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William O. Douglas
Honors College

Hebeler Hall 219
(509) 963-1900

  • What is the Douglas Honors College?

    The William O. Douglas Honors College (DHC) is an academic program within Central Washington University that provides an enriched academic environment for exceptional students through an interdisciplinary general education (or Core) program and an Upper-Division capstone experience.

    In the honors Core Curriculum, DHC students enroll in dynamic and innovative courses that satisfy their General Education Requirements. In the Upper-Division, juniors and seniors, including transfer students with an AA, complete a capstone project. A student’s capstone project depends on the student’s discipline and goals upon graduating from CWU. Throughout the program, students attend small classes taught by the finest faculty Central has to offer.

  • Why should I join the honors college? What are the benefits?

    DHC students receive individualized instruction in an interactive classroom environment that develops their writing, reading, and speaking abilities. Honors courses provide students with challenging and intellectually rewarding college experience. Every year, the DHC Curriculum Committee chooses the best courses from several promising proposals, thus providing students with innovative courses taught by excellent professors.

    To supplement their classroom instruction, students participate in DHC-funded cultural events every quarter, such as theatrical performances, orchestra concerts, and museum visits. Other activities are also held throughout the year, including DHC-exclusive discussions with distinguished faculty and visiting scholars, seminars, social events, and opportunities for travel to conferences and research libraries.

    Students who complete the our Core Curriculum satisfy the university General Education Requirements. By finishing just two courses more, those students earn an Interdisciplinary Honors Minor. Students who complete only Upper-Division Honors are designated as Arts and Sciences Scholars. Students who complete the Core Curriculum, as well as Upper-Division Honors, are designated as Douglas Honors Scholars.

    Gaduating with honors is often a deciding factor in future employment. DHC graduates have also been accepted to prestigious graduate schools and law schools, including Cornell University (law), Washington University in St. Louis (anthropology), Georgetown University (conflict resolution), Portland State University (psychology), the State University of New York at Stony Brook (philosophy), and Northern Illinois University (history), just to name a few.

  • How does the DHC curriculum fit with my major?

    DHC students may pursue a major in any of the more than 120 specialized fields of study at Central. The DHC does not offer a major. Rather, it provides innovative general education and mentored research experience for exceptional students, along with the option of earning a minor in honors.

  • Does it cost more to be in the Honors College?

    No. There is no additional cost involved with being in the Douglas Honors College. In fact, students in the Honors College are eligible to receive a tuition waiver of up to $1,000 per academic year.

  • What are the admissions requirements to join the DHC?

    Applicants are required to write an essay and submit their high school GPA and test scores. However, admission is based entirely on the quality of the student's writing. Students denied admission, based on their essay, are encouraged to rewrite and resubmit their essays for reconsideration.

  • Are there different programs within the DHC?

    Yes, we offer two tiers with four outcomes.

    Students who complete the our Core Curriculum satisfy the university General Education Requirements.

    By completing our Core Curriculum and just two courses more, students earn an Interdisciplinary Honors Minor.

    Students who complete only Upper-Division Honors are designated as Arts and Sciences Scholars upon graduation. This option is usually taken by students who transfer to CWU with an AA or CWU students who find the DHC later in their academic career.

    Students who complete the Core Curriculum, as well as Upper Division Honors, earn their Interdisciplinary Honors Minor and are designated as Douglas Honors Scholars upon graduation.

  • How would my General Education Requirements change if I were to join the DHC?

    Instead of taking the university's General Education Requirements, DHC students take specially designated honors general education courses. Students who complete the DHC are exempt from the standard general education program.

  • What is Upper-Division Honors?

    Upper-Division Honors is a faculty-mentored capstone experience. Students complete a creative or research project under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

  • Is there a grade-point requirement to stay in the honors program?

    Yes. Students must maintain a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA at Central.

  • What if I am a transfer student or a Running-Start student?

    Whether you have an Associate degree (AA) or just a few transfer credits, the Douglas Honors College has a place for you. Most transfer students are a good fit for our Upper-Division tier. Some choose to complete an Interdisciplinary Honors Minor. Your DHC advisor will help you chart a course before registering for classes.

  • Will I be able to study abroad?

    The DHC curriculum is flexible enough to allow students to study abroad. Students need not take honors courses every quarter. The Study Abroad Office has many options for students who are interested in this opportunity.

  • What is the Honors Living Learning Community in Barto Hall?

    While all residence halls offer educational and social activities, specialized Living Learning Communities (LLC) such as the DHC LLC have extracurricular enrichment activities that focus on the needs of honors students.

    Students in the DHC are not required to live in the DHC LLC, but it is highly recommended that they do so.

  • Who is William O. Douglas?

    The honors college is named for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, born and raised in the central Washington city of Yakima. When Justice Douglas retired from the Supreme Court in 1975, he had served on the court for 37 years -- longer than any other justice in history. Following Justice Douglas's example, the DHC encourages intellectual breadth, academic curiosity, and the application of scholarship to pressing social issues.