Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University

Frequently asked questions

If you do not find answers to your question(s) on this page or the rest of our website, please feel welcome to email or call the Honors College at (509) 335-4505.

What is the Honors College?

The Honors College believes your college experience should be transformative and designed to prepare you for your future. The Honors College provides an exciting curriculum and a supportive community that helps students pursue their individual goals/interests/opportunities. Honors College students can enjoy small (15-25 students), thought-provoking classes taught by engaging professors who encourage students to develop their interests/knowledge within a variety of course topics. Honors students can choose from all majors and minors, and can even choose to complete more than one, since the Honors curriculum satisfies general education requirements. Honors College students can do research, internships, competitions, and study at WSU as well as in other states, countries, and continents, and seek funding for these and other experiential learning opportunities. Honors students at WSU have access to all of the opportunities offered through WSU plus those that are specific to the Honors College, and they have a support community to help them choose which they want to pursue.

What are Honors College students like?

As one student said “We are a diverse group of students that share a similar passion for learning, engagement, and helping others. I am continuously amazed by the dedication and open-mindedness of Honors students, and each of us will go the extra mile to make sure what we do is of the highest quality and beneficial to everyone around us.” Students in the Honors College come from multiple states, countries, and continents, and are pursuing studies within every academic college at WSU. Students are involved in research, clubs, service, sports, and other activities on campus.

What are Honors College classes like?

Students in the Honors College can enjoy small (15-25 students), thought-provoking classes taught by engaging faculty who encourage students to develop their interests/knowledge within a variety of course topics. Honors College classes focus on engagement and tend to have less emphasis on memorization and more emphasis on participation, discussions, and projects. For example class topics, see here:

Is there a GPA requirement to be an Honors College student?

To remain in good academic standing with the Honors College, students maintain a 3.2 cumulative GPA. The Honors College recognizes the current and future benefits for our students that can result from maintaining this level of GPA. The Honors College provides support for their students to help them improve and maintain their GPAs.

Does it cost more to be in the Honors College?

At Washington State University, it does not cost more to be a student in the Honors College than to be a student not in the Honors College. Furthermore, students in the Honors College are eligible for additional scholarships and funding.

Can students in the Honors College pursue any area of study?

Since the Honors College curriculum satisfies general education requirements, students can pursue any area of study. Some of our students choose pursue multiple areas of study, earning more than one degree, minors, and/or certificates. There are students in the Honors College in every academic college.

I have already earned college credits. Will these be accepted by the Honors College?

The Honors College strives to facilitate transformative experiences for our students, and we value their efforts to prepare for success. Recognizing that every student brings distinct experiences and goals, all transfer coursework being brought to the Honors College is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. More information here:

I’m already a college student. Can I apply to join the Honors College?

Yes, definitely! We have admissions processes for students transferring from other institutions and students transferring into the Honors College that are already at WSU as well as for incoming freshmen. Learn more here:

Can I study abroad if I’m in the Honors College?

Definitely! The Honors College encourages and supports students in pursuing experiential learning opportunities, including studying abroad. Roughly 50% of Honors College students go abroad for study, research, internships, service, and more. The Honors College works with students to determine which coursework and requirements students can satisfy while they are abroad and can also help them pursue funding opportunities.

What about the foreign language requirement?

The Honors College understands the practical benefits of knowing a second language, such as increased job opportunities and earning potential that directly relate to having proficiency in that language. There are additional benefits such as improved multitasking skills, memory, decision-making skills, as well as staving off Alzheimer’s and dementia.

There are multiple ways to demonstrate proficiency in a second language and satisfy the Honors College foreign language requirement. For example, some students satisfy it before they come to WSU, some do coursework abroad, and some take courses at WSU. More information can be found here:

What is the Honors College thesis?

The Honors College thesis provides an opportunity to design a unique project that will challenge you to reflect upon your Honors College education and experience to present your work to a group of faculty and your peers. Your thesis will be the culmination of your undergraduate work and a bridge to your future career or academic life. This is a great opportunity for you to work one-on-one with faculty and consider pursuing publication. More about the thesis here:

How will my work through the Honors College be acknowledged at graduation and beyond?

Honors College coursework is noted on student transcripts as is satisfaction of the Honors College requirements. Students receive Honors College medallions to wear at WSU commencement and also receive a certificate of completion. The Honors College also hosts a commencement banquet during which the medallions are given and special awards are announced.

Can I choose where I want to live?

The WSU Honors College is well integrated within the university, which means that our students aren’t limited. This idea extends to housing. All students at WSU can live in residence halls, on-campus apartments, off-campus apartments and houses, sororities and fraternities, etc. Note: WSU freshmen are required to live on-campus with few exceptions.

The Honors College is the only academic college on campus to share a building with a residence hall. Located in the same building as the Honors College main office, classrooms, lounge, and library is a residence hall. Students in the Honors College are not required to live in Elmina White Honors Hall and this hall is not exclusive to students in the Honors College. Roughly 70-80% of the 117 students who live there are in the Honors College, which means ~10% of students in the Honors College live there any given year. For more information, visit WSU Housing and Residence Life:


How to Apply

The individualized attention of the Honors College starts with the application. Your application will be evaluated on its own merits, not compared to others.




*Generally, a 3.5 cumulative college GPA is required to join the Honors College


Fall 2018


(4.0 maximum)
unweighted high school cumulative

3.72 – 3.9
25% 50% 25%


1260 – 1320
25% 50% 25%


(36 maximum)
composite score

26 – 28
25% 50% 25%