http://www.odu.edu/honors

David Metzger, Dean

The Honors College offers a four-year program where select incoming freshmen, current sophomores, and transfer students may enjoy low-enrollment general education courses designed exclusively for them. Throughout their Honors College experience, students are encouraged to participate in undergraduate research and community engagement starting in their first year with their honors general education courses.  In their sophomore year, Honors College students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned through research apprenticeships and by developing a one-credit civic learning project in consultation with the Dean of the Honors College. Contract courses are available for Honors College students to deepen their knowledge of course material for courses on the 300/400 level that are three credits or more. In their senior year, Honors College students participate in a three-credit senior honors colloquium, departmental capstone course, or honors thesis, which provides them with the opportunity to hone their research skills and assess their academic strengths in preparation for graduate school, international scholarship opportunities, and future employment.  Honors advising sessions encourage students to personalize and co-design their honors experience at Old Dominion through internships and a wide variety of co-curricular activities. Throughout their time in the Honors College, students will create and maintain an E-Portfolio, which will be showcased in their senior year prior to graduation.

The online application for admission into the Honors College is available on the Honors College website: http://www.odu.edu/honors/about/apply.  All students must submit a minimum of one letter of recommendation attesting to the applicant's scholastic ability from an instructor; however, students may submit more letters of recommendation and a portfolio of previous work for a stronger application.  Letters and portfolios may be submitted to honorscollege@odu.edu.

Being an Honors College graduate is a prestigious accomplishment, one that is viewed favorably by graduate schools and potential employers everywhere. Additional benefits include:

  • Honors College students can apply to live in Honors Housing. Applications for Honors Housing must be made directly to the Office of Housing and Residence Life. The Office of Housing and Residence Life prioritizes requests based on the date BOTH the application and housing deposit are received. 
  • Honors College students have the ability to schedule an appointment with the Dean of the Honors College for personalized letters of recommendation.
  • Honors College students enjoy faculty privileges at the library.
  • All Honors College students may register for classes on the first day of the registration period.
  • Honors College students can apply for travel grants to offset the costs of travel to a national or international conference at which they are presenting.
  • Honors College students may apply for up to $500 to offset the costs of equipment and supplies for the completion of research related to a research apprenticeship, honors contract course, or a senior honors thesis/project.
  • Upon completion of the requirements of the Honors College, students are awarded a certificate, a medal, and a silver tassel.

Competition for acceptance into the Honors College is keen. The criteria used to select the limited number of first-year students admitted annually include high school grade point average and curriculum, Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, letters of recommendation, and a written personal statement.

The minimum admission requirements for continuing and transfer students are as follows: a 3.8 college grade point average, the ability to complete at least 48 additional credit hours at Old Dominion University, and letters of recommendation from college faculty members. Honors College students must maintain at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average.

Honors College Requirements

Honors General Education and Honors Contract Course Requirements
Four honors courses *
Capstone Requirement (select one in addition to the ePortfolio**):
Senior Honors Colloquium
Capstone Course (Colloquium, Thesis, or Departmental Capstone Course)
Senior Honors Thesis
Experiential Learning Component (select one in addition to HNRS 387):
Honors Civic Learning Project
Honors College options for: Study Abroad, Teacher Preparation, Practicum, or Internship may be developed to fulfill the experiential learning component requirements.
Undergraduate Research: Complete two of the following
Approved Undergraduate Research Course
Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship
Out of Class Educational Poster or Oral Presentation
Successful application for and completion of an Undergraduate Research Grant Project
Publication of an article in a research journal
Monarch Think Tank I
Monarch Think Tank II
Honors Independent Study
Honors Independent Study
Campus Events ***
*

Either honors general education or honors contract.

**

An ePortfolio is a digital collection of student work developed across varied contexts (classes, internships, social activities, etc.) over time.  As students progress through a course of study at ODU, an ePortfolio can serve as a repository for their work.  As a result, when the need arises for students to reflect on and display their experiences, they may draw on the archived material, crafting a showcase portfolio for potential employers and faculty writing recommendations. Due to its digital nature, an ePortfolio allows students to create and share multi-media elements, such as videos, audio files, animation, and so forth.  Honors College students will create and maintain an ePortfolio showcasing work in and out of class while in the Honors College, which will be reviewed each semester. The Honors College provides workshops, as well as individualized support to assist students in the development of the ePortfolio.

***

Honors College students are required to attend one campus event per semester for up to 8 semesters.

Undergraduate Research Program. Under the leadership of the Honors College, the undergraduate research program  includes an annual symposium, the undergraduate research courses, a recognition program for faculty mentors and student researchers, as well as a robust grant program.  The Undergraduate Research Program promotes, supports, and funds the involvement of undergraduate students in the active research community at Old Dominion University.  It provides undergraduates with hands-on experience working with faculty on a wide variety of research projects. Faculty mentors help students to acquire research skills early in their undergraduate careers. Later in their academic careers, students use and develop these skills through research-oriented course work, collaborative and faculty-sponsored research, and their own independent research projects, which can be potentially funded through Old Dominion’s Undergraduate Research and Creativity Grant Program. The Undergraduate Research Symposium and Undergraduate Research Journal provide students with the opportunity to present and publish their work under the supervision of the University’s distinguished faculty. Additional information regarding undergraduate research opportunities is available on the Undergraduate Research Program’s website: http://www.odu.edu/research/student/undergradresearch.

Contract Honors Courses

Students with a grade point average of at least 3.25 may transform any upper-division course into an Honors course on an individual basis. With the advice and consent of the instructor, students take one or more courses that can be converted into Honors. No grade below B is accepted for Honors designation. In addition, contract honors courses may be used to meet requirements for departmental honors. Interested students should contact the Honors College for additional information.

