701 West Grace Street
P.O. Box 843010
Richmond Virginia 23284-3010
Fax: (804) 827-1669
Anne L. Chandler
The Honors College at Virginia Commonwealth University was established to meet the needs of academically talented undergraduate students through a challenging and exciting academic program. The Honors College offers students the opportunity to exchange ideas, ask questions and explore values with fellow honors students and faculty who have been selected carefully for their scholarship and teaching excellence. The Honors College offers opportunities for students to expand their creative and intellectual horizons, and to benefit from small classes in which there is greater interaction between students and faculty, and among students.
The center of activities for The Honors College is located at 701 W. Grace St., a living/learning, residential honors community. In this facility, students have meeting rooms, quiet study rooms, computers and recreational areas. The Honors Center is open day and night for study.
Academic advisers at VCU help students in The Honors College select classes that will fulfill the requirements for graduation and match students’ interests. In addition, honors students are eligible to take courses designated as “honors.” Some classes are specialized courses for The Honors College. Other honors courses are special sections of regular courses open only to honors students. Class size is limited to 20 students to maximize opportunities for interaction with the instructor and fellow students. All honors courses are noted on the student’s official transcript.
To graduate with the distinction of University Honors, entering freshmen must complete the honors core curriculum (18 credit hours) and an additional six credits of elective honors courses, maintain a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA and present a dossier documenting how he or she has become a well-educated individual. The honors core curriculum comprises six courses: HONR 200, ENGL 295, PHYS 215, PHIL 230, MATH 230 and POLI/INTL 365. Continuing and transfer students entering The Honors College with 12-53 credits (freshmen and sophomores) must complete the following courses: PHYS 215, PHIL 230, MATH 230 and POLI/INTL 365 (honors section) and take 12 additional hours in honors to meet the requirements for graduation with University Honors. Transfer students entering with 54-74 credits from their transfer institution must complete 12 credits in honors course work in order to graduate with University Honors. The dossier will be presented to the dean and the Honors Council in the penultimate semester of the student’s academic work. Details, including deadlines and tips on writing the dossier essay, are available on The Honors College website at www.honors.vcu.edu.
The GPA minimums and the 24 credits (or 12 credits, as applicable) are nonnegotiable. The central objective of The Honors College is that the students demonstrate good scholarship and sound learning in the best of the university’s tradition.
The Honors College sponsors a variety of intellectual, cultural and social activities as important supplements to classroom study. Among these are:
The Honors Idea Exchange – an approved student campus organization composed of Honors College students. The Idea Exchange decides each year on its projects and activities. In the past these have included picnics and potluck suppers on the social side, tutoring children and adults and environmental clean-ups on the projects side. The main activity, however, is what the name implies: exchanging ideas.
The Berglund Seminars – weekly discussions on topics pertinent to the wide-ranging interests of honors students. Discussions are led by outstanding guest speakers from the university faculty and administration, and from many different fields in the community.
Outstanding Lecturer Series – world-renowned scholars are brought to VCU to lecture on topics of interest and concern to Honors College students. Students have the opportunity to meet informally with the speakers.
The Honors College is committed to enriching the students’ academic and personal endeavors. Since participants in The Honors College are serious students, special privileges beyond the vast resources available to all VCU students are provided. Some of these privileges include: