Honors students gather around the duck pond


There are many benefits to being an Honors Scholar. In addition to receiving an Honors Diploma, our students have access to early course registration, Honors core courses, research opportunities, national conferences, and  participation in local cultural activities. 

Honors Diploma 

Scholars who successfully complete the Honors Program earn an Honors Diploma upon graduation from the college. Our Honors Diploma conforms to the requirements of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), which signals that you are highly prepared for law, medical, or graduate school. Additionally, our intense program of undergraduate research and graduate school counseling will have you ready to apply to the very top graduate programs in the country.

Early Course Registration

Honors Program Scholars register for classes ahead of other undergraduates. Advanced registration guarantees that you can get the classes and the instructors that you want—without having to fight long lines to do so!

Honors Core Courses 

Scholars enroll in Honors sections of the First-Year Seminar, Foundations I and II (intellectual history courses), and Great Works in Context Seminars (the required literature course). These seminars are more challenging than the traditional core classes. They are designed to allow Honors Program Scholars a great deal of autonomy in designing their own syllabi including assignments, selected readings, class discussions, and ambitious presentations. Because you take these courses with other Honors Program Scholars who know you and with whom you have worked before, you can take intellectual risks, and you can expect your classmates to push you to do your very best work.

Honors Thesis

Each Honors Scholar is required to complete an Honors Thesis, which is an undergraduate research project. In the Spring of their Junior year, Scholars enroll in a one credit Thesis Workshop that is designed to help students create and develop their research plans, reading list, and literature review. 

National Collegiate Honors Council Conference 

The National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) is the leading organization of Honors Programs and Honors Colleges in the United States. The NCHC has been a powerful advocate for and source of discussion about Honors education for fifty years, and the Emory & Henry Honors Program is a full member of the organization. Our program meets the NCHC guidelines for a “fully developed” Honors Program, and our College Honors Diploma meets the NCHC requirements for honors degrees. Emory & Henry Honors Program Scholars participate actively in NCHC in two ways: 1) Any Honors Program Scholar whose research or original work is accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the NCHC is fully covered to attend and participate in that conference. 2) Scholars who would like to propose a curricular innovation, an Honors residence program, or other Honors enhancement that can be presented and discussed at NCHC or who would like to seek a leadership role in NCHC’s various student governing and advisory councils, may apply for funding to cover attending the conference and executing their project (if applicable) from both NCHC and the Emory & Henry Honors Program. We see our participation in NCHC as a validation that Emory & Henry is a leader in Honors education and as an opportunity for our Honors Program Scholars to present their research, try out their ideas, and provide leadership both for our Honors Program and the national movement towards Honors education. If you would like to learn more about how you can take advantage of these opportunities, please contact Dr. Scott Boltwood

“The most significant experience of my career thus far at E&H was the NCHC Conference in Seattle my sophomore year. The National Collegiate Honors Council Conference is an amazing conference to attend and I was privileged to have my research accepted. I really enjoyed learning about other honors programs across the United States. In addition, the ability to discuss my research with all sorts of people was very enriching. As a result of the conference, my paper was published by an undergraduate research journal. Since then, I have attended the conference in Atlanta and will be attending the conference this fall in Boston. I highly recommend that everyone applies to present at NCHC!” -Rachel Smoot ’19

Local Cultural Activities

Barter Theatre

The Barter Theatre is a local, cultural theatre which began in 1933. This theatre was started as a way to draw the local community in to take part in cultural events and to help the community during the Great Depression. Instead of using the typical monetary exchange, the theatre asked for a 40 cent-equivalent in produce or livestock that could not have otherwise been sold - hence the name “Barter” Theatre. With a rich history, captivating plays, and a tendency to draw from the most talented individuals, this experience is one that the Honors Program Scholars are sure to take part in by the end of their four years at Emory & Henry College. 

Rhythm & Roots Festival

This is an annual music festival held in September on State Street in downtown Bristol, the state divide between Tennessee and Virginia. Featured here are gospel, country, and bluegrass bands, as well as several popular indie bands from the area. Each year, the Honors Program funds the purchase of a limited number of Rhythm & Roots Festival tickets. These tickets are valid for the weekend and can be used during the entirety of the festival.