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Honors Program

A Mark of Distinction

The Honors distinction on your academic record is an ideal way to show graduate schools and potential employers that you are a person who takes the extra step to learn and to excel. You will be regarded as a motivated individual who sought and accomplished a long-term challenge, and who graduated with distinction.


The College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program is open to students of almost every major, and requires no additional tuition cost and no extra graduation requirements. The benefits of being in the Honors Program include specialized versions of required courses, greater opportunities to work one-on-one with faculty, and a competitive edge in the job market both in terms of experience and credentials. Student-faculty committees determine social and cultural events, course offerings, and admissions. We believe that participation in the Honors Program will greatly enhance your experience at Western New England University.

An Invitation to Excel

Students who have met the GPA criteria will automatically be invited to apply to the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program. Students who do not meet this criteria but still strongly wish to be considered for acceptance into the Program are also encouraged to reach out to the Director of the Program, John Baick, via email for the opportunity to apply. Admission decisions will be made by the Honors Admissions Committee beginning in March and throughout the spring before the Summer Orientation and Registration Program (SOAR).

Because of strict requirements in their schedules, students in the Pre-pharmacy, Pre-optometry, Pre-physician Assistant, and Pre-Engineering Programs are not eligible for Honors Program consideration.

There is a second entry point into the Honors Program for current students who did not have the opportunity to apply entering their freshman year. If a current student expresses interest or is recommended by a faculty member, they will have the opportunity to join the program. It is preferred that these students have a 3.5 cumulative GPA. Transfer students and second semester Arts and Sciences students should contact the Honors Program as early as possible to express their interest in joining.

Find Your People

Incoming freshmen, who have been invited to be members of the Colleges’ Honors Programs, have the opportunity to make the most of the program by living in special honors housing in Commonwealth Hall.

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Courses & Project


Honors students are required to take five Honors (HON) courses: generally they take one Honors course each semester for their first three years and work on their Honors project during their senior year. Most Honors courses are discussion-based seminars, with a small class size. All Honors courses are designed to fulfill specific Western New England University and College of Arts and Sciences requirements.

Senior Honors Project

Each College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program senior works closely with a faculty advisor to develop a final project. Students have virtually complete freedom in their choice of topic, but most opt for a topic within their majors. Interdisciplinary topics are entirely acceptable. This project is worth at least 3 semester-hours of credit, and will normally take the form of an independent study (HON 495). Students who are already required to do a senior project for their major may, with approval, submit this as their Honors project instead. All Honors projects must be approved and evaluated by the Honors Curriculum Committee.

Step Up

New Honors students automatically become members of the Honors Student Union, and as such play an active role in the governance of the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, helping to plan future course offerings and Program spending. Students are encouraged to pursue leadership positions in the Program’s three administrative areas: curriculum, admissions, and activities.