two students walking outside a building on campus

University Honors Program

Dr. Kerry Wynn, Director
honors@washburn.edu

The mission of the Honors Program at Washburn University is to provide highly motivated and academically talented students with enriched educational experiences in and out of the classroom, enabling and empowering them to realize their full potential as critical thinkers, informed global citizens, and agents of change. Toward this end, the program provides curricular and co-curricular experiences supporting, promoting, and rewarding excellence in academic rigor, research and scholarship, leadership, and service learning.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Washburn University Honors Program, students will be able to:

  • Analyze their own and others’ assumptions and carefully evaluate the relevance of contexts when presenting a position.
  • Interpret intercultural experience from the perspectives of their own and more than one worldview and demonstrate the ability to act in a supportive manner that recognizes the beliefs of another cultural group.
  • Identify service opportunities in their community and make decisions and implement actions that address the needs of the community.
  • Design, conduct, and actively pursue independent educational experiences.

In pursuit of its mission, the University Honors Program provides many benefits for students including the following:

  • Special sections of existing courses.
  • Unique and engaging Honors courses that also satisfy general education requirements.
  • Independent research opportunities, and other creative scholarly projects.
  • Closer working relationships with distinguished faculty.
  • Individual and Honors specific advising.
  • Unique ways to have a voice in, and change, Honors and the University as a whole.
  • Trademark events that include guest speakers, community engagements, and more.

Honors fits well with Washburn’s many four-year degree programs and the tiered system allows students to pursue honors with varying degrees of involvement and receive recognition. Students work directly with the Honors Dean to identify opportunities to explore, relate, and assimilate many diverse learning experiences. As Linus Pauling said, “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” The University Honors Program is committed to providing students, faculty, and staff with opportunities to develop and implement good ideas.

University Honors Tiers and Involvement Requirements

“Honors Associate” – 12 Credit Hours of Honors Credit
“Honors Scholar” – 18 Credit Hours of Honors Credit
“Honors Graduate” – 24 Credit Hours of Honors Credit

Regardless of tier, students will be expected to complete an Honors Thesis Project (or similar scholarly/creative project, e.g., scholarly/creative WTE). In addition to curricular requirements, students may receive recognition for involvement (service) in honors and the community.

Involvement Requirements

“With Distinction in Service” = 50 Hours of involvement with at least 35 hours in Honors-related events.
“With High Distinction in Service” = 100 Hours of involvement with at least 75 hours in Honors-related events.

Each curricular tier can be combined with any level of involvement (e.g., University Honors Graduate with High Distinction in Service).

Admission Criteria

Entering freshman students with an unweighted high school GPA of 3.5 or higher and/or an ACT of 28 or higher are especially encouraged to inquire about the University Honors Program by submitting a completed application (found on the University Honors website). Individuals may apply on their own initiative, be recommended to apply by their high school or college faculty, or be invited to apply by the Director of University Honors. Students who meet the minimum criteria and successfully complete the application process (application materials can be found online at www.washburn.edu/honors) will be invited to join the community of exceptional learners and thinkers.

Although proven scholastic performance is important, the Honors Dean will place substantial emphasis on students’ ability to benefit from and contribute to the program. Once admitted into the program, students who complete requirements associated with a given tier (listed above) will have their transcripts listing the completed tier and involvement if completed. Washburn is an institutional member of the National Collegiate Honors Council and an institutional member of the regional Great Plains Honors Council.

Course Offerings

EN 102  Freshman English Honors  (3)  

The analysis of texts that purport to gather facts, to structure experience into pleasing formal structures, to persuade others to action, judgment, or evaluation, and to articulate principles whose power shapes diverse experiences into meaningful patterns of coherence. The writing of expository prose that communicates thoughtfully and clearly the results of those analyses. Open to those students accepted into the University Honors Program and by invitation from the Composition staff.

HN 101  Honors First Year Experience  (3)  

HN101 is a three credit hour course, designed for first-year honors students (incoming honors freshmen) providing students with a common first-semester experience. The course will substitute for WU101 thereby fulfilling this university-wide requirement. Like WU 101, course content will focus upon information literacy, technology, and the transition into the Washburn University Community of Learning in addition to exposure to co-curricular activities (a.k.a., passport activities). Common themes such as the exploration of writing, study skills, research, wellness, technology, plagiarism, and others will be covered to introduce students to a series of best practices for success. HN 101 differs from WU 101 in general in that additional topics will be explored and some shared topics with WU 101 (e.g., writing) be emphasized more. For example, students will learn more about conducting research through instruction and by conducting a group research project, complete a service learning project, and actively participate in seminar-style discussions covering assigned readings. Prerequisite: Accepted into Honors program.

HN 201  Seminar Humanities Fine Arts  (3)  

An integrated humanities topics course that takes some special problem, theme, or subject matter and explores it from a humanistic perspective. Topics vary from semester to semester. Satisfies three hours of general education credit in the humanities and fine arts. May be taken more than once with different topics.

(General Ed Humanities. Critical and Creative Thinking.)  

HN 202  Seminar in the Social Sciences  (3)  

An integrated social sciences topics course that takes some special problem, theme, or subject matter and explores it from the perspective of the social sciences. Topics vary from semester to semester. Satisfies three hours of general education credit in the social sciences. May be taken more than once with different topics.

(General Ed Social Science. Critical and Creative Thinking.)  

HN 203  Seminar Physical Science & Mathematics  (3)  

A special topics course that takes some special problem or subject matter and explores that subject matter or problem from the perspective of the natural sciences or mathematics. Topics vary from semester to semester. Satisfies three hours of general education credit in the natural sciences and mathematics. May be taken more than once with different topics.

(General Ed Natural Science. Critical and Creative Thinking.)  

HN 301  Seminar Humanities Fine Arts  (3)  

An integrated humanities topics course that takes some special problem, theme, or subject matter and explores it from a humanistic or fine arts perspective. Topics vary from semester to semester. May be taken more than once with different topics. Prerequisites: Sophomore Standing.

(General Ed Humanities. Critical and Creative Thinking.)  

HN 302  Seminar in the Social Sciences  (3)  

An integrated social sciences topics course that takes some special problem, theme, or subject matter and explores it from the perspective of the social sciences. Topics vary from semester to semester. May be taken more than once with different topics. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

(General Ed Social Science. Critical and Creative Thinking.)  

HN 303  Seminar Natural Sciences & Mathematics  (3)  

A special topics course that takes some special problem or subject matter and explores from the perspective of the natural sciences or mathematics. Topics vary from semester to semester. May be taken more than once with different topics. Prerequisites: Sophomore Standing.

(General Ed Natural Science. Critical and Creative Thinking.)  

HN 305  Colloquium Liberal Arts Professional Disciplines  (3)  

A special topics course that involves the study of the relationship of the professional disciplines – for example, law, education, business, public planning and administration, social work or other applied studies, the health professions – to the liberal arts, or one of the liberal arts – for example, history, poetry, rhetoric, or philosophy.

HN 392  Directed Readings  (1-3)  

A special topics course designed to allow students and faculty the opportunity to explore and develop areas of study as a foundation for thesis work.

HN 399  Honors Thesis  (1-6)  

Independent research in a specified area approve by the Dean of University Honors.