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NOVA 2010-2011 College Catalog


Honors courses enable qualified, highly motivated students to enrich their study through challenging honors course work. Honors courses differ from regular sections in that your goals and assignments are more centered on your evolving interests. You will be encouraged to think independently and critically, to participate actively in discussions and to learn in collaboration with your fellow students. Honors courses stimulate broader and deeper consideration of the subject matter and encourage the exploration of the interrelationships of ideas across disciplines. Each honors course will have a special transcript identifier. Universities and employers favor students who seek the greater challenge offered through honors courses.

The approach to honors courses may vary from campus to campus. At some campuses, special sections are designated as honors courses. Some campuses offer specified combinations of honors courses scheduled and designed in coordination with one another for the purpose of interdisciplinary study. “Honors options,” in which honors students take part in a regular course section while also completing a special honors component of the course, are also offered. Honors contract courses, in which the student and instructor agree to a particular independent study, are also offered. Honors faculty advisors are available at each campus to aid you with course selection. The Student Services Center can provide you with further information.

Honors Program Admission Requirements
You may enter the Honors program during your first semester at NOVA, or you may enter later. To be considered for admission to the Honors Core Curriculum, you must meet at least one of the following in each category:



Place into Honors ENG 111 via
NOVA English placement test

Place into Honors math via
NOVA math placement test

Document an average score of
>600 on the new SAT Critical Reading and Essay tests, with no score <500.

Document a score of >600
on the new Math SAT exam

Graduate high school in the top
10% of your class

Graduate high school in the
top 10% of your class

Submit recommendations from
two faculty based on English
courses either completed at
NOVA or a previous college or in progress at NOVA

Submit recommendations
from two faculty based on
math or science courses
either completed at NOVA
or a previous college or in
progress at NOVA

Obtain recommendation of an
Honors Coordinator based on
an interview

Obtain recommendation
of an Honors Coordinator
based on an interview

Admission to Individual Honors Courses
Admission to individual honors courses and options requires approval of the division, course instructor, or counselor based on test scores, prior achievement, or faculty recommendation.

Honors Core Curriculum
The Honors Core curriculum provides a comprehensive educational experience for honors students and allows them to interact as a community of learners. You may satisfy the requirements of both the Honors Core and any degree program by enrolling in the honors sections of courses or electives within the degree program requirements. To receive the Honors Core Curriculum designation on your diploma and official transcript, you must be admitted into the Honors Core Curriculum and must complete it with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all honors courses taken, with no grade below a C in any Honors course. Completion of the Honors Core Curriculum will be designated on your transcript and on your diploma. You will also receive the Honors Certificate of Completion. This represents a significant enhancement of your academic credentials.





Humanities/Fine Arts


Social/Behavioral Sciences


Physical and Life Sciences/Mathematics


1 Interdisciplinary Seminar


2 Electives




1To take the Honors Seminar, it is recommended that you have completed a minimum of 3 semester hours in honors English and 3 semester hours of the humanities, social sciences, and math/science honors unit.

2Elective credits may come from any discipline offering an honors course.  It is strongly recommended that an Honors SDV course be one of the electives.