The University Honors Program serves approximately 500 selected students, or five percent of the undergraduate student body. Incoming students may apply to the Honors Program at the time they apply to the University. Current students who wish to apply to the University Honors Program must be in the second semester of their first year (rising sophomores). Admission is limited to approx. 15 exceptionally qualified applicants per year.

In their first year, along with other courses, Honors students take:
HONR 1015Honors Seminar: UW 1020: Origins and Evolution of Modern Thought
HONR 1016Honors Seminar: Origins and Evolution of Modern Thought
HONR 1033Honors Seminar: Scientific Reasoning and Discovery
HONR 1034Honors Seminar: Scientific Reasoning and Discovery
Students who join the Honors Program in spring of their freshman year take HONR 2016 Enlightenment East and West in place of the first year seminars.
Anytime in their second, third, and fourth years Honors students take:
Two Self and Society courses (HONR 2047/HONR 2047W). Topics may not be repeated.
and
Two Self and Society courses (HONR 2053/HONR 2053W). Topics may not be repeated.

All Honors Program students participate in HONR 4199 (Honors Capstone), and complete an Honors Senior Thesis (HONR 4198) or project through Honors or through their department. Some Honors courses meet certain general curriculum and elective requirements of the respective undergraduate schools. 

In order to remain in good standing, Honors Program students must enroll in at least 12 academic credits each semester and earn at least a 3.0 GPA by the end of their first year. After their first year, students must maintain a cumulative GPA that ensures it is mathematically possible to graduate with 3.0 or above. Successful participation in the program is recognized and recorded on a student’s official transcript.

UHP Core Faculty

  • Eyal Aviv, Assistant Professor of Honors and Religious Studies & International Affairs

  • Theodore Christov, Associate Professor of Honors, History, and International Affairs

  • Bethany Cobb Kung, Associate Professor of Honors and Physics

  • LaTisha Hammond, Assistant Professor of Honors and Biology

  • Mark Ralkowski, Associate Professor of Honors and Philosophy

  • Elvira Maria Restrepo, Associate Professor of Honors and International Affairs

  • Joseph Trullinger, Assistant Professor of Honors and Philosophy

  • William Winstead, Assistant Professor of Honors and Political Science

UHP Staff 

  • Elizabeth Chacko, Associate Provost of Academic Programs and the Mount Vernon Experience

  • Bethany Cobb Kung, Director, University Honors Program

  • Eydie Costantino, Assistant Director of Finance and Administration

  • Brianna Crayton, Program Manager

  • Ben Faulkner, Program Manager

  • Josh Mays, Program Coordinator

Explanation of Course Numbers

  • Courses in the 1000s are primarily introductory undergraduate courses
  • Those in the 2000s to 4000s are upper-division undergraduate courses that also may be taken for graduate credit with permission and additional work assigned
  • Those in the 6000s and 8000s are for master’s, doctoral, and professional-level students
  • The 6000s are open to advanced undergraduate students with approval of the instructor and the dean or advising office

HONR 1015. Honors Seminar: UW 1020: Origins and Evolution of Modern Thought. 4 Credits.

Exploration of significant exemplars, milestones, and developments of human thought. Foundational and representative thinkers and texts from Western and Eastern traditions provide an indication of the diversity and complexity of attempts to articulate responses to universal questions, problems, and aspirations. Credit cannot be earned for this course and UW 1020.

HONR 1016. Honors Seminar: Origins and Evolution of Modern Thought. 3 Credits.

Continuation of HONR 1015. Key developments and trajectories in human thought and inquiry into modern times.

HONR 1033. Honors Seminar: Scientific Reasoning and Discovery. 4 Credits.

Using an inquiry-based approach, students learn to identify hidden regularities and patterns in nature that may indicate fundamental unifying principles and laws. The scientific method; evaluation of scientific information; limitations of the scientific process; development of a scientific hypothesis. Tools and methodologies of geology, chemistry, physics, biology, anthropology, and other disciplines.

HONR 1034. Honors Seminar: Scientific Reasoning and Discovery. 4 Credits.

Continuation of HONR 1033. Using an inquiry-based approach, students learn to identify hidden regularities and patterns in nature that may indicate fundamental unifying principles and laws. The scientific method; evaluation of scientific information; limitations of the scientific process; development of a scientific hypothesis. Tools and methodologies of geology, chemistry, physics, biology, anthropology, and other disciplines.

HONR 1099. Variable Topics. 1-36 Credits.

HONR 1120. Introduction to Biomolecular Research. 2 Credits.

Research methods in the studies of proteins and DNA; exploration of faculty research to help prepare students for conducting their own research. Prerequisite or concurrent registration: BISC 1115 and BISC 1125. Permission of the instructor is required. Laboratory fee.

