Honors Program


Enrich your love of learning.

College is for learning. Learning happens best when you are surrounded by people who love it as much as you do. The Honors Program connects you with students and faculty who love learning from the best that human civilization has to offer and from their own research.

Learn from the best books.

Be inspired by great works you wouldn’t otherwise encounter, carefully selected by your professors.

Discover shared interests.

Find friendship and encouragement among your fellow honors students, who are equally passionate about truth, beauty, and goodness.

Engage in thrilling discussions.

Participate in some of the most exciting discussions of your life, gaining new perspectives from your peers and mentors.

Be empowered to serve.

Cultivate your ability to serve others and improve the world through mentorship opportunities and deepened understanding.

Learn to lift others.

The Honors Program is about higher learning, not high society. As Southern Virginia University espouses the teachings of Jesus Christ, the program is open to all students and encourages all honors students to love everyone and to lift those around them.


How do I graduate with honors?

To graduate with University Honors on your transcript, complete the requirements published in the University Catalog.

See detailed requirements

How do I join?

You can join the Honors Program at any time, but it is best to start in your first year to get the most benefit. To graduate with University Honors, you will need to join while there is still room in your four-year plan to complete the requirements before graduation—typically no later than your junior year.

Join the honors program

Do I have to join the Honors Program to take honors courses?

No, you do not have to officially join the Honors Program to take honors focus courses (HNR 219R). These half-credit courses are open to all Southern Virginia University students and focus on important works that you are unlikely to encounter in the University’s Core courses.

However, honors seminars (HNR 395R) and honors thesis courses (HNR 498) are for honors students only, although they may be cross-listed with upper-level courses in major programs and thus attended by students who are not in the Honors Program.

See the honors courses Spring 2023 honors course offerings Fall 2023 honors course offerings

Program Leadership


Dr. John Armstrong, the Willis J. Smith Professor of Philosophy, directs the Honors Program and works with other faculty members on the Honors Program Committee. They are advised by the Honors Student Council, which you can join as an honors student.

View bio

Donate to the Honors Program

The Honors Program gratefully welcomes financial donations to support its activities, which include student research, guest lectures, field trips, firesides, assistantships, and the counseling of students on their graduate school applications. To make a donation, simply complete the university’s secure donation form and write “Honors Program” in the “other” line.

Donate to the honors program