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Developmental Studies & Honors

Learning at Your Level

NOVA wants to assure you have a successful college experience and reach your goals. Whether you need to prepare for college-level coursework through developmental studies or you’re a high achiever looking for added enrichment through Honors classes, NOVA has opportunities for you.


Developmental Studies

NOVA has redesigned English and mathematics coursework to meet you where you are academically—from basic skills in English and math to developmental English and math. Placement testing will help determine if you need basic skills or developmental classes in these disciplines. To see courses that are exempt from the English placement test requirement, visit Placement Testing. In the online and print Schedule of Classes, look for Basic Skills English and Math designated with the prefix BSK. Developmental English classes, also known as English Fundamentals, carry the prefix ENF. Developmental Math, with the course prefix MTT, allows you to concentrate on strengthening areas of weakness in the subject. You will complete MTT courses through online learning under the close guidance and support of an instructor and tutors.


Honors Program and Honors Classes

NOVA offers an entire Honors Program as well as individual Honors classes and Honors options in regular classes for highly motivated students who seek a challenging academic experience. You can even apply for an Honors scholarship!

Honors Program

NOVA’s Honors Program is distinguished by its Honors Core Curriculum, comprised of a set of general education courses applicable to most degree programs. When you successfully complete the Honors Core Curriculum and your degree requirements, you will receive a designation on your diploma and official transcript.

Honors Classes and Honors Options

Not interested in the full Honors Program, but still looking for some academic challenge? You may be eligible to take one or more Honors classes with the approval of the campus Honors chair or Honors counselor based on your prior achievements or faculty recommendations. Honors classes are identified by an “H” after the course listings in the print schedule.

When you take an Honors class, you will enjoy these benefits:

  • Smaller class sizes, usually no more than 16 students;

  • Student-led discussions;

  • Seminar-style classrooms, when possible;

  • Collaboration with a community of learners with similar academic goals; and

  • Access to multi-disciplinary approaches to learning.

You can also pursue an Honors option. These are regular course sections in which you complete a special Honors component of the course. You will receive an Honors designation for that course upon successful completion of the component.

Honors Admission Information

To learn about Honors Program admission requirements, Honors classes, and Honors option courses, visit the Honors website. It will answer many of your questions and provide links to forms you will need to complete.

You can also contact the Counseling Office on the campus you attend or one of the following Honors chairs:

Are you ready to MASTER MATH?

Motivating Academic Success through Effective Redesign presents individualized instruction with supervised practice in a computer lab: a winning combination to help you quickly complete your developmental mathematics.

MTT allows you to:

  • Complete your required units as quickly as you are able
  • Test out of material you already know
  • Repeat only the units at which you were
  • previously unsuccessful
  • Receive personalized instruction in the
  • classroom and lab
  • Achieve the greatest success in your credit-level courses through mastery-based learning 
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