Honors Academics

Honors allows all students to envision how they can flourish in a complex and changing world.


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The Honors curriculum consists of five interlocking academic experiences

1. Join Honors: Move-in and Introduction

A three-day immersion experience in which students meet each other, discuss summer readings introducing the ideas of navigating an emerging world, and orient themselves to living in Spokane as an Honors student. Non-credit bearing.

2. First Year Block: Looking Around: Finding Your Place and Your Path

The first year block provides students with a rich, integrated and interdisciplinary learning experience shared by all students entering the Honors program that introduces them to the complex structure and problems of contemporary society, provides work on the foundational academic skills of critical reasoning, analysis, and communication, and also provides students opportunities to reflect on their own values, commitments, goals, and learning styles. Ideas and experiences are shared across all three courses, with focused attention on different skills and assignments.

  • HONS 193: Honors First Year Seminar - Taught by Director and Social Science 
  • HONS 100: Multi-Modal Communication - Taught by Writing and Communication 

3. Honors Colloquia: Courses on the Edge

Students must take at least two Honors Colloquia. Classes will focus on a complex, timely, and urgent topics and issues in the context of a Global society, one that requires interdisciplinary approaches. These classes will be, ideally, team taught and explicitly interdisciplinary. In addition, these courses, primarily, take part in cultivating the capacities for active engagement as responsive democratic actors working for a common good. As such, faculty are strongly encouraged to meet the Social Justice and/or Global Studies Core Requirement. They will be open to non-Honors students by Professor/Director approval.

4. Honors-designated Courses

student using computer to study

Students must take at least five Honors designated courses that meet the Honors Outcomes (see below). Honors courses are collaborative journeys undertaken by students and faculty together that explore the strengths and limits of disciplinary approaches. In order to qualify as an Honors course, faculty must demonstrate how the course design meets the outcomes for any relevant Core and/or departmental requirements as well as the Honors Outcomes. Honors courses may be Core, departmental, or elective. Faculty are strongly encouraged to meet the Social Justice, Writing Enriched and/or Global Studies Core requirements. While these courses will be open to all students in the university, a number of seats will be set aside for Honors students.

You can view the Fall 2023 Honors Course Offerings here.

5. HONS 432 and 499: Capstone Experience 

Frederick Buechner describes vocation as the place “where your deep gladness meets the deep hunger of the world.” The capstone experience is designed to provide students with
the opportunity to discern that location for themselves, drawing on their Honors experiences, what they have learned through the University Core, and their disciplinary expertise. As part of the work of this course, students will imagine and then design a personalized project that will both integrate their undergraduate learning and provide them experience which will meaningfully contribute to their future goals. These projects may take the form of a researched, academic writing, an internship, creative inquiry, etc. By the time the course ends, the student will have completed a proposal, timeline, implementation plan, and assessment plan. Then, students will take a second course Fall semester Senior Year during which time they will complete their project with assessment.

Want to see what your course options are?
An Educational Experience for Students

New Honors Curriculum Beginning Fall 2020

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Contact the Honors Program Coordinator

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502 E. Boone Ave
Spokane, WA 99258