University Honors Program

Academic Excellence that Makes a Difference

The Honors Program at RWU is a unique academic and social community for students who love learning. As an Honors student, you can:

  • Develop knowledge that makes a difference. 
  • Work alongside your community to create change. 
  • Travel abroad to learn global perspective.
  • Develop lifelong friendships and professional connections. 
  • Be a leader.

If you want to share your passion for learning and get more from your education, we invite you to explore the information provided and apply.

image of Dr William PalmDr. William Palm
Director of the Honors Program
wpalm@rwu.edu
Dr. Laura TurnerDr. Laura Turner 
Associate Director
of the Honors Program
lturner@rwu.edu

Academics

image of RWU Honors Program students studying together

Though the content of Honors classes varies, each one affords opportunities to hone your academic passions and skills and make a difference in the world through group projects, field trips, and in-depth reflection.

Your professors are dedicated Honors faculty who will challenge and support your learning. Our faculty have expertise in their respective fields, but are also avid practitioners of the art of teaching.

Through our experiential curriculum, you can connect with community organizations throughout Rhode Island, present original research at national conferences, and study and volunteer in destinations such as Jamaica, Brazil, Europe, and beyond.

  • The Honors Curriculum: 18 credits in HONR classes or pre-approved academic experiences
  • Community Engagement Requirement: A service experience situated in an academic class in which students participate ethically in a community-led initiative. Carries at least one academic credit. 
  • Senior Capstone Experience: Faculty-mentored project (thesis, original research, studio/design project) that culminates in impactful knowledge.
  • Our Faculty

The Honors Experience

Inside the classroom, you will engage in dynamic discussions and learn from the multiple perspectives of your peers and professors. Your learning, however, doesn't end inside the classroom. The Honors experience will bring you on field trips, to hear from guest speakers, and to study and work abroad.

Learning Beyond the Classroom  

Watch your learning come to life through visits to local sites like Save the Bay in Newport, R.I., and Walden Pond in Concord, Mass. 

Being part of the world, locally and globally

Honors students engage with community leaders such as Lorén Spears, Executive Director of the Tomaquag Indigenous Museum. In 2019 she shared her experience in a talk titled “Through my Eyes: Indigenous Education, Leadership, and Empowerment."

As an Honors student, you will live and learn alongside your peers during your first year, in the Honors Living Learning Community (LLC). Students in the LLC participate in a summer project, a pre-orientation retreat, and build community throughout this foundational first year on campus.

During the first year, you will live in the Stonewall IV Residence Hall. After your first year, you will continue to have access to all the resources Stonewall IV provides, including:

  • The Honors Center – a communal space that serves as a common room with a lending library and movie watching lounge. 
  • The Honors classroom, where you will take up to three classes with fellow Honors students
  • Close collaboration with Honors faculty
  • Academic support and advising from the Director of the Honors Program and the program assistant

University Honors students are guaranteed a $2,000 grant (taken off bill) for one semester to support their research, studying abroad, a community engagement project, or an internship undertaken in their junior or senior year.

Information for administering this grant is currently being developed by the Honors Advisory Council. This benefit is available for incoming students in the Fall of 2019.

Effective Fall 2019, students who achieve an overall 3.6 GPA or higher at the end of the academic year will receive the Academic Excellence Award, providing an additional $1,000 towards their next year’s tuition.

Impacts

image of RWU Honors students leading a discussionOur program offers a unique academic and social community for qualifying students who seek to enhance their classroom and co-curricular experiences.

  • Community Engagement Requirement: A service experience situated in an academic class in which students participate ethically in a community-led initiative. Carries at least one academic credit. 
  • Senior Capstone Experience: Faculty-mentored project (thesis, original research, studio/design project) that culminates in impactful knowledge.
image of RWU Honors Student Sarah Agnalt

Extracurricular Involvement Leads to Post-graduate Success

Whether she’s helping to develop self-driving vehicles or creating complicated software programs to improve communication, Honors alum Sarah Agnalt ’18 helps enable soldiers on the field to do their jobs every day.

Since its first class graduated with Honors in 1997, the University Honors Program has celebrated many distinguished post-graduate achievements. Reflecting the program’s three hallmarks – scholarship, service, and leadership – alumni have embarked on a variety of research, study, and career paths. Among the many careers and graduate school placements are the following:

  • Fulbright scholar (the University’s first)
  • Art museum events coordinators
  • Assistant county attorneys
  • Cancer researcher
  • College admissions counselors
  • Elementary and secondary education school teachers
  • Engineering firm scientists
  • Environmental scientists
  • EPA program analysts
  • Fishery biologists
  • MBA’s in banking and finance
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Park naturalists
  • Peace Corps volunteers
  • Physicians
  • Police officers
  • U.S. Secret Service specialists
  • Veterinary medicine professionals

Resources for Prospective Students

image of tables full of collaboration at Honors retreat

Ready to find your place in the Honors community? We're here to help. 

Resources for Current Honors Students

Curriculum

Copies of Catalog language by year [PDFs]
Academic Standards Policy
Capstone Deadlines
Capstone Rubrics and/or Synopses
Suggested Capstone Experiences by Program
Capstone Reflection Guidelines

Forms

Engaged Learning Grant information sheet [PDF, forthcoming]
Core Contract form [PDF]
Core Contract guidelines [PDF]
Community Engagement Petition [PDF]
Community Engagement Guidelines [PDF]
Capstone Declaration form [PDF]
Honors Ambassador Application [PDF]

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