University of Washington Honors Program

Applying to Interdisciplinary Honors

There are three ways to apply to Interdisciplinary Honors:

  • Freshman admission for applicants simultaneously applying for freshman admission to the University of Washington;
  • Second Year admission for students already enrolled at the UW, in spring quarter of their first year on campus; and
  • Transfer admission for transfer students admitted to the UW and who have either participated in honors programs at their previous institution or who have strong college academic records.

If you are interested in applying to Departmental Honors, please visit our Departmental Honors page.

Learn more about Interdisciplinary Honors

Who should apply to Interdisciplinary Honors?

The Interdisciplinary Honors Program seeks students who want to think in complex ways about big global challenges. Whether you’ve participated in an honors program before or not, if you have this deep curiosity about the world, we welcome your application. We evaluate applications broadly, looking to understand the entirety of the student’s experiences represented in those pages. We are eager to ensure our community includes the complex and dynamic perspectives necessary to true scholarship.

Our experience has shown us that students who enter Interdisciplinary Honors for the wrong reasons either end up leaving or completing it with less satisfaction than anticipated. It is critical, then, that students, parents, teachers, and counselors consider the values and goals of the UW Honors Program before students apply. Those who commit to our broader concept of a college education report that they have been transformed by the experience. It is this quality that makes our program truly distinctive.

Does Interdisciplinary Honors might fit into your educational goals? Consider the following before you begin the application process:

  • The University Honors Program is indeed highly competitive and acceptance does set admitted students apart. But this recognition alone will not lead to satisfaction if the student’s goals are out of sync with the Program’s values: community, diversity, leadership, lifelong learning, global and community engagement, and research.
  • Advanced courses in high school are significantly different from our Interdisciplinary Honors courses. Our curriculum prompts students to see beyond disciplinary boundaries and to understand the importance of interconnected knowledge for addressing the big challenges of our times. Those who enter with an eye toward acquiring expertise only in a particular field can be dissatisfied when asked to study topics outside of their chosen discipline, a central tenet of Interdisciplinary Honors.
  • Honors does make the university feel smaller, but it intentionally does not isolate its students from the larger university community. All UW students will find themselves in a class of several hundred during their time here. Those entering Honors must be excited to attend a large public university—one that offers amazing opportunities not available at small colleges.
  • We employ a holistic approach to evaluating applications. The valedictorian with 800s on the SATs, a 4.0 GPA, and many extracurriculars may not be admitted if their application reveals they are not interested in a broad-based interdisciplinary education. Students who are intellectually curious and willing to take academic risks in order to expand the boundaries of their knowledge are more likely to thrive in our program.
  • Graduation from Honors has contributed toward success for the majority of our students, but it is only one of numerous factors taken into consideration by evaluators at the graduate and professional level. It is our goal that our graduates leave the UW with a commitment to continuing their education professionally and personally, serving their various communities as leaders, and engaging the world as global citizens.

Incoming Student Scholarships

Admitted Interdisciplinary Honors students will be automatically considered for a number of scholarships as part of their application process to the Honors Program. Students cannot apply for these scholarships; no separate application is required or will be accepted.

Learn more about our incoming scholarships

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question that isn’t answered here or on one of our admissions pages (Freshman, Second Year, or Transfer)? Read through our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Browse our FAQs

Visiting UW Honors

In the autumn leading up to the application deadline we offer information sessions for those interested in applying to Interdisciplinary Honors as incoming UW freshmen.

The Autumn 2018 sessions have now passed.

If you are interested in visiting outside of our information sessions or are interested in Second Year or Transfer admissions, complete our prospective student appointment request form to arrange an appointment.  Please submit your request well in advance of your visit, so we have ample time to arrange your visit. The Honors office is open and available for appointments Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during autumn quarter.

Those interested in Departmental Honors should contact the major directly.

Request a prospective student appointment