Benefits of Being an Honors Student
The Honors designation on a student’s transcript shows graduate schools and employers that they have achieved academic success in rigorous classes. The challenging, comprehensive curriculum also helps students grow as thinkers, writers, and speakers.
Small Class Sizes
Enrollment in Honors courses is restricted to facilitate the interactive, conversational environment. Central to Honors learning is the activity of conversation, where peers learn from each other in a supportive environment. This intimate setting allows for close student-professor interactions and mentoring.
Honors College faculty are known for their teaching excellence and passion for working with students. In fact, 9 Honors professors have won Westminster College's Gore Excellence in Teaching Award, the college's top recognition for faculty.
Enhanced Support, Advising, and Mentoring
As a first-year Honors student, you'll receive specialized advising from trained advisors, meet weekly with your cohort during the fall semester, and attend supplemental orientation activities to help ease the transition to college life. You'll also be grouped with peer mentors—upper-class Honors students with extensive experience in the program—who can help guide you through your first year of college. Support then continues throughout your time in the Honors College through targeted workshops and dedicated advising.
Honors students learn mindfulness strategies from trained practitioners that equip them with tools to manage stress and be successful.
The interdisciplinary Honors curriculum brings students and 2 faculty from different academic disciplines together to help you practice how to have conversations across differences and to prepare you for the interdisciplinary approach of most top graduate programs and professional fields.
Commitment to Diversity
The Honors College is guided by a robust diversity strategic plan. The Honors College was the first (and only) academic unit at Westminster College to conduct a diversity climate survey and the only academic unit with a student diversity coordinator. In addition to being a campus leader in inclusive admissions strategies, Honors College students have also won the DEI Unsung Hero Award 4 of the past 5 years at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration.
Alternative Gen-Ed Experience
The Honors curriculum offers a unique learning experience that goes beyond Westminster's WCore courses. Honors offers an efficient, flexible pathway through gen-ed requirements, so you can fit in double majors, multiple minors, electives, extracurricular activities, intensive research projects, leadership opportunities, and other enhanced academic experiences. Honors College students may enroll in any major.
The unique approach to learning, the emphasis on writing and research in courses, and the program's support of outside research allows you to more fully investigate your academic interests. Many Honors students have their work published or present their work at national conferences. The Honors College also awards 2 independent summer research grants to Honors students and has an Honors Student Research Fund to support students traveling to academic conferences.
Sense of Community
Honors students take core courses together and interact with Honors faculty and students through other academic and social events. This interaction helps establish a sense of belonging to the college community. The Honors College is housed in Nunemaker Place, where you’ll find a variety of distinctive study and meeting spaces. Located next to beautiful Emigration Creek, Nunemaker opens out onto a tree-lined patio with benches where you can eat lunch, read, and relax with your fellow Honors students.
Special Study Abroad Opportunity
Westminster’s Honors College is a member of the Principia Consortium, which gives students access to a unique Honors educational experience at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, the fourth oldest English-speaking university in the world. Honors students also have access to scholarship support for international May Term travel.
Access to Supplementary Resources
These resources include the Honors College listserv, Student Honors Council meetings, the Honors College newsletter, and special enriched learning experiences such as attendance at cultural events. Leadership training opportunities like the Student Honors Council, special recognition like the Nelson Writing and Creative Arts Awards, and opportunities to participate in special meetings with distinguished visiting speakers are also included.
Fellowship Advising Office
Westminster’s Fellowship Advising Office, which serves the entire student body, is housed in the Honors College, ensuring that Honors students are introduced to a wide range of post-graduate fellowship opportunities like the Rhodes, Fulbright, Marshall, and Truman scholarships, among many others.