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William O. Douglas
Honors College

Hebeler Hall 219
(509) 963-1900


Tier Options

The William O. Douglas Honors College is comprised of two main tiers which make honors learning a compelling option for both first-year and transfer students. The first tier is the Core Curriculum, which satisfies and wholly replaces the general education requirements of CWU. For this reason, the Core Curriculum may not be suitable for transfer students, or those with an AA. The second tier—Upper-Divisionprepares students for their life after CWU; this track is appropriate for all honors learners including transfer students. An Interdisciplinary Honors Minor can be achieved by a student within either tier.

Core Curriculum

The DHC Core Curriculum consists of 50 credits, which satisfy the general education requirements of Central Washington University. Most first-year students entering the DHC will complete these 50 credits. However, students who are...

  • Entering the DHC with credits from Running Start, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • Transferring from a community college without a Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) or Associates Degree (AA)
  • Transferring from another university
  • Joining the DHC later in their career at CWU

...should speak with a DHC advisor to discuss your credits.

DHC cohort 2018-19 in the first week of school

DHC cohort 2018-19 celebrates the first week of school.

Core Curriculum

Prescribed Courses

Prescribed Descriptions

Prescribed Credits

DHC 102

Articulating Honors: Research Writing in the 21st Century


MATH 103

Mathematics for Social Justice


DHC 110

Honors First-Year Seminar: Foundation


DHC 210

Honors Sophomore Seminar: Take the Next Steps


DHC 310

Honors Junior Seminar: Elements of Research


DHC 410

Honors Senior Seminar: Graduate and Career Preparation




Variable Topic Courses

Variable Topic Areas

Variable Topic Credits

DHC 140

Humanistic Understanding


DHC 150

Aesthetic Experience


DHC 180

Physical and Biological Systems I


DHC 280

Physical and Biological Systems II


DHC 250

Social and Behavioral Dynamics


DHC 260

Cultural Studies I


DHC 261

Cultural Studies II


DHC 270

Integrated Learning




Grand Total


Interdisciplinary Honors Minor

The Interdisciplinary Honors minor is 34 - 35 credits. Many DHC students satisfy the requirements of the minor by completing the DHC Core Curriculum and two additional courses, DHC 380 and DHC 480. This option is especially accessible for transfer students.

DHC students attend a series on women in government.

DHC students attend a series on women in government.

Interdisciplinary Honors Minor




DHC 140

Humanistic Understanding


DHC 150 Aesthetic Experience 5
DHC 250 Social and Behavioral Dynamics 4
DHC 260 / DHC 261 Cultural Studies I / Cultural Studies II 4
DHC 270 Integrated Learnng 4
DHC 280 Physical and Biological Systems II 4
DHC 380 History of Sceince 4
DHC 480 * Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar * 4 - 5 *

Grand Total

34 - 35

Upper-Division Honors

The DHC Upper-Division tier offers students who have already completed their CWU general education requirements (such as transfer students) the opportunity to invest in an interdisciplinary capstone project. We encourage the incorporation of materials and methods from each student's own majors and interests. Projects may range from research to creative expression, but all will incorporate analytical writing and the mentorship of a faculty member. At only 15 total credits, this track is a manageable addition for many students.

* DHC 480 can be replaced by any course the DHC deems comparable.

DHC student Denver sport his stunning floral grad cap at commencement

DHC student Denver sport his stunning floral grad cap at commencement.

Upper Division Honors




DHC 310

Honors Junior Seminar: Elements of Research


DHC 410

Honors Capstone Seminar 2
DHC 497 Honors Thesis and/or Creative Project 2

DHC 380

History of Science 4
DHC 480 Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar 4

Grand Total



Depending on one's course load, students are awarded different degrees and accolades at commencement.

  • Students who complete our Core Curriculum satisfy university general education requirements.
  • Students who complete our Core Curriculum and just two courses more, earn the Interdisciplinary Honors Minor.
  • Students who complete only Upper-Division Honors are designated as Arts and Sciences Scholars upon graduation.
  • Students who complete the Core Curriculum, as well as Upper-Division Honors, earn the Interdiscipliary Honors Minor and are designated as Douglas Honors Scholars upon graduation.

Past Course Examples

Below are some topic titles for our courses with varying themes. Class content is wholly proposed by our instructors. We strive to offer one course from each area most quarters. The last course listed within each area below is followed by a brief course overview.

