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Washington State University

A Path to Excellence

The Honors College curriculum is an integrated and flexible curriculum that emphasizes preparation and understanding of research within all fields, development of transferable skills, and global awareness. The curriculum satisfies general education requirements, so it works well with all areas of study.
  • Enjoy core Honors College classes with 15-25 students and are led by faculty
  • Exchange ideas with engaged classmates and top professors
  • Hone your oral and written communication skills
  • Build a broad base of knowledge on a variety of topics while diving deeper into your own interests
  • Select from a wide variety of fascinating classes developed for the Honors College by the faculty who lead them

Integrated and flexible curriculum

  • 200-level courses introduce scholarly inquiry into the humanities and arts, social sciences, mathematics, and physical and biological sciences.
  • Honors 198 (Honors First Year Experience) draws on the experience of upperclassmen acting as peer facilitators.
  • 300-level courses employ an interdisciplinary approach to the study of civilization, arts, and sciences.
  • The Honors Thesis is based on your original faculty-mentored research; certain majors instead complete a rigorous senior capstone project

Learning Goals and Outcomes

Transferable skills that will help students be successful no matter what they do.

Critical and Creative Thinking

You will demonstrate your ability to think critically and creatively by checking assumptions in your work and in the work of others. You will learn to listen effectively and consider multiple perspectives.


You will write and speak effectively using appropriate oral, written, and visual means for each audience. You will become proficient in a second spoken language.

Information Literacy

You will learn to use multiple databases in the WSU Libraries system and critically evaluate the information you access to complete projects, reports, and presentations.

Scientific Literacy

You will develop a basic understanding of major scientific concepts that relate to important international topics.

Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning

You will apply quantitative tools to solve problems and use symbolic representations to explain and draw conclusions.

Cultural Competency

You will gain an appreciation of other cultures and value systems, and learn how your own values shape your inquiry and actions.

Integration of Knowledge

You will complete a capstone project using the appropriate methodology and theoretical framework that will include design, synthesis, and interdisciplinary research.

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WSU Honors Curriculum

The Honors College Curriculum…

satisfies general education requirements, serving as an alternative to the University Common Requirement (UCORE). Since all students attending WSU satisfy general education requirements along with requirements for their specific areas of study, the Honors College curriculum works with all areas of study and is satisfied over the course of their undergraduate studies. The Honors College curriculum satisfies certain credits and requirements to graduate and, therefore, is not in addition to credits required to graduate.

Honors First-Year Experience

Honors 198: Honors First Year Experience (optional)(1 cr)

Foundational Competencies

Mathematics14 cr
Science24 cr
English 298 Writing and Research Honors3 cr
Foreign Language3,6

Core Classes

Honors 270 Principles and Research Methods in Social Science43 cr
Honors 280 Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities3 cr
Honors 290 Science as a Way of Knowing53 cr
Honors 370 Case Study: Global Issues in Social Science63 cr
Honors 380 Case Study: Global Issues in the Arts and Humanities63 cr
Honors 390 Case Study: Global Issues in the Sciences63 cr

Honors Thesis

Honors 398 Honors Thesis Proposal Seminar (optional)(1 cr)
Honors 450 Honors Thesis or Project7 3 cr

Junior Writing Portfolio

Certificate of Global Competencies (optional)

1 Satisfied by Math 105, 140, 171, 202, 205, 206, 212, or 251 and 252; or Phil 201; or Psych 311.

2 Satisfied by a four-credit science course with a lab.

3 May be satisfied by: satisfactory completion of a foreign language course at the 204 level or higher; or demonstrating proficiency through the STAMP test. Students whose native language is not English and came to the US after 8th grade are exempt from this requirement upon discussion with an Honors College advisor. Other exceptions are on a case-by-case basis upon discussion with an Honors College advisor. Note: foreign language courses may be satisfied abroad or through AP.

4 May be satisfied by ECONS 198, which also satisfies ECONS 101 and 102.

5 May be satisfied by Chemistry 116 (Honors Chemical Principles II), Math 182 (Honors Calculus II), Math 283 (Honors Calculus III), Physics 205 (Honors Physics for Scientists and Engineers I), or Physics 206 (Honors Physics for Scientists and Engineers II).

6 Not uncommon for students to satisfy these abroad.

7 Is satisfied by the engineering and Computer Science capstone projects for students with those majors.