Departmental Honors Adviser Info

Resources and online forms

This site is intended to be a homebase for all Honors-related processes, information, and guidelines as relate to your department. As the governing body for curricular Honors at the UW, the University Honors Program both administers the Interdisciplinary Honors Program and oversees Departmental Honors across campus. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about these processes.

Departmental Adviser Information

Overview

About Departmental Honors at UW

While each major’s Honors requirements vary, our goals for all Departmental Honors programs are:

  • to allow students the opportunity to explore their chosen major in greater depth and with greater personal ownership;
  • to extend the departmental vision into individual student work in new and creative ways; and
  • to facilitate mentorship and scholarly guidance from a faculty adviser.

Most Departmental Honors programs require the following, in addition to the standard requirements for graduation with their major:

  • a minimum cumulative AND departmental GPA (All students must graduate with a UW cumulative GPA of 3.3 to earn an Honors degree of any kind; departments may set that UW cumulative and/or a departmental cumulative higher if they wish);
  • approximately 9-12 Departmental Honors credits, which could be a combination of specific Honors courses offered by the department, ad hoc Honors coursework on campus or abroad, Honors research- or service-based credits, graduate seminars, or another type of creative Honors course reflective of the department’s curricular vision; and
  • an extended final project, capstone, or presentation (or deliverable such as a portfolio, blog, publishable piece of work, etc.).

Departments should consider not only what the Honors requirements should be, but also how students will complete them: if certain courses are required, when are they offered? How will students present a final thesis or project? When are students eligible to begin Departmental Honors work? How many Honors students can the department facilitate? We are here to help you think through this process.

Requesting Revisions or Exceptions, or Proposing a New Departmental Honors Program

Requesting revisions or exceptions to Departmental Honors, or proposing a new Departmental Honors program

You can see the current requirements for Departmental Honors in your major (as represented in DARS) here.

Departments may wish to make changes to these requirements. The University Honors Program must approve both the below types of changes:

  1. an individual exception to the standard requirements for a specific student, or
  2. permanent revisions to the existing program requirements for all students moving forward.

Requests for both types of changes should be submitted to the Honors Program for review and approval via the appropriate online form, explained below.

To request an individual (one-time) exception for a specific student

  1. Login to our Adviser Tools page »
  2. Submit an individual exception request form
  3. The Honors Program will review the request and respond within two weeks

If approved, Honors will work with the DARS office to ensure this exception is accurately represented on the student’s record. DARS does not accept requests for exceptions from a department, only from the Honors Program.

To revise your Departmental Honors program requirements

  1. Login to our Adviser Tools page »
  2. Submit the Departmental Honors Program Revision form by Friday of Week 3 or Week 7 of each quarter
  3. Requests are reviewed by the Honors Program staff (Weeks 4 & 8) and the Honors Council. The Council meets quarterly, so please plan submissions accordingly and well in advance of when you would like them to go into effect.
  4. If approved, Honors will send the revised requirements to the DARS office.
  5. The new requirements will be encoded in DARS, in consultation with the Honors Program on issues of substance and with the department on issues of style. DARS does not accept requests for changes from a department, only from the Honors Program.
  6. Departments should update departmental websites with the new Honors requirements, and share information about the revisions with students.

To create a new Departmental Honors program (only for departments without a DH program)

  1. Login to our Adviser Tools page »
  2. Submit a Departmental Honors program creation request form by Friday of Week 3 or Week 7 of each quarter. (Note: the same form is used for creation and revision of programs, but the questions differ slightly.)
  3. Requests are reviewed by the Honors Program staff (Weeks 4 & 8), the Honors Council, and the Undergraduate Academic Affairs Curriculum Committee. These bodies meet quarterly, so please plan submissions accordingly and well in advance of when you would like them to go into effect.
  4. If approved, the department will submit a 1503 form to FCAS.
  5. If approved, Honors will send the new Departmental Honors program requirements to the DARS office.
  6. The new requirements will be encoded in DARS, in consultation with the Honors Program on issues of substance and with the department on issues of style. DARS does not accept requests for creation of a DH program from a department, only from the Honors Program.
  7. Departments should update departmental websites with the new Honors requirements, and share information about the program with students.

Departmental Honors Student Look-up Tool

Instructions for Access

The Departmental Honors Student Lookup portal (Duo 2FA required) shows a list of students in the Honors Program’s database system, their currently-declared UW majors and degrees, and whether or not they have a Departmental Honors exception on record. These exceptions are used by the Honors Program and the Graduation Office to confirm Departmental Honors standing and degree designation at graduation, and must be in place for a student to graduate with any Honors designation.

