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Calhoun Discovery Program

Calhoun Discovery Program

This program was made possible by an exceptional gift from David Calhoun ’79, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Boeing Company / Distinguished Visiting Lecturer.

students raising their hands in a classroom on campus


A New Way of Thinking About College Education

About the Calhoun Discovery Program

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

Students who complete the CDP 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 CDP into their program of study without any added requirements.

The First Phase of Calhoun Discovery Program

In its first phase, the Calhoun Discovery Program will engage a total of 200 students within the Honors College. After four years of learning the process of discovery, innovation, and problem-solving, students will be prepared to face the real world. Under this new learning platform, students will graduate from Virginia Tech with the skills and knowledge needed to lead collaborative  sociotechnical innovation and live out our motto Ut Prosim, “That I May Serve.” 

Visit the Student Experience page for more details about the CDP programs 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, Industrial and Systems Engineering

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


Thanassis Rikakis working with students

Partnering with the best

We couldn't do what we do without the academic, industry, and non-profit partners who support us.

Professor speaks to students in class

Broadened impact

Current Virginia Tech students who are not in the Calhoun Discovery Program have the opportunity to learn alongside students from diverse disciplines through our new STUDIO+ COURSES, beginning Spring 2020.