General Information and Benefits
Although Honors courses have been offered at WOU for many years, the 4-year Honors Program has existed only since 1984. 1989 was the first year in which the current program (featuring the Honors Seminars & capstone Thesis) was fully implemented. The curriculum was revised most recently in 2009.
In a challenging and motivating environment the Honors Program provides a quality foundation for the student’s specialized studies in their academic majors and minors. Through an interdisciplinary curriculum and sustained contact between students and teachers, the program forges a learning community committed to scholarly inquiry and the life of the mind.
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.
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 vigorous and original major project.
For students interested in any area of study, the Honors Program offers a cohesive, challenging alternative to WOU’s Liberal Arts Core Curriculum (LACC), required of all students. Best of all, it costs nothing to participate in Honors. The program requires only an intellectual curiosity and a willingness to challenge oneself.
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 format and 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. Because Honors students must also take classes outside of the Honors Program, they are never isolated from the WOU community.
Some classes feature exciting field-trips as well:
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 has earned at least a 3.25 WOU-cumulative GPA, the Latin phrase "in cursu honorum" is also printed on her diploma.