Honors Core Curriculum FAQs

Q: Do Honors students have more core requirements than non-Honors students?
A: The Honors core is the same size as the Intellectual Inquiry (INQ) core—10 courses. Outside the core, Honors students do have a higher foreign language requirement than non-Honors students (one additional semester). Honors students also complete an Honors Portfolio and a Distinction Project.

Q: Are any substitutions allowed?
A: Yes. Honors students can substitute disciplinary or INQ courses for up to three of their core courses, the same number of substitutions allowed for INQ. To ensure that Honors students have access to the wide range of INQ topics, they can also use an INQ course as a fourth substitution with permission of the Honors Director.

Q: Can AP/IB/dual enrollment credits be used for disciplinary substitutions?
A: Yes, same as for INQ.

Q: Do the Honors courses have to be taken in a particular order?
A: HNRS 110 and 120 are taken fall and spring of the freshman year. Except for a couple of prerequisites in math and science, the 200-level courses can be taken in any order. HNRS 300 is taken after all of the other HNRS courses have been completed.

Q: What other courses are required for Honors students?
A: Foreign language through 202 (one semester more than for INQ); IL (same as INQ); and HHP 160 + activity (same as INQ). Honors students also complete the Honors Portfolio and Distinction Project (see below).

Honors Portfolio FAQs

Q: What goes in the Honors Portfolio?
A: The Portfolio holds some of your most meaningful work as well as documents that will help you connect with high-impact opportunities during and after your years at Roanoke College. These documents include self-assessments; personal, academic, and professional goals and action plans; reflections on a range of events and activities; proposals for opportunities such as study away, internships, research positions, and national fellowships and scholarships.

Q: How will all this help me?
A: All of this will help by giving you in-depth information about a wide range of academic and professional opportunities early enough so that you can plan for them; by helping you do that planning and giving you the big picture of how the pieces of your education fit together; and by helping you present yourself, both in person and on paper, in a way that will make you as competitive as possible.

Q: Four more classes!  How much time will this take?
A: Not too much. The Portfolio Seminar is a ¼-unit, pass/fail class that meets one hour each week for your first four semesters. Outside of class, students choose the cultural, intellectual and service activities in which they want to participate and that suit their schedules.  

Q: What if I enter the Honors Program after the first year?
A: You will start in the second year of the Portfolio Seminar and begin building your Portfolio then.

Distinction Project FAQs

Q: This sounds interesting, but how will I come up a project?
A: During the second year, the Portfolio Seminar is structured to help you explore project ideas. You will even draft a project proposal and get feedback on it from your peers, and hear what ideas they have for their own projects.

Q: When do I have to know what my project will be?
A: Project proposals are due by spring break of the junior year.

Q: Will I be working with a faculty member?
A: You will have a project advisor and a faculty committee to oversee your work. Most students will meet with their project advisors frequently—often weekly—but this will vary with the needs of the project.

Q: Is this a lot of extra work?
A: It's a big project—roughly the equivalent of two courses—but for most students, one or both units of the Distinction Project will count toward their major as an independent study or internship.  

Q: What financial resources are available to help me with my project?
A: You can apply for funding from the Honors Program to support the Distinction Project.  Part of the Portfolio Seminar will include planning your project and determining what resources you will need to make it a success.

Q: Isn't this a great way to connect my academic interests with an experience outside the classroom?
A: Yes!

Q: Will this give me an opportunity to really delve into an issue I'm interested in?
A: Yes!

Q: Does this sort of project look good for employers and graduate schools?
A: Yes!