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General Information and Benefits
In a challenging and motivating environment the Honors Program provides a quality foundation for a student’s specialized studies in their academic majors and minors. To accomplish this goal, the Honors Program offers a cohesive, challenging alternative to WOU’s Liberal Arts Core Curriculum (LACC), which is required of all non-honors students.
Honors students will complete their honors coursework in subjects drawing from the humanities, creative arts, and the social and natural sciences. (Click here for details about our curriculum.)
Through specially offered seminars as well as the independent work of the Honors Thesis, students not only experience the joy of discovery but also learn the self-discipline of completing a rigorous and original major project.
The program seeks to build a supportive and demanding intellectual community to nurture individuals who will enter the wider community as producers, not merely consumers, of human knowledge.
Some of the greatest benefits of participating in the Honors Program are the close friendships and class-related field trips. Every class in Honors is designed in seminar-style format and enrollment is restricted to only Honors students. Classes are also regularly capped at 25 students — a welcome contrast to the much larger courses that non-Honors students usually take. Registration is also stress-free: Honors students are guaranteed a place in any Honors course.
Honors students typically enroll in common courses during their freshmen and sophomore years, making it convenient to get to know their classmates and develop a supportive community. Because Honors students must also take classes outside of the Honors Program, they are never isolated from the wider campus community.
Some classes feature exciting field-trips as well:
- During fall term of freshman year, past students have seen an opera or other musical performance as part of their music class
- During spring term of their freshman year, students travel to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland to see three plays as part of their theater class.
- During their sophomore year, past students in the general science courses have taken trips to Portland or the Oregon Coast, including the Newport Aquarium.
Depending on G.P.A., Honors scholarship money becomes available during sophomore, junior, and senior years. A.S.H. Hall, the all-Honors wing of WOU’s award-winning Ackerman Hall, is available for first- and second-year students.
At graduation, all Honors graduates wear white Honors cords and are asked to stand for recognition as an Honors Program student. Graduates also have the titles of their theses listed in the commencement program. If the student’s G.P.A. is high enough, the Latin phrase “in cursu honorum” is also printed on her diploma.
The Honors experience is designed to distinguish a student’s undergraduate career and provide lasting evidence of accomplishment to others.
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