1. What is the Honors Program?
The Honors Program is an intensive four-year program in the university’s core curriculum for students selected on the basis of their academic performance. We seek to stimulate students to develop their capacities as intellectually rigorous and independent persons embodying the best of liberal education. Students take their core classes with other Honors students in classes that are carefully designed and whenever possible coordinated with one another. As a final requirement, students write a senior thesis in their major field of study.
Students in the Honors Program focus on close reading of texts that form some of the foundations of different scholarly disciplines. (See the Reading List for a current list of readings.) Students discuss, critique, and write informed opinions on those texts, and in doing so they develop their skills for critical thinking and presentation.
We provide a number of (optional) extracurricular activities. These cultural and social functions enhance the sense of camaraderie you feel with other students in the program. In some cases these activities enrich students’ learning, while some of them are just for fun! See the News & Events page.
2. Should I apply to the Honors Program?
Here are some questions to consider:
- Have you typically enjoyed challenging course work in a variety of subjects?
- Look at the Course Descriptions and Reading List. Does that kind of reading and inquiry appeal to you?
- Would you like to take your core classes with a group of students who also enjoy this kind of study?
If the answers to these questions is yes, then you should consider applying to Honors.
3. Who may I contact for more information?
4. Will being in the Honors Program affect my choice of major?
No. The eight Honors classes satisfy the eight university core requirements and do not satisfy any major requirements. Thus, you may choose any major. You will write your senior thesis on a subject of your choice in your major. If a senior thesis is also required for that major, that thesis counts as your Honors thesis. That is, you write one senior thesis, not two.
5. How do I apply to the Honors program?
Click on Admission on the Honors Program web page to read the requirements and download the required form. You need to submit two brief essays and secure a teacher recommendation. If you cannot obtain a teacher recommendation, then we can use the teacher recommendation from your Puget Sound application. However, we prefer the additional recommendation in which the teacher can address your suitability for admission to the Honors Program.
6. What does the Honors Program consider when making a decision for admission?
We consider the following:
- The essays you submit are important, because they indicate your genuine interest in the program and your ability to express yourself in writing.
- Your academic record (transcript) should reflect a record of success in challenging courses. You do not need to have straight-A grades, particularly if you have taken some of the most challenging courses your school offers. (If you have taken AP or IB classes, this is one indication of challenge, but we do not require AP/IB courses or exams.) Grades certainly do matter, but there is no minimum GPA.
- Your SAT/ACT scores give some indication of your overall aptitude, but we do not have a minimum required score.
- The teacher recommendation helps to confirm that you are a student who loves to learn and who thrives in a serious academic program.
7. When are applications due?
We give preference to applications received by February 15, but you may apply after that date.
8. Do I need an interview as part of the application process?
No. Be sure to include anything you want to say in your submitted application.
9. If accepted into Honors, may I live in Langlow House?
Langlow House is open to entering students on a first-come, first-served basis. As soon as you are admitted to the Honors Program, you will be asked to tell us whether you want to live in Langlow. If you say yes and there are still rooms open on that date, you’re in!