Please note students listed may not be completing Departmental Honors in your department: they may be listed because they are an Interdisciplinary Honors student, or because they are pursuing Departmental Honors in another major. Only those with the DARS exception signifying your Departmental Honors requirements active (on the “DARS exceptions” line) are completing Departmental Honors in your major.

Searching

You can use the following options in the search menu:

  • Major” allows you to sort by particular track or different majors, if you are associated with multiple majors / degrees
  • Honors Status” allows you to search active students, graduated students, or all
  • UW Class Standing” allows you to sort by credit-dependent class standing (meaning 0-45 credits = freshman, 46-90 = sophomore, etc)
  • Search by student #” box allows you to copy & paste a list (from Excel, etc) and do a mass-search across all majors. Student numbers not in the Honors database will be displayed with a bold red “No Honors record found” message, meaning they are not currently active in your Departmental Honors program, another Departmental Honors program, or Interdisciplinary Honors.

Don’t see one of your students showing up in our search?

As of November 2011, Honors no longer requires a paper form to add a student to Departmental Honors. Simply add or remove your Departmental Honors exception on a student’s DARS record and their status will be updated in the Honors database within 1-2 days. If a student is not in our database at all, they will automatically be added.

Usability Notes

  • If you’re using the “search by major” menu, you’ll notice that department headings are in all caps/bold and major headings are in a regular font. If you select a bold heading, the page will give you a list of students in all majors belonging to that department.
  • If you check the “Get Excel file” box and do a search, you will get a “CSV” formatted file for download. You may have to specify that you want to use Excel to read the file.
  • If you’re trying to search for former students, bear in mind that this page only searches by currently-declared undergrad majors. For example, if a former student is now pursuing a Master’s degree at UW, they will no longer appear if you select their original undergraduate major from the search menu.
  • The “Must have degree on file” option will narrow the list to students who have either applied for, or received, a UW degree.

Ad Hoc Applications for Courses

Application for Ad Hoc Honors Projects

Many Departmental Honors programs require Departmental Honors students undertake ad hoc Honors projects in some of their courses within the major to earn Honors credit in non-Honors courses. Please review the ad hoc Honors web site, in addition to this content.

Departmental staff can advise and approve ad hoc Honors projects for Departmental Honors course credit only; any ad hoc Honors work undertaken to satisfy Interdisciplinary Honors requirements can only be approved by an Honors Program adviser. Coursework taken to complete Departmental Honors requirements may never overlap with a student’s Interdisciplinary Honors Core. Students may complete ad hoc Honors coursework on campus or through foreign study programs.

A quarterly outline of the ad hoc process is available on our website. Should a student in your department apply for Departmental Honors ad hoc credit, you will receive an email prompting you to review the application and approve or deny the proposed project. You will also receive notifications once the student’s faculty supervisor has approved (or denied) the project, as well as a final confirmation of completion of the project. You may need to make DARS exceptions to recognize ad hoc Departmental Honors credit following that final completion confirmation. NO exceptions are made to the timeline stated.

Ad hoc Honors should not alter a student’s grade or the grading structure in a course; the additional work is recognized by the attachment of an Honors designation (an “H”) to the course on the transcript.

By agreeing to oversee an ad hoc Honors project, the departmental adviser agrees to:

  • Assist the student in finding an appropriate course for ad hoc Honors
  • Help the student and instructor understand the goals and philosophy of the Departmental Honors program and how ad hoc Honors contributes to those goals
  • Help the instructor and student brainstorm appropriate ad hoc project ideas
  • Submit an initial online approval that the ad hoc proposal meets the Departmental Honors program’s requirements by 5pm on Wednesday of week 2 of the quarter
  • Ensure a student’s DARS reflects completion of ad hoc coursework at the end of the quarter

The student is agreeing to:

  • Take the initiative on the overall project, including initial contact with the departmental adviser and instructor, generating project ideas, and communicating with the adviser and the instructor, especially regarding any changes or difficulties
  • Manage the application and approval process with the Honors Program
  • Complete the agreed-on project within the quarter they are taking the class
  • Respect the learning objectives and expectations of the course and the Honors Program
  • Follow up with the departmental adviser to ensure accurate allocation of ad hoc Honors credit at the end of the quarter

Proposals assigned to you

Preview student-facing ad hoc form

(Note: advisers can preview the form, but cannot submit it)

Ad Hoc Applications for Degrees

Application for Ad Hoc Honors Degree

Students may petition to complete an ad hoc Honors degree if they are majors in a department without an approved formal Departmental Honors program. The completed petition should be submitted at least two quarters prior to graduation after consultation with a University Honors Program adviser, the departmental adviser, and a faculty mentor.

ad hoc degree application