Experiential Learning

Extending your Honors experience beyond the classroom

Autumn 2014 Due Dates
By... You must have...
5pm on Friday of Week 2
Friday, Oct 10 @ 5:00pm
(extended due to holiday)
Submitted a complete application for any projects happening this quarter
5pm on Friday of Week 3
Friday, Oct 17 @ 5:00pm
Received a confirmation email stating that the Honors staff approved or denied your application
5pm on Friday of Week 4
Friday, Oct 24 @ 5:00pm
Received a confirmation email stating that your supervisor approved or denied your application
5pm on Friday of Week 5
Friday, Oct 31 @ 5:00pm
Submitted any revisions for projects denied by either Honors or your supervisor
5pm on Friday of Finals Week
Received an email from Honors with a link to your final reflection form
Week 2 of the quarter after your project is complete
Friday, Jan 16 @ 5:00pm
Submitted your final reflection and had your supervisor submit the final evaluation

The Honors Program values experiential learning and believes that participation in activities outside of the classroom enhances and enriches the undergraduate experience, helping students connect their education to the larger world. Knowing that you will participate in many different types of activities throughout your undergraduate years, our goal is to help you take academic risks, actively engage in your own learning, explore the world, and ultimately develop a deeper understanding of yourself and your goals.

Therefore, Honors Program students completing either the Interdisciplinary or College Honors track must demonstrate that they have participated in two out of the four following experiential learning areas during their undergraduate education: international engagement, service, research, and leadership. Specific projects may actually fit more than one of these categories; you should choose the category that best represents the project.

Students must demonstrate sustained engagement in their project. This will differ by project, but it is a minimum of one full quarter participation and the full completion of your agreed-upon commitment to your organization or partners. You must include one of your two Experiential Learning Projects in your portfolio. On completion of one of these two requirements and all or most Honors Core courses, you will register for HONORS 496.

The intent of this requirement is to think deliberately about experiences you are having and how those experiences tie into your education. While this requirement can be satisfied via Honors-specific opportunities, there are many non-Honors and non-UW options that will also satisfy it. The UW offers a wide range of opportunities for students to engage in experiential learning on and off-campus, and our students frequently design their own projects and forge their own partnerships.

Please remember that all projects must be approved individually by the Honors Program via the application process, even if it is a program sponsored by the Honors Program or listed below as an example.

International Engagement

A project or period of study which involves travel or extensive engagement outside the U.S. The International Engagement requirement can also be met through working with an international community or project in the U.S. However, if you have a project in mind that does not involve leaving the U.S., it must be of considerable depth, scope, and duration to qualify for this category. Examples include, but are not limited to, Honors study abroad programs, opportunities offered by the UW Law School\'s Global Health and Justice Project, or working for an internationally-focused group like a refugee resettlement organization.


A project or period of engagement with a campus or community-based service organization or group. Sustained engagement with one project or organization is preferred and you must demonstrate both engagement with the organization/project and with the issues the organization/project addresses. Examples include, but are not limited to, participation in a course (either honors or other course) that has service learning embedded in the curriculum, service programs through the UW\'s Center for Experiential Learning and Diversity, internships and fellowships with a service and community participation focus, or volunteering at the the UW Medical Center.


A research job or project in any field (sciences, humanities, social sciences, arts, etcetera). This includes working with a faculty member or scholar within the community on research, or implementing a research project of the student\'s design. Research related to your Honors thesis or departmental work is eligible. Examples include, but are not limited to, departmental Honors thesis/research participation, opportunities through the Undergraduate Research Program, or independent research conducted with a faculty mentor.


A project in which you demonstrate vision and then translate that vision into sustained action while collaborating with various partners. You must play a guiding role in said project and demonstrate an engagement that clearly illustrates your commitment and collaborative skills. Examples include, but are not limited to, participation in Honors 100 as an Honors Peer Educator, acting as a FIG leader, active membership on the Honors Student Affairs Panel (HSAP), or serving as a Resident Adviser (RA).

This requirement can only be fulfilled through experiences completed during the undergraduate years - activities undertaken prior to enrollment at the UW will not count and all activities must be completed prior to graduation with Honors. While activities already in progress when you apply may count as an Experiential Learning Project, they must extend for at least one quarter after being officially approved. Projects cannot be approved retroactively. A student beginning a project should submit an official application in order to count it towards the requirement, even if that means applying more than twice. Also, you must demonstrate that your two activities are distinct.

Please note that students are not required to complete additional work outside of their established commitment to their organization or position in order to receive Honors Experiential Learning credit. Students may simultaneously receive credit for Experiential Learning and fulfill other requirements, such as major requirements.

Selecting a project

  1. Review the Experiential Learning guidelines and definitions.
  2. Talk to an Honors Program adviser about your ideas.
  3. Speak with potential supervisors and solidify their commitment to oversee your project.
  4. Take the Experiential Learning Project Self-Assessment.

Submitting an application

  1. Submit the official application by the end of the second week of the quarter you will conduct the project and archive the application in your portfolio. The application will open during week 5 of the prior quarter, and students are encouraged to submit applications as soon as possible.
  2. Receive approval (via email) from the Honors Program to use the project for the Experiential Learning requirement by the end of the third week of the quarter.
  3. Ensure your supervisor submits her/his approval of your application by the end of the fourth week of the quarter. It is your responsibility to follow up with your supervisor to ensure this happens; we will not remind you or your supervisor.

Completing and receiving credit for the requirement

  1. Complete the project, communicating regularly with your supervisor throughout.
  2. Submit the reflection form (emailed to you by the Honors Program) and remind your supervisor to submit the final evaluation of your completed project.
  3. Archive your reflection form and any relevant artifacts for use in your portfolio.

For each Experiential Learning Project, you must choose a supervisor to oversee your progress and evaluate your completion of the project. This person can be associated with the UW - as faculty, staff, or a graduate student - or may be a member of the community or organization in which you are working. It is important to choose a supervisor who can/will have direct involvement with the project, is able and willing to supervise you throughout the project, and can submit a final evaluation of the project and your reflective component. The project supervisor\'s approval is required before beginning a project, and their satisfactory evaluation is required in order for you to fulfill the Experiential Learning requirement.

Learn more about the expectations for students and supervisors »

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