Honors College
Honors College Honors College Honors College
Contact: Bruce Thompson, Ph.D., Honors Coordinator • 301.846.2535 Admissions: Jefferson Hall (J200) • 301.624.2716 Career & Academic Planning Services: Jefferson Hall (J200) • 301.846.2478 Financial Aid: Jefferson Hall (J300) • 301.846.2620
Contact: Bruce Thompson, Ph.D., Honors Coordinator

1Admissions Policy

The Honors College is an academic program at Frederick Community College (FCC) that is open to students who want more out of their learning and demonstrate the potential to produce work at a high level. There are four pathways into the program:
  1. Test Scores. Students automatically qualify with the following test scores: 
    SAT   1100 overall with at least 550 on Reading
    ACT Reading 24+
    FCC placement exams Honors-level reading (253) and proficient college-level writing

  2. Collegiate Performance. Students with strong academic records (3.5 grade point average) or a faculty recommendation are encouraged to apply.

  3. Provisional. Students who want to try honors and have a compelling case (e.g., started college poorly but recent performance is strong) can apply to the Honors Coordinator for provisional status to prove they can do honors caliber work.

  4. Open Campus. Students in high school or home school with a 3.5 graded point average (not weighted)are welcomed to get started with college and decide if honors is right for them.

To apply, complete the Honors College application. The final step is to meet with the Honors Coordinator to identify your goal and FCC pathway, to select honors opportunities, and to create a personalized honors plan for goal completion.

Membership Responsibilities
Honors students are expected to pursue academic excellence, update their honors plan each semester, and be engaged in the honors program, FCC, or the community.

Be respectful of the people and facilities connected to the FCC Honors community. To remain in good status in the Honors College program, students are expected to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Any student whose grade point average drops below 3.0 will be placed on Probationary status and must meet with the Honors Coordinator for honors advising. "D" work not counted as part of the 12 honors credits needed to graduate from the Honors College program. Sustained academic performance below a 3.0 grade point average or violation of the student code of conduct policy at FCC is grounds for removal from the program.

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 also sponsors a variety of student organized activities each year, and the Office of Student Leadership & 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 internships. 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 internships 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 resume when applying for selective admission program at four-year colleges as well as scholarships.


Overview of Honors Learning at FCC

Honors is about striving for excellence.  We are not satisfied with “meets standards” or just passively sitting through classes. We demand more from our college experience, and expect to apply what we learn in our local and global communities.

To this end, the Honors College at FCC provides numerous learning opportunities. Students can engage in service projects, leadership training, and a variety of academic activities.  Honors classes pique intellectual curiosity through active learning techniques.  Class discussion is expected.  Fieldtrips, speakers, and other co-curricular events extend learning outside the classroom.  You may even teach others by serving as a lab assistant and creating your own original artwork.
Our classes also introduce students to the realm of scholarly research, which anchors the honors experience.  By learning to interpret, generate, or apply knowledge, honors students gain a deeper understanding of issues and develop the skills needed to contribute to today’s world.  Hallmarks of honors projects include:
  • original student creative work or research (primary and secondary sources preferred)
  • contextualization of the topic/issue within scholarly (interpretative) context
  • critical analysis that is logical and considers multiple perspectives and evidence
  • an articulate thesis and conclusion
  • effective communication (written and oral) of the findings – the Honors Forum at the end of each semester allows students to showcase their work
Successfully implemented (per Honors Project Rubric), these hallmarks distinguish a student’s work from general education standards.  Superior performance will be worthy of presenting at a student honors conference.

Honors Curriculum Features
The Honors Project

To earn honors credit at FCC – whether by an honors class, honors contract, or honors independent study – a student must complete an honors project (contextualized within the scholarship), write a project abstract, and present the project findings at an Honors Forum. Faculty use the honors project rubric (see section IV) to evaluate each honors project and submit the rubric to the honors coordinator at the end of the term.

Honors Courses

Honors courses engage in active learning beyond the honors project. Capped at 15 students, honors courses rely on student-student and student-faculty interaction and participation. Learning activities vary, but can include class discussion, role-playing, speakers, field trips, workshops, and so forth. All honors courses stress excellence in reading, writing, critical thinking, and research.

