Professor Linda Frost, Dean
The Honors College at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has a clear mission: to serve a community of engaged students, staff, and faculty in order to develop intellectually nurtured and socially responsible leaders. The Honors College offers a slate of opportunities for students with exceptional academic ability and initiative including: distinct curricular programs that replace general education courses and offer unique community engagement and research experiences; a residential community in which Honors College students can live, study, and socialize together; a on-campus home in the Guerry Center; cultural and social events organized by and for UTC Honors College students; and opportunities for students across campus to conduct and present undergraduate research. Students applying to UTC can apply to be part of the four-year Brock Scholars Program or the freshman-year High Achieving Mocs Living Learning Community; currently enrolled UTC students and transfer students can apply for the two to three-year Innovations in Honors Program or propose an honors thesis project in their major departments for the Departmental Honors Program.
The Brock Scholars Program began in 1977 as the University Scholars Program, enrolling 20 new students each year. In 1979, a scholarship endowment was created through a grant from the Lyndhurst Foundation, and the program was renamed the Brock Scholars Program in honor of William E. Brock, Jr., a prominent Chattanooga businessman who served for many years on the University of Chattanooga Foundation Board of Trustees. In 1987, the program was expanded with the help of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, allowing more students to enroll each year and to enhance the program’s curriculum. At that point, the program’s name was changed to the University Honors Program, which typically enrolled between 35 and 40 new students each year. Now renamed the Brock Scholars Program, this centerpiece of the College admits up to 50 stellar freshmen each year, each of whom receives an additional William E. Brock, Jr. Scholarship and completes a total of 34 hours of honors coursework. All Brock Scholars who successfully complete their honors requirements receive an Honors College diploma at the annual Honors College Commencement and special recognition at the university’s graduation.
In 2011, UTC received a major gift from the Hamico Foundation in order to design and develop an Honors College, an entity that would provide additional honors experiences for UTC’s expanding undergraduate population. The Honors College admitted the first members of the Innovations in Honors Program (IIH) in 2015. This program is built around a two-course Innovation Lab sequence that utilizes problem based learning to teach creativity, collaboration, and community-based research. Students successfully completing the 15 hours of the IIH Program will receive special recognition at graduation; IIH students who transfer in to the Honors College with honors coursework from another recognized institution of higher education or who complete additional honors coursework may also receive an Honors College diploma at the annual Honors College Commencement if they complete a minimum total of 24 hours of honors coursework.
The Departmental Honors Program (DHON) is administered by the Honors College but resides most centrally in the university’s individual academic departments. Students interested in completing a Departmental Honors Thesis should consult with both the Honors College and their home departments in the first semester of their junior or third year at UTC in order to acquaint themselves with the requirements of DHON.
The Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) helps students interested in pursuing undergraduate research and creative opportunities find appropriate and available faculty mentors, support for individual projects and travel to conferences where undergraduates can present their work, and publication opportunities for undergraduate research and creative activity both on and off campus. While not a curricular program, the URCA office supports the cultivation of a robust research culture at UTC in which undergraduate students are a critical part. For more information about the URCA Office, visit the web site at www.utc.edu/honors-college/urca.