Teaching for Honors


The University of Washington Honors Program provides students with a special honors curriculum designed to provide a small-group learning community within the larger university. We offer personalized attention and a strong community network along with a more challenging academic experience.

The Honors experience accommodates the diverse talents of our students by providing a flexible and interdisciplinary curriculum. Honors courses are designed to challenge highly motivated students to perform to their personal best. Students can participate in either College Honors (a full four-year program combining an Honors core with departmental Honors requirements) or in Departmental Honors (in which students only complete departmental Honors requirements). For more information on College Honors versus Departmental Honors, please see our Honors Requirements/a> page.

If you are interested in teaching an Honors course, please see our Course Proposals page.

  • Enthusiastic and ready to challenge highly motivated students
  • Comfortable in small class settings
  • Skilled in facilitating discussion
  • Innovative teaching styles and ideas
  • Open to interdisciplinary teaching and collaboration
  • Skilled at writing and promoting writing in the classroom
  • Interested in challenging students to think globally and discover international connections
  • Honors courses appeal to faculty who enjoy high-ability students in an interactive environment. Honors students will thoroughly read assigned material and are prepared to join class activities and discussions.
  • Classes are size restricted, with the goal of maintaining a 35-student limit.
  • Students take responsibility for the course and are generally proactive when it comes to dealing with any problems that might arise in the class.
  • Honors classes pursue the subject matter in greater depth and with more intensity than a regular university class.
  • Honors classes are writing intensive when appropriate.
  • Students are expected to fully participate in the class through discussion, group work, and presentations.
  • Classes may also include research components and other experiential instruction.
  • Experimentation with a variety of collaborative and cooperative instructional styles is encouraged.
  • Honors students will expect active student/instructor interaction within the classroom setting.
  • Students are made aware that material that is particularly difficult; you should attempt to create a problem-solving environment, allowing students to experience complexity.
  • Most honors students enter directly from high school with an average high school GPA of 3.9 and SATs averaging 2080. Students may also enter Honors through a special review process during the spring quarter of their freshman year as long as they have maintained a minimum 3.5 cumulative college GPA.
  • Honors students expect Honors courses to be challenging and are eager to take on in-depth projects and discuss complicated material.
  • Honors students respond well to in-class discussion and will foster spontaneous student-to-student discussions.

Most UW Honors students are conscious of grades and will have high academic expectations. Although they may expect to obtain high grades in all their classes, they should receive the grade that appropriately reflects their performance. If a student is in danger of failing or doing poorly because of poor-performance, skipping classes, or inability to grasp the subject matter, we ask that you advise him/her so they understand available options. Faculty need not feel obligated to use a traditional grading curve.

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