Expand your experience through the UW Honors Program.The UW Honors Program invites students to deepen their undergraduate education within an enriching academic community. We welcome a diverse population of students ready to take intellectual risks, to seek an understanding of the interdependence of all branches of knowledge, to engage with the complexities of difference and diversity, to take leadership roles in navigating global change, and to value a life of continuous learning and personal growth. Students develop the habits of expansive critical thinkers, drawing from the sciences, arts and humanities to become thought leaders who bridge industries and disciplines. Bringing selected faculty into close contact with dedicated students in smaller general education classes allows the Honors Program to combine the intimacy of an interdisciplinary liberal arts college with the strengths of a top public research university.

Quick facts about Honors:

  • The Honors core curriculum fulfills UW general education requirements through Honors courses (~9 total) and the integration of research, leadership, community service and reflection to create the college experience that fits YOU. 
  • Interdisciplinary Honors students complete a reflective portfolio showcasing their learning inside and outside of the classroom
  • $1.2 million in resident and non resident scholarships are awarded through the Honors Program annually
  • The program has designated Honors floors in Lander Hall to experience community outside of the classroom
  • Students take approximately one Honors class per quarter with an average class size of 18-35
  • Honors offers a wide selection of international programs annually in locations around the globe
  • Students in Honors represent over 100 majors, ranging from computer science, biochemistry and engineering to music, English and public health, with many combining majors to earn double degrees
  • Honors students come from 26 states in the U.S. and international locations across the globe
  • Approximately 70% of Honors students come from public high schools, 25% from private high schools and 5% from homeschooling or other educational systems

How to apply to the Honors Program

Freshman application. If you are applying to the UW as a freshman, you will find the Honors application within the UW questions of the Coalition application, after the writing section. Answer “yes” to the question that asks whether you “would like to apply for admission to Interdisciplinary Honors?” This will open the Honors application, where you will respond to additional essay prompts. If at any point you no longer wish to apply to Honors, you must uncheck the button to proceed.

The 2019 Honors application essay prompts are:

    1. What is your understanding of the UW Interdisciplinary Honors Program and why do you want to be a part of it?
    2. As you approach college, what are you most curious about and why?

Notification of Honors admission. The Honors Program reviews applications and sends decision letters in a separate evaluation process after you are officially admitted to the UW. If you are admitted to the UW, you should expect to receive a decision letter from Honors between March 19 and April 13.

Competitiveness. The Honors application process is competitive. In 2018, over 4,000 applications were received for 225 spaces. The admissions committee reviews all applicants holistically to admit diverse thinkers from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

Honors Scholarships. The Honors Program offers a number of resident and non-resident merit-based scholarships to incoming Honors freshmen. Every student who applies and is admitted to Interdisciplinary Honors will be evaluated for our scholarships; no additional application is necessary.

Plan your academic track. If you expect to earn a substantial number of incoming college credits (30 or more), you should carefully review the degree tracks offered through the Honors Program to determine which fits best in your academic plans. Both Interdisciplinary and College Honors degrees require the completion of an Honors general education curriculum, and college credit completed elsewhere will not satisfy these requirements. Students with many incoming credits may choose to pursue Departmental Honors, which does not require the completion of an Honors general education curriculum. Please visit the Honors website or contact Honors advising if you have questions regarding Honors degree options.

Second Year Admission. Students who are already enrolled at the UW may apply for Second Year Admission into the Interdisciplinary Honors program during spring quarter of their freshman year. Applications are accepted from current freshmen and invitations are issued to those who have demonstrated academic excellence during their first two quarters at the UW.

Departmental Honors. Departmental Honors allows students the opportunity to explore their chosen major in greater depth, usually with guidance from a faculty member. Students typically apply for departmental admission in their junior year of college, although some majors have earlier entrance options.  

Transfer Students. Transfer students who have been admitted to the UW and have either participated in honors programs at their previous institution or who have strong college academic records are eligible to apply to Interdisciplinary Honors. Because Interdisciplinary Honors requires student to complete 47 credits of general education, some transfer students may find Departmental Honors a better option.

Find more details on the Honors website, including how to apply, information sessions, and how to set up a prospective student appointment with an Honors adviser.

Watch an Honors freshman information session here.