The Honors Program at the University of Washington is an interdisciplinary program for undergraduates. Students can pursue Honors as a general education track, as an in-depth program within their majors, or as a combination of the two. Students may apply to the Program as new freshmen, at the end of their first year, or once they've selected a major.

Gettin' Social with Honors: Bryan Djunaedi '15

Jon Herron and Frances McCue at Honors Hearth, winter 2015

It's not every evening that you, a college student, find yourself hanging out around a crackling fireplace with your peers, your faculty, a biologist, a poet, and other such “real adults” (don’t they have families?). Yet on February 5, that’s exactly the company I found myself keeping during the first event of the Honors Hearth series in Haggett Hall's Grey Lounge.

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Faculty Perspective: Getting Back to My Roots by Jeanne Contardo, Ph.D.

Jeanne Contardo, '00

Jeanne Contardo graduated from UW with College Honors in 2000 and is now an educational consultant in Washington, D.C. She reflects here on her experience designing and teaching an Honors seminar "Driving Educational Change."

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Life After College: Alumni open up to students in Honors 496

Alumni panel at Honors 496, winter 2015

Honors alumni met with students of Honors 496—the capstone course wherein seniors finish and present an online portfolio reflecting their undergraduate experience—to discuss their own experiences of "life after college."

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Honors students establish "Bridges to HOPE" scholarship fund

HOPE screening and panel, winter 2015

HOPE students recently screened several short films about prison education programs and hosted a panel discussion to help raise funds for a new scholarship benefiting youth in foster care who have been impacted by incarceration.

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Ugly fruit can change the world: Q&A with Honors alumna Jess Wallach

Jess Wallach '13

UW alumna Jess Wallach earned her BA in Geography with College Honors in 2013. She sat down with a member of the Honors staff to discuss her recent work supporting Frances Moore Lappé at the Small Planet Institute and share examples of progress in the food justice movement.

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Driven To Discover: Honors students prepare for a year in Japan

WASEDA staff and students, winter 2015

Honors recently hosted colleagues from WASEDA University in Tokyo, Japan, who visited Seattle to meet with the recently-selected 2015-2016 Global Leadership Fellows and share updates and future directions of this unique program.

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"Blind Glass" is a hidden gem

Frances McCue with the UW Poetry Brigade

Produced under the auspices of the Poetry Brigade (a pop-up interest group of undergraduates who read, write and perform poetry or poetry's attendant sidekicks), "Blind Glass" is published infrequently as a PDF anthology, packed with work that challenges and illuminates.

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Bonderman fellows prepare to embark on solo journeys

Apr 27th, 2015
2015 Undergraduate Bonderman fellows
2015 Undergraduate Bonderman Fellows, left to right: Stephanie Riedl, Kevin Bogue, Emily Sorman, Matt Bell, Rachel Weisbeck, Xoe Amer

We were thrilled to welcome and celebrate the 2015 Bonderman Travel Fellows at recent reception that brought together past fellows, selection committee members, and some of the many UW staff who help make this fellowship such a success! Starting this summer, the new fellows will embark on solo journeys to at least two regions and six countries over at least eight months long, and may not pursue academic study, projects, or research while traveling.

Collectively, the 2015 Bonderman Fellows will travel to Colombia, Brasil, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Patagonia, Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia, Iceland, Mexico (Chiapas), Costa Rica, Guatemala, Belize, New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, Palau, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, India, Nepal, Russia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Japan, China, Singapore, Bhutan, and Tibet.

Their travel interests include folk music and poetry; sacred spaces and spirituality; human connection to the ocean; the environment; urban development; biodiversity; indigeneity; the care of ageing and dying populations; music as a bond, and much, much more. We wish them safe and adventurous journeys!

Learn more about the Bonderman Travel Fellowship and view the Fellows' travel plans »

Stanford Resilience Project comes to UW Campus May 6-7

Apr 26th, 2015

Failure is a great clarifier

Uncredited photo found on Creative Commons 4-27-15

Bill Gates: “Success is a lousy teacher.  It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”  

Undergraduate Academic Affairs is hosting a series of events and conversations in collaboration with Stanford's Resilience Project. See the web page for the full schedule and descriptions.

