University of Washington Honors Program

Introduction to Honors Advising

What is academic advising? 

The academic advising team in Honors aims to serve students from before the point of admission until graduation – and beyond. In the UW Honors Program, academic advisers support individual students with problem solving, goal setting, reflection, and planning. We are educators who teach students to find meaning in their individual pathway at UW by creating opportunities that foster student growth, positive development and opportunities for leadership.

What can advisers help me with?

Your advisers are here to help you understand the complexities of decision making and develop the reflective skills necessary to build a rewarding academic plan, not necessarily to make decisions for you. There are often no easy or straight-forward answers as you discern academic and career goals, sometimes advising appointments may leave you with more questions than you came with! While you have no individual assigned adviser in UW Honors, meeting with the same adviser may help you develop a more personalized working relationship.

More specifically, advisers can help you with:

  • Understanding Honors and general education requirements
  • Discerning academic goals, finding a major, or creating an academic plan
  • Evaluating progress toward your degree
  • Providing information about and connecting you with campus/community resources and services
  • Brainstorming experiential learning activities or ad hoc Honors projects
  • Developing career or graduate school plans

More about Honors Advising

Understanding advising services at the UW

Your Honors advisers are your assigned pre-major, general advisers. This does not mean you can’t begin to establish a network of advisers at UW, in fact, we encourage you to do so! Your goals will intersect with many different communities at UW, and we encourage you to work with different advisers simultaneously as you develop your plans. As you start to narrow down your choice of majors, or if you’re already declared, you will want to start meeting with department advisers. College and department advisers have specialized knowledge of their specific area of the university. We also encourage you to meet with specialty advisers (such as the career coaches who also specialize in pre-health and pre-law advising, research and scholarship advisers). You may also be affiliated with the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMAD) Counseling Services or Student-Athlete Academic Services. In addition, the UAA Advising website is loaded with excellent resources for degree and course planning, choosing a major, and more.

General Advising includes Honors Program, UAA Advising, Other circle includes College/Department Advising

Who can use Honors advising resources?

Only current UW Honors students can attend drop-ins, group advising sessions, or schedule an advising appointment. If you are an incoming freshman– we ask that you wait until after your summer advising and orientation session to meet with an adviser. Prospective students or applicants interested in the Honors Program can learn more here, or consider reaching out to one of our Honors Student Leaders for more specific questions.

Departmental Honors Students and Interdisciplinary Honors Students

There are different pathways toward achieving a degree with Honors from the UW. While advisers in UW Honors are the primary assigned pre-major advisers for students enrolled in Interdisciplinary Honors, students enrolled in Departmental Honors may also find working with an adviser in our office helpful.

Students in Departmental Honors should work directly with their Departmental adviser on questions and concerns related to:

  • Applying to and gaining admission into Departmental Honors
  • Developing a plan to complete their Departmental Honors and broader major requirements
  • Preparing to graduate with Departmental Honors

Students in Departmental Honors should work with a UW Honors adviser to address questions or concerns related to the following topics:

  • General questions about what it means to be admitted and enrolled in the UW Honors Program
  • Questions related to Honors specific scholarships that Departmental Honors students are eligible for
  • Questions related to Honors specific study abroad programs that Departmental Honors students may enroll in
  • Questions about getting involved in Honors student community groups or leadership opportunities, including participating as an Honors Community Ambassador
  • Questions about taking an Interdisciplinary Honors core course on a space available basis
  • Questions about attending or involvement with Honors Program events
  • Questions about getting or staying connected with the Honors Program alumni community

Meeting with an Honors Adviser

By Appointment Advising 

Our advisers are available for 30 minute one-on-one appointments between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. To schedule an advising appointment, please complete the Honors Advising Meeting Request Form. We ask for advance notice of at least THREE business days for appointments, though during registration periods and at the beginning of the quarter our advisers are typically scheduled between 1-2 weeks out, we will do their best to accommodate an appointment as soon as possible. If you prefer to meet with a specific adviser please note your adviser preference in the advising request form and we will do our best to accommodate your preferences.

Request an Appointment

Meet with a Peer Adviser

  • general questions about what the Honors curriculum entails and what the Honors core requirements are
  • how to navigate experiential learning and ad-hoc applications.
  • General UW registration questions such as how to register for classes, help with the thinking through of course planning and four-year plans, and when to connect with other UW advisors.

Peer Advisers are well versed in the variety of campus resources available to students and can help refer students to resources that they may benefit from. Finally, as students themselves, they can offer peer-to-peer input and advice on many aspects of student life. 

To meet with a peer adviser, indicate that you would like to meet with a peer adviser on the advising appointment request form.

How do I prepare for advising?