Some courses are linked so the same cohort of students is together in two classes that share blocks of time. These linked courses will often share assignments and common honors project.

Honors courses at FCC are easily transferable. The “H” policy, approved by the FCC Curriculum Committee circa 2005-2006, allows any FCC course to be taught in an honors format. Therefore, honors courses include the same core learning outcomes and content requirements as the regular courses, including General Education courses. The honors coordinator and Honors Advisory Board oversee the honors content and methods.

The schedule for each semester has an Honors sections that lists all honors courses, which are cross-listed under the departmental offerings. The two-year course rotation schedule allows students to meet all of their General Education requirements and cultural competency requirements for most degree programs at FCC.

Two Year Course Rotation with faculty profiles

Honors Contracts

With permission of the instructor and the honors coordinator, Honors Contracts can be arranged for courses not in the honors schedule (e.g., MATH 185 Calculus I).  The required honors project is additional work to the course requirements and does not affect the course grade. The honors project can be creative work, research, or applied learning and must produce a final deliverable (e.g., artwork, research paper), abstract, and an Honors Forum presentation. Remember to contextualize your project within the scholarly literature on the topic. The faculty mentor will use the honors project rubric to assess whether the project meets honors standards and merits honors credit. Contact the honors coordinator to request an Honors Contract application.

Honors Contract Application

Honors Independent Study

Students can conduct scholarly research or produce creative works through Honors Independent Study projects under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Usually reserved for second-year students who have completed an introductory course in the discipline of study, these projects are an opportunity to delve deeper into a topic of interest or explore a potential a major.

Honors Independent Study Application

Honors Forum

The Forum is styled as a mini-conference, and is open to the public. Student presenters should dress and conduct themselves professionally. Using an executive summary approach based on the project abstract, students may opt for an individual or panel oral presentation (8-10 minutes preferably with technological aid) or a poster presentation. Honors faculty members serve as session moderators and collect each presenter's project abstract. Students with outstanding projects and presentations may be encouraged to submit a proposal to present at a conference.

Honors Forum Registration

3Get Involved


Students who complete 12 honors credits (3 honors credits must be at the 200-level with an honors project or completion of an honors independent study project) 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
3.205-3.490 Honors College Bronze
3.500-3.749 Honors College – Honors Silver
3.750-4.000 Honors College – High Honors Gold

Academic Awards & Recognitions

Anne Slater Honors Excellence Award
Anne Slater was an award winning honors coordinator and faculty member known for her exacting standards.  With Anne’s blessing, the Honors College established this award to recognize students who demonstrated excellence in their honors research/applied learning projects during the academic year. 
Portz Award Nomination
The Maryland Collegiate Honors Council (MCHC) annually sponsors the John & Edythe Portz Award for the outstanding honors student in the State.

Honors Conferences

Maryland Collegiate Honors Council (MCHC)
The annual state honors conference, sponsored by the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council (MCHC), showcases student research through presentations and posters. If interested, work with your honors faculty mentor to connect your project abstract into a proposal that addresses the conference theme. Submit to the Honors Coordinator for consideration, selected proposals will be submitted in early December, the MCHC conference is always held the first Friday/Saturday in March.

Northeast Regional Honors Council (NRHC)
Held in early April, the Northeast Regional Honors Council (NRHC) conference includes students from two- and four-year colleges from Maryland to Maine. Participation is even more competitive and prestigious. The proposal deadline is usually from early to mid-November. Contact the Honors Coordinator earlier to review your project.

Leadership Opportunities

Honors Intern/Work Study
Whether paid or unpaid the student intern must:

  • Lead a project that supports the Honors College Program 

  • Complete five leadership development modules 

  • Participate in Honors College program planning and activities. 

Contact the Honors Coordinator to apply.  

Honors Peer Mentor
Being a peer mentor is a great way to practice student leadership. Students enrolled in HONR 201 qualify for both the leadership certificate and the service certificate. Responsibilities include being a resource to ACCE 110H or other freshmen level honors students, assisting or co-leading learning activities, and serving as a role model for honors learning.  

