Course of Study Planner
Honors students by their very nature go above and beyond the regular student body in their academic pursuits. Trying to incorporate combinations of majors, minors, study abroad, extracurricular and professional experiences requires a degree of planning to help realize how all of the components come together. The Course of Study Planner (COSP) can be the proof that “Yes, a double major in Aerospace Engineering and English, with minors in Mathematics and Humanities, is indeed possible…in four years!” The COSP will also reveal to the student what it will take in regards to semester credit loads. Students who work through the requirements of their major can also anticipate semesters that would be best to incorporate enrichment experiences such as studying abroad, co-op, internships, undergraduate research, and many other opportunities.
The Course of Study Planner was developed by a Virginia Tech Honors student in 1993 and was first adapted and used by University Honors in the fall of 1994. Honors students are required to complete the COSP between summer orientation and the first day of fall semester. Students who transfer into Honors must complete it in their first semester after admission to Honors. The Course of Study Planner has proven to be an invaluable aid to hundreds of students. It has since been adopted by non-Honors students, other departments on campus, and Universities across the country.
Before You Begin the Planner
First learn what information you can find in the catalogue. Read the Academic Policies section and see the services available to you. Then look through the catalogue to see what majors are offered in the university. List all courses that you might like to take as electives and/or potential minors or double majors. Look in the back of the catalogue at the lists of members in the Academy of Teaching Excellence and winners of teaching and research awards and chaired professors. Those faculty members are ones you should try to get. Do your best to plan all 4 years. See what is possible. Discover the flexibility that you will have in your schedule.
Filling in the Planner
Plan all 4 years, 5 if you plan to co-op or major in architecture. Your plans are not set in concrete. This Course of Study plan evolves over the years here. You are just looking to see what you will need to do. You can--and most likely will--change the planner.
- Choose one color of the Post-it® notes for the Liberal Education (core curriculum) requirements. Plan out those courses first.
- Look at the requirements for your major using the checksheets found on the Registrar's website. Choose the light yellow color for your primary major, as you will be provided with the most of that color. Make out a Post-it® note for each course that you must take in your major.
- Decide whether you’d like a double major or a minor. Then add those courses. Use another color for each additional major or minor.
- Look at the sheet on Honors diplomas and decide which Honors diploma you want to pursue and whether you would like to work toward an Honors thesis. Use another color for Honors courses. Decide on an Honors diploma and the hours required will determine the number of Post-it® notes (i.e. for 12 hours, 4 notes) needed. As you will not know the titles of the Honors courses, simply write 'Honors' on the Post-it® note.
- Don't forget to account for studying abroad, co-ops, or internships that you may want to have during the academic year, and plan accordingly.
- Finally, fill in any electives or extra courses you may want to take.
Remember the Course of Study Planner is a tool to explore what is possible. You are taking control of your own education. Your decisions are not written in stone. Take advantage of the flexibility of the Post-it® Notes by moving courses around and seeing what's potentially best for you.
- Checksheets (Graduation Requirements)
- Curriculum for Liberal Education Guides
- Historical Timetable
- HokieSpa / Timetable
- Award Winning Faculty
- Departmental Honors Advisors
Example of Post-it note:
The Course of Study Planner is due no later than 5:00 p.m. on the first day of classes.
Make an appointment to meet in groups with a member of the staff to go over the course of study planner. We will make suggestions and recommendations and answer questions.
Post-it notes should have:
- the course name
(such as Honors Freshman English);
- the course prefix and number; (ENGL 1204H);
- Prerequisite requirements
- CLE notes (where applicable)
- the number of credits (3C);
- the semester(s) that it is offered.
(I = Fall; II = Spring).