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Honors College Requirements

Application Requirements

Incoming freshmen must meet the following criteria:

  • have earned/maintained a minimum grade point average of 3.50 (on a BSU 4.00 scale) upon both application and entry to the program;
  • complete the application process for both Bluefield State University and the Honors College;
  • participate in an interview with the Honors College Committee for program admission;
  • meet the following minimum standardized test placement requirements for (one of) the following SAT, ACT, or Accuplacer tests: S.A.T. 1250; an A.C.T. score of 26 or an Accuplacer score of 276-300.

You may request an Accuplacer testing session by contacting the Counseling and Advising Center at (304) 327-4444.


Incoming students are eligible to apply if they have earned a minimum GPA of 3.50 (on a 4.00 scale). Bluefield State University Freshmen who earn 3.5 GPA and above during the first semester (generally Fall) are eligible to apply for admission in the subsequent fall semester; however, Regents Bachelors of Arts students and any students who have earned more than 30 hours of college credit are not eligible for entrance into the program.

Honors Scholars may major in any four-year degree program, excluding the 2 + 2 programs in the College of Health Sciences.

Grade Requirements

Honors Scholars must

  • maintain an overall GPA of 3.50 on a 4.0 scale (BSU 4.0 scale) throughout the program, else be subject to program probation:
  • earn a grade of B+ or higher in an honors core course and/or honors-enhanced course in order to earn honors equivalency program credit for the course;

Honors Scholars who fail to successfully complete the honors-enhanced requirements for a course will still receive credit for the course, but that credit will not be counted toward the honors requirements. The course may be retaken for honors equivalency credit; however, the honors student need not retake the same course; he or she may select another course for enhancement in a subsequent semester.

Augmented Curriculum (15 Credit Hours, 2 Hours Honors-Enhanced Courses, Senior Honors Project): The Augmented Core Curriculum modifies standard course content,
requirements, or performance expectations for the Honors Scholar in order to merit honorific designation.

The specific nature of the augmented curriculum is to be determined by the Honors College Director and Honors College Committee following the guidelines of the National Collegiate Honors Council. This curriculum will replace some of the General Studies Core requirements.

Honors Scholars will be required to have an augmented curriculum for twelve General Studies credits throughout the first two years of their program. During the first year a writing intensive Honors Seminar (HONR 101 and HONR 102) will be required that satisfy the ENGL 101 and ENGL 102 requirements, representing six credit hours.

The Great Books curriculum, HONR 201 and 205, requirement will satisfy the General Studies requirements for Literature and Humanities/Fine arts, representing six credit hours.

Finally, HONR 210, Speech and Debate, will satisfy the General Studies requirements for Speech and Communications.

Honors College Core Curriculum

The following courses are required for all Honors Scholars. These courses replace required courses in the General Studies curriculum:

  • HON 101 (3 credit hours): Honors Seminar I – substitute for ENGL 101 (approved)
  • HON 102 (3 credit hours): Honors Seminar II -substitute for ENGL 102 (approved)
  • HON 201 (3 credit hours): Great Books I -substitute for World Lit
  • HON 205 (3 credit hours): Great Books II -substitute for Humanities/Arts requirement
  • HON 210 (3 credit hours): Speech and Debate -substitute for COMM 201/205
  • Two Honors-Enhanced courses Junior and Senior Years (2 credit hours)

Honors-Enhanced Courses

During the Junior and Senior Years, Honors Scholars interested in earning honors credit (i.e., for adding an honors enhancement to a regular course) should contact the course instructor, discuss the possibility, and plan for honors credit during the fall or spring registration periods–-well in advance of the semester when the student will actually take the course. Instructors are under no obligation to agree to make their course an honors-enhanced course.

When an instructor agrees to enhance a course:

  1. The Honors Scholar should complete the Honors Course Enhancement Form in consultation with his or her instructor. Completed Honors Course Enhancement Forms, accompanied by a copy of a current or recent syllabus for the course, must be submitted to the Honors College Director for approval.
  2. After obtaining the approval of the applicable College Dean to offer this course as an overload, the faculty member responsible for delivery of the Honors 300 or 400 Course Enhancement must notify the Honors College Director prior to the pre-registration for fall and spring semesters and BEFORE the start of the fall and spring semesters. No Honors 300 or 400 course enhancement courses will be approved once classes begin.

If approved, the Honors College Director will request the Assistant to the Provost to create a related Honors 300 or 400 Course Enhancement section for the student to enroll in.

Honors-enhanced 300 courses will be taken during the junior year of the Honors Scholars’ program.

Honors-enhanced 400 courses will be taken during the senior year of the Honors Scholars’ program.

With the approval of the Honors College Director, a program-specific course can be converted to an honors-augmented course through the addition of a one-credit honors-enhanced recitation (entailing specific enhancements to student meetings, assignments, activities, or curricular scope).