Honors especially recommends the student sessions on how failure promotes growth and the evening panel on May 6 featuring our Program Director, Vicky Lawson, continuing to explore her personal experiences with resilience in conversation with Dean Bob Stacey and other faculty panelists. 

Reflections on Rejection: David Domke, Kate Starbird, Vicky Lawson, & Bob Stacey

Audience: everyone
5:00–7:00 p.m., Intellectual House
Dinner at 5 p.m., Discussion at 5:30 p.m. Well-known UW faculty reflect on their accomplishments by sharing the challenges, setbacks, and road blocks they have faced. 

Learn more and register for events HERE.


Reserve a Seat at the April 30 Honors Hearth

Apr 15th, 2015

HONORS HEARTH is presented by HSAP and the University Honors Program as a unique interdisciplinary dialogue in a cozy setting.

Join Bob Stacey, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and Honors Program Director and Geography Professor, Vicky Lawson, in a discussion on the importance of the humanities and education of the "whole person."  Learn more about their individual personal and professional journeys and the advice each has to offer on how to think big and live according to your values at any stage in your career.

Stay after to chat with others in the community and enjoy refreshments provided by the Friends of Honors

This community event is free to all, but advance registration is required.

Thursday, April 30
7:00-9:00 p.m.
Haggett Residence Hall, Grey Lounge
UW Seattle Campus



In case you missed our very first Honors Hearth on February 5th, you can view the recap below by student videographer Andrew Croneberger.


"Crash Course" videos from Honors 231C

Apr 9th, 2015

Special thanks to first-year Honors student Spencer Peters for allowing us to share his wonderful final project. He insists we recognize the great work of his student collaborators in Winter Quarter 2015 Honors 231 C and provided this description to help us understand the work.

What is the “Honors 231 Crash Course”? 

Sacred Cow

First off: Honors 231 C refers to a class called “Bull of Heaven and Earth: From the Paleolithic to the Chicago Stockyards.” It’s a hard class to pin down, but Honors 231C focused on how different cultures viewed and lived with animals, specifically cattle. The first week of classes, we watched a documentary on cave art, which offers an interesting lens into how prehistoric humans thought about animals before domestication. But the documentary wasn’t quite as interesting as it could be—it was very slowly paced and soporific. So I actually wrote my first paper on how the documentary could be turned into a modern piece of YouTube edutainment—a Crash Course, after the popular YouTube series of the same name. When I got the paper back from our professor Dr. Walker, written across the bottom was “Maybe a final project idea?”

At the time, I thought that was crazy. But as the course progressed, tracing one exciting thread through time and cultural space, I realized the course itself made terrific Crash Course fodder. Furthermore, my classmates had been giving interesting presentations—could these be condensed into Crash Course episodes? With Dr. Walker’s input and lots of help from my awesome classmates, the Crash Course idea evolved into the videos below. They don’t quite capture the entertaining quality of the YouTube masters, but I think they cover a lot of really interesting material.

Click Here to browse the Honors 231 C YouTube channel

Lost but not forgotten

Apr 8th, 2015
Mesa Grande Refugee camp

A group of UW Center for Human Rights students and faculty recently conducted research and video documentation in El Salvador supporting efforts to connect families with the children who were displaced during the country's violent civil war. Honors student and Peer Educator Nicole Einbinder reflects on the experience in this article: El Salvador families search for dissappeared children decades after war

(Photo by Linda Hess Miller via Wikimedia Commons)

Varsha Govindaraju wins prestigious Luce Scholarship

Mar 19th, 2015

Varsha Govindaraju, a senior Departmental Honors student majoring in anthropology and law, societies, and justice with minors in human rights and diversity, was recently selected as a 2015-16 Luce Scholar. A graduate of Federal Way Public Academy, Govindaraju is one of only 18 students nationwide to receive the award this year.


President's Medalists

Feb 24th, 2015

Honors congratulates two fantastic interdisciplinary students and President's Medalists: Mitchell Krawczyk and Ashley Bobman! Mitchell and Ashley are different yet perfect examples of how students in our program bring their passions into the larger community. Click the names to read more!

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