Departmental Honors Adviser Info

Resources and online forms

Overview

Welcome to the Departmental pages of our Honors website! 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.

What is Departmental Honors?

While each major’s Honors requirements vary, our goals for all Departmental Honors programs, at the most basic level, are:

  • to allow students the opportunity to explore their chosen major in greater depth and with greater personal ownership;
  • to extend the departmental or disciplinary 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 (note 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 stand alone Honors courses offered by the department, courses or study abroad credits approved for ad hoc, Honors research- or service-based credits, graduate seminars, or another type of creative Honors course that is reflective of the departments curricular vision; and
  • an extended final project 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 DH work? How many students can the department facilitate? Don’t worry -- we’re here to help you think through this process.

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. Both of the below types of changes must be approved by the University Honors Program:

  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.

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 DARS officials 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 and/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 DH program creation request form by Friday of Week 3 and/or Week 7 of each quarter. (Note that 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 DH 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 Honors Student Lookup page (Entrust token required) will show you a list of students who are in the Honors Program's database, their currently-declared UW majors and degrees, and whether or not they have a Departmental Honors exception on record. These exceptions are what the Honors Program and the Graduation Office use to determine official Departmental Honors standing and degree designation at graduation.

Please note that 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 separate paper form to add a student to Departmental Honors. Simply add or remove your Departmental Honors exception on a student's DARS record and his/her status will be updated in the Honors database within 1-2 days. If a student is not in our database at all, he/she will automatically be added.

A few 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, 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)

Many Departmental Honors programs at the UW require that students pursuing Departmental Honors 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/major advisers can guide and approve ad hoc Honors projects for Departmental Honors course credit only; any ad hoc Honors work undertaken to satisfy the Interdisciplinary Honors Core requirements can only be approved by an Honors Program adviser. Additionally, 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.

You may see a quarterly outline of the ad hoc process 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 student’s proposed project. You will also receive email notifications once the student’s faculty member 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 Honors credit following that final completion confirmation. Please note that NO exceptions are made to the timeline stated.

Please note that ad hoc Honors should not alter a student's grade in a course; this 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/major 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 department/major's 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/major 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 s/he is taking the class
  • Respect the learning objectives and expectations of the course and the Honors Program
  • Follow up with the departmental/major adviser to ensure accurate allocation of ad hoc Honors credit at the end of the quarter

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

Ad Hoc applications (for degrees)

Students at the University of Washington 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.