Apr 22, 2024  
2011 - 2012 Undergraduate Catalog 
2011 - 2012 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Honors Academy

Dr. Joe King, Director
Floyd Hall, (540) 831-6125

The Honors Academy is a Center of Excellence at Radford University that provides opportunities for faculty-student collaborative scholarship and recognizes outstanding student achievement. Each semester the Honors Academy offers courses that are populated by Honors Academy members and taught by faculty dedicated to designing classes that provide for enhanced student engagement in the subject matter of the course. Honors coursework not only involves more hands-on activities, but also provides opportunities to enhance one’s critical thinking as well as oral and written communication skills.

To graduate in one’s major as a Highlander Scholar (see below), the student completes 27 of their credit hours toward graduation as honors coursework including a senior capstone project. The Honors Academy also supports a residential community in Floyd Hall and the Honors Academy Student Organization that provides forums for interaction among academy members.

Students who wish to learn more about the Honors Academy are invited to visit the Academy office in Floyd Hall or call Honors Academy Director Dr. Joe King, Professor of Psychology, at (540) 831-6125.


Enrollment in honors sections is limited to students described below. New freshmen whose high school transcripts indicate the potential for academic success are invited to join the Honors Academy. Transfer students and current Radford University students who have demonstrated academic excellence are invited to join the Academy and to enroll in honors courses. Highlander Scholars who have already been admitted to the Academy may enroll. Finally, any other student who has written permission from the course instructor may enroll.

Highlander Scholars

Highlander Scholars are students in the Honors Academy who are making progress toward completing the graduation requirements of the academy. These exceptional students design an Honors Plan of Study (HPS) in collaboration with their academic advisor(s). The plan of study requires a minimum of 27 hours of honors courses and is subject to the approval of the appropriate department chair and the Honors Academy Advisory Group. The courses include Core Curriculum courses, a departmental component and a capstone project. The Honors Plan of Study is flexible and is compatible with course requirements in every department.

Admission Criteria

Students who are not invited into the Honors Academy when they are admitted to the university may apply to the Academy after their first semester at Radford University. To be considered for admission, the following grade point averages are required: 3.0 for freshmen, 3.3 for sophomore class standing, 3.4 for junior class standing and 3.5 for senior class standing. Moreover, at the time of admission, students must demonstrate the potential to complete Honors Academy requirements.

To retain their status in the program, Highlander Scholars must continue to meet eligibility requirements and make satisfactory progress toward completing the Academy’s graduation requirements.

Requirements For Graduation

To graduate from the Honors Academy as a Highlander Scholar, students must have a minimum 3.5 overall GPA and complete at least 27 hours of honors coursework in accordance with the requirements listed below:

  • 6-12 hours of honors credits in the Core Curriculum
  • 12-15 hours of courses required in the major
  • 3-6 hours in a capstone project
  • A student may transfer a maximum of 12 hours of Core Curriculum honors courses into the Academy.

Students are required to present the results of the capstone project at the Undergraduate/Graduate Forum or some other public venue. The campus forum in April serves as an opportunity for students to publicly share their scholarly and creative accomplishments.

For further information regarding requirements, deadlines, forms, contracts for honors work in the major and the capstone project, visit the Honors Academy Office located in Floyd Hall.

Supporting Environment

A joint effort between the Honors Academy and Residential Life has created a learning community in Floyd Hall. The residential component offers the opportunity for a select group of exceptional students to form a community. The emphasis of the Floyd Hall community is to nurture and support academic excellence.

Radford University awards two types of Honors degree, Latin Honors and Honors in the Major through the Honors Academy, both of which are indicated on the student’s diploma. Graduation with Latin Honors is a function of earning the requisite cumulative grade point average.

Students whose cumulative grade point average in all courses attempted at Radford University is greater than or equal to 3.5, but less than 3.7, will graduate cum laude. Those whose cumulative grade point average is greater than or equal to 3.7, but less than 3.85, will graduate magna cum laude. Those whose cumulative grade point average is 3.85 or greater will graduate summa cum laude. To be eligible to receive Latin Honors, a student must have earned a minimum of 60 semester hours at Radford University. Students whose cumulative grade point average is greater than or equal to 3.50 but who do not earn 60 credit hours at Radford University will graduate “With Distinction.”

Graduation with Honors in the Major through the Honors Academy requires the development of an Honors Plan of Study that includes 27 hours of honors courses in Core Curriculum, courses required in the major, and a capstone project. Highlander Scholars who graduate from the Honors Academy must earn a 3.5 cumulative grade point average. Students who successfully complete the Honors Academy requirements will receive a bachelor’s degree with Honors in the Major. For more information, see above.