UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Honors Program

FAQ

What is the Honors Program?

The Honors Program at UWRF provides an academic and social community for students who have outstanding records of academic achievement and who seize opportunities to pursue knowledge in a variety of subjects, interact socially with like-minded students, engage with their communities, and develop leadership skills and leadership potential.  

Please note that our Honors Program is not like an AP or Honors program you find in high school where you complete extra work or take several additional classes to graduate with Honors.  At UWRF, we cater your Honors Program to your course requirements so that nearly all of the classes you take to complete the Honors Program count toward graduation.

Why should I become a member of the Honors Program?

As a part of the Honors Program, you will benefit from:  

  • A customized curriculum
  • Priority registration
  • Honors advising
  • Use of an Honors interaction space/student lounge
  • Connections with dedicated faculty
  • Membership in our student organization, the Collegiate Honors Society
  • A notation on your transcript showing completion of the program
  • And more!
How will it benefit my career to graduate from the Honors Program?

Graduating from an Honors Program has many benefits to your career.  The most obvious benefit is that when people who are considering your qualifications for a job, Graduate school, medical school, the Peace Corps, or any other experience you will complete after you graduate see that you have completed an Honors Program, they will recognize the level of dedication you paid to your academics while in college.  Secondly, those same people may see this as a reason to interview you rather than another candidate.  In other words, they could wonder what your program was like and want to talk to you in person about it.  Additionally, your experience in the Honors Program strengthens your critical thinking, communication, and leaderships skills, all of which are beneficial for your career. Finally, the connections you make with fellow Honors students will last long after you graduate, thus creating a network of peers that will follow you into your career. 

Do I qualify to join the Honors Program?

Incoming freshmen, transfer students, and current UWRF students may all be eligible to apply to the Honors Program.  

Eligibility for first term, incoming freshmen:

  • Composite ACT score of 27 or higher   
    and/or
  • Graduated in the top 10% of high school class 
    and/or
  • 3.75 GPA 

Eligibility for transfer and current UWRF students:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher with time to  complete the Honors Program requirements
I’m new to UWRF.  Do I need to apply my first semester?

We strongly encourage you to apply to the Honors Program during your first semester at UWRF so you can receive communications about the program, join us for social events, and use our relaxing student interaction space, but you can join after your first semester.  Keep in mind that Honors students are required to take HON 190 – Honors Seminar (1 credit) within the first two semesters of joining the program as it introduces the core competencies and helps you to develop your individualized Honors Program plan: Early, advanced planning ensures minimizing extra credits required for graduation.  

I’m a current student at UWRF.  Is it too late to apply for the Honors Program?

Current UWRF students may be eligible to join the Honors Program up until their Junior year depending on how many major, minor, and University requirements they have to complete.  Current students need to meet with the Honors Program Director, Dr. Kathleen Hunzer, to figure out if the Honors Program will fit into their remaining time at UWRF.

When can I apply to the Honors Program?

Incoming freshmen who are eligible can apply as soon as they are admitted to UWRF, but we do have "rolling admission" throughout the year, which means you can join at any time during the year.  The sooner you apply, however, the better because the Honors Program requires 135 hours of community service, which needs to be completed between the time of application and graduation.

How do I apply to the Honors Program?

Once you have been admitted to UWRF, you can complete the online Honors Program application using your Falcon Account.  Honors Program applications will be reviewed within a few business days and you will receive a formal notification of your acceptance via mail shortly thereafter. If you are applying as a current or transfer student, your acceptance letter will be emailed to your student email address.

Will the Honors Program work with my major?

The Honors Program is designed to work with all majors.  We currently serve over 44 majors!

How do the credits in the Honors Program work?

The credits you earn while completing your Honors Program count toward the 120 credits you are required to complete to graduate from UWRF.  Nearly all of the 23-24 credits that are required to graduate from the Honors Program (with the exception of HON 190 and HON 497) are not additional to your existing coursework—they overlap with classes you are taking to graduate.

What must I do in order to graduate from the Honors Program?

Honors Program students must complete HON 190 and HON 497, meet the requirements of the 5 core competencies, complete 135 hours of community service before graduation, and graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.  Successful completion of the Honors Program will be notated on the student's final transcript.

Do Honors classes require a lot of extra work, or do I need to try and fit certain sections into my program for them to count as Honors credit?

