Honors Program

The Honors Program is for Southern Virginia University students who love learning, academic excellence, and service to others. Completing the program’s requirements results in the distinction of “University Honors” being placed on the student’s transcript after all university graduation requirements have been met.

The Honors Program takes inspiration from the Lord’s counsel in the Doctrine and Covenants to “study and learn, and become acquainted with all good books, and with languages, tongues, and people” (90:15) and to “seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith” (88:118; 109:7). 
Honors courses aim to broaden and deepen the student’s understanding of what is good, true, and beautiful in nature, society, and humanity’s relation to God. Class sessions normally are discussions in which all are expected to be prepared and to participate.
In addition to fulfilling academic requirements, honors students are encouraged to serve as teaching assistants, research assistants, and tutors to their peers. The honors program director helps them find these positions.
Director: Dr. John M. Armstrong
Requirements (11–21 credit hours):
  1. Complete at least six honors focus courses (HNR 219R). These courses expose students to great works in the humanities, sciences, and fine and performing arts that students are unlikely to encounter in the Southern Virginia Core. Honors focus courses are open to all Southern Virginia students. Honors students are encouraged to average one honors focus course per semester during their first three years. 3 credit hours.
  2. Complete a course in calculus (MAT 241, 242, 341, or 344) according to placement by the mathematics program coordinator or demonstrate intermediate ability in a second language by completing a fourth-semester foreign language course such as FRE 202, GRK 202, LAT 202, or SPN 202 or by passing an examination. 3–12 credit hours.
  3. Complete at least one honors seminar (HNR 395R). An honors seminar is an interdisciplinary course led by one or more faculty members. Honors students usually take an honors seminar in their junior year. 3 credit hours.
  4. Complete an honors thesis (HNR 498). An honors student researches and writes the honors thesis in the senior year under faculty supervision as an independent study or in an HNR 498 section that is cross-listed with another senior paper course, although an honors thesis is more in-depth and usually longer than a senior paper. The thesis proposal must be approved by the honors program director and the supervising faculty member prior to the semester in which HNR 498 is to be taken. If the student needs additional research time, HNR 497 may be taken before HNR 498. 2–3 credit hours.
  5. Earn a grade of at least a B in all HNR courses to be counted toward University Honors.
  6. Earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30 at the time of graduation.