Honors Programs

The talented and motivated students in PVCC's Honors Program have opportunities for extended academic and personal growth through activities and courses that emphasize critical and analytical thinking, verbal expression and creative problem solving. In Honors classes, students explore courses in the sciences, humanities and social sciences more deeply than in regular sections of the same course and Honors professors do not simply require more work; they approach the subject in more open-ended, challenging ways.

Several PVCC Honors students have been recognized nationally by being named to the All-USA Community College Academic First Team and at the state level as New Century Scholars. Other PVCC Honors students have received scholarships and academic awards at PVCC and have played prominent roles in the College’s Student Government Association and clubs. Our students have transferred successfully to the University of Virginia's College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and to the highly competitive McIntire School of Commerce, to Virginia Tech, the College of William and Mary, James Madison University, Mary Baldwin College, Georgetown University and Smith College among others in and out of state.

PVCC also offers these recognition programs and honor societies for students:

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What does it take to be an honors student at PVCC?

Honors students like to read and write thoughtfully and critically, solve problems and are willing to be active participants in class discussions. Intellectual curiosity, self-motivation and responsibility are essential traits of the successful honors student.

What is the difference between the Honors Program and honors classes?

The classes are smaller in size and involve more active student participation. You have to apply to and be accepted in the Honors Program in order to take honors classes at PVCC. Honors classes are open to students who qualify academically and meet the program's other criteria.

Do I have to get permission to take honors classes?

Yes. First, you need to complete and submit an application to the Honors Program. Applications are considered as they are submitted and once all the supporting materials are received.

How do I apply to the Honors Program?

Follow the steps below:

  1. Apply to PVCC.
  2. Take the placement tests in PVCC's Learning Center, or you can submit a copy of your SAT or ACT scores. (See #4 below)
  3. Complete and submit the online Honors Program application form.
  4. Provide the following items to the Honors Program Coordinator:
    1. A copy of your high school transcript (if you are a recent graduate) or transcripts from any College or university that you have attended.
    2. A copy of your SAT or ACT scores if you wish, or if you are submitting them in lieu of the tests.
    3. Two letters of recommendation - one from a teacher, the other from a teacher, guidance counselor, employer or someone other than a family member who knows you well. These letters may be emailed to aplunkett@pvcc.edu or sent by regular mail.
    4. A brief personal statement describing your academic interests and goals. This may be emailed to aplunkett@pvcc.edu or sent by regular mail, OR Schedule an interview with Ann Marie Plunkett to discuss these.


How do I register for Honors Classes?

Students accepted into the Honors Program may take any honors class as long as they have met the class prerequisites. Honors credit classes are designated in the Student Information System (SIS) and in printed class schedules with a 77 or 78 section number. To register for honors classes, honors students must email the Honors Program Coordinator who will enroll you.

Students not in the Honors Program may take an honors class if they meet the grade point average standards for honors, the placement test requirements for the class and receive approval from the instructor. It is the student's responsibility to provide the instructor with documentation (test scores and transcript with GPA) that demonstrate qualifications. For more information, contact the Honors Program Coordinator.

May I take an honors class if I am not in the Honors Program?

This may be possible. Please contact the Honors Program Coordinator to discuss it.

What must I do to continue taking honors classes?

You must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or better and register for at least one honors course each year or notify the Honors Program Coordinator in writing of your intent to continue taking honors classes in the future.

What if I want to take honors classes but my academic record is mediocre?

If you have had problems in the past but have the qualities needed for success in honors classes and are determined to turn your academic career around, we encourage you to submit an application. You may be required to take regular courses for a semester to improve your academic record before being accepted. The extra semester will also provide contact with PVCC faculty who can write a letter of recommendation for you.

What criteria must I meet to be accepted into the Honors Program?

You will be considered for honors based on your academic performance, test scores and strength of the recommendations submitted by others on your behalf. Here are some benchmarks: GPA of 3.25, strong SAT, ACT scores or VPT English placement.

When should I apply to the Honors Program?

Apply as soon as possible after you have applied to PVCC. You are strongly encouraged, but not required, to schedule an initial interview with the Honors Program Coordinator.