Shaping Your Honors Experience

The full Honors Scholar curriculum can be completed within a normal four-year sequence for students in all majors. Students who join Honors after their first semester or who transfer into JMU can often complete the curriculum in a minimum of three semesters, but this will also depend on major and minor selection. The Honors curriculum can be viewed on the official JMU Catalog page for the Honors College.

The Honors curriculum does not replace or modify your requirements in JMU General Education or the major. However, many Honors credits will also satisfy requirements in General Education, your major, or another minor. Your Introduction to Honors course will include discussion of how best to incorporate the Honors minor into your four-year academic plan, and the Honors Advising team is available throughout your time at JMU.

To maintain good standing in Honors, students are expected to adhere to GPA and progression benchmarks. These benchmarks include:

  • In their first two semesters in the Honors College, students must satisfactorily complete HON 100 or HON 101 (our 1-credit first-year experience course) and two additional Honors courses.
  • After the first year in the Honors College, students must complete at least one Honors course in each academic year.
  • By the end of the first semester of junior year, students must declare an Honors Pathway. 
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in Honors courses.
Graduating From Honors

Honors Interdisciplinary Studies Minor. Students who complete the 19-hour Honors Core curriculum will have this minor reflected on their transcript.

Honors Scholar. Students who complete the 19-hour Honors core curriculum, the Honors Senior ePortfolio Project (3 hours), and an additional (3 hour) Honors-approved course will earn the Honors Interdisciplinary Studies Minor + an Honors Scholar designation.

...With Distinction... Students who complete the 19-hour Honors core curriculum and a 6-hour departmental Honors capstone (e.g. thesis) will earn the Honors Interdisciplinary Studies minor + an Honors Scholar designation + a “graduation with distinction in [capstone field]” recognition. 

Students who are not pursuing the Honors College minor or Honors Scholar requirements are able to earn a stand-alone “graduation with distinction in [capstone field]” recognition through completion of a 6-hour departmental capstone in partnership with the Honors College. 


The Honors College gives each graduate a special medallion to wear at commencement. These are presented to students at the Honors College medallion ceremony and reception held at the end of every semester, where we recognize and celebrate our graduating students.

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