Honors Program

The Honors Program is a university-wide undergraduate program designed to offer highly motivated and advanced students the opportunity to enhance their intellectual growth by engaging them in rigorous honors designated coursework, interdisciplinary seminars, strong internship experiences, extended research and creative projects, and community service that develops a community of learners.   The program will offer courses that are small in size and that develop the intellectual potential of students through activities that:

  • develop communication skills
  • incorporate interdisciplinary focus
  • include innovative pedagogy
  • enhance research skills
  • apply critical reading, writing, speaking, problem solving, and thinking skills that incorporate information literacy, and an appreciation of audience
  • include greater breadth than non-honors course sections
  • incorporate enrichment opportunities to students and faculty
  • utilize flexible approaches that accommodate different learning styles
  • analyze their own and others’ assumptions

Most students entering the Honors program will do so upon admission to the university. Students are admitted to the Honors Program based on screenings by the admissions office including consideration of high school GPA, standardized test scores, and rigor of high school curriculum. There is no separate application for the Honors Program for students applying for admission to the University.

Other students may apply for acceptance after matriculation, only during their first year at UMW.   Traditional first-year students must have a 3.20 overall UMW GPA or higher and a letter of recommendation from UMW faculty.   This only applies to students after matriculation to UMW.   Students entering after matriculation will be required to successfully complete 12 credits of HN designated coursework, the Project Design Seminar, the Capstone experience and the mentored service project, in order to be awarded University Honors.  The 6 credit per year requirement and minimum of 8 co-curricular events before graduation will also apply to these students for those semesters in which they are part of the Honors program. Exceptions to these policies can be made by the Honors committee/director in extraordinary circumstances.

Completion of the honors program requirements will be recognized at graduation and indicated on the transcript as “University Honors.”  Note that departmental Honors will continue to be distinct from the Honors program.  Honors in each discipline will still be administered by academic departments based on requirements they determine (see individual departments for details).

All students in the program must complete a minimum of 6 credits per year of Honors requirements and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.2 in order to remain in good standing.

An overview presentation of the UMW Honors Program can be downloaded: presentation_admissions_16_17