Honors Courses

What Are Honors Courses?

Each fall and spring semesters the Honors College offers courses that are limited in size to a maximum of 20 students (unless noted otherwise), populated by academically mature students, and taught by faculty members dedicated to designing classes in which student engagement is the rule rather than the exception.

Because enrollments are limited, honors courses allow for more student-faculty exchange and are more conducive to collaborative learning. The instructors teaching the courses are highly qualified experts in their field. Honors courses emphasize the development of critical thinking skills and excellence in written and oral communication. Honors courses should be rigorous, but are not designed to be simply more work (there is no GPA bonus for taking an honors course). Honors courses should provide a depth of engagement with material rather than surface-level memorization. Honors courses are a reward for intellectually curious students who welcome the opportunity to build connections with other students and faculty.

Types of Honors Courses

There are three different types of honors courses. Always check your major requirements to determine whether a particular honors course fulfill general education needs or requirements for your major.

Departmental honors courses

  • Departments across campus offer introductory courses specifically for honors students (e.g., PSYC 121, BIOL 105, THEA 100). These courses meet general education requirements for most majors.

Upper-level honors seminars

  • HNRS 300 is a 1-credit preparation for the honors capstone. It is only offered in the spring semester and is typically taken junior year.
  • HNRS 310 is an interdisciplinary seminar with topics that change every semester. Past versions have included "Evolution: The Board Game," "Dangerous Films," and "Reading the Bones." 

How to Register for Honors Courses

  1. In consultation with the university catalog and your degree audit (in OneCampus), determine which types of courses you should take next semester.
  2. Make sure that you are staying on track with honors curricular requirements.
  3. Using the Class Schedule in OneCampus, determine which of the above courses are offered next semester. The class schedule system will now allow you to search for only honors courses if you use the Advanced Search and "Attribute Type" function (honors courses and descriptions are also listed on the Honors College D2L page). Always have a back-up course in case the course you want fills or is cancelled!
  4. Make an appointment to meet with your academic advisor, ask question, and confirm your registration date.
    1. Both your academic advisor's and honors adviser's names can be found in your degree audit and in Starfish.
    2. Your registration date can be found on your Academics tab in OneCampus. Your date should be no later than Wednesday of the first registration week for active honors students.
  5. Beginning on Wednesday (or sooner) of the first registration week you will register yourself for both honors and non-honors courses. You will need the registration pin number given to you by your academic advisor and the CRN for each course. There should be plenty of space in almost all of your non-honors courses. However, many honors courses fill-up early so get started as soon as your time window opens (and have a back-up plan).
  6. If you have any problem registering for an honors course, contact us immediately at honors@radford.edu.