Honors College

Program website

Program Manager: Dr. Bruce Thompson
Email: bthompson@frederick.edu
Phone: 301.846.2535

Honors is an academic enrichment program that can be incorporated into most transfer degree programs at FCC. All honors learning is designed to go deeper, broader, or more complex, and the program strives to develop emerging scholars and leaders. Students who graduate from the Honors College, complete an honors independent study project, present at a conference, or earn service or leadership certificates gain a competitive advantage when applying for admission to selective four-year colleges and transfer scholarships.


Students automatically qualify for the Honors College with the following test scores: SAT = 1100 overall (out of 1600) with at least 550 on verbal, or ACT = Reading 23+, or FCC placement exams = Honors level reading (268) and proficient college level writing. Applicants with strong academic records (3.500 GPA) or faculty recommendations are encouraged to apply. We also offer an Open Campus membership for high school or home school students with a 3.5 GPA or higher. Students who started college poorly but whose recent work is honors caliber can apply to the honors coordinator for an exception. To apply, complete the Honors College application located at www.frederick.edu. Then click on the Honors link at the top of the website, and submit as directed.

Honors Advising

Students meet with an honors advisor to select a goal and develop an honors plan to achieve your goal. Check-in with an honors advisor each semester to update your plan. The Honors College also offers HONR 101 Honors Academic Engagement Seminar as a first-year experience course to help students make the transition to college and honors learning. Second-year honors peer mentors are embedded in the course as another source of help. Any student whose GPA drops below 3.000 must meet with the honors advisor to develop a recovery plan. Violations of FCC policy may jeopardize a student's standing in the Honors program. 

Academic Opportunities

Your academic opportunities begin with honors courses, which are designated with HONR or an “H” in the schedule. Because honors courses have the same core learning outcomes and content requirements as regular courses they are easily transferable. The class size for Honors courses is smaller (with a cap size limited to 15) and often operate as seminars with heavy class discussion. Some courses are linked so the same cohort of students is together in two classes that share blocks of time.

Honors contracts may be available when honors courses are not in the schedule (e.g., MATH 185 Calculus I). Honors trained faculty will mentor all contracts. Contact the honors coordinator to request an Honors Contract application.

Students can conduct scholarly research or produce creative works through Honors Independent Study projects under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Students share their work with the campus community at the Honors Forum and are encouraged to present at student conferences. Each year one student may be nominated to compete for the Portz Award for Outstanding Honors Student at Two-Year Colleges, which is sponsored by the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council.


We encourage students to engage in learning both inside and outside the classroom. To promote learning outside the classroom, all honors courses require students to attend co-curricular events. The Honors College sponsors a variety of student organized activities, and student clubs at FCC offer even more engagement opportunities. the Center for Student Engagement at FCC offers even more engagement opportunities. With 25 service hours in two projects and a reflection paper, students can earn a service certificate. Leadership opportunities are available through the Honors Student Association, Phi Theta Kappa, and Honors College peer mentorships. Student leaders can also complete workshops and earn a leadership certificate.


Besides honing your academic skills through active learning, some other benefits of participating in the Honors College are:

  • use of the Honors Lounge (H-247);
  • eligibility for honors peer mentorships and scholarships;
  • conference presentation opportunities;
  • student recognitions for excellence (Anne Slater Award for Honors Excellence, MCHC Portz Award for Outstanding Honors Student, All-USA Academic Team);
  • transfer and scholarship benefits with four-year honors partners;
  • automatic admission to even more four-year colleges; and
  • enhanced resumes when applying for selective admission program at four-year colleges as well as scholarships.


Students who complete 12 honors credits with an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.250 or higher are eligible to graduate from the Honors College. Graduates receive a notation on their transcripts recognizing this achievement. Further, at the graduation ceremony they wear an Honors College medallion and stand to be recognized. The transcript notation and color of the medallion are based on the student’s grade point average at the time of graduation:

GPA Transcript Notation Medallion
3.250–3.499 Honors College Bronze
3.500–3.749 Honors College – Honors Silver
3.750–4.000 Honors College – High Honors Gold

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate scholarly communication skills (written and oral) appropriate for an academic audience.
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze, synthesize, and contextualize scholarly sources, interpretations, and project findings.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use the scholarly research process to validate or produce new knowledge or understanding.


To learn more about how the Honors College can help you reach your goals, contact the Honors Coordinator, Dr. Bruce Thompson, in H-244 or at bthompson@frederick.edu or 301.846.2535.