If you have questions that aren't answered here, you can reach us at honors@wwu.edu or at 360-650-3034.

Application/Incoming Students

First-years, Running Start, current Western students, and transfer students are all welcome to apply! There is no additional fee to apply to the WWU Honors College.

Admission to Honors does not have GPA or SAT/ACT minimums. Our admissions committee looks for students who are engaged learners with diverse experiences and will contribute to the classroom conversation. If you are a student who strives to inspire, support, and appropriately challenge your peers, then Honors is a good match for you.

The Honors College application can be found on the Honors website under the "Apply to Honors" tab on the main menu.

Students have access to the Honors College application AFTER they have submitted their general Western application.

If applying to Western through the Common App, it takes an additional 24 hours after submission to appear in our system. Students will not have access to the Honors application until after that 24 hours period.

Tuition is the same for Honors and non-Honors students at Western.

If you have additional letters of recommendation, an updated writing sample, and/or supplemental documents that you would like to be included with your Honors application, you can send them to us via email (honors@wwu.edu).

For admission purposes, the Honors College does not have a minimum GPA requirement and does not require test scores.

Western grants college credit for AP exams and IB exams. For specific details about the amount and type of credit awarded, see Western's AP, IB, and Cambridge International Credit page. In order to receive credit, you must have your official scores sent to the Office of Admissions.

College credit received through AP/IB exams do not count toward Honors requirements.

Students who completed their AA through Running Start and have a DTA (Direct Transfer Agreement) with Western, have an adjusted curriculum compared to other incoming, first-year students (see Curricular Pathways for more details). DTA students must complete the First-Year Sequence, 4 Honors Seminars, and a Senior Capstone (at least 4 credits of HNRS 490).

Students who participated in, but did not receive their AA through Running Start must complete the First-Year Sequence, 2 Colloquia, 2 Honors Seminars, and a Senior Capstone (at least 2 credits of HNRS 490).

Both curricular pathways satisfy the requirements for the Honors Interdisciplinary Studies minor.

Transfer students join us with a wide range of credit from other institutions. If certain requirements are met, transfer students follow the Transfer Curriculum Pathway which requires 4 Honors Seminars and an Honors Capstone Senior Project.

To see how your college courses will transfer to Western, check out the Transfer Course Equivalency Guide.

We would love for you to visit and have the chance to chat with you! If you are planning to visit Western's campus and we encourage you to check out the Meet With Honors page to set up a meeting with an Honors representative.

Should you decide to take a gap year, please do so with the peace of mind that your Honors enrollment space will be held indefinitely. Regardless of your enrollment term, our excitement for you to join our community continues. Please make sure you work this out with Admissions and let us know once you have been approved so we can make note of it on your application/file.


Most of the Honors classes are not extra work, and they are not accelerated versions of non-Honors classes. They allow students to complete General University Requirements (GURs) in an Honors setting—intimate and interdisciplinary. Honors courses focus on writing, discussion, and problem-solving. You can see how the First-Year Honors courses fulfill GURs here.

Typically, about 15-20% of the courses an Honors student will take at Western will be through Honors. Western requires 180 credits to graduate and the Honors curriculum in total is 29-38 credits. Therefore, students will still need to complete at least 150 credits within their major(s) and minor(s) giving them a chance to work with students outside WWU Honors.

Freshman and sophomore classes average around 20, while upper-division seminars generally enroll 12-15 students.

The Honors curriculum fits well with any and all majors at Western. All Honors students have access to academic advising from Honors advisors if they run into scheduling issues.

The short answer is that the required first-year Honors courses do not inherently conflict with taking a FIG and Honors students can register for a FIG if they'd like.

For reference, taking 12-18 credits = full-time student status. As an Honors student, you must register for Honors 101 and Honors 103 for fall quarter. These two courses are a total of 5 credits which means you can add up to 13 credits worth of courses to your schedule for the maximum total of 18 credits. Now, we don't recommend students take 18 credits during their first quarter since there's a lot of change to adjust to and we want you to ease into college coursework. We usually recommend a schedule that totals around 14-16 credits. 

If you look at the different FIGs offered for fall quarter, you'll see that there are a range of credits and some FIGs will require that you take additional course(s) to reach the full-time student credit minimum of 12 credits (i.e. FIG #2: Cultural Entrepreneurship is only 9 credits so you would need to add another 3+ credits to your schedule).

Another thing to watch for is time conflicts. There are multiple sections of Honors 103 offered on different days and times. This would allow you to find a section that fits with the FIG courses. You can search by subject (i.e. Honors) on WWU's Classfinder to look at the times 103 (and 101) is offered and compare them to the class schedules for the FIGs.

Additional help is provided during students' Fall A&R session to help plan schedules, including one-on-one time with an Honors advisor. There is no expectation to finalize an incoming fall quarter schedule before Fall A&R!

WWU Honors offers study abroad trips that allow students the exciting and enriching experience of traveling abroad while also completing Honors requirements.

Western as a whole offers many other study abroad opportunities and you can explore those through Western's International Programs and Exchanges office.

The Honors Curriculum is compatible with Distinguished Scholars Programs, except the Advancing Excellence and Equity in Science (AEES) Program. Students admitted to Honors and the AEES program are encouraged to commit to one program due to the heavy coursework commitments during the first two quarters of college.


The Honors community has around 700 students out of Western's 16,000+ student body. In recent years, we have received upwards of 1000 applications to join the upcoming fall cohort. Cohorts are around 230 students.

As an Honors student, you have the option of living in the Honors Residential Community in Edens Hall and Edens North. Check out these beautiful buildings with the Virtual Tour of Edens.

See our Housing tab for more information.

Current Students

WWU Honors does not have any First-Year specific scholarships. We intentionally separate First-Year scholarships from participation in Honors so no one is "held hostage" in Honors by their scholarship. Rather, we want them to be in Honors because they WANT TO be there. This flips the burden onto us to deliver a curriculum that's worth staying for. And they DO stay, as reflected by our 95% retention rate in the last 4 years. That said, most of the students in Honors do receive the best scholarships that WWU offers. But that's because of WHO THEY ARE and not because they agreed to join WWU Honors. 

We DO offer a variety of Honors-only scholarships to students in their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years. These are for things like study abroad, for work associated with Senior Projects, for travel to professional conferences to present Senior Project results. And there are Honors scholarships that have donor-specified criteria: e.g., the student must be in Honors and in the College of the Environment.

To explore other scholarships available to incoming students, check out the Scholarship Center.

Yes, you can withdraw from WWU Honors at any time. We will be sorry to see you go but understand that you know what's best for you and your academic goals. You can email honors@wwu.edu to have the Honors attribute code removed from your records in the Registrar's office. Please include your W# within the email.