Westminster's Honors College was founded in 1986 as a small program offering an enhanced educational experience to academically talented and highly motivated students. It is now the premiere academic experience on Westminster’s campus for high-achieving students who excel in and out of the classroom. At the center of the Honors experience is a core of specially designed classes where you’ll engage in lively discussions with your classmates and professors.
Mission, Vision, and Values
We invite students into a challenging journey of developing their voices, sharing those voices, and learning to hear the voices of others.
To cultivate a community of diverse voices through genuine curiosity, intentional reflection, authentic conversation, and interdisciplinary inquiry to engage the challenges of a complex world with courage, creativity, and compassion.
- Community-centered conversation
- Support and mentorship
- Compassion and empathy
- Academic and personal growth
- Curiosity and dedication
- Connections across difference
- Interdisciplinary inquiry
- Student empowerment
Average Class Size
Average GPA of entering students
First-year retention rate
of incoming first-year Honors students receive a scholarship
Honors College Students
(19% of the undergraduate student body)
faculty recipients of the Gore Excellence in Teaching Award
Memberships and Affiliations
The Honors College is an active member of
What You'll Learn
- Develop confidence in your abilities to understand and discuss complex ideas and texts through an interdisciplinary lens.
- Engage in problem-solving and research design with guidance from faculty mentors.
- Strengthen your writing and communication skills in intensive, discussion-based seminars.
- Master the ability to work effectively in groups of diverse people.
- Make connections between disciplines in classes team-taught by two professors from different educational backgrounds.
- Apply new knowledge and skills in meaningful ways in your educational, professional, and personal lives.
"In the Honors College, success is in how you can collaborate with other people, admit when you make mistakes, and bounce ideas off your team to find the right answer. Honors pushes you to find your own voice."
Nicole was born and raised in Peru. Being a woman was one of the biggest disadvantages she faced within the education system there, as women aren’t encouraged or supported in joining STEM fields. For Nicole, a woman who has loved science since she was a little girl, that was a major setback. She began researching schools in the United States and, when she stumbled upon liberal arts colleges, she fell in love with the idea of combining arts and sciences. The liberal arts experience that Westminster offers made it an obvious choice for Nicole.
Nicole is continuing her love of studying science as a PhD candidate in physics at Washington University in St. Louis.
Tucked among the trees on the bank of Emigration Creek, Nunemaker Place is the official home of the Honors College. With a variety of distinctive spaces, Nunemaker is always busy with students lounging, studying, reading, and engaging in discussions of their latest challenging Honors texts. Here, you’ll also find the offices of Honors College staff.
Throughout the year, Honors students come together to take part in the many Honors traditions held in Nunemaker Place—from the much-anticipated Monte Carlo Night when students and faculty face off for ultimate bragging rights, to the end-of-semester Dead Paper Society where students gather around the fire on Nunemaker’s back porch to burn copies of papers they’d rather not see again.
Read More About An Honors Education
An expert on Honors education, Honors College Dean Richard Badenhausen regularly publishes essays in journals and monographs on issues of interest to the national Honors community.
- Can Honors Education Reach More Students? (Inside Higher Ed)
- Everything About How We Evaluate Teaching Needs a Makeover (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
- Honors as a Force for Change (NCHC Presidential Address)
- Why We Don't Use Honors Contracts at Westminster
- Diversity and Success in Honors
- Why Don't We Have Honors Housing at Westminster?
- The Value of Honors at Westminster (co-authored with President Steve Morgan)
- The Economics of Honors Education
- Helping Honors Students in Trouble
- Technology and Honors