The Honors College seeks to meet the educational needs of talented, highly-motivated students by offering increased opportunities for an enriched and challenging curriculum.

Under the guidance of recognized teacher-scholars, Honors Scholars cultivate the habits of critical thinking, independent analysis and creative expression through classes and independent study. Honors is a setting in which students who share a similar enthusiasm for learning are brought together in intellectual fellowship and provides public recognition for superior academic achievement.


View current catalog for complete description of requirements.

Download academic advising form (PDF).

  • Students admitted prior to the 2021-22 academic year may choose to continue with the older Track I or Track II curriculum requirements. For assistance, contact Honors Advising

Honors Scholars complete a total of 25 credits leading to completion of the Honors Interdisciplinary Studies minor. This consists of 19 credits of Honors Core coursework and 6 credits of the Honors Capstone Project.

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.

Areas of Emphasis

Honors students have the option of linking their Honors seminars together in three-semester area of emphasis sequence. This provides you with a concentration in an interdisciplinary field of study that integrates traditional academic study and experiential, real-world learning: creativity and innovation; global studies; leadership, research; service and civic engagement.

Most students complete the area of emphasis sequence during sophomore and junior years, but you have the flexibility to pursue an area at any time. Completion of the area of emphasis will appear as a special designation on your transcript.

An area of emphasis is not required. Learn more here.


The 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 transfer into JMU can complete the curriculum in a minimum of four semesters, depending on major and minor selection.

For assistance with academic planning, contact the Honors advising office. You will receive help in HON 100 or 101 with putting together a four year curriculum plan.

Most students average one Honors class per semester, though there is flexibility to double up one semester and not take an Honors class the next. We expect students to have completed at least three, but preferably four, Honors classes by the end of the second year at JMU.

To maintain good standing in Honors, students are expected to maintain a 3.00 GPA in all Honors College coursework.

Curriculum Petition

If you would like to direct an Honors course to fulfill a different curricular requirement (course directive) or request Honors credit for a non-Honors course (course petition), please submit a Curriculum Petition Form to

Graduating in Honors

Honors Designations

Students who successfully complete all their Honors requirements will have the designation of Honors Scholar included on transcripts and diplomas. If you complete an Area of Emphasis, this will be indicated on your transcript. Students who complete an Honors Thesis receive distinction in the discipline in which the project is pursued.

Apply to Graduate

Seniors are required to include Honors in the application to graduate procedure.


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


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