For additional information about the Honors College, visit the web site at http://www.odu.edu/honors or contact:

David Metzger
Dean of The Honors College
Student Success Center
Old Dominion University
Norfolk VA 23529-0076
(757) 683-4865

HONORS Courses

HNRS 100. Honors General Education Abroad (Humanities). 3 Credits.

Taught in an international setting, special honors sections of general education courses meeting one of the following lower-division general education requirements: oral communication, information literacy, language and culture, literature, human creativity, human behavior, interpreting the past, the impact of technology, or philosophy and ethics. Prerequisites: A passing score on the Writing Sample Placement Test and permission of the instructor.

HNRS 101. Honors General Education Abroad (Sciences). 3-4 Credits.

Taught in an international setting, special honors sections of general education courses meeting one of the following lower-division general education requirements: mathematical skills, information literacy, the nature of science, and the impact of technology. Prerequisite: A passing score on the Writing Sample Placement Test.

HNRS 200. Peer Education and Leadership. 3 Credits.

This course prepares students for work as peer mentors and tutors. Students will develop skills in information literacy and research as they learn how to create and implement individualized student success/academic plans for themselves and others.

HNRS 201. Monarch Think Tank I. 3 Credits.

The Monarch Think Tank draws students from all disciplines to collaborate with each other, faculty and community members as they design project-based solutions to pertinent social issues. Think Tank topics vary each year. Guided by distinguished faculty, students analyze their topic through in-depth classroom and field research, readings and off-campus trips.

HNRS 226. Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship. 1-3 Credits.

The Research Apprenticeship offers students the opportunity to develop and acquire skills in research and information literacy through active involvement in ongoing research programs or in research projects under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Experiences may include but are not limited to gathering and analyzing information to develop proposals, survey construction, stakeholder identification, stimulus development, quantitative and qualitative data collection, statistical analysis, writing reports, and presenting results. Available research projects/programs will vary each semester. Interested students should consult with the Honors College Dean and visit the Honors College website for more information about research apprenticeship opportunities: http://www.odu.edu/ao/honors. Prerequisite: approval of Honors College Dean.

HNRS 301. Monarch Think Tank II. 3 Credits.

The Monarch Think Tank draws students from all disciplines to collaborate with each other, faculty and community members as they design project-based solutions to pertinent social issues. Think Tank topics vary each year. Guided by distinguished faculty, students analyze their topic through in-depth classroom and field research, readings and off-campus trips. Prerequisite: ENGL 211C or equivalent.

HNRS 326. Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship II. 3 Credits.

Research apprenticeship with a faculty member, assisting a faculty member in the development and execution of research. May be repeated to 9 credit hours maximum. Prerequisites: Honors College, permission of the instructor and 3.0 cumulative grade point average.

HNRS 387. Honors Civic Learning Project. 1 Credit.

Students volunteer for 45 hours of work, keep a work experience journal reflecting on their day-to-day experiences as a volunteer, and write a short paper detailing how the experience helped them to identify, revise and accomplish future learning and career goals. Prerequisite: junior standing in the Honors College.

HNRS 395. Honors Topics. 1-3 Credits.

A study of selected topics. Honors Topics courses are designed to help students to make connections between academic knowledge and relevant experience, observe connections across disciplines, as well as adapt/apply skills, abilities, theories or methodologies gained in one situation to meet the needs of new situations. These courses are open to non-honors students with at least a 3.25 cumulative GPA. Courses will appear in the course schedule, and will be more fully described in information distributed to all academic advisors. Prerequisites: Junior standing and permission of the instructor.

HNRS 396. Honors Topics (Study Abroad). 1-3 Credits.

A study of selected topics examined in an international setting. Honors Topics Abroad courses are designed to help students gain new perspectives on their fields of study, develop intercultural competencies and communication skills, and engage with situations and questions that challenge their own assumptions/values. These courses are open to non-honors students with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25. Courses will appear in the course schedule, and will be more fully described in information distributed to all academic advisors. Prerequisites: Junior standing and permission of the instructor.

HNRS 401/501. Social Entrepreneurship. 3 Credits.

This class draws students from all disciplines to collaborate with each other, faculty, and community members as they co-design project-based solutions to pertinent social issues. Topics related to social entrepreneurship vary each year. Guided by distinguished faculty, students analyze their topic through in-depth classroom and field research, readings, and off-campus trips. Prerequisite: ENGL 211C or equivalent.

HNRS 487. Senior Honors Colloquium. 3 Credits.

Fulfills the Honors College capstone requirement. The purpose of the course is to give students experience in working as a group of “consultants” who collaboratively undertake secondary and primary research and report preparation on behalf of a “client.” Prerequisite: senior standing in the Honors College or permission of the dean.

HNRS 497. Honors Independent Study. 1-3 Credits.

Offered upon request each semester. This course is an opportunity for students to engage in directed readings and/or research in a topic with which they are familiar. Prerequisite: open to juniors and seniors in the Honors College.

HNRS 498. Honors Independent Study. 1-3 Credits.

Offered upon request each semester. This course is an opportunity for students to engage in directed readings and/or research in a topic with which they are familiar. Prerequisite: open to juniors and seniors in the Honors College.

HNRS 499. Senior Honors Thesis. 3 Credits.

Each student will undertake a research experience under the supervision of a faculty member. A research proposal and research report are required. Prerequisites: permission of the Honors College Dean, 3.25 cumulative GPA.