Honors Office COVID-19 Protocols & FAQ

In this challenging time, the University Honors Program remains committed to our important work providing academic guidance, leading inspiring interdisciplinary courses, and connecting a diverse community of thinkers across imaginary boundaries. For the health and safety of our community, The Honors Program is currently operating on a remote basis only. As this is our admissions notification period there may be a delay in response due to increased inquiries. We will respond to messages as soon as possible and in the order received.

In these unpredictable times, 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. For public and student-facing information on the University’s response to COVID-19, please visit uw.edu/coronavirus.

Frequently Asked Questions


Are the Honors Suite and Mary Gates Hall open ?

Mary Gates Hall is closed and accessible via Husky Card to UW students, staff and faculty who have been given access to the building (for example, people who work in the building during normal operations) and permission to be on campus. The building will remain secured until further notice. The Honors Suite is also closed and our services and staff are available online and by phone. For updates on the University’s response to COVID-19 as well as information for students, please visit uw.edu/coronavirus.

How can I get in touch with someone in Honors to ask questions?

The fastest way to get in touch with us is to email uwhonors@uw.edu. You can also call 206.543.7444 to leave a voicemail; we check these messages regularly and will return calls as soon as we can. Contact information for specific staff members can be found here.


How do I make an appointment to meet with an Honors adviser?

Student academic support services for current students remain our top priority. Advisers are not holding in-person meetings but are available to assist students with advising questions over email or arrange to have individually scheduled meetings online or via phone. If your questions can be answered via email, please send your email to uwhonors@uw.edu, or fill out the appointment request form and note “email conversation only” under the preferred conversation format option. If you would like to arrange a meeting with an adviser, use our online advising scheduling tool to make an individual advising appointment, and an adviser will respond and arrange the best way in which to talk.

Is drop in advising still happening?

Yes! Drop in advising hours are held by individual advisers via Zoom. The drop in schedule and access information is posted on our advising page. Once you join the meeting you will be put into a waiting room; once available, an adviser will admit you from the waiting room to answer any quick questions you have. If your questions can be answered via email, please send your email to uwhonors@uw.edu. If you need a longer, individualized meeting, please continue to use our online advising scheduling tool to schedule an appointment.

Are group advising sessions still happening?

Yes, Honors advisers are creating and leading remote group advising sessions.  We focus on topics of interest and importance to students that bring us together as a collaborative community in these times of social distancing. Please read emails that we will send regarding these sessions as well as looking at the advising website for the most up to date information regarding group advising dates and times.

How has the experiential learning requirement been impacted by COVID-19?

Due to the nature of experiential learning, we expect some activities to be impacted by social distancing practices. If this applies to your planned project, please review the scenarios below. If your situation does not fall under these circumstances or your graduation may be impacted by changes to the activity you had planned, please reach out to the Honors advisers as soon as possible. Dates and deadlines for the experiential learning requirement can be found here

  • If you were supposed to wrap up your experiential learning activity and the COVID-19 outbreak has prevented you from being able to finish: Email uwhonors@uw.edu or schedule an Honors advising appointment.
  • If you were planning to start an activity that you anticipate being able to complete at a later time, we encourage you to do so. However, if one of the opportunities we suggest below interests you, or the activity you’re interested in allows you to practice social distancing we encourage you to submit an application.
  • If you were depending on the next few quarters to complete your experiential learning requirement, we strongly suggest you check out the following resources as a starting place for generating ideas for experiential learning that are compatible with social distancing. You may always email the advisers or schedule an appointment to discuss your ideas. 
    • UW has created this landing page as a resource for our community to support each other during these times: https://www.washington.edu/together/
    • Participate in citizen/community science: https://www.seattleaquarium.org/community-science
    • United Way has assembled volunteer opportunities that can be done solo/remotely/online: https://www.uwkc.org/volunteer/
    • We are also open to self-driven opportunities but you will need to find a supervisor to provide you with feedback (as a reminder, supervisors can be faculty, staff, leaders outside of UW, and/or student leaders).
    • An example of a self-driven experiential learning activity could be raising awareness about the need for blood donations in Washington. You could find an applicable RSO or organization that already does this to find a supervisor, and either join their efforts or create your own opportunities.

