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FAQ for Prospective Honors Students

Curious about the Honors Program?

Well, you've come to the right place! The following is a list of the most frequently asked questions about what it’s like to be an Honors student at UW-Eau Claire. If you can't find exactly what you're looking for here, send contact us at honors@uwec.edu.

Honors at UW-Eau Claire is both an academic program and a learning community. We bring high-achieving students together in unique classes, where they work with faculty experts to explore interesting, urgent topics. Our students tell us that what they most value about Honors is the opportunity to join this community of inquisitive, motivated learners from every major on campus. That community also extends beyond the classroom door: Honors students work as peer mentors, serve in leadership roles within the program, and collaborate on research. They also run our student organization, hang out in our Honors Commons space, and have fun together at Honors events.

  • Honors is an opportunity to earn important credentials. Graduate schools and hiring committees recognize that it takes an attractive combination of talent and dedication to graduate from a university’s Honors program. Additionally, access to the program’s network of engaged students and faculty members may lead to research or internship opportunities during undergraduate years.
  • Honors students develop lifelong relationships with professors and peers. No one succeeds alone; behind every success story is a community of supportive peers and mentors. Within the Honors community, students have an active relationship with their peers, attending and supporting community events as well as contributing their own experiences in guiding roles for other members of the program.
  • Honors provides an opportunity to challenge yourself. Honors students delve more deeply into course material and have more opportunities for hands-on, active learning. Additionally, due to the diversity of Honors Colloquia, students are encouraged to explore subjects outside of their major or area of expertise.
  • Honors offers unique experiences. The interdisciplinary nature of most Honors Colloquia allows professors to offer courses that go beyond the scope of most individual departments. Experiential learning is also a crucial aspect of the Honors experience, with the integration of high-impact practices like service learning and cultural immersion.

Check out our “Joining the Honors Program” page for more information.

Honors courses are not necessarily harder, but they are taught differently. With an average class size of 25 talented and motivated students, instructors engage students in discussion-based, application-based, and often interdisciplinary content.  

Colloquia are unique, interdisciplinary courses reserved for Honors students. These feature small class sizes and highlight participation in learning through active discussion and investigation. Potential Honors Colloquia are proposed by professors, and usually highlight their areas of research or expertise. As such, they reflect unique, passionate interest, and are often courses that do not fit within traditional disciplinary boundaries. All Honors Colloquia fulfill the University's Liberal Education requirements and, may in some instances, be applied toward other degree requirements. 

We also offer Honors sections of courses in academic departments. These courses have the same essential content as non-Honors versions of the same course, but often focus on discussion, apply course content to real-world or current events, engage students in authentic scholarly research, or involve or unique lab or field-work opportunities. Honors sections will toward the same degree requirements and prerequisites as any other version of the same course.

Learn more about our courses and see our recent course catalogs here.

There is no additional fee to participate in the University Honors Program. University Honors is an academic and student support program provided to admitted students as part of their tuition, just like other programs and resources on campus. You might receive invitations to join other honors clubs and societies that do require payment—but they are not affiliated with UW-Eau Claire’s official University Honors Program.

The Honors Living-Learning-Community (LLC) allows students to extend their Honors experience into residence life. Located on campus in Bridgman Hall, the LLC is provides a community experience for Honors students.  It is not required for Honors student to live in the LLC; but, approximately 35-45% of new Honors student do chose to live in Bridgman Hall and participate in LLC activities. These student represent a cross-section of all students on campus. Current Honors students serve as RAs, lead in planning events and activities with resident help and input, and will also live and mentor new Honors students. The Honors LLC provides both a space respectful of your academic priorities and time for fun to engage with other both in the LLC and outside Bridgman Hall. 

Throughout the year, the LLC has various community events. The majority of these are subject to change, but there are a few that remain constant each year:

  • The LLC Signature Event – Each fall, the basement of Bridgman Hall transforms into a high-society hangout. LLC members are encouraged to dress-up to match the décor, and “mocktails” are served. This event serves as both an important mixer for LLC members and an opportunity to feature the artistic talent of the community. Expect to see musical performances, displays of visual arts, and many other demonstrations of artistic diversity within the Honors Program.
  • Community Service Projects – All students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire are expected to fulfill a service-learning requirement to graduate. Each semester, the LLC plans and enacts a service project to help students satisfy this requirement and to find ways to enhance the Honors Program’s presence in the Eau Claire community.

In order to graduate with Honors, you need to complete 24 Honors credits along with the Honors First-Year Seminar and the Honors Senior Seminar. You’ve got lots of options for earning those 24 Honors credits, including not only Honors courses but also honors contracts, research, internships, departmental honors, mentoring, and more. You’ll learn more about these options and chart your own path through Honors in HNRS 100. To graduate with Honors, you also need to have a resident and cumulative GPA of 3.50. Find more details on the graduation requirement webpage.

Note that the resident and cumulative GPA of 3.5 is only necessary at the point of graduation. Students whose GPA falls below this threshold will not be penalized or excluded from the program in any way.  

 

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