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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of honors?

Whitworth's honors program was created in part to promote what research has demonstrated to be among the "best" learning experiences. Our honors students benefit from the smaller class size of honors seminars, enjoy the camaraderie of fellow honors students in learning communities, and receive priority consideration for certain internships. Honors students choose from other high-impact activities, such as study abroad and research with a faculty member, in order to personalize their honors experience according to their interests or course of study.

How are honors courses different from non-honors courses?

Honors offerings are not necessarily more difficult than other courses. They are instead characterized by depth, complexity, and/or novelty.

  • Depth is referred to as the level of mastery and understanding of the material presented. Students in the honors program study the content more extensively or in greater depth. This leads toward greater insight by the student's discovery of detail, patterns and trends.
  • Complexity is the thought and processing involved in an activity. Dealing with complexity helps students understand concepts at a higher level and see the interrelationship of concepts.
  • Novelty refers to a unique, personal experience for the student. He or she may study something that is not a part of the regular curriculum, but that may be of interest. Self-directed study leads toward heightened individuality and expansion of personal belief systems.

Is honors available for all majors?


Are there any scholarships associated with participation in the honors program?

Although honors students may be eligible for merit-based scholarships offered during the freshman or transfer-student application process (Presidential, Mind and Heart, etc.), participation in the honors program does not come with any particular scholarship.

How many students are involved in the honors program?

There are currently about 130 students involved in the honors program – about five percent of Whitworth undergraduates.

Questions? Contact Bert Emerson, associate professor of English and director of honors (