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Honors Courses

  • NOVA students engage in a discussion with their instructor

You are encouraged to apply to the Honors Program in your first semester, but you may apply at any time. Upon submission of an application, you must successfully complete at least three credits of Honors coursework and be registered in additional Honors coursework before being considered for an interview and admission into the Program.

How are Honors courses offered?

Honors courses are offered college-wide but may vary from campus to campus. Typically, Honors courses are offered in one of three ways:

  • Honors sections that are designated as full Honors courses with an average of 16–18 students in a seminar-style setting;
  • Honors Option courses, which are regular course sections where Honors students participate by completing the Research, Enrichment, Academic Rigor and Leadership (REAL) Honors components of the course; and
  • Learning Communities that link two Honors courses for the purpose of interdisciplinary study (ex. PSY 201 + ENG 111) where the same group of students works together with combined course work and a collaborative theme and texts.
  • Honors Courses: special sections are designated as full Honors courses with an average of 16–18 students in a seminar-style setting, restricted to Honors students only.

What are the benefits of Honors Courses?

In addition to smaller class sizes, each Honors course has a special transcript indicator, allowing universities and employers to easily identify students who seek a greater challenge offered through these courses. NOVA Honors students may also benefit from academic scholarships, field trips, campus and community service projects, internships, leadership opportunities, campus and college-wide Honors events, exemplary guest speakers, letters of recommendation and campus Honors clubs.

Who is eligible to take Honors courses?

Students must complete all course prerequisites and meet at least one of the criteria listed below:

  • score at least 1200 out of 1600 on the SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math sections with a score of at least 600 on each section OR
  • demonstrate an ACT Composite Score of at least 25 OR
  • place into Honors English and/or Honors math based on placement test scores as indicated by a Testing Center representative OR
  • document a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 at the last academic institution attended (high school, college, or university) OR
  • achieve a NOVA GPA of at least 3.5 with at least 6 credit hours completed; OR
  • provide a recommendation from the 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.

Once eligible, you are required to get permission to register for an Honors course in-person from either a counselor or the campus Honors Chair. Another option is for you to email the campus Honors Chair by emailing the Honors Course Permission form and noting the course(s) you wish to enroll in. Email addresses can be found on the NOVA website.

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