Before meeting with an adviser in any of the ways below, please prepare through the following ways:

  • Do research ahead of time! Be sure to review the Honors and/or UW website for an answer to your question. We do our best to keep the website updated with information most relevant to students.
  • Use and review the Honors core requirements handout, MyPlan and your degree audit
  • Look at Honors Common Questions and Concerns & Advising Resources 
  • Think about what questions you have – don’t hesitate to write them down and bring them to your appointment
  • Think about what support looks like for you and ways that you feel like an adviser can be helpful. We encourage you to share those thoughts with your adviser.
  • Reflect on your academic goals, take thoughtful steps to explore majors of interest 
  • Review UAA’s Student Advising Guides for advice on what questions to ask your advisers, what to spend time reflecting on, and a list of UW resources
  • Determine what advising option (see below) best fits your needs

Drop-In Advising

Drop-in advising occurs three times a week and is best for short questions or conversations ranging from 5-10 minutes. If you have questions that require a longer conversation, or if the drop-in times do not work in your schedule, please schedule an individual advising appointment. Drop-in advising is offered either in person or via zoom, see the table below for details.

Autumn 2023 Schedule:

Date & Time Adviser Location
Mondays 1:30pm – 3:30pm Wien IN PERSON (MGH 211)
Thursdays 10:00am-11:00am Aley
Thursdays 2:00pm-3:00pm Aley

Autumn 2023 Drop In Hours: 

Date & Time Adviser Location
Mondays 1:30pm – 3:30pm Wien IN PERSON (MGH 211)
Thursdays 10:00am-11:00am Aley
Thursdays 2:00pm-3:00pm  Aley

Asking Questions Over Email

For simple, close-ended questions please send us an email. Our staff check this email daily M-F, and will get back to you as quickly as possible. 

Group Advising 

The Honors Group Advising series is aimed at connecting Honors students with the people, resources, and topics relevant to a full and diverse UW undergraduate experience. Every quarter we aim to design and offer two sessions, each with a new topic of interest. If you ever have a topic in mind for a group advising session that you feel would be helpful to you and your peers, don’t hesitate to share it with an adviser.  

Common Questions & Concerns

Honors Advising FAQ

Do Honors courses require an add code? If the course does require one, how do I get the add code?

Most courses don’t require add codes (sometimes referred to as entry codes) until Monday of week two of the quarter the course is being offered. Check the course description and notes (click “View more details”) on MyPlan to see if an add code is required or available. Instructions for how to get an add code can usually be found in the ‘Notes’ section of a course on MyPlan.

If you were unable to find instructions on MyPlan and the course you’re hoping to register for is offered by Honors, please see the course description on the Honors Courses page and follow the instructions in red text on how to gain entry to the course. If the course is offered by another department, reach out to them directly.

Where do I find information about course registration policies and guidelines (Adding/Dropping courses; S/NS grading; Incomplete and other grading options)?

Processes for dropping courses are dependent on where we are in the quarter. Please read through the Registration Changes page for detailed information. Our advisers are also happy to help explain these processes and answer any questions. Specific dates referenced in these policies are based on the Academic Calendar.

All Honors courses that are required for your Honors core requirements must be decimal graded (they may not be CR/NC or be taken as S/NS).

My GPA fell below 3.3, what happens now?

We encourage you to read through the Honors GPA Policy and schedule an appointment with an adviser to discuss strategies for raising your GPA. Students must earn a minimum 3.3 cumulative GPA requirement in order to graduate with Interdisciplinary Honors, regardless of whether they have completed all other curriculum requirements.

I’m struggling outside of academics, what support is available?

Mental Health Resources:  Husky Health & Well-Being offers a variety of services for UW students, whether you are currently in Washington state or abroad.  Many  options are free to students or can be charged to your health insurance provider. 

Disability resources: If you have been diagnosed with a learning disability, or feel that you might have a learning disability, Disability Resources for Students (DRS) can help. DRS is committed to ensuring equal access for enrolled students who have a documented permanent or temporary physical, mental, or sensory disability. DRS can help with note-taking services, more time on tests, textbook audiotaping and more.

Food pantry: The Campus Food Pantry provides nonperishable groceries and select fresh produce to UW students, staff, and faculty at no cost. Anyone with a Husky ID is eligible to receive support.

Emergency aid: the UW offers emergency aid to assist students who are experiencing unexpected financial hardships that may disrupt their education or prevent them from earning their UW degree.

Can my Interdisciplinary core course count towards a different core category?

No, they cannot. Our core courses, while all interdisciplinary in nature, are taught from the perspective of the Honors core category they are associated with. Honors Interdisciplinary core courses are taught from more than one perspective (natural science, arts and humanities, social science), whereas Honors natural science core courses investigate interdisciplinary topics but all from within a natural science perspective/lens. The interdisciplinary course requirement is intentionally designed to further prioritize interdisciplinary learning in the curriculum and is its own core category.

How do my Honors requirements overlap with my general education requirements?

An undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree is made up of several types of credits which include General Education, major and elective courses. Students take courses outside of their major to fulfill the General Education categories (Basic Skills and Areas of Knowledge) not fulfilled by their major coursework. Interdisciplinary Honors courses overlap with all the Areas of Knowledge and most of the Basic Skills categories including writing, English composition, and diversity.

