What is the Honors College? FAQs

The Honors College at Washington Adventist University strives to provide high achieving students with the opportunity to engage in and explore subject material in greater depth and breadth, inspiring them to excel as independent learners within a collaborative learning community.

The Honors College Seal. The Latin phrase translates to ‘that we may better serve others.’

We emphasize learning-on-location, giving students the opportunity to study in Washington, D.C. as well as at our sister institution Newbold College of Higher Education in the United Kingdom. The Honors College also focuses on service learning by requiring students to participate in activities that serve communities at university, local, national and international levels.

And here is an important point: the Honors College curriculum is designed to work with any field of study, including pre-professional programs such as pre-medicine or pre-law. Because our program is flexible and interdisciplinary, we welcome students with any major. You can explore some of our unique curriculum options here. And be sure to explore how you can gain value-added experiences through our Center for Law and Public Policy, the Center for Global Programs, our Model United Nations program, and the David Jones Research Center. There really is something for everyone at the WAU Honors College. We are unique among Adventist colleges and universities and we are very proud of that.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN HONORS COLLEGE STUDENT?

Being an Honors College student means:

      1. You will attend honors-designated interdisciplinary courses that fulfill your general education requirements, and are designed to be provocative, interesting, and stimulating
      2. You will have access and exposure to Washington Adventist University’s finest professors
      3. You will participate in smaller classes – honors courses will consist of 20 or fewer people, allowing the opportunity to have thoughtful discussions and to make social connections with fellow honor students
      4. You will learning through activities such as study tours, concerts, plays, and exhibits while fulfilling your general education requirements
      5. You will conduct research and attend presentations at national institutions within the Washington, D.C., area
      6. You will engage in a learning environment surrounded by the most motivated and thoughtful students who want to be challenged to expand their minds
      7. You will develop an honors project or thesis, thus enhancing professional opportunities or admission to graduate or professional schools
      8. You will challenge yourself to grow as a person through leadership and service

WHAT WILL BE DIFFERENT FOR ME IN MY FIRST YEAR IF I AM IN THE HONORS COLLEGE?

The main difference in your first year is the courses that you take for your general education requirements. For example, rather than taking the traditional English 101 class, Honors student take a course called Honors Rhetoric. This not only covers the ENGL101 requirement, it also covers the COMM105 requirement — both classes are covered with Honors Rhetoric. During your first year you will also enroll in Honors Seminar, a class for ALL Honors College students, not just Freshman, meaning this class introduces you to all the Honors students on campus. Finally, you will enroll in a course called Biblical and Classical Roots, a required Honors course that is best to take during your first year. Those three classes give you 6 credits and you fill the rest of your schedule with courses from your major area of study or other general education requirements and you can choose those classes with the help of your major advisor.

DOES THE HONORS COLLEGE COST MORE?

There are ‘Honors’ lab fees that are associated with some of the Honors College classes, but the overall program does not cost more. The lab fees go toward some of the extra curricular programming offered through the Honors College. We can walk you through these fees at anytime, so please feel free to contact us.

CAN I MAJOR IN ANY AREA AND STILL BE IN THE HONORS COLLEGE?

Absolutely. In fact, one of the things we are most proud of at the Honors College is that our students come from a wide variety of subject areas. This past year, our single largest ‘major’ area was Biology, followed by areas such as music, political studies, English, history, computer science, and communications. Because the Honors College focuses on interdisciplinary study, it attracts majors from all over campus.

CAN I STUDY ABROAD AND BE PART OF THE HONORS COLLEGE?

Definitely. In fact, it’s required (well, almost). In addition to traditional year abroad programs through organizations like Adventist Colleges Abroad, the Honors College strongly suggests that students take Honors courses that are taught…in England. Each year the Honors College offers courses in literature and history at Newbold College just outside of London. Honors Colelge students attend these classes for 3 weeks each May, just after the conclusion of the academic year at WAU and students are able to take classes at Newbold three different years with new courses each year. A requirement to study near London two or three times doesn’t sound to bad, does it?

WHAT ARE THE ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE HONORS COLLEGE?
WAU Honor Societies Students at Lincoln Memorial

Admission to the Honors College is competitive and based on a limited number of openings each year. The criteria for eligibility is established and reviewed by the Honors Council.

For first-year students, most successful applicants will have:

      • A minimum composite score in the 70th percentile or higher on the SAT or ACT. (translates to approximately an ACT score of 24 or an SAT composite score of 1120.
      • 3.5 or higher cumulative high school GPA
      • Superior writing skills as demonstrated on the Letter of Intent portion of the application process
      • An academic writing sample, as requested on an individual basis

I HAVE A COUPLE MORE QUESTIONS, WHO SHOULD I CONTACT?

We love questions and we love providing answers. If you have more questions, please contact Professor Bradford Haas, the Honors College Director (bhaas@wau.edu) or Professor Jonathan Scriven, the Honors College Associate Director (jscriven@wau.edu). You can also send general inquires to honorscollege@wau.edu. Someone will be happy to answer your questions.

HOW DO I APPLY?

Students who meet the eligibility criteria and have been accepted for regular admission to Washington Adventist University are encouraged to submit an application to enter into the Honors Program. If you have questions, email us at honorscollege@wau.edu.

Take me to the application page!