University of Washington Honors Program

At the University of Washington, the spirit of intellectual exploration thrives within the University Honors Program. This dynamic and interdisciplinary initiative invites a diverse community of students to embark on a transformative journey of expansive thinking, global consciousness, and impactful leadership.

The Honors Program at the University of Washington enrolls approximately 1300 undergraduates every year. The University of Washington Honors Program brings together students and faculty from across campus to create a unique learning environment where students can explore different disciplines, gain hands-on experience, conduct research, and reflect critically on their learning.

The University Honors Program is more than just an academic distinction; it’s a mindset. It challenges students to think critically about pressing global challenges and encourages them to take proactive steps to address these issues. The program nurtures engaged citizens and leaders who seek to serve their communities and the world at large.

The University Honors Program offers a plethora of unique opportunities and benefits, making it an exceptional choice for students who thirst for more than a traditional academic experience.

Some advantages of the program are:

Academic Excellence: Interdisciplinary Honors classes are small, engaging and encourage new modes of thinking and learning. These classes facilitate close interactions with professors and foster intellectual growth.

Global Engagement: The program focuses on international study, community service, leadership, and research to help students develop a global perspective and a sense of social responsibility.

Personalized Support: Honors advisers provide comprehensive guidance to students and ensure that each student maximizes their potential.

Learning Community: Honors students benefit from a vibrant community. Social, cultural, and academic events provide ample opportunities for networking and growth.

Experiential Learning: The program offers an array of experiential learning resources, including unique study abroad opportunities and an Honors Living Learning Community in the residence halls.

Who Should Apply?

The Honors Program seeks individuals who view college as a platform for exploration and growth. Test scores and GPAs are not barriers; rather, the program values curiosity, complex thinking, and diverse experiences. It’s for those who dare to ask profound questions and act as catalysts for positive change.

Honors Tracks

Students can choose from three distinct Honors tracks based on their goals:

Interdisciplinary Honors: This track offers an undergraduate journey that transcends disciplinary boundaries. It encourages students to explore connections between various fields of knowledge and promotes adaptive global citizenship.

Departmental Honors: Ideal for those who want to delve deeply into their majors, this track involves research, extended theses, and close faculty mentorship within specific departments.

College Honors: The pinnacle of Honors distinction, this track combines the benefits of Interdisciplinary and Departmental Honors, offering a comprehensive and enriching experience.

Applying as a freshman to the Honors Program

The application for freshman admission to Interdisciplinary Honors is integrated into the UW Freshman Application, with additional required essays and a separate evaluation process. You must complete and submit all of the regular UW Admissions and all of the Honors application materials to be considered for Interdisciplinary Honors admission.

Interdisciplinary Honors 2024 Essay

We want to understand your desire to learn new things and to push your education outside of the areas of learning that you are most familiar with. 

Tell us why this type of learning interests you and which subjects you’re excited to explore in college.

You should demonstrate that you have done your research about the program and that you have an understanding of the program you are applying for. Show evidence of how your values and goals align with those of the UW Honors Program and why you are enthusiastic about joining this community. Here are some questions that may help you reflect more deeply on why you want to be a part of the Interdisciplinary Honors community:

  • In your own words, what do you like about learning and pushing yourself outside your learning comfort zone?

  • How does interdisciplinary learning enhance your understanding of the world?

  • How do you hope to engage with what UW Honors offers to further your education and personal growth?

  • How do you individually connect with the goals and values of the UW Honors Program and why are they important to you?

  • Why does interdisciplinary learning matter to you personally? Why does it matter for our broader world?

  • What have you done in the past that supports what you tell us in your essay? Don’t focus entirely on past experiences, but providing evidence to back up claims you make strengthens your essay.

  • Why are you applying for Interdisciplinary Honors (as opposed to only pursuing Departmental Honors through your major)? If you plan to pursue both Honors pathways, explain what you hope to uniquely gain from pursuing a degree with Interdisciplinary Honors.

  • Why is community important to you, and who do you hope to meet in the Interdisciplinary Honors community?

Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance for the University of Washington Honors Program varies depending on a number of factors, including the student’s residency status, financial aid eligibility, and the cost of living in Seattle.

The estimated cost of attendance for a full-time, in-state student in the Honors Program is $32,584. This includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and personal expenses.

For a full-time, out-of-state student in the Honors Program, the estimated cost of attendance is $66,314.

The Honors Program provides scholarship opportunities for students currently enrolled in the Program. These scholarships are supported through gifts from alumni, faculty, foundations, and other stakeholders who understand the value of a rigorous interdisciplinary education.

Students who are eligible for financial aid may be able to receive grants and scholarships that can help offset the cost of attendance. The University of Washington offers a variety of financial aid programs, including need-based grants, merit-based scholarships, and work-study opportunities.

Applying to the Honors Program is a gateway to a world of intellectual curiosity and exploration. The program values students who are eager to push their educational boundaries, think critically, and act on their diverse experiences. The Honors Program at the University of Washington is a place where the brightest minds come together to challenge themselves, connect across disciplines, and make a difference.

Embark on a transformative higher education journey and elevate your path to academic success with the expert guidance and personalized support of an Ivy Central college counselor.

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