Expand your experience 

The UW Honors Program is a curriculum, a community and much more! In Honors, students fulfill UW general education requirements in small, interdisciplinary, seminar-style classes; are supported through international study, community service, leadership and research; access Honors scholarships and advisers; and ask and answer bold questions about the challenges facing our world. Our students are enthusiastic learners from all backgrounds and majors earning their degrees at one of the top public universities in the world.

Visit the Honors Program’s website to learn more and explore who are Honors students.

Quick facts:

  • There are three options to choose from: Interdisciplinary, College and Departmental Honors.
  • Honors courses overlap with the UW general education requirements.
  • The Honors curriculum integrates research, leadership, community service and reflection to create the college experience that fits YOU.
  • $1.2 million in resident and non-resident scholarships awarded annually.
  • Optional Honors floors are available in the residence halls.
  • Take one Honors class per quarter with an average class size of 18-35.
  • Honors offers a wide selection of international programs.
  • Honors students majors range from English to computer science, psychology to biochemistry, engineering to music, dance to public health – there is no one type of Honors student.

Honors application process

Freshman admission

If applying to the UW as a freshman, you will find the Honors application within the UW application. Answer “yes” when asked “Would you like to apply for admission to the UW Honors Program (Interdisciplinary Honors)?” This opens two additional Honors essay prompts. If at any point you no longer wish to apply to Honors, uncheck the button to proceed. Review the Honors tips to apply prior to starting your application.

The 2023 Honors application essay prompts are:

Instructions: Respond to the essay prompts using no more than 300 words each.

1. Why is an interdisciplinary education important to you? In your response explain why you are interested in the UW Interdisciplinary Honors Program.

2. The Interdisciplinary Honors program encourages students to engage with their local, national, and global communities through a multidisciplinary lens. Tell us about a pressing societal concern that impacts and/or interests you. Why is this issue important to you and how do you imagine engaging with or addressing this concern while at UW?

Notification of Honors admission. The Honors Program reviews applications separately from UW Admission – you must be admitted to UW to be admitted to the Honors Program, but your Honors admission decision has no bearing on the UW decision. Honors sends a separate decision email after you are officially admitted to the UW. If you are admitted to the UW, you should expect to receive a decision email from Honors between March 15 and April 15.

Competitiveness. The Honors application process is competitive. In recent years between 4,000 – 6,000 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 and no additional materials will be accepted. Applicants are notified of scholarship awards when Honors admission offers are made.

Plan your academic track. If you expect to earn a substantial number (30+) of incoming college credits before coming to UW, carefully review which Honors option 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 do not satisfy these requirements. Students with many incoming credits may choose to pursue Departmental Honors

Second year admission. Students enrolled at the UW may apply for Second Year Admission into the Interdisciplinary Honors Program during winter quarter of their freshman year.

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

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

See more details on the Honors website.