The nature and type of augmentation for each individual course will be determined by the instructor in consultation with the Honors College Director. Equivalency credits will be awarded at the completion of the program by the Honors College Director.

Honors Scholars must successfully complete all augmented curriculum courses with a minimum grade of B to receive honors credit. Faculty and students will be required to complete and sign an Honors Course Enhancement Form to give the Honors College Director prior to the start of the semester for each augmented course if it is not offered already as a General Studies Honors section.

International Experience, Internship(s), Service-Learning Project (3 Credit Hours): The study abroad, internship, or service-learning project should be completed in conjunction with the honors student’s academic program.

Honors Scholars will be expected to complete at least three curricular credit-hours of the following before completion of the program and conferral of the honors degree designation:

  1. an academic study abroad program/Soliya Connect
  2. a professional internship in a business or community organization, or
  3. a service-learning project.

These credits cannot be earned through the Senior Honors Project. The academic study abroad program must be approved by the Office of International Initiatives, Honors College, and Service-Learning.

The professional internship or service-learning project must be approved by

  1. the Honors Scholar’s academic advisor,
  2. the internship organization or agency, and
  3. the Honors College Director.

A clearly written prospectus of skills learned, tasks accomplished, or outcomes desired for the internship or service-learning project must be submitted.

Honors Scholar performance for the project or internship must be commensurate with the expectations of the program.

The study abroad, internship, or service-learning project should be completed in conjunction with the Honors Scholar’s academic program.

Senior Honors Project (3 Credit Hours): The Senior Honors Project should be completed in conjunction with the Honors Scholar’s academic program.

Honors Scholars will design and implement a senior project, i.e., a clinical, service, or research project, that reflects the highest standards of student achievement and should represent graduate or professional work in the field of study.

The project proposal will be conceived in consultation with the faculty on record for the respective course and submitted to the Honors College Director for approval prior to the semester in which the student graduates. (The Honors College Committee will set guidelines to assist the Honors Scholar and faculty in the design of these projects).

Honors Scholars will take the project in their major discipline of study and must meet all the prerequisites in order to register for the senior research course and have completed their pathways evaluations with their academic advisor. Only 400 level courses fulfill the requirement for the Senior Honors Project (e.g. any 490/495/499).

Honors Extra-Curricular Enrichment Program: The Honors College at Bluefield State requires ongoing extra-curricular enrichment as part of its rigorous enhanced education program. The following program outlines a flexible point system that enables students to realize the mission statement of the Honors College program while complementing their educational experience at Bluefield State University. Ongoing participation in the Honors College will require the student to achieve annually twenty-five (25) Honors Points to be documented and submitted annually in an Honors Point Portfolio. These points may also be acquired through summer and intersession activities officially documented and reported to the Honors College.

There will be a total of six qualifying Honors Point categories. They are the following:

  1. Honors College Events and Colloquia;
  2. Intellectual Breadth and Depth;
  3. Local and Global Civic Engagement;
  4. Diversity and Intercultural Awareness;
  5. Academic and Professional Development; and
  6. Health and Well-Being.

Please note that events and points used for one category cannot also be counted for another category.

Each calendar year, Honors Scholars are required to complete

* a minimum of six (6) points for Category 1: Honors College Events and Colloquia,
* six (6) points for Category 2: Local and Global Civic Engagement, and
* six (6) honors points for Category 3: Intellectual Breadth and Depth.

The remaining seven points may be acquired from any category or qualifying activity.

Points given for reports or presentation must be equivalent to four-to-six double-spaced pages of writing or a 12-15-minute presentation. However, activities, events, or projects credited for one category may not also be credited simultaneously for another.

Honors points are distinct, exclusive, and separate from credit hours or coursework.

Awards, honors, inductions, scholarships, and participation in events must be documented or reported by a relevant authorized document, organizing official, ticket, presentation, or report. Ten-minute reports must be either presented visually (either live or recorded) using presentation software or written in expository prose in either MLA or APA style. These can and will serve as Honors College colloquia and events.

Throughout the year, Honors Scholars will keep and maintain an Honors College Portfolio of the events, awards, and activities they have accomplished throughout the year, as well as the points assigned to each. At the end of the academic year, or July 15th, students will submit their annual Honors Point Portfolio digital format to honors@bluefieldstate.edu. All relevant documents should be scanned or combined in a compressed archive (.zip) file. These documents must accompany a typewritten annual summary of activities in which the student summarizes their activity and point equivalencies for the past year.

Honors Scholars in Action: Honors Scholars are required to share action pictures and brief narratives about their participation in conferences. Recognitions and awards received may also be submitted. These will be posted on the Honors College page featuring Honors Scholars in Action.

The Bluefield State Honors College offers an exciting opportunity for high achieving students interested in an advanced level of academic engagement both inside and outside the classroom, making them more prepared and competitive in their future graduate studies and careers.