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The Honors Program

Honors Program.

The next level of excellence

Application deadline extended to March 15, 2021.

The William Woods University experience is one of a kind, with treasured experiences and countless opportunities to flourish. But what if you could take those experiences and opportunities to the next level?

The Honors Program at William Woods University allows students to do just that.

Through this program, we give students the opportunity to cultivate their intellectual gifts in a stimulating and supportive academic community. Members of the program are exposed to a rigorous and rewarding curriculum that fosters incisive, innovative thinking across a variety of subjects. Students will face stimulating intellectual challenges and develop the habits of mind necessary to navigate issues of difference and diversity in an increasingly complex world.

The Honors experience

A selective program that accepts a maximum of 15 students each year, the Honors Program fosters the growth of students who are dedicated, imaginative, and excited about learning in a community of equally driven go-getters.

During the semester, students will meet informally, have lunch together, and discuss courses, organizations and other learning activities. Because there are students from all majors represented, the diversity of interests allows for challenging interactions between students as they seek to understand one another's perspectives on a variety of topics.

To be successful in honors courses, students must be active learners ready to engage in the interchange of ideas among the students in the course and between the student and the professor. The courses are designed to provide an enriched learning experience where the coverage is more in-depth than non-honors courses. The program is committed to providing opportunities for students to employ creative and critical thinking as they serve the campus and greater communities.

The goals of the program are:

  • To support a learning community that is intellectually rigorous and culturally enriching
  • To challenge students to connect the classroom with the larger world by broadening their social and cultural experiences
  • To promote civic engagement and responsible leadership
  • To support students' efforts through resources and mentoring

The Honors advantage

In addition to being challenged and working closely with faculty, students are able to register early for upcoming semester classes, have first choice of campus housing, receive recognition at commencement, and receive identification on their transcript as having completed the program. We think being a valued group on campus is a pretty nice benefit too.

Other rewarding aspects of being an honors student include:

  • Membership in Dean’s Council
  • Monthly Colloquium Dinner
  • Eligibility to apply for research and study abroad funding
  • Retreat on campus – 2 days prior to official move in day
  • Summer Reading Requirement
  • Reside in Honors Hall during Freshman year with another Honors student
  • Honors Students receive a $1000 annual award


To build community among the participants and make connections with faculty, students complete the program as a cohort, taking the required 24 hours of gen ed courses (taught by members of the honors committee) together and in sequence.

Freshman Year

Fall Semester:
WWU 150 Into to Research and Scholarship
PHL 107 Honors Critical Thinking

Spring Semester:
PSY 102 Honors Gen Psych 2
PHL 116 Honors Biomedical Ethics

Sophmore Year

Fall Semester:
ECN 218 History of Economic Thought

Spring Semester:
ENG 234 Shakespeare & the Devil

Junior Year

Fall Semester:
ART 201 Art Applications

Spring Semester:
PHL 102 World Religions

Senior Year

Fall Semester:
WWU 4XX Honors Thesis I

Spring Semester:
WWU 4XX Honors Thesis II

Who is eligible?

Students can apply if they are incoming freshman with a minimum 26 ACT and 3.2 GPA.

How to apply:

Applicants must complete an application form, submit a resume, interview before a committee, and write an essay in response to one of the following prompts:

  1. Describe a moment that forced you to change your opinion about an issue or person.
  2. Can something be bought or sold for more than it is worth?
  3. Recount an incident or period of time in your life when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
  4. How does color affect meaning?
  5. What is a skill or concept you have taught yourself in the last year? How did you teach yourself this new skill or concept, and what makes the skill or concept valuable to you today?

Requirements for renewal

To renew membership and scholarships, students must:

  • Requires a minimum GPA of 3.25 for renewal 
  • Stay active in LEAD and maintain GPA requirement for award
  • Have participated in 80% of honors activities
  • Have completed required coursework for academic year
  • Receive Honors Committee recommendation