Director’s Advice to potential applicants

to prospective students, families, and counselors

Cherry Blossoms on the Quad
Cherry Blossoms on the Quad during Spring

2020 has been an exceptionally challenging year for everyone, and we know the college application process will likely be more stressful than usual for students. As prospective students consider applying to the University of Washington Honors Program during the upcoming year we hope the below information will them decide if we are a good fit for their educational goals.

Honors at the UW is an innovative space and collaborative community engaged in rigorous interdisciplinary exploration. Students can pursue Honors as a general education track, an in-depth program within their majors, or as a combination of the two. They may apply as new freshmen, after two quarters at UW, as transfer students, or once they’ve selected a major.

Honors is a curriculum, a community, and much more. In Honors you’ll fulfill your general education requirements in small classes with faculty from across campus; be supported through international study, community service, leadership and research; access Honors scholarships and advisers; and ask and answer bold questions about the challenges facing our world. Our students are enthusiastic learners from all backgrounds and majors earning their degrees at one of the top public universities in the world.

We seek students whose application indicates a commitment to interdisciplinary inquiry, experiential engagement, and reflection, as well a demonstrated history of academic achievement and serving the community.  We invite those who are keen to take intellectual risks; who seek to understand challenges of social justice; who want to take leadership roles in confronting global change; who are familiar with and/or curious about the complexities of diversity; and who value a life of continuous learning and personal growth.

In order to find these applicants, we read applications carefully and fully, considering all materials in a thorough and holistic review. We ultimately admit those whose efforts, aspirations, and attitudes toward education suggest that they would gain most from, and contribute to, the Honors community.

For the freshman Interdisciplinary Honors class of 2020, we received ~4100 applications, offered admission to ~1,100 applicants, and enrolled ~250 students. We continue to keep a wait list, reflecting the quality of our applicant pool and the eagerness for participation in interdisciplinary learning. Each year we hope to admit a small number of students from the list and we anticipate that practice will continue.

If this curriculum and community sounds interesting, learn more here. It is my hope that the information here will help students decide if what we are offering suits both their short- and long-term goals.

Finally, please take a glance at what some of our graduates have achieved; our students are truly remarkable.

Sincerely yours,

Victoria Lawson

Director of Honors

Professor of Geography