Honors Leader Scholar
Sponsored by First United Bank.  Apply through the FCC Foundation offers a variety of scholarships each year. Applications (STARS) are available by early October and due the first week of December. Contact the FCC Financial Aid Office for more information. 

Honors Scholarship
Applicants must be eligible to join the Frederick Community College Honors Program according to the guidelines stated in the FCC handbook: 

  • Students are awarded $1,000

  • GPA equivalent to 3.6 or higher

  • Or SAT Score = 1100 overall (out of 1600) with at least 550 on verbal, 

  • Or ACT = Reading 23+, 

  • Or FCC placement exams = Honors level reading (103) and proficient college-level writing. 

Honors Student Association
The Honors Student Association (HSA) is a recognized student club at FCC and is open to all students. There is a constitution on file with the Student Government Association and an officer with the club serves as liaison with SGA and attends the scheduled meetings. As required, HSA completes a budget request, submits meeting minutes, and completes a service project for each semester. The scheduled monthly meetings as well as planning meetings for events are announced via emails and on the white board in the Honors Lounge (H-247), which serves as headquarters for HSA and accessed by numerous students each semester.

Honors Advisory Board, Student Representative
At a minimum, one Honors Student Association (HSA) officer and one student at-large will serve annually on the Board. The FCC Honors Coordinator will nominate students for these positions. Students may serve two 1-year terms.

Professional Affiliations

The Honors College program at FCC maintains professional memberships in the following honors organizations:

Maryland Collegiate Honors Council (MCHC)  https://mdhonorscouncil.weebly.com/
Northeast Regional Honors Council (NRHC)  www.nrhchonors.org
National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC)  www.nchchonors.org

These organizations offer a variety of additional opportunities for students.

Honors College
Honors is an enrichment program that can be incorporated into most transfer degree programs at FCC. 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.

Through applied learning, honors students become producers of knowledge and practitioners of leadership. 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 earn a transcript notation and wear medallions at graduation that reflect their academic achievement. Students qualify for the Honors College High Honors designation on the FCC transcript and a gold medallion with 12 honors credits (3 honors credits must be at the 200 level) and a GPA of 3.75 or higher. Students earn a Honors College Honors designation on the FCC transcript and a silver medallion with 12 honors credits (3 honors credits must be at the 200 level) and a GPA of 3.5-3.74. Students merit the Honors College designation on the FCC transcript and a bronze medallion with 12 honors credits (3 honors credits must be at the 200 level) and a GPA of 3.25-3.49. 


*To view curriculum requirements for all previous catalog years and pathways for previous catalog years from 2021-2022 forward, please see previous catalog versions. Pathways for years prior to 2021-2022 are archived below.


Frederick County Public School students may receive free tuition and fees through Dual Enrollment at FCC for all courses taken during Fall or Spring semesters.  FCPS students participating in dual enrollment may obtain required textbooks and materials at the FCC bookstore at no cost to the student. Students should speak with their high school counselor first if they plan to enroll in FCC courses or programs.


To find more information about how credits may transfer from Frederick Community College to a state four-year institution visit ARTSYS or consult a College advisor.

Transfer Schools for Recent Honors College Graduates
Cornell University, George Washington University, Hood College (Honors Program), Johns Hopkins University, Messiah College, New York University, Shepherd University Honors, University of Maryland Baltimore County (Honors), University of Maryland (TAES), UMD School of Pharmacy, UMD School of Nursing, Virginia Tech, College of William & Mary

Frederick Community College has articulation agreements with the following institutions, allowing students a seamless transfer experience. Students who plan to transfer should speak with an advisor or program manager from their chosen transfer institution before selecting elective courses.

Biological Technicians
$44,500.00/yr • +10%*
Emergency Management Directors
$74,420.00/yr • +6%*
Management Analysts
$83,610.00/yr • +14%*
*Median pay, projected job growth or decline from 2020-2030. Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2020 Edition.
Admissions: Jefferson Hall (J200) • 301.624.2716 Advising: Jefferson Hall(J200) • 301.846.2471 Financial Aid: Jefferson Hall (J300) • 301.846.2620