The honors program is a university-wide multidisciplinary program that encourages and rewards excellence. It provides opportunities for students to expand beyond the normal boundaries of their courses through research, special projects and community-based work. Students who complete all of the program requirements receive recognition at graduation and on their transcripts. The honors program has two tracks: academic honors and civic honors. To enroll in honors courses or participate in honors projects in either track, students must first be admitted to the program. Applications are accepted at any time. Contact the honors program director for more details or to obtain an application form, or visit the honors program website.
The academic honors track provides thematically integrated and challenging opportunities for UW-Parkside’s most talented students, ensures that UW-Parkside’s best students and faculty scholars engage in collegial working relationships on in-depth projects of mutual interest, and fosters fellowship and community among UW-Parkside honors students. Academic honors is earned primarily through the completion of honors courses and honors thesis work.
Program admission requirements for new freshmen include standing in the upper 5 percent of their high school graduating class or a 95th percentile ACT score, or standing in the upper 10 percent of their high school graduating class and a 90th percentile ACT score. Continuing or transfer students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better and must have completed at least 12 credits of college work. All applicants must submit a letter of recommendation from a faculty member from this or another institution. Students transferring from another institution may apply up to 9 credits toward the honors program. Transferred honors credits must be approved by the director.
Requirements for Academic Honors
To receive official transcript designation and recognition at graduation, students must be admitted to the program, must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 and must earn 24 credits in honors course work. The 24 credits must include three 1-credit Honors Seminars, and at least 3 credits of Honors Thesis. The remaining credits may be earned through honors projects attached to regularly scheduled courses or through additional Honors Seminars or honors designated courses. A grade of B+ or higher must be earned for a student to be awarded honors credit for any course.
In order to receive honors credit for a course not designated as an honors course, a student must first complete an honors agreement with the instructor. The agreement must state the specific nature of the additional honors work for the class and must be approved by the director of the honors program.
Students may also earn up to 3 honors credits by participating in academic campus activities outside the classroom such as lectures, discussions, and presentations.
- Prior approval of the honors program director.
- At least six hours of activities (note that the actual number of attended events may be more or less than this).
- Written presentation of a summary and critical evaluation of the experience to the honors program director.
Honors credits achieved in this manner will not count toward graduation nor toward the completion of any academic requirement other than those for the honors program. It is recommended that incoming freshmen who are eligible for the honors program enroll in HONS 495 Honors Seminar.
The civic honors track provides a mechanism to support and sustain student involvement in a particular public issue and to examine and respond to public issues from multiple disciplinary perspectives.
Deeply embed a student’s exploration of a specific public issue into his or her academic experience.
Develop a network of support that encourages students to embrace their responsibilities as citizens in a diverse democracy within a broad global arena.
Deepen the positive impact that students have on communities through community engagement and civic learning initiatives.
Foster thorough knowledge of a particular academic discipline. Students who participate in the civic honors track will develop civic competencies through academic and community involvement including specific courses, targeted assignments, service learning, presentations, employment and volunteer activities, and community projects that demonstrate the civic competencies in the issue they have chosen.
Normally, students will enroll in the civic honors track no later than the fall semester of their junior year. To apply for the civic honors track, students must have completed at least 18 credits of university course work with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Newly admitted students who have not taken CBL 101 Introduction to Community Based Learning, must complete this course within one year after admission to the program. The CBL 101 course offers students an opportunity to explore a broad range of civic and community issues.
During the course, students will select an issue of personal interest and develop a plan to intentionally focus their university experience and course work toward developing the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to impact that issue. Students who choose to participate in the civic honors track will use the plan created as part of the CBL 101 course to guide their development of civic competencies throughout the remainder of their university experience.
Requirements for Civic Honors
To receive official transcript designation and recognition at graduation students must be admitted to the program, must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, successfully complete CBL 101 Introduction to Community Based Learning, HONS 496 Civic Honors Senior Seminar, and demonstrate proficiency in the following six civic competencies.
- General knowledge of relevant public issues affecting local and global communities.
- In-depth knowledge of one public issue.
- Knowledge of groups, networks and systems that address or have the ability to impact the public issue.
- Demonstrated ability in developing a wide range of civic skills, attitudes and beliefs needed to effect change.
- Demonstrated ability to inform various audiences about the issue.
- Demonstrated ability to impact a public issue through effective participation in projects, groups, networks, political or civic processes.
Proficiency in the competencies will be demonstrated through a portfolio documenting the student’s accomplishments over the course of his or her college career. During the senior year, students are required to enroll in HONS 496 Civic Honors Senior Seminar, where they will finalize the portfolio. The final requirement for the civic honors designation is a public presentation and defense of the portfolio to a panel consisting of at least one faculty expert on the topic, one community partner involved in the issue, and a representative from the honors program steering committee.
Courses in the Honors Program (HONS)
Freshman Honors Seminar
Civic Honors Senior Seminar