About the Calhoun Discovery Program

Calhoun Discovery Program

This program was made possible by an exceptional gift from David Calhoun ’79, senior managing director for Blackstone and former CEO of Nielsen.

students raising their hands in a classroom on campus


a new way of thinking about college education

about the Calhoun Discovery Program

The Discovery Program combines a structured disciplinary education with an open-ended, collaborative, and transdisciplinary discovery process. There are nine participating degrees in the Discovery Program spanning engineering, science, business, design, arts, humanities, and policy. Students will collaborate with one another across disciplines, as well as work alongside our faculty, industry, and non-profit partners.

Students who complete the Discovery Program will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in one of the participating disciplines and an Honors Diploma in Collaborative Innovation. All participating degrees incorporate the activities of the Discovery Program into their program of study without any added requirements.

Visit the Student Experience page for more details about the Discovery Program’s components and requirements.


If so, the Calhoun Discovery Program is looking for multi-faceted explorers like you.


This program is an innovative platform of collaborative learning that brings different students together to imagine, experiment, and discover.

full tuition scholarship

We know that worrying about finances stifles imagination and innovation. We want any student, regardless of their household income, to participate. By bringing together committed donors, industry, and the university, the Calhoun Discovery Program will support students for all four years of their undergraduate education. Those accepted to the program will be given an annual scholarship of up to $14,000 (in-state) and $32,500 (out-of-state) to fully cover tuition costs. In addition, each student will receive an experiential learning grant of $10,000 to be used throughout the student’s four years in the program.


participating programs of study:

Business Information Technology, Business Management, Computational Modeling and Data Analytics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Industrial Design, Communication, Environmental Policy & Planning, Smart and Sustainable Cities, Creative Technologies

how to apply

To apply, simply check the “Honors College” box on your VT Undergraduate Admissions application. There is no separate application for the Calhoun Discovery Program.



Please contact us to learn more about the program. Call Program Manager Michelle Kovac at 540-231-8211 or email calhoundiscoveryprogram@vt.edu.