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Apply to NOVA Honors

  • NOVA students engage in a discussion with their instructor

You may apply to the Honors Program during your first semester at NOVA, or you may register later. To be admitted into the Honors Program, please submit a completed Honors Program College-Wide Application (Form 125-149) along with the required supporting documents to the campus Honors Chair or Honors Counselor.

Upon receipt of your application materials, the campus Honors Chair or Honors Counselor will review your application and contact you to schedule an interview to determine if the Honors Program is a good choice for you.

Individual Honors Course or Honors Option Course

To be eligible to take an Honors course, you must have completed all prerequisites for that course and meet ONE of the criteria listed below.

  • Document a combined score of at least 1200 out of 1600 on the SAT Critical Reading and Math sections or at least 1800 out of 2400 with a score of at least 600 on each section; OR
  • Place into Honors English and/or Honors math based on placement test scores as indicated by a NOVA Testing Center representative; OR
  • Document a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 at the last academic institution attended; OR
  • Provide recommendations from two instructors, counselors, or advisors based on any course taken at any academic institution attended; OR
  • Provide a recommendation from an Honors Chair, Honors Counselor, or Honors instructor teaching the requested Honors course(s). This recommendation should indicate the student’s life experience, special aptitude, or interest that indicates potential for success in an Honors course.

If you do not meet any of the above requirements, you may be given permission to take an Honors course based on a recommendation by the Honors Chair, Honors Counselor, or instructor teaching the requested Honors course(s). This recommendation may indicate your life experience, special aptitude, or interest that indicates potential for success in this course(s).

Honors Courses

Honors Courses are special sections of NOVA courses that are open to only those students who meet certain criteria (see How to Apply); students do not have to be enrolled in the Honors Program to take an Honors course. Honors courses are identified in the course listings by an “H” after the listing in the printed Schedule of Classes. All Honors courses include each of the following components:

  • Research - in-depth research within the discipline/field
  • Enrichment - variety of learning experiences (not limited to the classroom)
  • Academically Rigorous - in-depth analysis and evaluation of subject material; demonstrated critical thinking skills
  • Leadership - leadership activities in the classroom; leadership opportunities on campus/in the community

Honors courses are characterized by:

  • Smaller class sizes – usually no more than 16 students
  • Student-led discussion in the classroom
  • Seminar style classrooms (when possible)
  • Community of learners with similar academic goals
  • Access to multi-disciplinary approaches to learning

Honors option courses are special sections of standard NOVA courses open to all students. It offers an Honors component to a small number of eligible students to take an Honors course and choose to earn Honors credit for that specific course. All Honors option courses include the same four Honors components as standard Honors courses. Students do not have to be enrolled in the Honors Program to take an Honors option course.

Honors Option Course

To receive Honors credit for a standard course, you must register for a course specifically advertised as an Honors Option. Honors option courses are listed as “Honors Option” in the printed Schedule of Classes or identified in the notes of selected sections of courses in NOVAConnect as “HO.” You may not receive Honors credit for work completed in any course other than those clearly advertised in NOVAConnect or the Schedule of Classes as Honors Option courses. Check with your campus Honors Chair for the most current listing of Honors Option courses offered each semester.

Once the Honors Option course begins, the professor will distribute an Honors Option Agreement to students interested in taking the course for Honors credit. Carefully review the terms of the Honors options portion of the class and then sign the Honors Option Agreement. Keep a copy for your records.

When you successfully complete the Honors Option portion of the course, the professor will forward the completed Honors Option Agreement form, with your final grade, to the Honors Chair. The Honors Chair will assign Honors (“H”) designation on your transcript for that course.

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