twelve months.

While traditional undergraduate course sections can be large lecture courses, honors course sections, known as departmental honors courses, tend to be small and taught in unique ways. This not only allows honors students to take a more active role in the learning process, but also provides students with the opportunity to build meaningful and professional relationships with the top-ranked faculty members who teach honors courses.

Honors Housing

There are two honors housing options, the Hillcrest Honors Community and the Honors Residential Commons. Honors houses are multidisciplinary and multigenerational, housing freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. An honors house is an academically passionate community where students live together, take classes together, and work closely with each other. These peer relationships last a lifetime. Upperclassmen are available to answer questions, give advice, listen to concerns, and direct others to faculty and classes that will enhance their experience at Virginia Tech. Faculty members are available for connections to the academic and professional community.

No. We love when Honors students get more involved through our honors houses, but you are not required to live in a certain residence to be an Honors student.

Scholarships

The Virginia Tech Honors College offers recruitment scholarships to select incoming first-year students and other opportunities to receive merit-based scholarships at several points in a student’s academic career. See the Scholarship Opportunities page of this website for more detail.