Honors at Reynolds

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs for Students


Start here:  Overview of Honors for Students  (power point) 

1. Who can take Honors courses?

Designated Honors courses are open to all qualified Reynolds students. Students who have not yet been admitted to the program are asked to complete an Honors Course Permission form in order to register for a designated Honors section.

2. What are the benefits of Honors courses?

Honors courses feature smaller class sizes, faculty mentorship and innovation, increased opportunities for student collaboration and leadership, challenging and in-depth coursework, opportunities for experiential and service learning, and a highly-motivated and invested community of students and faculty. Honors courses are identified on your transcript and offer a distinct advantage when applying for transfer to another institution.

3. How do I get Honors Scholarship funds and how can they be used?

Honors scholarship funds typically pay for one Honors course per semester, and they are given to every accepted Honors student providing that student is enrolled in an Honors course or contract AND is attending college full time. It may be possible for part time students to receive at least partial scholarships if funding permits. You must maintain a 3.5 GPA to continue as an Honors student in good standing and receive your scholarship funds. Unlike financial aid, Honors scholarship funds MAY pay for an Honors course in a discipline outside the requirements of your curriculum.

4. What if my GPA drops below a 3.5?

If your GPA drops below a 3.5, you will be notified, and encouraged to meet with the Honors Program Coordinator to discuss a plan for academic improvement. You will have a 1 semester grace period to improve your GPA during which time you may still receive Honors scholarship funds. If your GPA falls below a 3.5 for two continuous semesters, you will forfeit your Honors Scholarship funds, though you may still take Honors classes if you so choose. 

5. What are the differences between designated Honors courses and Honors contracts?

Designated Honors courses are taught from a syllabus that encompasses the 4 Honors focal points: critical thinking, independent research, interdisciplinary approaches, and student engagement, as well as the discipline-specific learning outcomes. These courses are rigorous, and feature challenging and innovative coursework. Students should expect a seminar-style environment, with an emphasis on participation, collaboration, and active learning. Honors program students can sign up for designated Honors courses or request an Honors contract from a certified faculty member. These contracts will outline a sequence of assignments and activities that allow the student to meet Honors requirements in their mainstream course. Non-program students can apply for permission to take designated Honors course sections.

6. Can I take an Honors class if I am not currently in the Honors Program?

Yes. Students who are not in the Honors Program can apply to for permission to enroll in a designated Honors section by submitting the Course Permission form. Decisions about admission into classes for non-programs students are based on availability of spaces in the course section. Students must have successfully completed all developmental requirements. 

7. How many contract courses can I take to fulfill Honors program requirements?

Honors Program students can take up to 2 contract courses (6 credit hours) to count towards fulfilling the Honors curriculum requirements.

8. Is the Honors program the same as Phi Theta Kappa?

No, Phi Theta Kappa and Honors at Reynolds are two different organizations with separate applications. Phi Theta Kappa is a national Honor society with membership dues; PTK has an invitation process for students who meet the requirements to join.

Honors at Reynolds is a selective academic program with its own curriculum. No dues are required for the Honors Program, but you must apply for admission, and be selected through an admissions process.

9. Why should I enroll in the Honors Program?

Honors program students gain a competitive edge on college applications; have access to additional scholarship funds; are designated as Honors graduates on their diploma; participate in priority registration; benefit from agreements with 4 year colleges like VCU and JMU, who offer our Honors graduates automatic admission to their Honors Colleges (upon receiving general admission to the university); and receive invitations to recurring Honors events, receptions, and seminars. Honors students develop a unique and close-knit community of motivated students who want to make the most of their time here at Reynolds. 

10. How do I apply to the Honors program?

See the section on How to Apply and for the Fall/Spring deadlines, typically mid-October and Mid-March. High school students who expect to attend Reynolds after their graduation may apply between April 15 and June 30th.

11. What is HEPS?

The Honors Engagement Point System is a newly added program to encourage participation in and around our Reynolds community. Many collegiate honors programs around the country, including the Honors College at Virginia Commonwealth University, implement similar point systems to encourage student participation in program offerings beyond just courses, and to enhance community building within the Honors community. Here at Reynolds, you will be able to earn points for a variety of activities associated with engagement in class, on campus, and in your greater professional and personal communities. See the section Goals and Benefits for more details.