How has the Honors GPA/Probation policy been impacted by remote learning?

Our GPA policy remains inactive this quarter, and for the foreseeable future. This means if you are currently on GPA probation in Honors, you will not be transferred out of Honors. If your GPA has fallen below a 3.3 cumulative this Autumn Quarter, you will not go on GPA probation. We will still communicate with you regarding resources and support and encourage you to discuss your individual situation with an adviser. Students planning on graduating this academic year are still responsible for meeting the 3.3 cumulative GPA requirement in order to graduate with Honors. We currently plan to resume our standard GPA status process when UW returns to in-person learning. You may review the Honors GPA policy here.


Are all Honors Courses being offered remotely?

All Honors classes will be conducted online until further notice. The Honors instructors have been working hard to prepare for online instruction and are eager to work with you to create the best learning environment during these unprecedented times. Please contact your instructor if you have questions about a particular Honors class. For tips on getting started with on-line learning, check out Academic Support Programs’ Online Learning Resource page.

How have the Honors-by-contract processes/requirements (ad hoc, grad level coursework, HONORS 499) been impacted by COVID-19?

While the UW remains in a primarily remote learning mode, the Honors Program will allow students to ad hoc classes and receive credit for graduate level courses with more than 50 students. Dates and deadlines for ad hoc, HONORS 499, and graduate level courses have not changed. The Honors advisers are here to answer any questions and to help brainstorm project ideas.

If you are experiencing exceptional circumstances that keep you from completing your project and/or the instructor can’t submit the final evaluation by the deadline we will not deactivate the project, but we won’t be able to attach the “H” to the course and you won’t be able to use it to meet the intended Honors requirement until that “H” is attached. No projects will be deactivated until one quarter after the project deadline.

What is the plan for summer 2021 Honors study abroad programs?

We are cautiously optimistic as we look ahead to the possibility of running Study Abroad programs during summer 2021. We are all passionate about global learning and the unparalleled perspectives it provides students. That said, we are also very cognizant of the uncertainties of future travel as we continue to grapple with a global pandemic. 

All Study Abroad programs planned for summer 2021 are working closely with the UW’s Study Abroad Office to assess evolving conditions moving forward, and to ensure the highest level of safety and security for all students while abroad. We will provide thorough preparatory orientations with clear expectations for students and directors and will only run study abroad programs when we have clear directions from the health care authorities and our global partners for the green light to bring students abroad. 

Things to note:

  • Have a contingency plan. If the program is cancelled, you must make sure to have other options. Please keep your planning nimble and realistic. We will send you updated information as it arrives. We expect we will have decisions made by Feb for either cancellation or going forward with program planning. Make sure to review the current UW Study Abroad COVID-19 FAQ’s here.
  • If your program is canceled by UW Study Abroad related to COVID-19 (or for any other reason) prior to the program start date, you will receive a full refund including application fee and deposit. There is no financial risk to you if a program is cancelled. 
  • Students generally are able to use their financial aid for study abroad. All students applying by the priority deadline, are considered for a study abroad scholarship (no application is needed outside of applying to a program). Students should have a FAFSA on file for scholarship consideration. For more information visit the Study Abroad website
  • Each program will offer several information sessions during the next several months. We encourage you to attend to find out more information, meet the directors, and to ask any questions you may have. 


Are the Honors Community Ambassadors still meeting in the 2020-2021 academic year?

Yes! We are holding meetings over Zoom on the first Thursday of the month. For more meeting details and to RSVP for the first HCA meeting of autumn quarter please visit the HCA page. HCAs will continue to support and build community for Honors students via remote formats.

Where will the Honors Living Learning Community (LLC) be in the 2020-21 year?

The Honors LLC was moved to Elm Hall in late summer 2020. Please contact UW’s Housing and Food Services for specific questions about the residence halls.