Honors Program Benefits

Special Resources, Opportunities & Awards

Mini-Grants for Special Projects/Activities 

Funding is available on a competitive basis to encourage honors cadets to expand their intellectual horizons. Individuals or groups of cadets in the program are encouraged to plan and request funding for special projects, trips, and guest speakers.

Senior Project/Thesis Research Grants 

Funds to support research for the senior project or thesis are available by application to the Undergraduate Research Committee, upon recommendation by the Institute Honors Review Committee. Applications are due in early spring of second class for funding in summer and/or the first class year. Summer stipends averaging $3000 are available for both cadets and faculty supervisors.

Special Events 

Several times each semester, cadets in the program are invited to participate in events organized especially for them, including meetings with distinguished guests on Post and trips to sites of interest.

Awards 

Institute Honors cadets are viewed as prime candidates and receive a regular flow of information, encouragement, and assistance in applying for prestigious national awards such as the MarshallRhodesGates CambridgeTruman, and Goldwater scholarships. In addition, VMI nominates the best honors thesis each year for the National Collegiate Honors Council's Portz Scholar award. Locally, several awards are being planned to recognize outstanding honors coursework each year, including prizes from the Writing Across the Curriculum Committee for outstanding papers produced in honors courses.

Commencement 

Cadets who complete the program process at the head of the line at Commencement and are designated as Distinguished Graduates with Institute Honors in the program.  Their official VMI transcripts bear this distinction as well.  After being displayed during Finals Week, their senior theses are bound by class and added to the permanent collection of Preston Library.