Jesse Ulmer
Assistant professor and administrator
Email: ulmerjg@vcu.edu
Phone: +974 5527 2055
Website: qatar.vcu.edu/honors-program

The Honors Program at VCUQatar is designed to fulfill the needs of talented and academically high-achieving undergraduate students. The program offers an advanced liberal education that cultivates interdisciplinary research, creativity, multicultural literacy, self-development, experiential learning and community-building.  Students are expected to complete a number of honors-level courses in a diverse range of disciplines that will help prepare them for careers or graduate-level learning. The program provides students with a foundation in social and behavioral sciences, natural and physical sciences, the humanities, fine arts and design. Students will engage in advanced undergraduate research to produce innovative work that integrates concepts and approaches from multiple disciplines, a process that requires risk-taking and the pursuit of novel methods. Honors students are expected to learn how to adapt to changing environments and utilize emerging technologies. Moreover, honors students are expected to develop advanced levels of multicultural literacy and to develop the capacity to positively impact whatever groups and communities they find themselves in. These expectations form the objectives of the program and will serve as a basis for assessment.

In addition, the context and mission of the program represents a synthesis of the many institutions and cultures that surround and support it. As part of the VCU Honors College in Richmond, Virginia, the Honors Program at VCUQatar offers students opportunities to exchange ideas, ask questions and explore values; as part of the VCU School of the Arts, the program champions artistic excellence and self-expression; and as part of VCUQatar and Qatar Foundation, the program strives to contribute to the development of Qatar through creative innovation and collaboration. The end result of this unique convergence is an honors program deeply committed to developing cultural diversity and interdisciplinary study in a context of academic and creative excellence.

Admission

Students from all undergraduate majors offered at VCUQatar are eligible to apply to the Honors Program if they meet the minimum criteria, which include a minimum 3.5 grade point average, a letter of recommendation from a VCUQatar faculty member and the submission of an application essay.

Students may apply to the Honors Program at VCUQatar as early as the first semester of their freshman year. Students must submit an online application to the VCU Honors College. Admission decisions are made jointly by The Honors College in Richmond and the Honors Program at VCUQatar.

Graduation with University Honors

To graduate with the distinction of University Honors, students admitted to the program must complete a total of 24 honors credits:

  • Liberal arts and sciences courses (15 credits)
  • Honors social and behavioral sciences: 3 credits
  • Honors natural and physical sciences: 3 credits
  • Honors literacy and critical thinking: 6 credits
  • Honors research methods: 3 credits
  • Honors experiential learning project (3 credits)
  • Honors course work in major course of study (6 credits)

To graduate with honors, members of the Honors Program at VCUQatar must meet the following criteria: 3.5 overall GPA (including every course attempted); 3.2 honors GPA (including every honors course attempted); the completion of the above curriculum; and successful completion and submission of an honors dossier.   

Overall, students are encouraged to consult an Honors Program adviser to explore additional ways to earn honors credit that include honors independent study and non-honors to honors course contract options. More detailed information on these options can be found on The Honors College website.

Guidelines and regulations

To continue as a member of the Honors Program at VCUQatar, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5. Should an honors student’s cumulative GPA fall below 3.5, but not below 3.0, the student may be placed on honors probation for one semester.