Degree Requirements

Honors Program

Honors Admission Requirements

Are you an incoming freshman that has been accepted to the UW-River Falls and interested in the Honors Program?

Eligibility for first term, incoming freshman students: 

  • Composite ACT score of 27 or higher and/or
  • Graduated in the top 10% of high school class (a 3.75 for high schools that do not rank) 

Are you a current student or are you a transferring to UW-River Falls and interested in joining the Honors Program?  

Eligibility for current and transfer students: 

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher with time to complete the Honors Program requirements.

Honors Program Requirements

In order to complete the Honors Program at UW-River Falls, students who have been accepted into the program will take two Honors-specific classes and demonstrate knowledge in five core competencies:

HON 190: Honors Seminar

All Honors students enroll in HON 190 early in their UWRF career, preferably the first semester in the program.  Taught by instructors from several departments, this one-credit seminar is the foundational class that explores why each of the five Honors competencies is important and then helps students create a personalized Honors Program plan.  We want students to earn as many of their Honors credits as possible as they take classes required for graduation, so nearly all of the Honors credits will count toward degree completion.  

Global Engagement/Awareness

All UWRF students must complete a "Global Perspectives" (GP) class in order to graduate, so this class will count in this competency.  The rest of this requirement may be earned in a variety of ways:  by completing a second GP class, taking a 200-level or above Modern Language class (i.e. Spanish, French, German, Chinese, or Japanese), participating in a credit-bearing study abroad experience,or by completing a "portfolio project."

Communication/Rhetorical Skills

All Honors students must have strong reading, writing, and thinking skills; therefore, Honors students will take an Honors- or discipline-specific section of ENGL 200 (a General Education requirement) or will take a class that introduces students to their discipline's language (i.e. BIOL 160:  General Biology-Freshman Research Focus, CSD 160: Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders, ENGL 253: Introduction to Literary Studies, PSYC 216: Research Methods, etc.).  Students will be provided with a detailed list of the Communication/Rhetoric classes when they craft their Honors Program plan in HON 190.

Community Engagement

Being active in the community-whether that is the campus community, your home community, the national community, or the global community-offers a variety of benefits to students; therefore, if students plan on graduating from the Honors Program, they must complete at least 135 volunteer hours prior to graduation.  These 135 hours may be split across all four years or done in a shorter amount of time and may be done throughout the year, including over the summer, Spring Break, or J-Term.


Sustainability is the study of three key areas: economic, social, and environmental justice.  Since part of our mission at UWRF is to prepare ethical and engaged students, all Honors students will take courses that explore two of the three "pillars of Sustainability" named above.  Students will work with their instructor for HON 190 to choose classes in this requirement that also count in their major/minor and/or in their University/General Education requirements-courses from nearly all majors are available to meet this requirement.

Undergraduate Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity (URSCA)

Another part of our mission at UWRF is to introduce students to the benefits of being involved in research and scholarly activities; therefore, to meet this requirement, students will complete an undergraduate research, scholarly, or creative activity in an upper-level class in their major and/or minor.  The class in which the URSCA activity takes place meets this requirement.

HON 497: Honors Capstone Seminar

To complete the Honors Program, all Honors students must take HON 497, a class where Honors students meet once per week for 50 minutes to listen and respond to URSCA presentations by their peers in the Honors Program.  This class will be taken near the end of their program or immediately after their URSCA project has been completed. 

Please Note...

1)  Nearly all of the classes taken in these competencies will also count in students' major/minor, General Education, and/or University requirements.  The credits students need to take to complete the Honors Program outside of graduation requirements are kept to a minimum so that students are not taking "extra" classes to complete the program.  

2)  In order for students to graduate with the Honors Program on their transcript, they must have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA by graduation.

3)  Students may NOT double-count courses between the different Honors Program competencies.  For example, ESM 251 cannot count as both Communication/Rhetorical Skills and Sustainability.

4)  The Honors Program Office audits students' progress bi-annually.  If students are not making progress toward completing the Honors Program and maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher, they will be removed from the program.  As noted in #2 above, students must have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA by graduation as a program requirement.


139 Hagestad Hall

The UW-River Falls Honors Program is designed to meet the educational needs of students who have an outstanding record of academic achievement and a true sense of intellectual adventure. It allows students to experience a variety of course types and educationally related experiences while gaining academic credit. 

Students enrolled in the program may choose Honors sections of many general education classes, take introductory and advanced Honors seminars, complete an Honors thesis/project, enroll in a service-learning experience for credit and receive credits for participation in the intellectual and creative life of the UWRF community and elsewhere. All of these experiences are gained while still keeping within the major and minor requirements of an Honors student's academic program.