HONR 2016. Enlightenment East and West. 4 Credits.

This course replaces HONR 1016 for students who enter the Honors Program as sophomores.

HONR 2043. Honors Microeconomics. 3 Credits.

An introductory microeconomics course that considers both the philosophical basis of economics as well as its methods and applications. Same as ECON 1011.

HONR 2044. Honors Macroeconomics. 3 Credits.

An accelerated introductory macroeconomics course that includes the study of special topics. (Same as ECON 1012)

HONR 2047. Self and Society Seminar. 3 Credits.

Understanding significant social and political phenomena by using the tools and modes of inquiry of the social and behavioral sciences; relationships among individuals, collectivities, families, and communities; interactions of psychological, social, political, economic, and historical forces at work in a given culture. May be repeated for credits provided the topic differs. See program for more details. Same As: HONR 2047W.

HONR 2047W. Self and Society Seminar. 3 Credits.

Understanding significant social and political phenomena by using the tools and modes of inquiry of the social and behavioral sciences; relationships among individuals, collectivities, families, and communities; interactions of psychological, social, political, economic, and historical forces at work in a given culture. Includes a significant engagement in writing as a form of critical inquiry and scholarly expression to satisfy the WID requirement. May be repeated for credits provided the topic differs. See program for more details. Same As: HONR 2047.

HONR 2048. Self and Society Seminar. 3 Credits.

Understanding significant social and political phenomena through the use of social and behavioral sciences tools and modes of inquiry; relationships between individuals and among collectivities, families, and communities; interactions of psychological, social, political, economic, and historical forces at work in a given culture. May be repeated for credit provided the topic differs. See program for more details.

HONR 2048W. Self and Society Seminar. 3 Credits.

Understanding significant social and political phenomena through the use of social and behavioral sciences tools and modes of inquiry; relationships between individuals and among collectivities, families, and communities; interactions of psychological, social, political, economic, and historical forces at work in a given culture. Includes a significant engagement in writing as a form of critical inquiry and scholarly expression to satisfy the WID requirement. May be repeated for credit provided the topic differs. See program for more details. Same As: HONR 2048.

HONR 2053. Arts and Humanities Seminar. 3 Credits.

Inter- or multi-disciplinary approaches to topics in the arts and humanities. Exploration of the relationship between literature, religion, art, film, photography, philosophy, or other humanistic fields of study. Topics vary by semester. May be repeated for credits provided the topic differs. See program for more details. Same As: HONR 2053W.

HONR 2053W. Arts and Humanities Seminar. 3 Credits.

Inter- or multi-disciplinary approaches to topics in the arts and humanities. Exploration of the relationship between literature, religion, art, film, photography, philosophy, or other humanistic fields of study. Topics vary by semester. May be repeated for credit provided the topic differs. See program for more details. Includes a significant engagement in writing as a form of critical inquiry and scholarly expression to satisfy the WID requirement. Same As: HONR 2053.

HONR 2054. Arts and Humanities Seminar. 3 Credits.

In-depth exposure to an area of literature, art, film, philosophy, or other humanistic field of study, often placing the subject matter in cultural and historic contexts.Topics vary by semester. May be repeated for credits provided the topic differs. See program for more details. Credit cannot be earned for this course and HONR 2054W.

HONR 2054W. Arts and Humanities Seminar. 3 Credits.

In-depth exposure to an area of literature, art, film, philosophy, or other humanistic field of study, often placing the subject matter in cultural and historic contexts.Topics vary by semester. May be repeated for credit provided the topic differs. See program for more details. Includes a significant engagement in writing as a form of critical inquiry and scholarly expression to satisfy the WID requirement. Credit cannot be earned for this course and HONR 2054.

HONR 2175. Honors Special Topics. 6 Credits.

Topics vary by semester. May be repeated for credit provided topic differs. See department for more details.

HONR 2182. Honors Internship. 4 Credits.

The Honors Program allows credit to Honors students for academic work that puts an internship in a broader scholastic context. Each student must have a GW faculty member oversee his or her project. The Honors internship faculty member determines the student's grade. May be repeated for credit.

HONR 2184. Honors Undergraduate Research. 4 Credits.

Independent or faculty-mentored research resulting in a significant written or other product. May be repeated for credit.

HONR 2185. Honors Research Assistantship. 4 Credits.

Students provide substantive assistance to a faculty member engaged in scholarly or scientific research. May be repeated for credit.

HONR 4198. Honors Senior Thesis. 3-4 Credits.

One- or two-semester thesis under faculty guidance. May be repeated for credit.

HONR 4199. Honors Capstone Experience. 1 Credit.

Students re-engage with core questions and issues related to the Honors Program curriculum, reflecting on their learning in relation to enduring questions and challenges of our world.