University of Washington Honors Program

About Departmental Honors

The UW Honors Program engages students with the issues of our times through innovation and collaboration. Departmental Honors programs invite students to enrich disciplinary thinking within their majors through a culture of creativity, student-centered learning and rigorous attention to complex challenges. Admission to Departmental Honors invites you to work toward earning a degree “with Honors” by fulfilling your major’s Departmental Honors requirements.

Departmental Honors allows students the opportunity to explore their chosen major in greater depth, usually with guidance from a faculty mentor. While each major’s Honors requirements vary, the foundational 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 or disciplinary vision into individual student work in new and creative ways; and
  • to facilitate mentorship and scholarly guidance from a faculty adviser.

Departmental Honors Admissions

Typically, students apply for departmental admission in their junior year of college, although some majors have earlier entrance options. For admission into a Departmental Honors program or details about the process, please speak with a departmental adviser. Admission procedures are specific to each department; students should consult with an academic adviser within their department for more information. Once you have been accepted to a Departmental Honors program, your departmental adviser must activate your Departmental Honors requirements in DARS for you to be officially recognized as a Departmental Honors student.

Admission to Interdisciplinary Honors does not guarantee admission to Departmental Honors. Departmental Honors can be completed in conjunction with Interdisciplinary Honors (to graduate “with College Honors in [major]”), or alone (to graduate “with Honors in [major]”).

Departmental Honors Requirements

Every Department has it’s own requirements for Departmental Honors, however, 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 department’s curricular vision; and
  • an extended final project or presentation (or deliverable such as a portfolio, blog, publishable piece of work, etc.).

You may browse Departmental Honors options using the tool below. If you do not see the department in which you are interested, take heart – not all majors have an Honors webpage. Information about missing majors can be obtained from the departments themselves: simply email a departmental adviser to set up an appointment.

Departmental Honors Tools and Resources

Honors Scholarships

As a Departmental Honors student you will be invited to apply for our Honors Scholarships, read more about eligibility.

Get Involved in the Honors Community

Departmental Honors students are invited to create profiles for the Honors Community Spotlight. You might be invited to volunteer at our prospective student events to speak about your experiences in Departmental Honors and answer questions from prospective Departmental Honors students. Submit an Honors Student profile! Learn more about getting involved.

Study Abroad with Honors

Did you know our Study Abroad trips are open to all students? Consider applying for an Honors Study Abroad trip!

View Ad Hoc Application Status

If your Departmental Honors Program requires ad hoc, you can view the status of your ad hoc applications through your Honors Portal.

Take an Interdisciplinary Honors Course

Want to take an Interdisciplinary Honors course? Once period two registration begins, students are able to request to be added to any Honors prefix course with open seats. Simply send us an email to to make your request! *note for autumn quarter students are invited to request seats in the Interdisciplinary Honors courses once our incoming Honors first-year have completed A&O.