General Education includes Interd. Honors Req., Areas of Knowledge, and Basic Skills for a total of 180 credits towards your Bachelor's degree


Read more about the Honors requirements and download our Honors requirements worksheet.

The Honors course page says my Honors class counts towards the basic skill category of DIV, but I don’t see it counting as DIV on my degree audit or on time schedule?

Honors manually applies diversity credits to our courses, you can expect to see the credit reflected on your degree audit by the first day of the following quarter. 

I’m considering dropping Honors.

 We highly recommend scheduling an appointment with an Honors adviser to discuss your options prior to dropping the program. Oftentimes, completing the Honors core requirements can be more flexible than students initially understand. However, if you are sure of your decision, you can send us an email and we will formally remove you from the program.

If transferred out, you will receive an email from UW Honors containing an Exit Survey. Once this survey is completed, you will be formally transferred out of the program. Within three weeks of the survey being completed, Honors requirements should no longer appear on your Degree Audit. 

How can I give my feedback about the Honors Program or Honors courses?

You are always welcome to give feedback directly to your Honors advisers, or you can meet with associate director Juliana Villegas. We also encourage you to complete your course evaluations as these are reviewed quarterly.

Advising Resources



Meet the Honor Advisers

Aley Mills Willis

Aley Mills Willis

Aley has been advising students in the UW Honors Program since Autumn, 2002. She completed her undergraduate studies at UW with an Honors degree in English Literature, and her graduate studies at UW with a Masters in Education with an emphasis in Higher Education Policy Studies. She has focused much of her studies on how college students incorporate experiential and community engaged learning opportunities into their curriculum. Before working in higher education, Aley worked in book publishing in NYC and Seattle and holds a particular interest in literature of the environment.

Aley has found advising students in the Honors Program to be a wonderful way to help college students create an individualized path of study and reach their personal goals at the UW. When not working with students, or thinking about higher education, Aley spends as much time as possible with her family at home or in the mountains around the Seattle area. She has a passion for exploring and has spent much time traveling the world – mostly in search of more mountains. She is thrilled to help students imagine how to extend their education beyond the classroom both locally and abroad.

Brook Kelly profile

Brook Kelly

Brook has been advising in the Honors Program since 2005 and graduated from the UW in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with College Honors and History. Brook was a 2003 Bonderman Fellow, and traveled throughout east Africa on her fellowship. She oversees operations, admissions, scholarships, and study abroad for Honors.

Brook enjoys helping students navigate the university and figure out what matters to them, as well as helping them connect their studies to the rest of the world. She spends her time with her family, traveling, tramping the high country, working on never ending house projects, gardening, and cooking.

Nadra Fredj Selfie

Nadra Fredj

Nadra Fredj is the instructor of HONORS 100 and the Peer Educator Program. She is not a general Honors adviser but is available to meet with current students to discuss questions about HONORS 100 or the Peer Educator program. Please email her directly to arrange a meeting time. They have worked for the Honors Program since graduating from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Law, Societies, and Justice in 2020. She is also currently working toward a Masters in Education in Student Development Administration at Seattle University. Nadra is especially interested in identity development, the intersection of education with the criminal legal system, and addressing issues of equity and access within higher education.  When they’re not at work, Nadra loves to spend time exploring the outdoors, starting a new craft project, playing with her beloved cat Marsha, or spending time with family and friends.

Wien Sillevis Smitt

Wien Sillevis Smitt

Wien graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Law, Societies & Justice and Comparative History of Ideas and minor in Political Science with Interdisciplinary Honors. In Law, Societies & Justice, she mainly focused on injustices in the criminal legal system, specifically on trial proceedings. In the Comparative History of Ideas, they examined the intersections of literature, lived experiences, equity, and what is considered valued knowledge. During Wien’s time as an undergraduate, she worked as a campus tour guide and a peer educator and student assistant for the Honors Program. In these experiences, they developed a passion for supporting students in exploring their interests and goals throughout higher education. Outside of work, Wien loves venturing into different neighborhoods in Seattle with friends and family, drinking coffee, reading lots of books, and crafting.

Phoenix Davis

Phoenix Davis

Phoenix (they/them) is a fourth-year student majoring in biochemistry. Their experience in teaching and mentoring has been acquired through roles such as serving as a peer educator for the Honors Program, acting as a teaching assistant for various biochemistry courses at the University of Washington, and providing tutoring to K-12 students across a wide range of subjects. In addition, Phoenix is actively involved in other campus activities, including conducting research on neuropeptidergic circuits that play a role in modulating reward-seeking behavior. They also hold dual roles as a production manager and social media liaison for the University of Washington’s undergraduate neuroscience journal, Grey Matters. During their leisure moments, Phoenix takes delight in exploring the dynamic cityscape of Seattle, indulging in refreshing naps, engaging in spirited tennis matches, and immersing themselves in scientific non-fiction or gripping horror novels. They are excited to meet with students for anything involving Honors, academic planning, major exploration, and finding community at UW.