  • DHC 140 Humanistic Understanding

    DHC 140: Articulating Honors: Research Writing in the 21st Century

    DHC 140: Culture and Cuisine

    DHC 141: The Mountains' Call

    DHC 140: Satan and Society

    This course is a survey of how the figure "Satan" has been adapted in various religious, historic, and cultural milieus. How Satan is represented says much about a culture and its values, fears, and sense of identity. Students are presented with religious writings, politicized caricatures, and aesthetic representations concerning Satan, comparing and analyzing how ideas of evil and otherness intertwine.

  • DHC 150 Aesthetic Experience

    DHC 150: Opera is for Everyone?: Are the Fine Arts Still Relevant?

    DHC 150: The Evolution of Music in Sports

    DHC 151: The Aesthetics of Ugliness

    DHC 150: Contemporary European Cinema

    European filmmakers today face many challenges. Some of these are practical: securing financing, distribution, and finding an audience. Others are less tangible: squaring Europe's auteur tradition with an increasingly market-driven industry, and defining national identities in ever more diverse cultural settings. This course introduces students to contemporary films from across Western Europe and considers the societal, cultural, and industrial contexts in which they exist.

  • DHC 180 / 280 Physical and Biological Systems I / II

    DHC 180: The Nature of Beasts: Animals in History and Science

    DHC 280: Consciousness

    DHC 161: Astronomy & Mythology

    DHC 180: Chemistry for Materials of Art

    This course is an introduction to fundamental principles and topics in chemistry, including atomic structure and the periodic table, chemical bonds, metals, the nature of light, color, acids and bases, oxidation/reduction, and organic molecules and polymers. These chemistry fundamentals are introduced through -- and applied to -- historic and contemporary studio processes and materials including metal etching, ceramics, pigments, frescoes, photography, textiles, and dyes. This course includes a laboratory component.

  • DHC 250 Social and Behavioral Dynamics

    DHC 250: Difficult Decision-Making: Individuals, Groups, and States

    DHC 250: Coalition Building and Solidarity

    DHC 250: Society and the Politics of Nature

    DHC 250: Conspiracism, Conspiracy Theories, and American Politics

    DHC 250: Politics and Games

    This course is an introduction to political philosophy through the use of primary texts from Plato and Nozick, lectures on important mathematical results associated with democracy, and explanatory models in game theory that help explain why rational beings choose to operate and form governments. This includes examples (primarily from US history) that demonstrate some of these concepts.

  • DHC 260 / 261 Cultural Studies I / II

    DHC 260: American Youth Cultural Post-WWI

    DHC 261: American Hemispheric Studies

    DHC 261: Not Just Rocking the Cradle: How Women Shape Civilization

    This course examines the role of women in shaping the world both collectively as a social force and individually as notable warriors, rulers, athletes, writers, activists, scholars, artists, businesswomen, adventures, scientists, and inventors. The purpose of the course is to bring to the surface the submerged -- often invisible -- contributions and achievements of women within the context of their status both in world history and in the present era, especially in the US.

  • DHC 270 Integrated Learning

    DHC 270: Adaptation in a Time of Change

    DHC 270: Ciphers, Secret Communication & Personal Privacy

    DHC 270: It's About Time

    This course examines the concept of time from many perspectives. These include ancient cultural conceptions of time (Hebrew, Greek, Hindu); measuring time (determining the length of a year or a second); the major calendars in use today; philosophy (Descartes, Kant, and Euler); literature; physics (relatively and quantum mechanics); psychology (human perception of time); and sociology (modern society's obsession with time). Time travel in theory and literature is also discussed.

  • DHC 380 History of Science

    DHC 380: Science, Technology, and Society

    This course will provide a history of the relationship between science, technology, and society. The course includes science from the early modern period through modern times, and emphasizes the historical and social contextualization of scientific issues from the past and the present. Historical and contemporary themes will includes the Scientific Revolution, exploration, the emergence of professional science, the Cold War, popular science, science education, and modern museums of technology.

  • DHC 480 Interdisciplinary Honors Seminar

    DHC 480: International Peace and Security, Humanitarianism and Development

    This course covers theories and policies related to the social, political, and economic aspects of humanitarianism, peacekeeping, development, and human rights. International structures for peace and security, and philosophical and legal approaches will be considered.

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