You do not need to complete "extra work" in a class for you to receive Honors credits for that class, and with the exception of HON 190 and HON 497, you do not need to take specific sections of classes for them to count in your Honors Program.

Will there be extra credits required for graduation?

Our curriculum requires two (2) one credit, Honors-specific classes that you must take (HON 190 and HON 497).  Outside of that, the program is designed so that nearly all of the classes you take to complete the Honors Program count toward graduation.

Are there Honors-specific classes I must take?

Our curriculum requires two (2) one credit, Honors-specific classes that you must take:  HON 190-Honors Seminar and HON 497-Honors Capstone Seminar.   

Depending on your individualized Honors Program plan, there are optional Honors-specific classes as well such as HON 371-Service Learning and ENGL 200 Honors-specific sections.

Will there be extra work required for graduation?

One of the core competencies—Community Engagement—requires that all Honors students complete 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.  Students have the option of using the volunteer hours during the semester as service learning credit with HON 371 (1 credit=45 hours, 2 credits=90 hours, 3 credits=135 hours), they can complete a portfolio, or do a combination of HON 371 and the portfolio.

What kinds of experiences count in the Community Engagement requirement?

Any volunteer work you do in a community that is unpaid and not connected to a course requirement can count toward your 135 required hours of community engagement.  The time you spend working on fundraisers connected to a campus organization may also count toward this requirement.

How do I document the hours I complete for my Community Engagement requirement?

Simply create an Excel spreadsheet, a Word table, or keep a journal of the days you volunteered, the hours completed, what you did during that time, and have a supervisor/leader sign off on the volunteer hours.  By the time you graduate, you need to have accumulated at least 135 hours of volunteer work to graduate from the Honors Program.

What is URSCA and how do I complete that requirement? How is this connected to HON 497?

URSCA stands for Undergraduate Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity.  You can complete this requirement in two different ways.  (1) You will work with the Director of the Honors Program to find a 300- or 400-level class that you are taking in your major, minor, or graduation requirements that has a major research, scholarly, or creative project, and that will count as your URSCA class.  OR (2) If you do a major project that is not connected to a specific course, you can still count that project in this requirement.  More details on this method are found in the UWRF Honors Program: Student Guide.  You will then present whatever project results from this requirement in your HON 497: Senior Capstone class.

What does priority registration mean?

Honors Program students benefit from priority registration, which means you are assigned a time earlier than anyone at the same credit-level.  The Registrar's Office automatically assigns the priority registration and the date/time is reflected in eSIS.

Can I get advising help?

We recommend contacting Katy Maas, the Program Associate for the Honors Program, to set-up an appointment to meet with Dr. Kathleen Hunzer, the Director of the Honors Program, for advising help.  Otherwise, you are always welcome to stop into Hagestad Hall 139 Monday-Friday between 8:00am-4:30pm. 

Can I graduate with Honors without being in the Honors Program?

There are three types of merit awards recognized at graduation.  See the Graduation Honors information listed on the Registrar's website.

I’m interested in finding out more about the Honors Learning Community.  How do I find out more information?

Please contact Residence Life for more information about the Honors Learning Community starting Fall 2016.

What is the Collegiate Honors Society?

The Collegiate Honors Society is a student organization whose purpose is to provide for its members community service opportunity coordination, intellectual enrichment, academic involvement, and social services.  

Meetings for all members, and those interested in joining, will be held the second Wednesday of every month at 5:30pm in Hagestad Hall 137 for the Spring 2016 semester. One additional event will be held each month with event date, time, and location TBD earlier that month.

How to I join the Collegiate Honors Society?

You can join the Collegiate Honors Society through the UWRF OrgSync.  You can also find the group on Facebook under UWRF Collegiate Honors Society.   

Membership in the Collegiate Honors Society is open to any student who is eligible for participation in the Honors Program at UWRF; any first semester freshman; OR UWRF students who maintain a B (3.0 GPA) average or better.

I have been invited to join HonorSociety.org.  Is the organization legit?

UWRF has no affiliation with HonorSociety.org so any e-mail received from this organization is spam.  We will never ask you for a membership fee to participate in the Honors Program or Collegiate Honors Society (student group) at UWRF.

Contact Us

Honors Program

honors@uwrf.edu

715-425-3304

M-F, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

139 Hagestad Hall